Chances are, you’ve caught wind of the cheeky, sustainably driven pieces by cult-followed brand Oeuf. Its feminist crown needs a spot in every closet — just sayin’. But, you might not know just how founder Sophie Demenge approaches running a business on the daily amid the can-barely-come-up-for-air dance that is parenthood. What started as a side hustle with her husband Michael Ryan after their first kid, has blossomed into the coolest kids’ brand on the market — highlighting items that are distinct and playful as well as sustainable and eco-conscious. Double whammy. So, we had to catch up with Demenge to get the scoop on how she designs in the age of Instagram, gets in some solo time, and ultimately runs a super successful brand while raising her two little monsters.
Q: You’re the founder of Oeuf AND a mom of two (adorable little monsters). What’s one thing you’re SO sick of hearing about the elusive “balance” and “having it all?”
A: I’m not sure what “having it all” even means! We all have our challenges, and the only thing to do is take it day by day. Having a full life is never exactly balanced, but it’s definitely worth the (constant) effort.
Q: But, really…owning your own (successful!) business while parenting is no joke, how do you carve out time for yourself?
A: I’m really looking forward to some time to myself, in about five years or so. Right now, it’s not something I have a lot of, but I’m trying to make the most of the time with my teenage kids while they’re still living at home. I know that every stage with the kids goes by so fast, and you’re always looking back wishing you could make it last longer.
Q: You started your brand before Instagram. How (or has) the app changed your business?
A: In the past few years, Instagram has changed everything. I feel like I know my customers so much better now, they’re sharing so much about their lives, it’s incredible. Our products do become part of people’s daily lives and some of their most precious moments with their children, so I love to see that. It does inspire me to create more directly for what the customer wants and needs, and what she so generously shares with us.
Q: What’s the most popular item you’ve ever made — and why do you think people loved it so much? What about YOUR favorite item you’ve ever made and why?
A: I think the all-time most popular is our animal hats, because animal ears plus babies is just always adorable. I’m not sure I can pick a favorite, but I tend to like the quirky, weird things that make me laugh…those usually sell the least, and that’s okay, too!
Q: How do you source inspiration season after season? Do you ever feel tapped out?
A: Sometimes I do feel tapped out, especially now with social media and people always looking for something new, almost daily. I have to remind myself that that’s not what Oeuf is about, and it’s really not what babies and children are about. We love to propose beautiful, playful, great-quality items each season, but it doesn’t matter if it’s the latest trend.
Q: When you ARE feeling tapped out (on life/business/motherhood – everything!) what do you do to recharge?
A: A trip home to Paris is always a good idea! Otherwise a glass of champagne on the stoop with my girlfriends also does wonders. Or a long bath with a good book.
Q: It’s super cool how you’ve integrated politically charged messages (the feminist crown is everything!) into your products. Why did you do this?
A: I think it’s so amazing how women today are bringing their babies with them to vote, to protests, to conferences, really educating them from the youngest age. Feminism is not going to be a political thing for the next generation, it will be something natural and normal that they grew up with. It’s fun to be part of that with our crowns, but I don’t see it as political so much as participating in this new reality.
Q: Did you ever have second thoughts about doing as a brand?
A: No, the beauty of having a small, independent brand is that I can make those choices based on my instincts. No second thoughts!