Behind the Brands
With Amanda Kierans of Rain + Conker from KID Store
Located in the creative quarter, Powerscourt Centre is home to some of Ireland’s most successful designers. A partnership between Amanda from Rain + Conker, and Maria of Lollipops and Daydreams, KID is a design led concept store and has a beautiful range of brands for children.
We sat down with Amanda to get to know about the brand and gain an insight into what it takes to be a successful designer.
How did you begin your career in kids wear?
Largely by accident! Initially I wanted to set up an online shop but unfortunately, a lot of the brands I wanted to stock would only supply established stores. After going around in circles for a few months I re-evaluated and decided to approach things from a different part of the supply chain. I always loved design, collaborating plus there was a lack of choice out there three years ago.
Describe the Rain + Conker brand and aesthetic?
The aesthetic is modern but also fun. One thing that was really important for me was to remain attainable- not ‘too cool for school’ if that makes sense?! Our core designs are quite scandi, clean and minimal and generally using a soft palette of monochrome, grey and blush. But we do mix things up and have fun. I get bored easily plus it’s important to remain commercial too as it is a saturated market. The brand isn’t a slave to trends by any means.
While thankfully there is much more choice now, comfort will always remain central to our products and was a major motivation behind the brand. Cartoonish patterns and pinks and blues also dominated the high street. While they have their place we really wanted to offer something different.
Since we started our journey our range has evolved considerably but the ethos of our brand remains the same- back to basics, no gimmicks, frills or restrictive fabrics. We place an emphasis on simple and functional shapes. Fabrics are soft and comfortable and generally made from GOTS certified organic fabrics and our moccasins made from the high-quality leather.
How do you feel seeing children wearing your designs?
It was initially a little surreal. It’s a tough industry to work on so seeing our brand tagged on Instagram and other platforms is a real boost.
What was your dress style as a child?
I was born in 1980 so it was a very fun decade to be a kid! Bodysuits, crazy leggings combinations (worn with skirts!), lots of hair clips/bobbles, high-waisted jeans….it was eclectic! Funny seeing so many of those trends come back since…something I would never have thought would happen! The 90s was boring in comparison- it largely revolved around ironing my hair to within an inch of its life!
How do you feel sharing a space with other like-minded business owners?
KID is a partnership between two independent kids brands. It works really well. It’s a huge job and definitely not something I could do on my own. Maria from Lollipops and Daydreams keeps an eye on finances whereas I love sourcing and buying new brands and products. We work well together and after working largely alone for over a year it’s great to have someone to bounce idea’s off.
What attracted you to base your business in Powerscourt Shopping Centre?
The centre itself is stunning and is packed full of ‘not on the high street’ brands and stores. There’s a refreshing emphasis on quality and good design. While KID is no longer a collective of ten Irish brands we’ve worked hard to maintain our foundation- Irish brands still make up 75% of KID and I’d estimate approximately 40-50% of our products are also made in Ireland. I can’t imagine another centre where we would fit in so well!
What does the future hold for Rain + Conker?
I’m just about to launch my new botanical collection which is an extended range of baby and kids clothing and basics made from the softest organic cotton. The prints were designed by a Scottish illustrator Ingrid Petrie whose work I’ve adored for years.