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Sonnet James designs durable, machine-washable dresses for mothers who want to be playful with their kids and feel beautiful. Read more

Palo Alto, CA Fashion
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on August 1, 2013.

Sonnet James designs durable, machine-washable dresses for mothers who want to be playful with their kids and feel beautiful.

Palo Alto, CA Fashion
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About this project

* If you pledge for a dress and my kickstarter gets funded, you will receive an e-mail asking which style and size you would like on August 1st. The dresses run from sizes 0-16.

I am a designer and the mother of two wiggly, wonderful little boys. When I became a mother, playing with my sons was not something that came naturally to me. But through experience and research I've learned that it's one of the most important things I can do for my boys. So, it's time to do something totally new...create a line of play dresses for playful moms.

With the right dress, any mom can look great without letting her clothes get in the way of the next big playful adventure! Sonnet James was born out of the idea that beautiful clothing should work for moms—it should be durable, comfortable, and easy to care for. Enjoy wearing your Sonnet James dress at the park, in a museum, and around the city.

Each day, when I put the dress on, it helps me remember who I want to be--a playful mother who can be engaged with her kids.

Have you ever had one of these days?

1) You look good but can't play with your kids because your heels are too high or your jeans are just too tight. 

2) It's your 8th day wearing yoga pants and you’re starting to feel frumpy. 

You need a play dress in your closet! I want mothers to put on my play dresses and feel supported and encouraged in their desire to be fun and playful with their children. 

WHY THE PLAY DRESS

After both of my pregnancies, I found myself still throwing on my old Liz Lange maternity tops from Target because they were comfortable, strechy and easy to clean. I longed to wear the fashionable dresses in my closet but didn't want to deal with the comfort restrictions or the dry-cleaning bills. So, I thought I'd try to make some of my favorite dress silhouettes in the same maternity fabric: modal-spandex. This is where Sonnet James began. Crafted out of four-way stretch modal-spandex, my dresses have the flattering lines of runway designers, but instead of dry-clean-only silk-chiffon, lace or wool-crepe, Sonnet James dresses are made from soft, stretchy, durable, and easily washable fabrics. They are the perfect dresses for fashionable mothers.

KICKSTARTER GIFTS:

PICK ANY OF THESE DRESSES BELOW AS A GIFT:

*for more looks and details, visit www.sonnetjames.com

FASHION SKETCH AND CLOUD TOTE

DRESS IT UP! 

 Pair the dress with Superga tennis shoes and a WeWood watch when you run errands; wear it barefoot with a WovenPlay crown in the backyard; or throw it on with your Plomo sandals and some Quay sunglasses when you head to the park. 

CARE INSTRUCTIONS

MAKING IT HAPPEN

All my production will be local, right here in California.

I've already teamed up with an amazing production house in LA known for excellent quality. I will be working closely with great fabric houses in New York and LA. The incredible pattern maker who has helped me perfect the fit is located right here in South San Francisco.

In the fashion industry, as in most manufacturing, larger orders reduce costs. The more fabric you order, the better the price. In order to sell my dresses for a price that is more accessible, but I need your help to place larger orders by buying a Sonnet James dress now!

HOW IT ALL STARTED

On New Year’s Eve 2012 I decided to make Sonnet James a reality. I started to sketch, pattern-draft and sew, and before long I had created 12 distinct dresses. When I tested the dresses with other moms, I realized I was meeting a fundamental need for mothers everywhere.

After a few bumps with fabric manufacturing delays (who am I kidding, lots of bumps), I finally figured out how to get what I needed and who to get it from. I shipped out the finished prototype dresses on April 24. The positive feedback has been OVERWHELMING! My inbox was flooded with requests for more dresses and more sizes. I spent all of my savings to get those first 100 dresses out the door and into moms' closets. Now, Sonnet James is ready to launch it's first full line of play dresses!

CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

"I wore my Stella to the city today for a day at the museum, to Costco for some groceries, then straight home for a dinner party. I was comfortable and cute all day, I never had to change between the different events and it was amazing! I can't wait for my next SJ =)"

"...not only do I love the dress, but I love the whole brand, your marketing and attention to detail. The packaging was darling."

