When Jessie Daavettila, 30, from Brighton, was first pregnant, it was a challenge to know what to wear.
She went to buy clothes that fit her and found nothing she liked.
“I wasn’t very impressed,” she said.
Many maternal options reminded her of clothes meant for older women.
She wore a lot of her husband Tim’s clothes 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 had before,” she said. “I just wanted something that matched who we are as Millennials and even Gen-Z.”
Daavettila was years into a career in fashion wear; she previously worked for big brands like Nike and is now a freelance clothing entrepreneur.
She has sewn and designed clothes all her 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.
Design 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 house and a clothing designer in her garage.
She designed the clothes for a new brand she created, RASKANA, which will be launched at the end of this week.
Some of the items she has designed include maternity leggings for $98, a thermal baby clothes 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 designs are the same as those worn by Daavettila during her last two pregnancies.
“The one thing that makes our brand very different from a lot of other maternity brands is that literally everything is designed and developed and 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 her well after she gave birth to 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 clothing is that many items have zippers to allow for breastfeeding. In an effort to keep the items from looking too much like maternity clothes, she hid the zippers.
Daavettila said she has seen nursing clothes with zippers on a woman’s breasts, but she tries to make the items look like any other item of clothing.
“For me, an important part of our brand is creating clothes that are suitable for multiple stages of pregnancy and that don’t scream, ‘I’m pregnant,'” she said.
All materials are sourced from the USA and the items are made here.
RASKANA will launch on July 22 on Instagram and the website, Raskana.com.
Sophia Lada is a journalist at the Livingston Daily. Contact her at [email protected] or 517.377.1065. Follow her on Twitter @sophia_lada.