We have a very special guest visiting the Layla Grayce blog today. We are pleased to bring you DeNai Jones from Petunia Pickle Bottom reflecting on design and what inspires her most.
I’m happy to be a featured blogger on Layla Grayce, especially since this exceptional website has ties to home. Fellow entrepreneur Tiffany Harris of Layla Grayce and I have known each other since high school. I have been so impressed with the direction and growth of her business and find it to be the site I point people to when they are looking for Petunia products. It has all the style and sophistication a woman wants when looking for a unique gift. Layla Grayce really has the most wonderful selection of things in the world of baby and home decor and the staff is so hospitable and easy to work with we are thankful for our working relationship.
DeNai Jones, President and Founder
- Tell us a bit about your company’s history. What was the inspiration for starting your business?
- Nearly ten years ago a luxury, fashionable and functional diaper bag was a foreign concept. The inspiration for the product was born out of hunting for a good friend’s baby shower gift and realizing there was a nothing on the market. At first, a high end diaper bag was a hard sell to the targeted boutiques; however once it was on their shelves, the stores couldn’t keep them stocked. It was one of those “this real, somebody pinch me” moments in life.
Today, Petunia has come a long way from its original form which started in a loft above my parent’s garage to the international brand it is today. We started from scratch where our evenings found our living room transformed into a small factory where family members would spend hours cutting webbing and straps while I would cut out pattern pieces that would become “tomorrows” diaper bags.
- What influences your design and color selection?
- Mostly vintage. I love the color ways, patterns, bag silhouettes and the history that vintage pieces have to offer. I carve time out of my work schedule to visit vintage boutiques, flea markets or even thrift shops to seek out an inspirational piece. I also love archival photos and find travel to be the best inspiration.
- Is there a favorite design or design concept this season?
- After 3 years in the making, my favorite design this season is finally no longer a concept. We will debut this Spring our new baby carrier collection: Scout Walkabout and Sightseer Carriers. We worked diligently on a baby carrier concept that would not only simplify life for parents, but also hold the promise of Petunia and have all the style points parents would expect from our brand. This project has been a real labor of love and it’s exciting to come to the point where I can share with others what’s been going on behind closed doors for so long! For a sneak peak at the debut of our carriers, become a fan of Petunia Pickle Bottom on Facebook.
- Do you have a favorite design related blog that you enjoy or are inspired by?
- I think Grace at Design Sponge www.designspongeonline.com does an amazing job showing all things beautiful, I’m always inspired.
- Wha’s new ahead in the way of trends or product features?
- My husband always asks me how we manage to “zig where others zag” and I tell him it’s because we don’t subscribe to the latest trend. We do what we love and I think it shows in our longevity and fan base. We also really listen to what people ask us for and try to deliver that’s what makes our products have the great features they do and why we all use our products ourselves.
- Is your company “Green” or do you have some sort of community outreach program?
- We try to make smart choices when manufacturing. It’s such a huge responsibility and one we take seriously. We like to use organic cotton like in our Organic Gift Sets, Organic Slings, Organic Cotton Carrier Collection, and the use of recycled Nylon in our Scout Walkabout. We also use recycled shipping paper and have a strong recycling program in our offices. No paper or plastic cups here. Also, all of our Glazed bags in the Original Collection are made of a PVC-free coating; every little choice in regards to manufacturing makes a difference.
We also give back to our community via Petunia Online Outlet Sales. Twice a year we have Outlet sales that benefit a children’s charity of our choice. Past charities include The Hands and Feet Project where we raised $10,000 through our sale to rebuild an orphanage in Haiti that was destroyed by Hurricane Gustav.