BEHIND THE BRAND: BILLIE THE KID

If you’re anything like me and Jayni Assirati, owner of Billie the Kid then you essentially own a wardrobe consisting of only black and white. Billie the Kid launched in 2015 when Jayni, an  entrepreneurial mum of 2 boys had struck gold on a business idea. 

Their style is iconic and the brand runs a killer Instagram account with content you’ll fall in love with. Their trucker hats and bags are great for gifts or just when you feel like spoiling a little loved one in your life. 

How did the idea for Billie the Kid come about? Tell us about your business startup story?

‘It was a bit of a fluke really! When my eldest son Lucas was just a baby I really wanted a cool little trucker hat for him but couldn’t find any specifically for babies. My Dad lives in Vietnam for work and it turned out that his PA’s aunty manufactured hats! I had a hat made for Lucas and got so many comments that I thought ‘hmmmm there might be something in this!’ I spent the best part of the year designing the hats, working on the perfect fit for babies before launching the business in January 2015. A lot of work was put into the look and feel of Billie the Kid, creating a look for the brand that was different to other kids labels at the time and working at giving us a point of difference and strong brand presence. After the success of our Trucker Hats we launched our Mini Alphabet Satchels and last year our first apparel range!’

Billie the Kid has such a cool vibe! How did you come up with the style of patterns and prints?

‘Aw thank you so much! We launched our first clothing range last year, focusing on a monochrome palette with edgy prints. Basics that can be worn everyday, comfy and cool. I design the garments myself whilst the vast majority of our prints and images  (including our logo) are hand drawn by an amazing artist that i’ve worked with for a few years now. She’s a creative genius. We sit down and I share my ideas and my mood board and Lauren works her magic. I’m so particular but she knows what I like and nails it every time.’

Your Instagram feed is on point. What tips do you have in creating images and a consistent style?

‘Investing in photography is a must! We usually do 2 shoots a year to keep our content fresh and interesting. It’s so important to create a strong and unique style for your brand and to be consistent with that look and feel. Coming from an advertising and marketing background I really enjoy this side of the business. We also work with some amazing brand reps and influencers, they are invaluable and I am so thankful to these amazing mums who support my small business.’

As a mum of 2 boys, it must get very hectic running a business? How do you manage the challenge?

Hectic is an understatement! The challenge I love but to say that I keep on top of everything would be so far from the truth. I am always chasing my tail. It’s really hard to get the balance right. My boys come first, work second. This often means that I’m working in the wee hours of the morning or heading to my office after my husband gets home from work. Having the flexibility to do this is wonderful but it does often feel that I never switch off.’

What’s the best place you find to get design inspo from?

‘Everywhere! This morning for example I saw a sign with a particular shape and from this I’ve since sketched a new tee. Random! I love scrolling through pinterest and instagram and reading mags such as Minty. I get inspired from interior design more so than fashion, the different textures, tones and patterns that people use in their homes inspire me.’

Who are your go-to instagram accounts you love and why?

@threebirdsrenovations ….these ladies can do no wrong! I often get lost in their insta feed for an hour!

@designtwins …. what I would do to be let loose in their Sydney store!

@zotheysay …. she’s good for giggles and beauty advice!

@vancityreynolds… because he’s a dream boat!

How would you describe your personal style?

‘My wardrobe pretty much comprises of black, white and stripes! Comfort is key. I’m a sucker for a good white tee, my wardrobe is full of them, it’s a bit of a problem really! Paired with harems or jeans and I’m set. I have been working a little dusty pink lately, very adventurous!’

What is your design process like when you are bringing out new products or starting a new collection?

‘The process can be quite lengthy! Generally a new range or product launch starts with a burst of inspiration and is developed from there. My ideas are jotted out on paper and I then work with my manufacturers to produce samples, this process can take a long time but is important to ensure that the product that you’re taking to market is of good quality. Having a good relationship with your manufacturers in paramount. I have recently returned from Vietnam where I met with our makers and it was wonderful to see how our products are made from start to finish.’

WHAT’S NEXT FOR BILLIE THE KID?

‘We opened our first store in December last year, The Kid & Co in Cronulla (@thekidandco). This has been keeping us really busy and we hope to open another store in the future.

For Billie the Kid we have a new range of limited edition Trucker Hats coming out for summer and are currently working on our winter apparel range to launch in March plus a restock of some favourites.’

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