The exclusive print designs are the star of Hen House Apparel. “There is something so special about those pieces that no one else has, that you can’t find in stores or on someone else’s website,” said Niki Holderman, owner of and chief designer for California-based Hen House Apparel. “We make memories in what we wear and I want my customers to find joy in putting their children in Hen House for all those special moments.”
Holderman launched Hen House Apparel in August 2015 with lots of encouragement from friends, family and even strangers who would approach Holderman about her own kids’ handmade apparel. “Hen House Apparel was definitely not planned but so many good things aren’t,” she recalled. “Hen House launched at my kitchen table and just thinking about where it started to where we are now makes me very nostalgic!”
In the early days, Hen House Apparel focused on apparel for little boys, inspired by Holderman’s then-3 year old and 6 month old kiddos. The brand has since expanded to include apparel for both genders, like rompers, playsuits, cardigans, leotards, bummies and joggers, as well as Holderman’s signature print designs. Her favorite textile print is the “Giza” design, which she described as “timeless, minimalist and gender neutral.” Another favorite is the hand-painted watercolor buffaloes, commissioned by talented artist Victoria Grindstaff and released by Hen House Apparel this past fall. “When customers see our collection in person the first thing they do is comment on how soft all our fabrics are; the second thing is usually how cute they are; and the third is the high quality craftsmanship,” Holderman exclaimed. “I’m proud of every piece that comes out of my shop and I think my customers can see that.” Holderman’s boys also inspired the Hen House Apparel graphic “Make Big Waves” design, which restocks this summer. “My husband is a surfer and a shaper – we actually own a surfboard brand and factory – and we always tell our kids to go out in the world and ‘make big waves.’ So that design was created for them and it seems like other parents like it too!”
Designing apparel is second nature for Holderman, who found her initial interest in fashion and the modeling industry as a child. “I love bringing a vision in my head to fruition. It is very gratifying to see something in your head, make it into something tangible and then have someone want to buy it,” she shared. “Creating clothing makes me feel good about myself and makes other people feel good; that’s what I am all about.”
Holderman often participates in west coast handmade markets, but if you are not local, you can also check out the latest Hen House Apparel collection online, in select small boutiques nationwide and through her VIP Facebook group here. Plus, use the code “smallshopdrop15” to save on your next purchase. Thanks Niki!