I started Little English Clothing in 2004. I had sold my interest in another children’s clothing company and thought I was going to be a stay at home Mom, but the desire to create kept nagging at me. I love being in business, and I couldn’t stop thinking about a particular nightgown my grandmother had smocked for me when I was young. I have memories of being freshly bathed and swinging on the back porch with wet hair, or chasing fireflies barefoot in the grass in the early evening, all in white long gowns sweetly smocked with soft geometric colors. Those memories inspired my creativity and Little English Clothing was born! The name Little English is a loose play on little children and the term “English smocking.”

I’m originally from Memphis, and now live in an 1850’s antebellum home on a horse farm in Kentucky. I have two children, a daughter who works with me and is COO of Little English and a son who is a junior at Woodberry Forest. My husband is in the thoroughbred business. I love to garden and have an obsession with antiques!

Frilly pink girl's dress and doll

My main inspiration came from visiting textile apparel shows or going through archives of old fabric in New York. Also, I love flipping through old family photo albums and seeing all the heirloom and handmade styles of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. There was such detail in all the clothes—from the piping to the buttons to the pintucks!

We focus on modernizing classic patterns so they appeal to the modern mom. At Little English, we design with soft color palettes and small Peter Pan collars as a nod to the sweetness of childhood. To us, a well-styled child is one whose sweet, innocent features are accentuated (not overpowered) by the clothing. This keeps our brand identity cohesive and allows our products to stand out.

In a quantity over quality-driven consumer society, we strive to set ourselves apart and create pieces that can be passed down. Our timeless styles aren’t meant to be worn and tossed, but instead passed down and cherished through siblings and even generations of children. It is our hope that people will recognize our quality when they purchase our products, and begin to look for that in other items they purchase, even outside of clothing apparel.

Top tip: The philosophy laid out by Shannon is a 'circular economy' of reuse that is the key to solving waste and over-consumption. You can read more about sustainable fashion initiatives on our blog!

Boy and girl dressed in white smocks

The customer journey is extremely important to us. Our customers are always excited to purchase a Little English product! We want them to have that same excitement upon receiving their items, which is why we were determined to create branded experience for our customers beyond our website.

noissue allowed us to easily design the perfect tissue for our company with their easy-to-use website app that allows you to preview the finished product in real time. Being able to see the product before purchasing boosted our confidence in noissue as a company, as we knew we were getting exactly what we wanted!

We are thrilled to have branded tissue to add a layer of anticipation as our customers unwrap their new LE items. Our custom packaging from noissue has brought an otherwise plain shipping box to life, which excites the customer upon unboxing. Brand awareness is everything today, so we like to stand out when we can!