Finding chic, tasteful clothes for your baby isn’t impossible, but to find a brand of infant clothing that is cool, handmade and gives a portion of its profits to a cause is downright amazing! Enter Saxon & SunRa (www.saxonandsunra.com), a local apparel company that has adorned babies from the U.S. to Australia in well-made, spunky outfits. Made with comfortable, movable fabrics and in girls’ or unisex designs, the collection allows babies and young children to be their energetic selves at the playground while also looking stylish enough for a visit to Grandma’s.
Palm Springs-raised owner/designer Graciela Portillo has been interested in making clothes since she was a teenager, but she didn’t fully leap into the craft and start her own clothing line until the birth of her daughter, Saxon.
“I hadn’t touched a sewing machine for a long time, but I just started making her some onesies,” Portillo recalls. “I showed them to friends and family, and they all started pushing me in that direction [of opening my own store].” A friend who worked at SEED Peoples Market in Costa Mesa urged Portillo to sell her designs there, and the brand has been growing steadily since.
Named after her daughter and her stepson Mason (whose middle name, SunRa, was inspired by the jazz artist), the company, established in 2014, offers a limited number of each design, but also allows for custom orders for specific fits or prints. And a portion of the profits go toward organizations that aid young victims of sex slavery and trafficking.
As a self-taught seamstress who relied on YouTube tutorials and trial and error, Portillo delights in the process of sewing everything herself. “I really connect to the company through actually making the clothes,” she says. “Even though I know to grow into a larger project, I will have to not do that and be more wise with my time, I really love making each garment itself.”
Aimee Murillo is calendar editor and frequently covers the Orange County DIY music scene, film, arts, Latino culture and currently pens the long-running column Trendzilla. Born, raised, and based in Santa Ana, she loves bad movies, punk shows, raising her plants, eating tacos, Selena, and puns.