100% Cotton Entrepreneurs
20 April, 2012
Piu et Nau is a firm of baby basics made out of 100% cotton in Barcelona. It was established in February 2008, just before the financial downturn hit the country, but the timing didn’t frighten its three founders.
The company has now been demonstrating its strength for four years in a sector, i.e. children’s fashion, where Catalan companies are making a strong impact.
Behind Piu et Nau are Lavínia and Clàudia Mayer and Anna Tarruel, three entrepreneurs with backgrounds in advertising, anthropology and graphic design, who decided to fill a gap in the market they had detected as mothers. “We asked ourselves, ‘Why aren’t there bigger towels for drying a newborn?’ and ‘Why can’t all-in-ones be extendible?’” explains Lavínia Mayer.
From these needs, they came up with apron towels and all-in-ones with a system the label created and has patented by which you can extend the all-in-one at any time with a single movement. “Even today, each season we launch pieces we find are missing on the market,” she says.
The creators of Piu et Nau like to say their clothes are “beyond the basic”. Indeed, the firm also offers outdoor clothes and underwear, as well as first outfits for newborn babies. The range has expanded over the years and now allows the women to showcase their style in an extensive array of garments. “We don’t follow trends, for good or ill. We do what we like,” Mayer explains. In fact, not being a slave to fashion has allowed the label to create its own style, halfway between elegant simplicity and casual wear.
Instead, the founders concentrate their efforts on making all their garments in Barcelona province –specifically, in the label’s workshops in Mataró. This was a decision they took at the start and which they still back today. “Making it ourselves is the only way we can deliver the quality we want.” In fact, the three women know that quality is the most highly valued aspect of first outfits. They discovered it when their own children were born and have it reinforced today when opinions on their collections come in. “Families send us photos of their babies wearing Piu et Nau first outfits and telling us that the nurses asked them what the label was. That absolutely delights us!” Indeed, to achieve this result, they can use up to six prototypes of a single design.
Growing with the Chamber
Piu et Nau’s quality is also making it popular abroad. The Netherlands is the leading overseas market, but the company is forging a name for itself in the United Kingdom and Italy, too. “But we know we have to take it one step at a time,” Mayer acknowledges.
The firm has only recently started taking its first steps on foreign markets and has done so at the same time as it has been growing. Its owners have enjoyed the advice of experts from the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce who have guided them in their decision-making regarding all the changes during this period of expansion. And so, step by step, the label now has an online store and its founders plan to continue to improve and see their business project grow.