Local Designer Spotlight : Megan Birkel of Willow Crowns
Written by Julie Weinstein
We’re so excited to bring you the next installment in our “local designer spotlight” series! If you missed the last one, you can check it out here. We’re thrilled to share these incredibly talented women with all of you.
And today it’s all about Megan Birkel, who is the founder and designer behind Willow Crowns. If you’re unfamiliar with Willow Crowns, it is home to the most beautiful, hand-made hair accessories for babies and children. Little Miss Elle already has quite a collection of Willow Crowns pieces! Megan designs pieces that are perfect for your littles, and they add a special added touch to life’s special moments.
Now, keep on reading for what a day in Megan’s life looks like, what inspires her on a daily basis, her favorite places in Houston, and lots more. As well, Megan is generously offering all Wear + Where + Well readers a discount just in time for her new collection to launch!
How long has Willow Crowns been around and what inspired you to launch your business?
I launched WC almost 4 years ago when my 10-month-old daughter was still being mistaken for a boy, and I was struggling to find headbands I liked/fit my style.
We had also just moved cross country and I was looking for something that could be “mine” and give me a creative outlet and something to focus on while I found my feet during a big life transition.
What inspires you on a daily basis when designing for Willow Crowns and in general?
I find inspiration everywhere, but especially in my daughters. My oldest loves heart clips the most so I’ve been really dedicated to finding unique and beautiful leathers to make more of those.
I have another bald little baby now which has renewed my affinity for delicate, small headbands that don’t overwhelm her tiny (bare) head.
I also love floral inspiration and find myself gravitating towards a lot of color combinations you’d find at your favorite florist.
What is your favorite thing about running Willow Crowns? Most rewarding? Most challenging?
My favorite aspect of running WC is the design process. I absolutely love playing with fabrics and styles to find new and beautiful takes on classic accessories.
It’s been most rewarding, as we grow over the years, to see customers come back for pieces as their children grow and as they have more babies! Seeing Willow Crowns lace in their newborn photos, then heart clips on their first day of preschool, and then starting all over with a new babe is so fun and gratifying. I love that we get to be a small part of their special moments.
The biggest challenge I’ve found (and I’m sure lots of creatives will agree) is continuing to find ways to stay fresh. Keeping the creative juices going isn’t always easy and continuing to find ways to make classic pieces that are true to our aesthetic can be tough sometimes!
What is your current favorite piece in your collection and why?
I’m really, really devoted to our gold Laurel lace. I love that it’s statement making without being over the top and ostentatious. It’s not the same old thing, but it will never be out of style and works so well on little ladies of every age.
What does a day in your life look like?
My typical day always begins with coffee…all the coffee! I’m always balancing life at home with two little girls with the demands of a growing business so that often means the little one in a swing in the studio while my oldest sets up shop with her coloring books right next to me.
Our days are sometimes a little frantic with play dates, filling orders, etc, but we always end the day with family dinner, snuggles, and books (before I hit the studio again for another hour or two!).
Who is the Willow Crowns customer?
Our customer is the fashion-conscious mom who knows the power of a fun print or perfect solid in their little girl’s accessory wardrobe. She also knows and appreciates the value in handmade products and is a supporter of shopping small and mama makers.
Aside from on your website, where else can one shop your products?
You can find us at Freckles Boutique in Cypress, Texas and, soon, Shop Twig Kids!
How would you describe your personal style?
I’d describe my style as relaxed with a little bit of polish and lots of classic functionality. I want to look pulled together, but still be able to chase after my kids!
What is your favorite store to shop at in Houston?
I love Bering’s Hardware and how they’ve got a little bit of everything!
What about your favorite kids clothing brand / store?
The Monogram Shop is my favorite for the girls…I know I can always find something there for a gift, for my own kids to wear, and it’s all so classic. I also love fellow Houston creative Cuteheads – Esther has dressed my children for so many special occasions!
What is your favorite restaurant in Houston?
I love so many, especially Tex Mex, but the best meal I’ve had in Houston was definitely at Helen Greek Food and Wine.
What is your favorite thing to do in Houston?
Anything that involves my family, friends, and food! There’s so much to do in Houston, but a food crawl with my favorite people covering all the best restaurants would be top of my list…I may have to make that happen soon!
Any future plans for Willow Crowns that you can tell us about?
I’m really excited to be expanding into more retail establishments this year to bring WC to more people and to keep growing!
Thank you so much, Megan!
Megan is generously offering a 20% off discount code to all Wear + Where + Well readers. And this is just in time for the new collection to launch on 8/31 at 10am CST! So, head to Willow Crowns and upon checkout just type in the code WWW20. We hope you have a great rest of your day, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow morning!