This is a sponsored guest post.
The clothing in children’s movies are part of what makes every character who they are. So it’s natural for children to connect with the clothing they associate with those characters. Whether it’s a superhero costume from a Pixar movie or a beautiful ball gown from a Disney movie, kids love to emulate the styles that originate from their favorite characters. In some cases, they can even become inspired by the clothing characters wear, prompting them to become interested in fashion. If your child is interested in learning more about clothing, here’s what you can do to keep the fire going:
Teach Them to Sew
Teaching your kid how to sew is a great place to start for children who are interested in costume design and fashion. To help your child get the swing of things, it’s best to teach them how to hand sew first. Sure, the sewing machine is easier and faster. But there will come times when your child will simply have to hand stitch a few things with their clothing, so it’s best to begin here. This will also help them appreciation the basics of sewing before they start delegating the majority of their tasks to the sewing machine.
With some handheld work, they’ll learn to manipulate the thread and better understand how it weaves with the fabric to keep things together. If you don’t know how to sew, you can either learn independently, or take your child along for some sewing classes. There are plenty of sewing classes aimed at parents and children that will not only steer you in the right direction, but help you meet other parents and their children who have similar interests.
Participate in a Fashion Program
A fashion program not only takes your children beyond the movies and into the world of design, but can give them a clearer picture of what’s going on in the fashion industry. For example, Project Fashion has fashion programs where children are taken to different fashion houses to see what goes on at major brands, and can participate in hands-on workshops in the process. They’ll learn more from experienced individuals in the fashion industry, and rub shoulders will peers who are just as passionate about clothes as them.
Tell Them Inspiring Stories
Your child won’t be the first or last child to be interested in making clothes. And sewing and designing isn’t the easiest hobby in the world—although your child might quickly get the hang of it, sticking to it takes persistence, dedication, and passion. If you start to notice your kid’s passion is wavering, or if they could simply use a boost of inspiration, it helps to tell them inspiring stories of other kids, too.
Take Isabella Taylor, for example, who began designing clothes when she was just nine years old. In an interview with Yahoo, she said she was inspired by “colors, shapes, poetry, travel and the beauty of everything around me.” Before she’d even turned 13, she won the Rising Star award at Austin Fashion Week after showing off her collection.
Then there’s Cecilia Cassini, who started repurposing clothing materials when she was just four, and got her first sewing machine at the age of six. Since thien, she’s been showing her clothing line at different trunk shows in Los Angeles.
Once your kid has learned how to make their own clothes or jewelry, and are happy doing it, you can heighten their business skills by encouraging them towards entrepreneurship. They may not realize it now, but helping them learn how to make a business out of their passion can set them up for lifelong skills.
If you’ve already told them some of the inspiring stories, you’re on the right track. Sit down with them and watch a kids special edition of Shark Tank, where children are given the opportunity to pitch ideas for their companies to a panel of well-known investors. Moziah Bridges, who got his first sewing machine at age 11, is one such kid who was able to score a deal for his fashionable bows with investor Daymond John.
There are other ways you can teach your kids about entrepreneurship, too. Lead by example, and teach them about different ways they can approach their business. Get them involved in the fun parts. Allow them to create a business website on Shopify or WordPress, both which have plenty of free pre-made templates that your kid will enjoy customizing. Then, use a service like VistaPrint to get them business cards for a few bucks (this will help them feel more official). Work with them to set prices, keep track of spend and profit, and start selling to friends and family.
Selling their first piece of clothing will feel invigorating, and it will drive them to continue making clothes for themselves and others. Remember—this all started from in interest in the fashion they see in their favorite films. Overall, this will help you understand the power of allowing your child to explore their passions in a realistic way, no matter what it is.