Little Yogi Company is a children’s clothing brand that we love at DIVINE! It is unisex, eco-friendly clothing (all made from bamboo and organic cotton) that is not only cute, but has timeless designs, in addition to being durable. We love the brand’s eco-friendly values, and that is why we wanted to introduce you to the world of the founder behind Little Yogi Company: Nancy Caouette.
Pssst. Their new collection and prints for spring are absolutely magnificent, and we have heard that there will be some very exciting new products for the summer… Swimsuits maybe? We can’t wait to see it!
What inspired you for to start your own business?
Funny enough, Little Yogi was never a plan for me. I had a career that was going very well and was growing in a beautiful way. I was at the beginning of my master’s degree and I found that very stimulating. My plan was to complete a PhD and begin practice as a therapist and researcher. Quite simply, Little Yogi happened by accident.
When my friends and my family started to have babies, I was opened up to a world with everything that is marketed for kids. Clothes, toys, etc. I was immediately in shock. I found everything was completely stereotyped. In stores, shelves were separated according to the gender of the children, with such different messages. On one side, everything was pink, with tons of glitter and rainbows and, on the other side, there were action figures and brave knights. I kept wondering what impact could all these stereotypes have on child and what could I do to limit these ambiguous and gendered messages?
My mom is a seamstress and for my entire childhood, she worked from home. I was always in touch with fabrics and clothes. I began to research everything there was to know online about fabrics, fashion, and kids clothing. I wanted to offer something different, with no stereotypes that was also environmentally conscious for all my friend who were about to have babies. One afternoon, my mom and I developed our first grow-with-me pants (harem pants). We wanted to create clothing that would last, that would be organic, responsible, and still look adorable. We shared them at baby showers and the reaction was amazing. I then decided to put some pictures on my Facebook to see if anyone else would be interested and few days later, I had hundreds of orders.
The next months and years consisted of very hard work to properly structure my business and make sure my brand was strong.
Looking back, I would say that there is a huge desire to create a world for our children where it is possible to be whoever you want to be, regardless of your biological sex. That is the inspiration for Little Yogi. To create an egalitarian world. To stop compartmentalizing boys and girls with expected behaviors with a powerful desire to decrease gender-based violence.
What differentiates your brand/product from the rest?
Of course, we try to be different by the designs we offer. All our illustrations are hand drawn and exclusive to Little Yogi. All the patterns you can find on our clothes are distinctive as well. However, I think what really sets us apart is the way our values are integrated. They’re not just on paper. We work very hard to make as great an impact as we can on children’s development. We developed an amazing community on our social media where we are having bigger conversations. We address gender issues, double standards, expectations related to women’s bodies, education and health.
We also make sure to have the lowest possible environmental impact and implement processes that respect the people behind every step of the creation of our clothes. We always think in terms of durability. This is why we combine sizes to maximize the use of clothing, reduce ”disposable purchases’’.
We are also very entrenched in our community. Last year only we donate more than $15,000 to different organizations. We want to make a change, and we do it.
Do you have a life motto?
‘’You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf’’ Jon Kabbat-Zinn
Tell us about the reality of your industry.
When you think about baby clothes, it all looks cute and fun. But it is also a VERY competitive field. The local market is really small, everyone knows each other and let’s just say that it’s not always as friendly as I thought it would be haha!
We work only with high quality, organic, ecological or recycled materials. Everything is made to measure, according to our specifications. Everything is manufactured in Quebec. It is therefore difficult to maintain competitive prices to what you can find in the supermarkets and mass retailers. This is also one of the reasons why you can’t find Little Yogi everywhere. The big chains ask for margins on the products that are very difficult to offer for companies like us that have a very expensive product development cost.
What’s the one product that’s always in your purse?
OK this is boring! Wet naps! Three Children in 3 years, these are essential!
What is a fact about you that would surprise others?
I am very shy. I hate (HATE) going to networking events or any places where I have to met new people. It makes me super anxious.
What changes concerning women would you like to see in 2021?
I wish we were angrier. I wish we would talk louder. More often. I wish campaigns against women and violence would start to be directed at men. I wish we condemned mistreatment more strongly. I wish that a woman could be exactly who she wants, dress the way she wants, talk the way she wants, post whatever she wants. I wish we were no longer seen as one of the boys, but just one and only. I want us to be proud of our womanhood. That we protect ourselves. That we stand stronger. I wish for us to understand that there are privileged women and that we need to be loud and out there, for all the others that are not.
What advice would you like to give to today’s women?
Don’t be afraid to be a distrupter. Change always comes with a dose of discomfort. Choose to be out of balance to make a difference. Do things for yourself first. Those who are inconvenienced will usually speak up more than those who agree. Breathe. Breathe again. Everything is temporary.