Mama Time with Kendra Francis of Petits Genoux

Balancing motherhood and business is not easy but Petits Genoux‘s co-founder Kendra Francis is making it look easy. Having started the heirloom children’s clothing company in Toronto with fellow mama, Amanda Blakley, the stylish duo take old-fashioned silhouettes, creating them for modern day babes.
Their latest collection will be found in a micro-boutique inside Toronto’s Bloor Street Kit & Ace location. To celebrate, they are holding a kick-off party on Saturday, November 5th where little ones can dance (or bob up and down like my little guy) to live reggae, nibble on croissants, enjoy “kid-ccinos”, and of course shop from the Fall/Winter collection. Find out more about how the brand came to be and Kendra’s advice to fellow entrepreneurial mothers.
How Petits Genoux came to be:
My son began school at Waldorf Academy and I became quick friends with another mom whose son was in class with mine. It turned out to be the super cool Amanda Blakely and
our intention initially was really to keep ourselves busy making clothing for our kids. We are both creative and inspired by some of the same things and one day we looked at each other and said ‘is this a thing? Are we doing this?’ and it began organically like that. I’m a womenswear designer so children’s was not on my mind even after becoming a mom but it’s fun.
What is the style inspiration behind your line?
Our garments are heirloom pieces, the ones that you will pass down to younger siblings, cousins, and friends. Our pieces are classic with modern updates and finishes. We started off with the very classic bonnet and romper and then expanded on that. We use beautiful fabrics and each item is handmade with love . Our hope is that our clients cherish them as much as we do.
Advice to other mothers looking to start their own business:
I think women, in general, should be encouraged to start their own businesses. It’s a lot of work, however, it’s the most empowering feeling. Time management is critical especially if you have one or more little ones bossing you around, but make sure you love it and know that the sacrifices you have to make will benefit you and your family in the end and don’t beat yourself up; find your perfect balance.
What are the challenges you find being a mother and an entrepreneur?
Finding that balance! And fitting in work with playdates; emailing in between naps and bathtime; trying to make lunch at 5:30 in the morning, and not being late for school drop-off!!
The best thing about being a mother is:
Being on the receiving end of that unconditional love you can only get from your child.
Photography by Adelle Karim

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