Hi. I'm Dionne, the owner and designer of the Little Misfits brand. It's great to "meet" you!
I founded Little Misfits in 2009, and two things I've learned to embrace about telling this story are:
- Humble beginnings are sometimes the best beginnings (I founded it from my basement with zero stock, no website, and only $100 to spend) and,
- Beginnings aren't always pretty (when I founded it I was suffering from clinical depression, I'd just lost my job, and I had no idea what I was doing.)
Back then, and still today, this brand represents a life line for me. It has challenged me, forced me to grow, tested my ability (and sanity) and, most importantly, connected me to a fantastic community of really amazing people along the way.
The Back Story:
I got the idea for Little Misfits while shopping for a shower gift. My tattooed friend had just announced that she was pregnant, and I wanted to get her something that would really match her style. The trouble was, after weeks of scouring the internet and ordering items from across the globe, I had a respectable gift, but still hadn't found exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a onesie with tattoo sleeves, I wanted a print on it that an adult would feel good about wearing (if it came in adult size), and I wanted her to be in love with it the instant she saw it.
So, when I couldn't find what I wanted online, I decided to make it. I hauled out my sewing machine, ordered some printed nylon for the sleeves, and after several ruined onesies (and swear words), I had my first tattoo sleeve design and the final item for my shower gift.
The gift was a huge hit, a bunch of my friends asked me to create gift baskets for their friends, and after a bunch of prodding from my husband, a year later I founded Little Misfits.
Fast-forward to today, and now:
- We create and sell really cool children's apparel, toys, and wall art for our community of misfits.
- We get to know and hang out with new people by jumping two feet in to our growing community of tattooed parents, artists, musicians, skateboarders, surfers, yogis, jesus lovers, and everyone else who identifies with what we're doing. We do it because our community is like our family, and being connected to you makes our lives WAY more fun.
- We create limited edition "Misfits for a Cause™ apparel" every month in order to fundraise and donate to charity. Each month we choose a new charity and all proceeds from the line are donated.
What do we value?
The company's values are in line with my own, so we value authenticity, self-expression, grit, dedication, dream making, and the undeniable rebelliousness that comes along with standing out as a way of staying true to who you are. We value being unique, working toward something bigger than yourself, and making your life whatever you want it to be.
What I'm doing here is building a community of people who, like me, don't quite fit the social "norms", and like it that way. I get that being different can be unpopular. I mean, I've been misunderstood, looked down on, judged, made fun of, or just disliked by people who don't "get it" - and that's okay with me. I've spent way too much time in the past trying to squeeze myself in to a mould that doesn't fit me, and doing that sucks. Now I much prefer being liked for who I am instead of for who I'm not. And, you know what? I really like being a misfit.
So what makes a misfit?
Living out loud, expressing yourself, speaking honestly, owning who you are, loving yourself, and never apologizing for any of that. It's being authentic, if only because you don't know how to be anything else.
What I love about misfits is that we've gotten over caring what anyone else thinks. We embrace the good in life and we rise to meet the bad with whatever we have. We show up for one another, and it doesn't matter if we have tattoos, green hair, a messy house, a yoga obsession, a Nickelback collection, or a twisted sense of humour. We just accept each other as we are. So what if that makes us weird? It's also what makes us awesome.
Plus there's an intensity about misfits that is so enigmatic. We think we can make things better, so no matter how many times we fall down, we keep trying until we do. I really respect that about our community, and I support the fantastic things that we are all working on.
I really want you to get in touch! One of my favourite parts about having this business is getting to know all the people in our community. So drop me a line on our Facebook page or Instagram to say hello. Seriously. I'd love to hear what you think of our products, the articles we post, if you're doing some charity work, or just have a laugh with you over a silly meme.