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Interview with Designer Judy Jou

Q: How did you come up with the name "Ele Story?"

A: The name “Ele Story” was inspired by a song in Chinese about a little elephant who is encouraged to be proud of her long nose because it is what makes her who she is.  The clothing line celebrates the uniqueness of every child as they write their own Ele Stories.

Q: Why children’s clothing?

A: I have a passion to design cute and sweet things.  I could not wait when I found out I was having a daughter so that I could explore my passion for the cute and sweet.  My daughter gets so excited by clothes.  She reminds me a lot of myself.  Growing up I loved watching my mom wear nice dresses.  I love dresses and I think kids are little versions of adults and they should be dressed well.

Q: Take me through your creative process.

A: As a former costume designer, I do a lot of research before I even put anything to paper.  I spend the bulk of my time taking in images that I find and then spend time doodling and drawing out silhouettes.  Sometimes I look at fabrics to help inform my designs, but for the most part I play with silhouettes first.  When the fabrics come in it can totally change my design based on how I see everything fitting together.  Then, as I sew my designs things can change even more dramatically.  Finally, I enjoy stepping back and viewing the collection as a whole.  In my theater training I had to see all the clothes on stage all the time.  Even though I know that not everyone will buy every piece in my collection I still like to make sure that everything works together.

Q: What inspired to use gray dots throughout your collection?

A: I have always loved the non-color gray.  It is the best neutral color there is.  I love seeing dots in general but there’s something about seeing white dots on grey.  It’s like the little black dress that goes with everything, but it’s the grey dots that go with anything.  I bring it into my collection as much as possible.

Q: Where do you see ele story in five years?

A: I would love to see a brick and mortar Ele Story store and to see Ele Story everywhere.  But that's not ultimately what drives me.  For me it’s mostly about finding an audience that appreciates my aesthetic and designs.  I just want to see my stuff on kids and we’ll see how far that takes us.