We’ve seen this brand on kids all around the world, and it’s a go-to name for well-made, wearable and edgy duds. We’ll just say that being New Yorkers, the all black look for kids is something that doesn’t seem the slightly bit weird. The designers Tali Milchberg and Iris Adler, have created quite the following, with celebrities and cool parents everywhere rocking their duds. We’re thrilled to spotlight their keen eye and talent on heymama and get a sneak peek into their black and white office space in Israel.
How did you two meet?
We met through a mutual friend, Guy Sagy. We were both at a point in our lives where that we knew it was time for a change (Iris was a fashion stylist and Tali was an art director at an advertising agency). Guy insisted that we meet, we didn’t even know what for — but we did!
There is so much creativity coming out of Tel-Aviv right now. Can you tell us what it’s what its like to be an entrepreneur in that a community?
Tel Aviv has always been a very busy, creative and happening city. And we have been lucky enough to have always been a part of this special creative “scene”, with so many people around us that are always in a process of exploring and creating.
Being such a small country and an even smaller city, it feels like everyone knows each other, and we mostly get a lot of positive feedback and are hugged by this community.
What is the mom community like there?
We really couldn’t tell you. We are of course mothers, and being business owners – we are consistently trying to juggle it all. But this doesn’t make us any different than the moms around us in Tel Aviv. Everyone is in the same race – trying to fulfill themselves both personally and professionally while being the best moms that they/we can.
We can tell you this – friendships are a huge part of the motherhood community. They begin to develop when our children start kindergarten and they provide an amazing support system to each other. We look out for each other whether helping with school pick up and after school activity or having them over while a mom gets some time off, we are all in it together and feel that is the spirit of our community in Tel Aviv.
Tell us your story… How did Nununu come to be and what is the brand about?
When we met 8 years ago, we did not know what we wanted to do, but knew we wanted to shift career focuses to something within the children’s fashion space. For about a year we talked, collaborated and went through a discovery process to understand that we ultimately wanted to create clothing that we could not find in the marketplace for our own children. Once that was established we started immersing ourselves in every aspect of building a company- with no experience we had to learn everything from production to choosing materials to presenting the collections at tradeshows. Absolutely Everything.
What is Nununu best known for?
Probably for the brand that dressed kids in black. 😉 We are not a cute brand nor do we try to be. Our aim was to create extremely comfortable clothes (that was and still is a must for every piece of clothing we produce) that we would wear as well. We have a distinctive look: our color palette is very basic with blacks, greys, whites and always a touch of color in every collection. Our graphics are inspired be the geometric world, very clean and minimalist, not something you would ever see on baby and children’s fashion when we first launched Nununu. Most of our clothes have a deconstructed, worn look that is entirely handmade and we have become known for “the clothes that smell good”- we add an extra something to our material that has become a bit of a trademark- we are always getting calls from all around the globe asking how they can recreate that smell.
Did either of you have much experience in business before launching the collection?
NO! We started out just the two of us and in the six years that we’ve been a company, we have been lucky to surround ourselves with a team of people that are as much a part of this brand as we are and have taken it upon themselves to manage different aspects of the business alongside ourselves.
What has been the best advice you have received about your business?
To be faithful to our way. Believe in it and be loyal to it.
What is your favorite piece in the collection?
Ha. That’s like asking to choose a favorite child. Not fair.
What’s been your experience working as co-founders?
Learning to work as a team. Sometimes we feel that this is more like a marriage. We are together most of the time and we are growing a business together. This means respecting one another, being patient and the most important part – learning to comprise. We have a “veto” rule – when it comes to design, business and anything really – if one of us uses her right to veto, the other one has to accept it straight away. That’s why you have to use it wisely.
What do you wish someone had told you before you started Nununu?
To be honest, if we would have listened to all the “advisors” that had advice for us when we started, we would have probably never gotten to where we are now. Do what is right for you.
What’s been the biggest career challenge so far?
The biggest challenge has been that we unfortunately see a lot of Nununu imitations out there but this only drives us to continually evolve the brand while staying true to our design aesthetic and DNA – an alternative to typical children’s fashion with a dose of attitude, style and sense of humor.
Any pinch me moments?
Every day is one! We just moved into our new office – a beautiful loft that we love! And seeing people in the streets around the world and realizing their children are wearing Nununu. It’s those moments that we feel that we’ve created a small tribe that speaks in the same language worldwide.
Being an entrepreneur and mama can be really hectic, what’s your favorite way to make time for your kids?
Any spare time with our kids is savored
Iris: Loves cooking with her children.
Tali: Enjoys taking them to the beach and just hanging out at home goofing around.
What do you love most about what you do?
The satisfaction. But we really do love all aspects of what we do – starting from the design and up to the business factor.
How has motherhood changed you as person, as you see life, and what you want to achieve?
Cliché but motherhood has made us better people (in our opinion of course…).
What do you want to teach your kids about life?
Persistence is the key to everything. And that they will succeed at what they do, if they do something they love.
You say your collections are inspired by travel. What are some of your favorite family friendly destinations?
Barcelona, Berlin, Greece, New York City.