Sonoma County designer is in the business of liberating kids’ fashion from stereotypes

In a world rife with labels, misnomers and divisions, gender-free fashion means more than just a catchy line for Elizabeth Brunner.

This is a clothing line launched in November 2020 by designer Glen Ellen. A children’s brand inspired by lessons learned in her own home called StereoType.

Brunner’s 9-year-old twins, Jacob and Chloe, have their dress preferences reversed from what was considered a traditional role. Chloe likes to walk around in a black panther mask, San Jose, he’s a Sharks jersey, camouflage pants, boots, tools, he’s a belt, and all sorts of dinosaur-related things.

Jacob chooses “shines”, a skirt and pink roller skates. Four years ago, she went as Batman for Halloween. He chose a purple princess costume.

Brunner, 48, vividly dictated the words of the time. I just want to look beautiful. ”

She recalled wondering why stores had separate children’s clothing departments for boys and girls. Why don’t you put it together as children’s clothes?

“This has to change,” she recalled.

Brunner started her business, drawing on her past experience to create gender-neutral children’s clothing, commonly referred to as “unisex” clothing.

She challenges labels like gender neutral and unisex. Rather, she says, her products are “blends” of established clothing styles. When asked if she meant that her product line was centered around a particular color or shape, she replied, “No, all items fit both boys and girls. It’s made, so it’s gender-free.”

A 2021 Statista study found that fashion-inspired businesswomen who started out as interior designers but graduated from the California Institute of the Arts in 2007 are thriving in the $318 billion U.S. industry. got off to a good start.

She channeled her childhood and used her mother’s skill and care to sew scraps of fabric for Barbie dolls.In 2010, she launched her first fashion company, Piece x Piece, We created unique garments from discarded sample fabrics from local designers.

However, she closed that business in 2018 and pivoted to StereoType two years later. Here, she creates her T-her shirts, pants, leggings, “skorts,” kilts, hoodies, and blazers, which she sells at her San Francisco shop ranging from $30 to her $129.

“My kids are literally the DNA of my brand, so I make them co-founders of companies and teach them about building businesses,” she said. and learning how to be an entrepreneur.”

After starting the company two years ago this month, she started designing activewear to sell directly to consumers on her website last year.

Raised over $100,000 in start-up funding, its goals include appealing to parents seeking a wardrobe for their offspring that has no limits, challenges preconceived notions and allows children to express themselves. It was Brunner has declined to disclose earnings for the new privately held business. Instead, she insists it’s not about the money, but about her mission to change fashion preconceptions.

To that end, she has written a children’s book titled ‘Me Is All I Want to Be’. Brunner says it’s in the editorial stage and may be published in 2023, and it shows zoo animals frolicking in San Francisco in her clothes.

When she’s not reading books or helping her mom with her business, her own children enjoy roaming the family’s eight-acre hill above the Sonoma County community of Glen Ellen. .

When asked what she thought of her mother’s business, Khloe said while hanging on her backyard jungle gym, “I think it’s cool because we can be models.”

Jacob became philosophical.

“It’s a great thing. It’s a chance to make me who I am,” he said, rattling off the many careers that the barefoot, tree-climbing energetic youngster plans to pursue in the future. He cited mythologists, animators, and architects as starters. Chloe confessed that she wanted to be an inventor.

Perhaps the young man’s mother is her inspiration.

Words are trending on social media. Brunner has been told by “fans” of her work that they applauded her efforts as a parent, she said.

“At first, I was hesitant about how my apparel line would be perceived. He said that it was the creation of

Susan Wood covers legal, cannabis, production, technology, energy, transportation, agriculture, banking and finance. For 27 years, Susan has worked for various publications, including The North County He Times, Tahoe Daily Tribune, and Lake Tahoe News. Please contact her at 530-545-8662 or [email protected].

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