Chaboukie X Bel Kazan


I didn't know much about children's clothing brands before I had my son, Vem. When he was born, I started searching for unique, durable, and sustainable brands that I could put my little bug in. Enter: Leah, whom I met through our awesome Los Angeles group, MamasXBabies. (A Los Angeles based community for mothers and entrepreneurs) I was introduced to her brand Chaboukie at a sale one day and was automatically blown away by how adorable, comfy and well made the pieces were! I bought a ton for my son and Chaboukie quickly became key pieces in Vem's closet. I was so happy when the opportunity for a collaboration was discussed, as I have become such a big fan of her designs and brand. Not only is Leah super talented but she is also a joy to be around.

  - Belinda Kazanci

How long has CHABOUKIE been established?

I established Chaboukie in May of 2014.  At the time I was very casually making and selling leggings online.  I had one pattern and I would make the leggings to order based on various deadstock fabrics I found in downtown LA.  My husband built my website and helped me develop my branding and I would have a stitcher come to my house once or twice a week to help me fill orders. 

Can you tell me a bit about your background?

My background is in Costume Design. I have an MFA in theater and I work professionally in theater, film and commercials as a costume designer. Chaboukie started as a side hustle/hobby.  I didn’t have any background in fashion or production since literally everything I’d every designed was one of a kind. 

Did you always want to have a clothing brand?

Nope, I really had no ambitions to be a part of the fashion industry.  I really just fell into it after having my first kid.  It felt like there was a hole in the market and I wanted to fill it.  I had NO IDEA how difficult running a clothing line could be.  


What is the most challenging obstacle you face running your own brand?

Time and resources.  I’m really the only full-time employee.  Everyone else is part-time or on an as-needed basis so all the day to day work falls on me.  Plus I’m still working as a costume designer so I’m balancing my time between other work, family and Chaboukie.  Luckily I have a great (part-time) team now which includes a designer/pattern maker, production manager and administrative assistant  who are helping me to make Chaboukie run more efficiently and profitably with the goal of us all being able to focus on it full time…


What are your sustainable business practices?

There are several ways in which I’ve modeled a sustainable business practice. The first is that I’ve always produced locally.  My sewers are in downtown LA as is my Dyehouse.  Producing locally allows me to support the local economy and to keep my production minimums lower, thereby reducing the overproduction of goods.   The second way is by always looking for deadstock and locally produced fabrics that are readily available and don’t require me to produce new yardage. I do use other fabrics as well because I love some of the prints that I’m able to get in India and Japan, but I keep these to a minimum when designing a collection.   This season my production manager and I really worked hard to design a super sustainable collection.  We looked at leftover fabric from past seasons, existing styles that could be updated or dyed and put together something that was both totally fresh and not wasteful.  We made sure to pick fabrics of similar widths for same styles to eliminate cutting waste and save money. 


How do you responsibly produce your pieces?

Producing locally I have the opportunity to know my cutters and sewers.  I know they are paid fairly and work in good safe conditions.  

How do you manage being a working mom and business owner?

It’s difficult to do it all. I definitely don’t have enough time to do everything I need do, especially since I will stop working to pick up my kids and hang out with them after school everyday.  I just plug along day after day. Work at night after they have gone to bed, and try to complete tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible.  Once you have kids, you realize that every second counts!  


Shop the BEL KAZAN Odine Jumpsuit 


Shop the Chaboukie Child's Romper 


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