Sweet, delicious, soft and delightful come to mind when one thinks of the word buttercream. All of these enticing words are an apt description of Calgary's own Buttercream Clothing. Designed and produced in Calgary and Kelowna, Buttercream Clothing is swiftly becoming a staple in the Calgary-maker scene. An obvious favourite at Alberta markets as well as impressive international popularity, it's a brand we are always keeping our eye on.
Candice is the inspirational force behind the clothing line, balancing and growing a thriving business with marriage, motherhood as well as active participation and support of other makers and individuals in the ethical fashion world, like us! In fact, Candice was one of My New Neighbour's earliest supporters. We love her story and the cozy, adorable clothing her line offers. We've partnered with Buttercream Clothing, Vian Esterhuizen Photography and two of our dearest friends to give you a glimpse into Candice's story and a look at some of our favourites from her Buttercream collection.
Read on for our interview, photoshoot and special coupon code featuring Buttercream clothing!
Tell us about where you are from...
I was born in South Africa and my family moved to Vancouver when I was just two, from there we moved to Kelowna and that is where Buttercream Clothing all began!
What inspired you to start Buttercream?
One Christmas, I was talking with my sister-in-law about her Etsy shop and I thought, I can make aprons and sell them online! I called it Buttercream Aprons and from there it quickly turned to clothing, then suddenly took off!
Tell us the story of Buttercream’s progression to where it is today...
Buttercream Clothing started out with simple maxi skirts, t-shirt dresses and scarves. We have grown so quickly that we now have 14 seamstresses sewing for us and we proudly produce every item ethically and locally in Canada. We have a lot of big goals and this business never ceases to amaze us!
What is your design process? What inspires new items each season?
With a talented team of seamstresses we design between 10-20 new styles each season and roll them out in very exciting website launches. I get ideas from all over, my customers are some of my greatest brainstormers and I find that when I make what my customers suggest, they become my best sellers!
We love that you produce your garments ethically. What does “ethical production” mean to you? Why do you think it’s important?
Ethical production means fair treatment and fair pay, to me. Every one of my seamstresses works out of their home studio at the pace that they want, making the items that they want to make. I think it is so important because people are the backbone of this business.
Not many people know there are Canadian options for garment production. How do you choose where to produce Buttercream clothing?
I find my seamstresses from all different places and I have been so lucky to have many that have approached me via email or at markets, we are always looking as we are always growing!
What is important to you when you are choosing your fabrics?
High quality fabrics that last are the most important thing to me. I try to get fabrics that will not pill and that will stay in excellent shape, to provide my customers with the quality that they expect from me.
What are the joys of producing locally? What are the challenges?
The joys of local production are being able to be so involved in every aspect of design and production, I love getting to tweak things until they are just right! The challenges are keeping up with the high volume of production, we are always hiring more people to sew for us in order to keep up.
You have a large social media following and have previously mentioned to us that Buttercream has grown enough for both you and your husband to pursue it full time. What has been a key factor or factors in your success?
Never ever stop working! I really am so committed to this business that from the time I wake up until I go to bed, I am pretty much constantly working. That has changed in the last few months as I am not sewing as much and we are not packing orders any more, as we have hired more people to help in that area, but I am constantly managing all of the different aspects of the business.
What are your tips for balancing a successful business with other "life duties" like marriage, motherhood and friends?
I think if you are happy in what you do and if you are fulfilled in your job the rest will follow! By having my husband quit his job to stay home with the family we have so much free time now to do things that we never could have before and the business has benefited so much from that. I always make sure to find moments for the special people in my life and my family always comes first, being a work at home mom is one of the best parts of running this business.
The future looks bright for Buttercream clothing, we are always excited to see what’s next! Can you give us some hints about what we can expect?
Well, we are beyond excited to be extending our sizes up to 3x as well as coming out with a men’s collection in the fall!
Complete the sentences below...
My favourite place to be with family is … Banff
The best place to eat in Calgary is ... Una
To relax I love to … Read
My favourite vacation spot is … Italy
The place I feel most inspired is … Home
Use My New Neighbour's exclusive coupon code MNN15 to receive 15% off your next Buttercream purchase!
This code is available for a limited time only, so grab your favourite piece while you can! Like an item in this post that you don't see on the website? Contact Buttercream Clothing directly to place a custom order!
Please note that this post was created to support a local maker we are sincerely inspired by, it is not sponsored.
All photography by Vian Esterhuizen.