Cate and Levi is one of our favorite brands here at The Little Seed and we are so excited to be featuring them this Friday! Their eco-friendly vision and adorable products will keep you wanting more - it's worked on us! Read the Q+A down below and learn more about this amazing company! Don't forget to comment on "what you love most about Cate and Levi" for a chance to win one of their adorable frog stuffed animals!
What influences your product?
When my son Levi was born, I had recently sold my first business. My goal became to build a company that made beautiful and responsibly made products that I would want him to play with and also to build a company that my family could be proud of. Now as Levi gets older, the challenge has become to create products that he can still enjoy. This August at the Toronto and New York Gift Shows, we are introducing the cutest animal hats, mittens and scarves that he will for sure love - click here to check them out!
Where are your products designed and manufactured?
Everything is designed and manufactured in our Toronto, Canada. When we think of a new product, we'll sketch it out and then cut the materials by hand and sew a sample before investing in the custom dies for production. We hire graduates from the Ontario College of Art to work on the production and help create what has quickly become known as one of the top designer kid lines in the world. Where we save on materials, we spend on labor and design.
How are your products manufactured?
All of our products are manufactured in our studio right here in Toronto. Because we are working almost entirely from reclaimed materials (sweaters, blankets, etc), everything is One Of A Kind and therefore, needs special attention in each stage of production. We collect materials from many different sources, and then they get washed in industrial strength and extremely hot machines. The materials then come into our studio clean, whereby we allocate which materials are best for each product. For example, if it's a very thick weave, we may use it for the neck of a Giraffe Stuffed Animal so it stands nice and tall. Or if it's very thin, we might use it for the mouth of a Hand Puppet so that it can be opened and closed with ease. It's a complicated but highly creative and interesting production process. Everyday is different. Once we select the materials, they are then cut on 25 ton hydraulic machines using our custom rolled steel dies. Each item is then sewn on a single stitch machine and finished by hand and inspected before being shipped.
Why is it important to you that your product is made in Toronto?
For two reasons:
1) strategically - actually making our products in Toronto affords us the most flexibility. We can try new concepts in small batches and change on a dime. When importing from overseas, you are held to onerous minimums and lead times. By manufacturing locally, we are the architects of our own destiny. This is the only possible way that we can offer so many different products, styles and sizes. If something takes off, we can quickly scale production, but if an item is a little slower, we're not sitting on tons of inventory.
2) responsibility - not only would it be difficult to replicate our quality in an overseas production facility, but it would greatly impact our carbon footprint. We try, as much as possible to source all of our materials locally. Even our stuffing is an natural wool batting from a sheep farm in Nova Scotia. Would it be cheaper and easier to blow in petroleum based poly fill...you bet!
However, we made a decision from the start to build a responsible platform. Do our products cost more? Yes, however, we have found many customers, who like us, prefer to consume less but consumer better. This way, your life isn't filled with clutter and the products you have you appreciate!
ENTER TO WIN:
All you need to do is post a comment below on "what you love most about Cate and Levi." One lucky winner will receive this Frog Stuffed Animal valued at $80.00. The winner will be chosen end of day on Friday August 5th, so don't wait to comment!