My younger daughter is a true wild child. She has her own opinion about everything, and usually it’s the opposite of what everyone else believes, especially me. She will let you know when she is happy and when she is not. Dressing her is always an issue because she has always had a strong opinion about what she wants to wear, I would say already from the age of 2. So, as they say, you pick your battles, and for me letting her choose her own clothes is the easiest part, I just love her fashion sense after all!
On our recent trip to South Africa, we were walking around the market area at the Waterfront in Cape Town and off Soraya went. She had spotted something she loved and she was determined to get to it. We went running after her, and there she went, into the stall of Rock Paper Scissors, and took what she was wearing off. She stood there naked, grabbed a dress on the hanger and put it on and looked at me with the biggest smile ever! The dress was the cutest most colourful designs, I couldn’t resist but smile back. Then her sister also decided she wanted the dresses and started getting naked too! In the end we walked out of that place with 2 dresses each for them and a beautiful handmade tent made out of vintage material.
After months and months of Soraya refusing to wear anything but her 2 new dresses, I decided to track down the owner and the woman behind this brand, as I wanted to find out more, and start introducing it here where it is hard to find such beautifully colourful patterns.
Here is my interview with Jodi, the talent behind Rock Paper Scissors.
Q: What is the background of your brand?
Rock Paper Scissors started as a vintage adult and kids store in Bree Street, Capetown, but the overheads at the time made us re-think a large store in an area that hadn't quite taken off ( it's booming now but we were too early). I had a stand at The Biscuit Mill in Woodstock on a Saturday, and wanted to do something that was both different for tourists, and made me excited about my work. I moved to the V&A Waterfront 3 years ago, you can find us at The Watershed. It has been very validating having well travelled customers support my ideas.
I know our stuff is for the slightly quirky, wild child. I am happy that parents support their children's fashion choices.
Q: How did the idea come up?
I realized that children are the most creative creatures and I love how they draw and color with no rules. I started playing around with small off cuts that were donated by a big clothing manufacturer. I teamed the cotton wax prints with bold florals and children love the random unique combinations. I hand cut every dress, and sort of squint my eyes to make sure it "looks right". I don't use a pattern, I cut freestyle. Children come in all shapes, so do the dresses. I love the hunt for vintage bits of trim, or old embroidered tablecloths, and I incorporate theses vintage beauties into our special dresses. We make dolls and bags with all the tiny pieces, we avoid throwing away, as landfills are a big issue.
Q: What is your background?
I have been involved in fashion forever, and had a successful business making fairy dresses in the 90's. I may revisit the dress up market in the future, it's a bit done now, but I think children will appreciate some quirky fairy dresses, tiaras, and maybe a velvet cape or two.
Q: What’s your business model & your plans for the future?
I'm looking at some swimming costumes for summer, and we are working with disadvantaged women who are doing beautiful hand appliqué on our children's dresses. They are a bit wild for the local market, but I love them. That's the thing I suppose, I love what I do, I don't do mass production, but my little customers get it.
My business ethos is do what you can, with what you have, right now. We don't waste, we manufacture with ladies who work from home, sometimes they are taking care of children, and can't afford childcare. I cut all the work, and drive around dispensing it. It works well as we are not making 100s of any one thing. My dresses are made in a studio, by a lovely lady who has grown her business to employ 4 other ladies. We all help each other, we are all women, and we are all small cogs in the wheel.
Adult skirts will be our next thing, the kind of skirt you slip on and feel like Cinderella did, when she popped on those glass slippers. Dripping with vintage trims, and hidden details.
We are so excited to be teaming up with Jodi and her team to start selling these gorgeous dresses from Two Little Piggies shop.