With Summer gaining pace here, I’m having great fun shopping online for fun new pieces for my Babiekins’. Keetan has some great lines of new brands; from beautifully delicate vintage inspired pieces, to contemporary staples with injections of playful colour.
I met with Sarena to learn more about Keetan’s story. A carefully curated space of true celebration of childhood and parenthood.
The story of how Keetan came to be is inspired! Sarena, tell us how this family affair was born in October?
My Mom opened her first children’s clothing shop in California in the 90’s, when my sister and I were in elementary school. She would take us on local buying trips, and we would spend a lot of time in the shop after school. I started doing the buying with her – properly when I was around twelve years old. Since then the shop changed locations and expanded, we began to travel further to buy. In October I returned to Los Angeles after finishing my Master’s, and we decided to start Keetan. Our online shop named after the littlest in our family, my five year old brother.
I love your family style, you’re so in tune with each other and clearly a close unit, with your mothers passion for the industry, did Keetan feel like the natural step for you?
Keetan was absolutely the obvious way for us to move forward. When we buy, we do not really have a strategy, we often just choose what we like; and I don’t think bricks and mortar can always handle the inventory. We have a lot of experience between us, and we all wanted a role in our growing family business. We agreed that a shift online was the natural way for us to expand. With Keetan, we have a great deal more flexibility with how much inventory we can carry, which we are all really excited about. My younger sister previously worked in womenswear and has now also come on board. It really has become a family affair!
Tell us more about your style, what is your go to outfit?
Right now, my go-to outfit is a plaid skirt, casual tee and sweater, and either boots and espadrilles! I should mention though that some of my best finds come from the shop. We have these amazing Stella McCartney kids embroidered denim shorts and I snagged the biggest pair for myself, I was so pleased they fit! One of my favourite designers that we carry is Morley. I can fit into their size 14 or 16, so whenever we write Morley, I always add a few pieces for myself!
…And what outfit do you love to see Keetan rock the most?
We have these Munster heather grey loose fit pants with paint splatters that he looks great in – those with a Little Eleven Paris tee. We sold the paint splatter pants so quickly – definitely a favourite this season! Keetan is super active and likes to roll around in drop crotch pants (either Munster or Nununu) a cotton tee and hoodie, with is Doc Martens.
You’ve referred to the fall as being your favourite time of year; What is it about the fall that you love so much?
October is our favourite month of the year because we love Halloween. We are all summer kids though, my sister and I grew up in Los Angeles and we cannot live without the sunshine and beach. We live very close to the coast and I think Keetan has a year-round summery aesthetic because it is what we are inspired by each day.
You visited Playtime Paris this year, How did you enjoy Europe? Do you find travelling a source of inspiration?
Playtime Paris is our favourite show, we came across some of our favourite designers there. We also attended Pitti Bimbo in Florence for the first time in January, which was quite a fun experience! Our entire family loves to travel and move around. My parents grew up in England, my Dad was born in India. My sister Simran and I have travelled all over the world together, we once spent an entire summer a few years back travelling through Columbia. Traveling is undoubtedly a huge inspiration for us. Many of the designers we carry are based outside of the United States. I also think that it is important to be conscious of where our products are produced. Brands like Mini Rodini are fantastic, because they place a lot of emphasis on ethical and sustainable production.
You have some stunning pieces, the addition of your illustrations you add to share them on your Instagram is such a fun idea!… You’ve introduced me to a few labels I need to learn more about. What it is that you look for when buying for Keetan?
When we buy, we buy what we like, and that pretty much encompasses our strategy! My Mom and I always buy together, we are useless without the other. When we do buy for our brick-and-mortar store, we carry a lot of casual, beach inspired clothing and cannot buy too much wool or warm weather clothing. California is experiencing a major drought and it has been so warm here all year round. We are really excited though to start diversifying our buying now that we have our online shop and can reach customers all over the world.
I’m sure you guy’s are in for such a great year… What does the future hold for Keetan?
We are so excited for this upcoming year! We are going to continue spending a great deal of time working on Keetan and spreading the word. We will be in Europe in July for Playtime and it will be Simran’s first time on an overseas buying trip!
Thank you so much Sarena. We can’t wait to see what this year brings for Keetan.
Photography : Elizabeth Pettey | Styling : Elizabeth Pettey / Donna Tweedale | Models : Olivia | Haileigh | Paulina | Maddie