Not many business owners can say their entrepreneurial journey began with a pair of pirate pants. But for Kessa Laxton, that’s how her children’s clothing company, Patouche, got its start.
With a three-year-old son obsessed with dressing up as a buccaneer, Kessa decided to ease the wear and tear on his normal clothes. The amateur seamstress made a pair of “pirate pants,” complete with a treasure pocket and a loop to stash twig “swords.”
“He wore them for three days straight. I finally snuck them off him in his sleep to wash them and he woke up in tears upon finding his new favourite pants had vanished. It was then that I thought I might be onto something.”
From that first pair of costume pants, Kessa has created a thriving business designing and selling heirloom-quality children’s accessories, outerwear and playwear with nostalgic appeal. A conscientious entrepreneur, Kessa uses natural fibers like linen, cotton and bamboo, Canadian-milled woolens or end of rolls from Toronto-based women’s wear designers, and manufactures all goods in Toronto. In addition, Kessa is committed to supporting the local economy and natural resource sustainability. Packaging and marketing materials are created using 100% recycled paper and Patouche’s studio, sewers, warehousing and distribution facility are all located in Toronto.
As a new business owner and passionate about entrepreneurship (often trading services with other start-ups) Kessa urges other young Canadians to pursue their dreams of owning a business.
“There is nothing more empowering than doing work that you love. It has been an incredible experience to put my skills into play and create something that was entirely my own.”