Girls shouldn’t have to choose between geeking out and bring girly! Hello Bezlo gives them the best of both worlds. We love how this Irish-based fashion tech startup is aiming to change the ratio in tech: by giving girls the freedom to explore and reach for the stars in tech and coding printed dresses (some even have capes!) We spoke with Hello Bezlo’s Founder, Clodagh Connell, to learn more about her new brand.
Describe Hello Bezlo.
I’m Clodagh, Irish founder of Hello Bezlo, a new spirited kidswear brand that is inspired by technology and adventure for girls. We are designing for a specific type of girl. They are not tomboys or girlie girls but are the best combination of the two—they are Bezlo Girls. I have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funding so that my range of tech inspired designs of coding and rockets can go into production.
Tell us about the Hello Bezlo brand concept.
Bezlo girls are fearless, ambitious and active. This project is about making clothes that empower these girls and inspire people around them. Hello Bezlo kicks gender stereotypes into the garbage and makes inspiring clothes with prints that focus on the fun things – adventures, dreams, computers, space and tea parties.
Hello Bezlo is about three principles: 1. Style, 2. Comfort, 3. Ethics
What was your inspiration behind starting Hello Bezlo?
My niece Fiona, who’s almost 4, is my inspiration. From the age of two she would run around playing “rocket girl”, blasting off into space. When I went to buy her clothes with a space-themed print all that was available were prints of spacemen. I could find countless butterflies, fairies and pony prints but couldn’t find anything outside of traditionally “girlie” themes. I had to resort to shopping in the boys department. Finding clothes suitable for adventuring and running free and wild that didn’t compromise on style was impossible. What was needed was prints that inspired girls to reach for the stars rather than play princess games indoors.
My niece loves the outdoors and nature but still loves to wear her tutu. She defines the girl we’re designing for. There wasn’t a name to describe her, so I had to invent one: “Bezlo.” She’s a Bezlo Girl.
What value does Hello Bezlo have that makes it stand out against other startups in the space?
What makes Hello Bezlo so unique is its story. What started with an idea to design for a particular type of girl grew into a powerful message. In today’s world it has become possible to follow your dreams no matter how overly ambitious they may seem. I started out with no formal fashion training, and I’m not from a business or tech background. But I was hungry to learn and develop the necessary skills needed to grow this idea to an actual business.
What makes us different from other startups is that we engaged our community through Instagram. From day one we introduced our idea and our vision of how we were going to get there. Our followers grew and we soon noticed that women across the world were genuinely interested in our journey. At such an early stage of our development we knew we could shape our brand from listening to our community. We set up design focused groups with our followers, many of whom feel like great friends now, and we set about validating our business idea. It turns out a lot of people were frustrated with the clothing options for little girls. We want to nurture girls creativity and encourage them to express their individuality, which we believe gives them confidence and encourages learning.
What has been the hardest obstacle for you in starting Hello Bezlo? What has been your favorite part?
The hardest obstacle for me creating this brand is my complete lack of technical skills. I was frustrated with myself that I was did not have the level of computer skills that was required. I knew I needed to upskill fast so I took part in workshops to learn how to code and did as many online seminars as possible. What I soon began to realize was a lot of my friends I had reached out to for help were all guys. And being constantly outnumber by men at startup events, made me question why there is such an imbalance in the ratio of men and women. I did a lot of research into the reasons behind this and was eager to make a difference.
To encourage more girls into the world of STEM it needs to start from the beginning, their environment and their perception of technology is extremely impactful on their most formative years. If Hello Bezlo can empower more girls to love technology through our tech coding inspired designs this will be hugely gratifying for me. We want Hello Bezlo to create a positive social impace.
Getting a great reaction from the idea of these designs and seeing them come to life has been my favorite part. Developing technology-inspired designs and making them stylish and fun with tutu’s and capes! Why not?
What can we expect from Hello Bezlo in the future?
The future for Hello Bezlo looks bright. We have gotten such positive feedback from our designs and we know we can take Hello Bezlo further. We are creating more unique designs; we have so many ideas on how we can inspire girls through fashion. We are holding exciting events for girls that merge fashion and technology together… Bezlo Style. We collaborate with the Irish world-known organization called Coder Dojo, where we put together creative design groups to brainstorm more ideas. In the design groups we listen to their feedback and introduce to Bezlo Girls how much fun coding and technology can be. We aim to show girls they can become mini-fashionista’s and rocket scientist too! Lastly, a lot of our followers are based in New York and we are planning to launch in New York after Christmas.
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