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Lim­er­ick-born Stephanie O’Sullivan (38) works as a se­nior in­te­rior de­signer at HJL Ar­chi­tects while run­ning Frank & Nora in her spare time from her home in Dublin, which she shares with her hus­band Gra­ham, and chil­dren Sally (5) and So­phie (1). I only know her as owner and de­signer of chil­drenswear la­bel Frank & Nora, but it comes as no sur­prise to learn of Stephanie O’Sullivan’s ‘day job’ as an in­te­rior de­signer. In fact, she had no real de­sire to walk the line be­tween in­te­ri­ors and fash­ion un­til her first baby, Sally, was born and she was met with a sea of pink, im­prac­ti­cal, badly-made cloth­ing.

“I was shocked by the clothes on of­fer for new­borns,” notes Stephanie. “They were ei­ther very clev­erly de­signed but not aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing, or beau­ti­ful and to­tally im­prac­ti­cal — but prac­ti­cal can be beau­ti­ful.” O’Sullivan has proven that with her stylish, mod­ern re­laxed baby-wear de­signs that are made from or­ganic cot­ton.

“It seems to be ac­cept­able that be­cause the clothes you’re buy­ing are for a baby, they shouldn’t have much of a life­span. Not only is it ter­ri­ble for the en­vi­ron­ment

Wbut it’s en­cour­ag­ing a throw­away so­ci­ety.” She started three years ago with the iconic badger print py­ja­mas, which are still her favourite item and a best­seller. Al­though she works with an il­lus­tra­tor, it’s very much a home­grown busi­ness; even her hus­band has been rel­e­gated to the couch so their bed can be used as a ‘stu­dio’. But her pri­or­ity has al­ways been to find the per­fect fab­ric, to en­sure its spec­i­fi­ca­tion and treat­ment is au­then­tic and safe. The cot­ton is sourced in Peru and then knit­ted/wo­ven by a sewing house in Is­tan­bul. Choos­ing or­ganic cot­ton is a slow fash­ion process — even the land on which its grown must be drained over the course of three years to rid it of tox­ins — but the re­wards are huge. “Not only are you cre­at­ing a durable, skin-friendly, lux­ury prod­uct, you are also di­rectly af­fect­ing the lives of the com­mu­ni­ties and fam­i­lies who work in the cot­ton in­dus­try and pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment,” notes Stephanie, whose ad­vice to any­one start­ing out re­flects this, “be au­then­tic to what you’re of­fer­ing, do one re­ally good prod­uct that be­comes your sig­na­ture brand and know that if you’re go­ing to do it prop­erly, it takes time. And, in the words of Steve Martin… ‘Be so good they can’t ig­nore you!’” frankand­

It seems to be AC­CEPT­ABLE that be­cause the clothes are for a BABY, they shouldn’t have much of a life­span

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