NOT KIDDING: We teach children what good design is when we surround them with it

January 18th, 2023
Interview with NOT KIDDING

NOT KIDDING. The original design of Klára and Míša, which under this brand set themselves the goal of fine-tuning children’s rooms with original accessories, which you and your children will love. You will also like the story of how to start a business during a time when the media was full of crisis and many people were trembling with fear. Here is some inspiration. Let’s read it and get in a good mood.

What made you start a creative design business essentially in the middle of the covid pandemic?

Klára: Just the pandemic. We thought that when things are bad, you don’t have much to lose, and you can only get better. I tried it myself at the turn of 2009/2010, when my husband and I founded our own architectural studio. It turned out that if you start with little and don’t get into serious debt, the crisis is really a good opportunity to start and to grow later.

You two are friends. What’s your recipe for keeping business from destroying friendship or vice versa?

Klára: We’ll probably disappoint you, but we don’t have one. We went into business knowing that we have a quality friendship that has lasted for ten years. But at the same time aware of the fact that a good friendship is like a marriage. We are aware of all its risks and obligations, and at the same time, of course, we do not know in advance what can go wrong, or how big the damage could be.

How did the idea of starting your own brand come about?

Míša: Entrepreneurship attracted us independently. We talked about it quite often. As friends, we also met regularly with the children, and it was fun to have common topics in areas other than just kids. During one of our conversations, we came across the fact that we couldn’t find a nice lampshade for a separate light bulb for the children’s room. That was a clear gap in the market! We agreed that their lack is shameful and that we will try to make our own – minimalist, original, designer, and at the same time still for children.

The first drafts went incredibly fast. We found the printer, found out what and how. One month we talked about it, the next we already had the first lampshade in our hands. During the next two months we had the company identity, logo and started the e-shop. The enthusiasm and working cooperation were a clear signal we should go for it.

Lampshade for the children's room from NOT KIDDDING.

Lampshade for the children’s room from NOT KIDDDING.

You both have permanent jobs, five children together and now a business. How can it be managed?

Klára: Coordination in a constant rush. (laughs) But seriously, for me it is certainly thanks to good relationships – at home, with the children, between the two of us. And I’m a persistent person myself.

Míša: I agree and add an observation that I think we share roles well. Klára is more into design, she studied architecture and designs houses, objects and interiors, she is the main author of our original designs. I run a ski bar, so I’m more into marketing and business. But we consult with each other on absolutely everything. I talk to Klara about design, what to fine-tune, adjust, omit, where to use what color or adjust the shade, she helps me with ideas on how to get our products to people and sell them.

Your motto is “what if your kids’ room would be amazing?” What does the word “amazing” mean to you? What does the wonderful kids’ room look like?

Klára: It’s each one that someone created and furnished with love. But we design accessories for rooms for people who have it like us. They like original creations, a bit of exaggeration, minimalism, they like when accessories match each other, and they care where things come from. We target people who like originality and Czech creators. We are aware that all this is of course a more expensive version of a children’s room, but I think there is no need to defend ourselves. If I buy something that I like and it makes sense to me, why not, you must light up by something at home. So why not by a designer lampshade?

I understand that parents will appreciate it. But how do you teach it to children – especially the ones who take a marker and scribble everything with it, including a designer lampshade?

Míša: We have a philosophy that if you want to teach children taste, it does matter what you surround yourself with. If you can choose quality and original things, it should be a matter of course, both for adults and children. Children will not sleep in a cardboard box until they are fifteen, so they don’t accidentally scribble something. Even though, as you say, they scribble everywhere, not just in the kids’ room. So, you are not going to live nicely until you retire? That is a shame.

Do they also scribble at your home?

Klára: Of course! I take it like if they scribble “nicely” I can keep it as a memory. And take inspiration from it for some future design. I’m not crazy about it, because I can see from my own children that it makes sense to surround them with quality. My three and Míša’s two children are all still smaller, but we are already observing how we are gradually shaping their taste – for example, when they show us what they would choose for clothes and how they think about that choice.

According to Klára and Míša, we teach children what good design is when we surround them with it.

According to Klára and Míša, we teach children what good design is when we surround them with it.

What product do you think is the basis of kids’ room?

Míša: We started with a lampshade. The lampshades are the heart of the matter and the main product now, although we already have other accessories so that customers can really customize their children’s rooms with our graphics. We have added rolling pillows that you can put plush toys in, we also have pillow covers and posters. And we design other things. We have a lot of plans and when it comes to design, the possibilities are almost unlimited.

In addition to lampshades, Klára and Míša offer rolling pillows, posters, or bedding.

Klára and Míša offer lampshades, rolling pillows, pillow covers or posters.

Do you make a living just by Kid, as you call your business?

Klára: Not yet, but we are working on making it so one day. We have no plans to leave our current jobs because we enjoy them. Rather, we would like to somehow pleasantly combine both. So that our business is not only for fun, but also makes sense economically.

How do you work with your clients and do marketing to convince shoppers that a pillowcase for 750 CZK is a worthwhile investment?

Both: Regarding our prices, we think they are adequate for an original designer Czech product. We chose ecological printing on fabrics. Sheltered workshops help us assemble products. We work with local creators and work as far as possible without waste. And we don’t want to underestimate ourselves unnecessarily just because we’re starting out. We believe that we will find our fans because our products are simply beautiful. (they are smiling)

And the marketing that we forgot about?

Both: Yes, the only thing we need is to get our brand more to the awareness and spread among people. We are working on it on social networks and intensively on Webnode. It’s going slowly because we don’t have millions to invest in advertising. But it does not matter. We still believe in gradually building a brand and clientele, so we try to be patient, communicate, and most importantly design and produce quality products.

How has Webnode helped your business?

Both: When we started, we knew that we needed an e-shop and we didn’t have the time or money to build it from scratch with programmers. We tried several templates, but in the end Webnode won mainly due to its completely simple operation. In the beginning, we paid for the premium plan and all the features it offers, and then just inserted our graphics and adjusted it to our final satisfaction. Our e-shop looks completely professional, and we think no one can say it is a template. Webnode is a platform where even a complete amateur can create a website or e-shop.

And why would you recommend Webnode to others?

  • It is completely simple and intuitive to use.
  • When you do not know what and how, support reacts in a flash.
  • Templates are great on their own, but at the same time they leave a lot of space for your own creativity.
  • Without Webnode, we would hardly have been able to realize our idea so quickly, simply, cheaply and, above all, completely independently.

Create an online portfolio with Webnode! On our blog you will also find instructions on how to create an e-shop or a memorable brand.