Hi! I Am Kendra Francis, Founder and Creative Director of baby clothing brand, Petits Genoux.
My career began from the age of 13, learning to sew and use patterns by the instruction of my parents. I would rework vintage clothing, navigate and inspect their construction as if specimens in biology class. My paternal grandfather was a master tailor in his island of Dominica. He made all the uniforms for the police and fire departments, he also taught my dad and many of my uncles to sew….in other words, it's in my blood. Once I was able to turn a piece of fabric into something amazing I was hooked, and I set out to be a fashion designer.
After studying at Ryerson’s Fashion Design Program here in Toronto, I went out on my own and began hawking my clothes at local boutiques. I took a detour to New York to model for a few years, and upon return, began styling for music videos, commercials, film and editorial. That career led to me producing fashion shows, fashion films, teaching a fashion program and ultimately opening my own boutique on the then mecca of local fashion - Queen Street West, under my label FRANKE.
My love for fashion continuously drove me, until my last show in 2011. I had been pursuing my dream for my entire life it seemed, singularly focused in that one space, now it was time to be a Mother. 12 months later and I was back on the scene, producing a big fashion show for America’s Next Top Model, 3 month old baby in the back seat being fed by my intern, visiting showrooms, holding model and dancer castings and managing a team…. it’s in my blood.
Years and a baby later, motherhood has given me a different perspective and I am now in the children's clothing space creating beautiful, elegantly crafted collection's for the little ones under the label Petits Genoux.
Petits Genoux began as a happy accident in between drop off and pick up at preschool, between another mom and I. A super stylish travel writer and myself, creating pieces for our #newprojects. In a few months we had a line and a few weeks later, an order and then voila, Petits Genoux was born. No plan, no bank account, no website, but we pulled it together and had an opening in our first vendors boutique and I was right back into the swing of things. A vast new, shiny space called Childrens Clothing was breathing a new vibrant energy into me.
The entrepreneurial spirit is a bit of a phenomenon to some. They question the struggle, the inconsistencies, the highs and deep lows. Those are the things that keep me in it, it’s like survivor or the amazing race, non-stop and never ending. I am a creator, and and don’t think I will ever stop. I pride myself in the quality and integrity of my work and hope when it goes out into the world that it’s received that way because, it really is in my blood...
I hope you these pieces bring you joy.
Petits Genoux / puh-tee . jUH-nu was created for the littlest ones in our lives. Eco-conscious, socially-conscious, and gender-neutral, Petits Genoux is great gifting for any child.