The power of fashion.
Fiona Sahakian knows how impactful style can be for women’s empowerment.
The Los Angeles-based entrepreneur, wife and mom of two spent 12 years working as a hairstylist before taking the plunge into fashion e-commerce. Now, she is the Founder and CEO of Posh Peanut. Established in 2011, Posh Peanut is an online boutique that offers clothing and accessories for children and loungewear for parents. The brand uses luxe bamboo to create their colorful, soft and hypoallergenic products.
From side hustle to booming business
Sahakian began her business by selling handmade children’s clothing on Etsy. She originally thought of this new project as “a side hustle” that allowed her to make some extra money in addition to her job as a hairstylist.
“Initially, we made formal and custom-made birthday outfits, but after realizing that the business was not scalable, I found myself searching for unique baby essentials,” Sahakian said. “There was a massive gap in the market. So I shut down my very successful handmade business and turned the company into what you see today.”
Posh Peanut has come a long way over the past decade. The brand now counts celebrity moms like Kate Hudson, Kylie Jenner, Mindy Kaling, Eva Longoria, Chrissy Teigen and Gabrielle Union among its valued customers. The brand has appeared in People, Essence and Reader’s Digest. Sahakian manages 70 employees and remains deeply involved in every process of the business. She personally communicates with customers on the brand’s social media.
“Like most founders, I wear many hats and am constantly learning new things,” she said. “In the e-commerce space, things are ever-changing.”
Starting a conversation about women’s empowerment
Posh Peanut recently celebrated Women’s History Month with the debut of its limited-edition Women’s Empowerment collection. This collection includes children’s clothing and pajamas depicting famous female figures, such as Amelia Earhart, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Katherine Johnson, Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafzai and Rosie the Riveter. Customers can choose from six different skin colors for the Rosie the Riveter figure. One Rosie even wears a hijab in place of her customary red polka dot bandana.
Sahakian chose illustrator Martin Bruckner to design the prints. Posh Peanut is giving 15 percent of the proceeds to Girls Inc. of Greater Los Angeles, an organization that provides support to disadvantaged girls in South Los Angeles, Compton, and Watts, California.
“My goal with this collection was to create clothing that would spark an educational conversation,” Sahakian said. “I wanted to create a collection that would give moms like me the ability to educate their children through clothing. I also wanted to create something that represented what I, as a founder, woman, and mother stood for, which is women’s empowerment.”
Using fashion to educate people about women’s empowerment
While conversations about the importance of representation in children’s media are becoming more common, Sahakian believes representation in children’s clothing is important, as well. “Fashion symbolizes so many things,” she said. “Why not start a conversation about how a female changed the world?”
Sahakian believes that now is an especially critical time to teach children about these women pioneers. “I think we live in a world where children look up to YouTube stars and influencers,” she said.“It’s time to take a step back and educate ourselves and our children; if it’s going to be through a cute design of historical women on a clothing piece, we are sparking an interest in what this clothing piece represents.”
Sahakian is proof that you can create your own opportunities and chart your own path–as long as you remain creative and diligent.
“Take the first step,” she advised. “Never compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter one. Any step towards your dream is the right step.”