By Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) — After finding a business niche by coincidence, a New England enterprise is getting buzz in the world of kids’ clothing, all made right here in Massachusetts.

It’s also a story about two young moms who left the corporate world, but found a new way.

We met them during a photo shoot for their new line of children’s clothes called Petit Peony.

Kids' clothing by Petit Peony. (WBZ-TV)

Kids’ clothing by Petit Peony. (WBZ-TV)

“I got the inspiration really from my children and wanting to dress them in really sweet, simple designs that held some traditions,” says Kate Bowen, who founded the clothing line.

Bowen left her job in the medical job in Boston to move to Vermont with her family.

The dress designing and sewing started out a just for fun a year and a half ago, but when she got a big response from friends and family, she sent photos to shops in Boston and on the Cape.

“And within an hour or two, all the boutiques wrote back and said, ‘We want these for next season,'” Bowen says.

That’s when the business was born. Ashley Wayman joined Kate a year ago after leaving a Boston business job to care for her baby.

And today, business is booming.

“We really want every piece to be innovative, spirited and unique,” Wayman says. “Our whole idea is to celebrate the magic of childhood.

New England is definitely the inspiration for our brand. We love the quintessential wholesomeness and tradition New England has,” Bowen says.

That also means manufacturing in an old mill building in Fall River and filling online orders there as well, even though making it in Massachusetts can be more expensive.

“It is worth it to us. The quality is phenomenal (and) we can have a relationship with these people. It’s not just done remotely,” Wayman says. “And we can support local businesses. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

“We’ve gone from producing 500 pieces to (more than) 10,000 pieces in a year,” Bowman estimates.

Mulberry Road, a Newbury Street shop in Boston, is one of 40 boutiques carrying the Petit Peony line.

Customers love the look, but that’s not all.

“Not only is it made and designed in the US, but it’s also locally designed and made. So I think that’s a great attribute of the product,” says Sandy Nelson, the owner of the shop.

For the future, Kate and Ashley hope to spread the brand around the country and even open their own stores. Their clothes cost between $18 and $78.

Paula Ebben


Leave a Reply