Peace, love and tie-dye! “Hands down, my favorite thing is getting to watch kids actually live in my clothes,” said Nicki Laureanti, owner of small shop the Painted Crane. “I don’t want to be a brand people only buy to take photos in or for special occasions. I want to be an ‘all the time kind of clothing brand.’ Seeing people wear my stuff and come back for more all the time really gets me falling in love with what I do.”

The Painted Crane

Launched in January 2018 from Kennewick, Washington, the Painted Crane is widely recognized for its colorful tie-dye designs and stylish apparel. “I actually used to make tutus! I was ‘Tin and Ella’ for a few years before I started doing this,” Laureanti shared. The Painted Crane shop name was inspired by Laureanti’s tattoo of a Phoenix, also her hometown. Now, the Painted Crane specializes in high quality knit dresses, joggers, bummies, harems, leotards, sweatshirts and tops (for both littles and mamas), among others. “Twirl dresses are my all time favorite thing to make,” said Laureanti. “They are fun to create for me.” I personally love the rainbow tie-dye tank tops for women. The colors are cheerful and the style is perfect for spring. The girls hem-dyed maxi dresses are also particularly adorable.

Hem-dyed maxi dress

As many moms know, the actual tie-dye process can get messy, much like the tots wearing Laureanti’s creations. “My process is so different with each thing. It’s so fun to get to be creative each and every time. No two things are ever the same, so I make each piece a little differently just to make sure of that.” The Painted Cranes uses dye that is CPSC certified and safe for babies and children. After Laureanti hand dyes the fabrics, she washes them in a non-toxic and fragrance-free textile detergent to “set” the dye and prevent stains.

Tie top

For custom pieces, customers can select up to three different color dyes. Laureanti has seen some curious combinations. “It’s funny because sometimes, people pick colors and I’m like, ‘uhhh for real?’ And then I make it and I love it. But, also the opposite has happened, where I thought I would love something and hated it.” Beyond the apparel, the Painted Crane also offers tie-dyed home decor, like baby crib sheets and swaddles. “I have people asking for me to tie dye such crazy things, like curtains and rugs,” Laureanti laughed. Sounds groovy!

Next up in the shop are tie tops in baby sizes through adults, plus a new ultra rare color. Join the Painted Crane VIP Facebook group here and check out the shop’s website to see photos before upcoming drops.