"Thanks for filling a void for high quality casual play dresses. I will enjoy watching your brand take off."

"It's really good quality and durable! A lot of dresses I get scared to do too much in for fear of it ripping, but I was rolling around all day in this...I love it too because it fits, but isn't too tight and it doesn't bunch which is nice."

"I got the dress today. It's so cute!! I tried it on and the fit is perfect! Can't wait to wear it on Monday. I know I'll wear it all summer. Thanks so much!"

"I can't tell you how much I LOVE my new dress!!! The packaging was truly the cherry on the top! You're amazing and I'm sure I'll be back to shop soon."

"Hi there, just wanted to let you know the two dresses I bought are amazing! I get compliments on them when I wear them. Also I bought one for my preggo sister and she loves it and ordered one for my friend and she loves hers too!"

BIOGRAPHY 

Whitney is the creative force behind SONNET JAMES. She studied in Europe, lived in Hawaii and has explored every ridge of the Rockies. She rides motorcycles, likes to surf, and makes a chicken and dumplings that will simply knock your socks off. She likes to writes music, build furniture and is on a life-long journey to find the world’s best chocolate chip cookie.

But first and foremost, Whitney is the mother of two adventurous, loveable and crazy little boys. They are the center of her life.

She started her career working at the architectural firm Gensler in San Francisco as an intern. She later launched her own interior design firm, Match, which she has managed for the past four years.

Whitney sketches and pattern-drafts the dresses she designs--inspired by her love of fashion, her passion for motherhood, and her search for simplicity and comfort in everyday life.

Photo credits: Remi Stoneman Photography (my sister!)

Risks and challenges

Risks and challenges? Trust me, I ran into every road bump possible to make those first test dresses. I'm ready to go! (hint, hint)

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    13 backers

    BLOOPER REEL: See behind the scenes footage from our kickstarter video. Filming with kids can be a workout! Plus, the blooper video includes a thank you from me and my boys while we "Prancercise!"

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $65 or more

    131 backers Limited (4 left of 135)

    INNOVATORS SPECIAL: Pick Any Sonnet James Play Dress. Who doesn't love a good deal, right?

    Dress retails for $98 (see the style guide and sizing chart to the left).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    156 backers Limited (4 left of 160)

    EARLY ADOPTER SPECIAL: Any Sonnet James Play Dress. Still a great deal!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $85 or more

    124 backers Limited (1 left of 125)

    EARLY MAJORITY SPECIAL: Any Sonnet James Play Dress. Last chance for savings--hurry!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $85 or more

    80 backers Limited (20 left of 100)

    *UPDATED INTERNATIONAL* EARLY MAJORITY SPECIAL: Any Sonnet James Play Dress. Last chance for savings--hurry!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $98 or more

    10 backers

    THE DRESS: Any Sonnet James Play Dress. You choose.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $180 or more

    32 backers

    DOUBLE TROUBLE: Your two favorite dresses + SJ fridge magnet *each dress at $90

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $180 or more

    16 backers Limited (84 left of 100)

    *UPDATED INTERNATIONAL* DOUBLE TROUBLE: Your two favorite dresses + SJ fridge magnet *each dress at $90

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $260 or more

    21 backers

    THREE'S COMPANY: Your three favorite dresses + SJ cloud tote *each dress at $87

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $330 or more

    4 backers

    FAV FOUR: Your four favorite dresses + SJ cloud tote + limited edition fashion sketch by Whitney *each dress at $82.50

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    DESIGN STAR: Become part of the Sonnet James design team. Join a team of 10 that get a sneak peek at next year's prototype dresses. Then, provide feedback and make suggestions to help narrow down next season's collection. Plus, get your favorite new dress mailed to you months before they hit the shelves!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (8 left of 8)

    THE AUDREY HEPBURN: A dress designed for you, made for you, named after you, and mailed to your door. Your signature dress will join the 2014 collection.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ: A flight to San Francisco, a Sonnet James gift bag (one of everything!) and a playful day touring the city with me in our dresses. Come see all of my favorite places--let's bike across the Golden Gate Bridge with Bi-Rite ice cream cones in hand!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (30 days)