When Brighton’s Jessie Daavettila, 30, was pregnant for the first time, it was a challenge to figure out what to wear.
She went to shop for clothes that would fit her, and didn’t find anything she liked.
“I was super unimpressed with it,” she said.
Many of the maternal options reminded her of clothes marketed toward older women.
She wore a lot of her husband Tim’s clothing when she was pregnant because she didn’t want to spend money on clothes she didn’t like.
“It felt like there was nothing in that space of the aesthetic that I previously had,” she said. “I just wanted something that fit into who we are as Millennials and even Gen-Z.”
Daavettila was years into a career in fashion apparel; she previously worked for large brands like Nike, and is now a freelance apparel contractor.
She has been sewing and designing clothes her entire life. She even designed and sewed her own wedding dress.
So, faced with choices she didn’t like, she created something to fill the niche she thought was empty.
Designing as a consumer
Now, Daavettila, who has three children — Jack, 2, Beatrice, 1, and Meredith, who is almost 2 months old — spends her days being a mom upstairs in her home, and an apparel designer in her garage.
She designed the clothes for a new brand she created, RASKANA, which will launch at the end of this week.
Some of the items she designed include maternity leggings for $98, a thermal baby clothing set for $68 and a maternity tank top for $88.
The name of the brand comes from the Finnish word Raskaana, which means pregnancy. Daavettila’s parents are both Finnish, although she was born in Ann Arbor.
The clothes she’s designing are the same as Daavettila wore during her last two pregnancies.
“The one thing that makes our brand a lot different than a lot of other maternity brands out there is that literally everything from the ground up is designed and developed and were tested by me, the founder,” she said.
One of the items she designed and wore during her pregnancies was a pair of leggings that stretched to fit her, and they still fit well after she delivered her children.
“It’s really important to me as a consumer of the brand to have styles that work before, during and after pregnancy,” she said.
Another aspect of her apparel is that many of the items have zippers to allow nursing. In an effort to keep items from looking too much like maternity apparel, though, she hid the zippers.
Daavettila said she’s seen nursing clothes with zippers right across a woman’s breasts, but she is trying to make items look like any other article of clothing.
“A big, important portion of our brand to me is creating apparel that works for multiple stages of pregnancy and then, that doesn’t scream, ‘I’m pregnant,'” she said.
All of the materials are from the U.S. and items are made here.
RASKANA will launch July 22 on Instagram and the website, Raskana.com.
Sophia Lada is a reporter for the Livingston Daily. Contact her at [email protected] or 517.377.1065. Follow her on Twitter @sophia_lada.