I am Ana Peixoto Almeida and I am 40 years old. An entrepreneur by nature, I divide myself between a thousand projects. But without a doubt, the greatest one of all is to be a mother. With two girls by my side and a third on the way, I'm now living in Braga, Portugal after two exciting years living in Switzerland.
I founded Grace Baby & Child in 2013, during the five months of maternity leave after the birth of my first daughter. It wasn't exactly a business idea, but rather an experience that I wanted to take up from a project started and abandoned by my mother. There wasn’t really a project or a plan...I think that it was only afterward that I connected the dots and realized that my desire to do something came from my hands, head and my heart. It had everything to do with my childhood in the corridors of my grandfather's factory, and the afternoons in my mother's shop.
My family is my main inspiration. Grace Baby & Child was born at the same time as my first daughter Constança and is owned 50/50 between me and my husband, so this brand really is like a daughter to us in the most literal sense.
The ideas really come from everywhere: a trip away, food, books I buy for my girls, magazines (I love magazines, I love paper, I buy a lot!), a city I visited, a dress that was mine and that I now see my niece wearing. I think the creative process by definition is a bit like wandering: ideas come and go, until one day the connection is made and everything makes perfect sense.
I studied Communication Sciences and dedicated 12 years of my career as a brand manager in the largest telecommunications group in Portugal. I can say truthfully that what I like to do the most is to think strategically and plan a brand. My concern about a cohesive brand identity for Grace is very natural for me, and a priority in the business. It’s a case of ‘since I will do it, I will do it well'. That's why we have a photographer and a graphic designer working with us who are good friends and know the brand well.
Sustainability, social responsibility and caring for the planet are very important values to our brand. We have a tremendous respect for the knowledge and textile tradition within the north of our country, so all of our garments are designed in Portugal and manufactured in small quantities, all by carefully selected partners located no more than 70 kilometers away. In our day-to-day life, we also try to be as conscientious as possible: we reuse fabrics left over from other collections and restrict printed materials - for example, we have a single business card with generic information that our garments use, and we always prefer partners that use sustainable materials.
I had heard about noissue on the internet and I just loved its whole ethos; the brand, the website, and especially the freedom of being able to order small amounts, because it's very hard to find a company that does it for affordable prices. I believe that packaging is important, especially when you are based mostly online. It makes the online shopping experience so much more special, and I'm sure our clients feel it that way every time they open an order from Grace Baby & Child!