Today we’d like to introduce you to Alayna Dunklin.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Alayna. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
SEVIIN is an Orange County based, online clothing store committed to bringing comfortable, high-quality garments to children from 0-18/24 months. I often get asked how I decided on the name “SEVIIN”, and it’s simple; it came about because the number seven in roman numerals is “VII”. To some it is just a number, but to me it’s everything! Seven letters in their first, middle and last name. My two boys, Dalante Donnell Dunklin, Jr. and Dashiel Donnell Dunklin (Due 04/2020) are my miracle babies. This number represents positivity, happiness, and perfection; exactly what these boys mean to me. For years I’ve dealt with the possibility of not being able to have kids, endometriosis, thyroid disease, pre-term labor, and high-risk pregnancies all at the age of 24; which lead me here, dedicating this shop to them because they have been my reason for everything. At 29 weeks, I was bedridden with my first son. After countless hours in bed spent searching for baby clothes, I couldn’t help but realize that children’s garments are filled with slogans, sayings, prints, patterns and everything else in between.
The simple, neutral, and quality clothes just couldn’t be found as easily; from there SEVIIN was born. I began doing research on different warehouses throughout the US and China that supply wholesale companies with good quality products. After doing so, I went through the state to receive my business/sellers license so that I was able to purchase and sale products. Once I did my research, set a budget and started reaching out to companies for information and quotes on items everything started falling into place. I started building my website, brainstorming logos, customizing my own clothing tags, packaging and so much more. One of my good friends D’Ana Smith who has her own streetwear company based in LA (4rthprd), helped me so much throughout this process—she helped me kick start my website and showed me the ins and outs of everything I needed to know to run my business. After months of research and investing, I was able to launch my children’s apparel line on January 15, 2020. Since then, it has and will always be my priority to handpick and provide nothing but the best quality, comfort, and affordable products.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My journey throughout this business so far started off very smooth—a lot smoother than I was expecting honestly and I am so grateful. Within the first two weeks my company completely took off and I sold out of almost every item. However, towards the end of January/beginning of February things started to slow down and unfortunately it was out of my control. Two of the main warehouses that receive my shipments from are located in China and when the Coronavirus started to rapidly spread everything had been shut down; and still is. It has and still is putting a complete pause on my business, as I have boxes of items stuck inside the warehouses ready to be restocked and launched on my website.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Seviin Children’s Apparel – what should we know?
I am a wholesale company that specializes in finding and reselling high-quality infant and (some) toddler clothing. The purpose of my company is to provide neutral, unisex and affordable clothing that doesn’t have all of the basic cars, floral, etc. that you will find on all clothes in stores–something simple yet eye-catching that can be dressed up or even around the house; but most importantly, comfortable. As a company, I am most proud of being the only one who is running my business and succeeding at it. I had help to get here, but since I have launched it has been me and only me and I am proud that I am sticking with it ontop of being a full-time, working mom who is currently pregnant again. I feel like my company sets me apart from others because I am genuine and truly not doing it “for the money”. Although it is a plus, I really enjoy finding outfits, packing orders and communicating with different families through social media. Most importantly, I am most proud to be one of the only black women who does this; at least the only one that I know of. I am no influencer (AT ALL) but I am pretty into all of the mom bloggers, influencers, etc. on social media and it is hard enough to find any black women in that community as well. However, I love that it has also driven a lot of diversity to my company because on a lot baby/toddler clothing websites you do not see much diversity.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I have a lot of family and friends to thank because they have played a huge role in my success just by simply sharing my post on social media and sending me encouraging words. Not one post has gone/goes unnoticed because it has helped reach more people and allowed for my business to expand even more because of their one share. However, one friend who I mentioned before would be D’Ana Smith. We met back in college at Loyola Marymount and she has been more supportive than people who I considered to be best friends. On top of running her own streetwear clothing line (4thprd) and preparing for LA fashion week, she took time out to help me build my website from absolutely nothing and taught me all of the ins and outs to running a successful website and business.
My husband has and will always be my biggest cheerleader from day one. I contemplated this idea for well over a year and every time I brought it up without hesitation he has always been right there giving me that extra push and telling me to do it; telling me he would help me with anything I needed to get started. Although I run everything myself; he helps in ways that I appreciate more than anything; putting the baby to sleep before he has even had dinner or gotten the chance to relax himself, just so I can stay up late packing orders, letting me go in the room to respond to customers while he cleans and keeps up the house after a long day of coaching, or waiting up for me after I’ve trashed our living room with orders–its the little things that mean so much but allow me to run my business. If you know him, you know he’s the best husband and father so this comes as no surprise but it wouldn’t be possible to run this business without his help and encouragement. He’s my biggest hype man.
- All items are affordable and under $25–ranging from onesies, overalls, joggers, to matching sets
- Website: www.seviinchildrensapparel.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/seviinchildrensapparel
@ashabaileyphotography www.ashabailey.com for the headshot