INTERVIEWS

5 Questions with Camille from risu risu

Risu risu is a wonderful example of a brand born of one mama’s passion. Camille has created her unique line of 100% organic baby and children’s clothing from a desire to combine sustainable production with her beloved classic European style. Hearing some of the story, we wanted to know more. Especially once we heard that Camille is the mother of 6 – yes 6 – children! Here are her answers to our five questions:

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live and about your family.

We currently live in Düsseldorf, Germany with our 3 youngest children. I’ve been married for 26 years, during which time we have lived in Italy, Belgium, France and Spain. I was born in France but I guess we can say that we are genuinely European! We all speak Spanish, Italian, English and (some of us) German.

We like Düsseldorf because it is very green and offers the opportunity to live in the city whilst having contact with nature – we have a garden, we live close to a nice forest. Germans love nature and all the parks, gardens, forests, and even the Banks of the Rhine are real opportunities to immerse ourselves in nature. We didn’t honestly expect it, but Düsseldorf and its surroundings are also very rich from the cultural point of view – we discovered amazing museums, especially amazing museums in parks!

I must admit, though, I cannot live without frequent visits to southern Europe – so it’s perfect having risu risu’s workshop in Spain! We spend all our summers in Italy and also go there a few weekends here and there… I guess I take endless inspiration from this country I like so much!

2. Tell us a little bit about your brand and how you came to create your label.

I had decided to choose a mascot, a squirrel, for my brand when I discovered that risu means squirrel in Japanese… I adored the way it sounds, poetic and sweet, exactly what I wanted for the name of a baby and young children’s brand. I also wanted an animal in order to be able to give in a friendly way some messages to the children which wear the ctothes, especially the importance to love and protect the environment.

I started my career working as a controller for big companies. As I had more children I discovered another way of life, one that cared for the health of my family. My kids were sick too often, and I cured them with natural medicines. We also started to eat organic food, 15 years before everybody else! My passion for ecology led me to quit big companies and to start my own business, selling organic cosmetics in Italy and in Spain.

When we came back to Paris, the market for organic products had grown and I opened a store in Paris, My Sweet Bio, offering very selective organic products for children. I was not at all convinced by the organic kids fashion brands available on the market, so two daughters later, and after leaving France again (for Germany,) I decided to finally combine my passion for children’s fashion and for ecology and create a true fashion brand selling only organic clothes for babies and children.

I want to offer the best organic clothes for children. The fabrics are 100% organic and almost all GOTS certified; I chose an ecological dyeing process complying with the strict GOTS rules. The carbon impact and the social aspect of the production is also very important to my eyes – that’ s why we produce in Spain, we dye in France and give priority to locally produced fabrics (France and Spain).

I am very proud to announce that this summer, most of risu risu’s collection will be GOTS certified, which enables the customer to know what he is buying and to get the guarantees he expects.

3. What is your current favourite product in your collection?

I have to think really hard before answering this question! For this summer I really love the Artist dress, which is available for baby girls and older girls too. It is just perfect for the hot weather in summer, but can also be worn together with any top.

For baby boys, I love the Capitaine shirt made of extra soft safran organic cotton muslin. It’s perfect for any time of the year, any occasion and is so comfy.

4. What do you love most about your job?

This question is much easier to answer! I really a love creating a new collection, when everything is still possible, imagining all kind of colours, combinations, trying new fabrics… And the moment you receive the clothes… You open the parcels and discover the new collection having spent 6 months working on it! It’s better than Christmas! My biggest reward is seeing my daughters and other children happy and proud to wear risu risu clothes.

5. You have 6 children! How do you juggle motherhood and your career?

Sometimes I find it impossible, especially when the babysitter disappears from one day to the next… Usually, I try to take advantage of my family team! My little girls try the clothes out and take part in the photo shoots (and they also give their opinion!), one of my boys is very good at Photoshop, the other translated the website into English, one of my daughters will soon be a lawyer, the other one helps me with the styling… All this without forgetting my husband’s daily help and support!

I think that they all saw the advantage of having a mother working mainly from home… and they appreciate seeing my work from the inside.

As you might have seen, there are no big frontiers between my professional and family life. Perhaps that is my big answer — to combine motherhood and a career. I see more and more young mothers working this way, so that they can see their children growing up without giving up their own career.

 

We’re excited to have Camille and her gorgeous collection joining us at the Spring ShopUp in East London this coming weekend, 6 and 7 May!


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Comments (3)

Jenny Webster
May 3, 2017

Hi, I love all you work. Could Camille possibly write a city guide for Düsseldorf for Babyccino. We just moved there and that would be great!


Helen in Amsterdam
May 10, 2017

That is a great idea! Happy settling in your new city!


Lara in London
May 4, 2017

What an inspiring mama! Can’t wait to meet her at the London ShopUp this weekend.


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