THE ESTELLA STORY
“Kids have personality. Their clothes & toys should too.”
Hello, my name is Jean Polsky and I own Estella with my husband, Chike Chukwulozie. I was born here in New York City and have been interested in fashion since I was old enough to figure out how to dress myself. My first job was an internship at the beautiful Bergdorf Goodman and professionally speaking, I haven’t strayed far.
In 2002, Chike and I opened Estella, an eclectic, high-end designer baby and children’s clothes boutique in New York’s Village. The concept behind Estella was to bring the amazing, artisan-inspired kids’ clothing we saw scattered across Europe here to New York. In 2002, luxury children’s fashion in NYC was synonymous with big box retail, big price tags, and somber, conservative frocks. We saw things differently. “Kids have personality,” we reasoned, “their clothes should too.” Our vision was built on high quality kids’ and baby clothes that were designed by mothers, not corporations. These creations were full of gorgeous colors, textures and spirit. Kids loved wearing these clothes and parents loved owning them.
Our retail business blossomed over the course of 11 years. We were humbled by the response from the press, celebrities and all our customers: Estella appeared in the New York Times, Vogue, Elle, The Today Show, People Magazine, US Weekly, InStyle and numerous other press outlets.
"When he's looking for inspiration, Mizrahi heads to Estella ... 'It sounds totally random, I know, but I adore the incredible color sense. They never get too twee the way they do in other kids' stores--it's very eclectic and sophisticated in an exclusively New York way.” Designer Isaac Mizrahi on cnn.com.
THE ESTELLA COLLECTIONS - BAMBOO BABY CLOTHES, ORGANIC BABY TOYS, & KNIT ACCESSORIES
During our time at the shop, we created various collections of toddler and baby clothes because our customers were asking for them and they did not exist in the market. Our customers wanted soft, elegant newborn baby clothing so we designed a capsule collection of Estella bamboo baby clothes, which has since been featured on the Martha Stewart Show and in other national press outlets.
Our gift shoppers always wanted that extra something special to include with their baby gifts that would give it the “wow factor.” Thus, Estella’s organic baby toys, baby blankets, and nursery decor pillows were born. Our baby gift line has gone on to win prestigious national awards. Barney’s New York and other luxury baby boutiques picked up the line and demand grew from there. To cater to this demand and grow our collection, we closed the retail location in 2013 and now sell through specialty baby boutiques, gift stores and on our e-boutique.
“Kids have personality. Their clothes & toys should be made by individuals, not faceless corporations.”
In addition to always striving to work with organic cotton, bamboo and other sustainable materials, we try to work with ethical manufacturers who take pride in what they do and who treat their employees fairly. We are very proud to partner with a small community of knitters in Peru for our organic cotton rattles, security baby blankets and kids’ décor items. Likewise, we take pride in manufacturing our knit layette collection and alpaca blankets with a certified fair trade, fair wage organization in Bolivia.
Estella’s goal is to produce beautiful, high quality designs at a price that is fair to everyone we touch. As manufacturers, we believe we have multiple stakeholders. We care not only about offering you, our valued customer, a high quality product at a price that is fair, but we also care about the men and women who bring our designs to life with their beautiful creations. We strive to support them and their communities with fair wages, good treatment, and the knowledge of a craft that can sustain them and their children. Our hand-made products are not inexpensive, but we find that our customers genuinely appreciate our innovative designs and our superior quality. Most of all, our customers feel good knowing that with each Estella purchase, they are helping to support a community of artisans who are compensated fairly while doing a job they can be proud of.