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We’ve been wanting to squeeze ourselves into a few of our favorite kids’ lines lately and Ashleigh Dempster’s AKID is on the top of the list. The fashion-forward street style kicks are seen on the coolest kids including heymama bestie @scoutfashion. Ashleigh loves to collaborate with creative, like-minded brands and always pumps out fresh out-of-the box styles. (Hint hint we may have something in the works Shhhhh.)

Tell us about your previous life as co-founder of the culture-club The Society?

My friend and I launched The Society Global with the sole purpose of filling a void in our social lives. At that time, we were yearning for cultural events that were interesting and affordable. Something with a twist.  It turned out we weren’t the only ones, and during the 6 years of throwing events, we boasted a membership base of over 5,000 young professionals in Toronto, New York, and Miami who attended our events regularly, garnered press in top tier media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and integrated corporate brands including H&M, BMW, Rimmel, Chloe fragrance and more.

…during the 6 years of throwing events, we boasted a membership base of over 5,000 young professionals in Toronto, New York, and Miami who attended our events regularly, garnered press in top tier media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and integrated corporate brands including H&M, BMW, Rimmel, Chloe fragrance and more.”

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How did you start AKID? What was your inspiration?

My husband’s career started in footwear (manufacturing, retail, design), and I just love shoes, so when our first-born began walking, it was only natural for us to turn our sights to the children’s shoe industry. With AKID, we are hoping to fill a gap that we found for fashionable footwear for little ones.

Tell us about a typical work day for you.

It’s hard to map out a typical day because things change and shift by the minute, as a result of juggling work and kids, but for the most part I always try to fit in a few solid hours of work, at least one lunch or coffee meeting, a workout and some quality time with my kids and family. Of course it doesn’t end up that way, and I can often find myself in cram mode during off hours (i.e.: 5am), but that’s just the way it is.  I’m constantly on the hunt for ways to save time and be more efficient. But as my mom says, I’ve never been afraid of burning the candle at both ends.

I can often find myself in cram mode during off hours (i.e.: 5am), but that’s just the way it is.But as my mom says, I’ve never been afraid of burning the candle at both ends.


What was the hardest part going from an event-centric business to becoming a designer? Tell us about the learning curve.

I’m not sure I would call myself a designer. I have friends who are designers, and they are so out of my league plus, I’m wearing a lot of hats right now from designer to administrative assistant to creative director to product manager to cleaning lady etc! 

That being said, my past career in events and my current career in the fashion business both require you to be creative, move fast, and think on your toes in order to be successful so in that sense, I’m right at home!

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What’s your personal style like? Do  you see that reflected in your designs or is it all about the kids?

My person style is pretty relaxed. Usually basics (t-shirt, leather jacket, pair of jeans) paired with a great pair of shoes. This is certainly reflected in the AKID brand and collections.  I like footwear that is effortless with an edge. Shoes that you can dress up or pair down. 

I like footwear that is effortless with an edge. Shoes that you can dress up or pair down.

What are your top 5 places to shop for Jasper and Julien?

Some of my favorites in the US are Yoya, Mini X Style, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Eggy and Tricofield (in addition to the H&M’s, Zara’s etc).

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What are some of your favorite kids brands ?

I buy a lot from Nico Nico. I consider Sue a friend and confidant in the industry but also love her clothes and was purchasing them long before we met.  For good basics, I mix in Zara, Uniqlo, H&M.

I buy a lot from Nico Nico. I consider Sue a friend and confidant in the industry but also love her clothes and was purchasing them long before we met.

What’s your favorite style from the current collection? 

We have a killer collection coming out for Fall ’15 including a limited edition shoe with Mini Mode. I really love everything (otherwise it would have been cut from the collection), but my personal favorite is the LIV in gold stud and the ATTICUS in the renaissance print. 

Any big plans on the horizon?

Lots of big plans on the horizon but none that I can share at this moment.  heymama will be the first to know though!

What’s on the top of you list when you get some me time?

The most consistent “me” time are my workouts–Sessions with trainer Andre Hudson via Harley Pasternak and pilates classes.  I try to practice transcendental meditation as much as possible but haven’t been that successful lately with everything going on. Oh…and tomorrow I start piano lessons!

The most consistent “me” times are my workouts–Sessions with trainer Andre Hudson via Harley Pasternak and pilates classes.

 

Be sure to connect with AKID on Instagram @akidbrand or on the website www.akidbrand.com and find Ashleigh’s heymama profile here.

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