As I get older, my network of awesome and talented women keeps expanding (one of the many upsides of getting older). One of my newest mom friends, Sana, happens to be nice, smart, sweet, inclusive, open, interesting, beautiful, and inspiring. And not only is Sana a great person, but she is also the founder of kid’s pajama company, Sunny with an A. I recently bought a pair for Tusia, and she literally will not take them off — they are amazingly soft, perfectly thought out, and super colorful. Take a look at the interview below, and thank you, Sana! (And mom, it may be time to start doing kids!)
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
When I was pregnant with my third child, I realized that I could never find super soft, all-natural pajamas for my older two daughters. I had the same household brands as everyone else, but nothing was high-quality or durable. I realized there was a real niche in the children’s luxury sleepwear market and that every mom I knew wanted more options for kids’ pajamas – but the moms wanted to know there were absolutely no chemicals and that the pajamas would make it to the next child or cousin! I decided to launch a small capsule collection of luxury children’s sleepwear that was a 100% made in the USA and decided to manufacture in New York City, our home, so I could watch over the entire manufacturing process. The result was Sunny with an A!
How do you come up with the prints?
I scour many portfolios of NYC-based artists who offer prints. The prints we choose don’t actually resemble much of what you see on the pajamas themselves. For example, our best-selling Unicorns are actually extracted from a busy print of unicorns, rainbows and stars. We re-colored the unicorns in bubble-gum pink, enlarged the size to be appealing to their little wearers, and saved the rainbow and stars for our next collection. We like whimsical, hand-drawn prints and spend hours agonizing over every curve of the drawings and the most appealing colorway in which each print can be offered.
Tell me the story behind the name, Sunny with an A.
This is a funny story! My name is Sana but it is pronounced “Sun-ah” – like Sunny with an A. When I met my husband years ago, he asked me how to say my name correctly. When I answered, “It’s like Sunny with an A,” he looked puzzled. “That would be Sunny-ah,” he said amused. I started laughing because he was the first person I had met who didn’t get the right pronunciation after my “Sunny with an A” explanation. I named my company after this to remind myself every day that family comes first, love is everything and that there is sunshine in every corner of our lives!
What’s your favorite print?
My favorite print is the Cats & Clouds print! It took so much work to get the Cats to have that perfect vintage look and many, many screen print testing. Also, they are the only print that remind me of peaceful sleeping – napping and purring like a little kitten!
Currently you only make pajamas. Do you have a plan to expand?
I have many plans to expand! We are hoping to offer many more styles in our sleepwear and loungewear collection in addition to more sizes and prints. We have had a huge demand for bigger sizes for children ages 8-12 so we hope to meet those consumer demands. I would also love to expand into quilts, pillows and other textile goods.
How do you spread the word about your company?
We have a huge presence on social media, mainly Instagram and Facebook. Our press has been amazing and we have been lucky enough to be featured on some highly visible 2017 holiday gift guides: InStyle, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair among others. In addition, we have very loyal customers on Maisonette.com and our very own website www.sunnywithana.com.
What makes your pajamas different than the comptition?
If you touch our pajamas, you will purchase them. That was my motto when I created this line. Our supima cotton is luxurious and hand-loomed in the United States with just enough Lycra to make it stretchy and bouncy. Our fabric mill brushes the supima cotton to make it super soft and we pre-shrink it so our customers can feel relieved knowing the products will not shrink, pill, wrinkle or get holes after a few wears. We are 100% made in the USA and proudly feature American artists’ prints.
Do your three kids wear your pajamas every single night?
My children do wear my pajamas often! They have other brands too as we are always buying other pajamas to test quality, durability and likability! My children were my test customers in the beginning of our product development and when they asked to wear “mommy’s pajamas” every night – I knew I was on to something!
As a mother of three and a founder of Sunny with an A, how do you get everything done? What is your biggest challenge? Your greatest reward?
I don’t get everything done – that is the biggest challenge and the greatest reward! My biggest challenge is to remind myself that I don’t have to hold myself up to this perfect mother standard all the time. A lot of things slip through the cracks and being able to tell yourself to let it go is the biggest challenge for someone like me. My greatest reward is knowing I can look my daughters in the eye and tell them that girls can do anything and be anyone they want no matter the obstacles and expectations that may be in their way…and that believing in yourself will make you happy at home and at work.
Who do you use as a sounding board on how to grow the company / make it stronger / which prints to use, etc?
I ask everyone these questions – business and marketing professionals, stay-at-home mothers, other entrepreneurs, industry experts, editors and bloggers in the know, etc. I even ask my kids about which prints they like best! In order to build a lifestyle brand, you have to take many different opinions and viewpoints into account. After all, a lifestyle brand is for everyone!
Thank you, Sana! I hope you all feel better knowing that we just made your holiday shopping that much easier — these are the perfect gifts for the holidays! So stock up!