Fashion / Shopping

Houston Girls Clothing Entrepreneur Celebrates 10 Years of cuteheads With Priceless Family Photo Tips

Esther Freedman Knows What Little Girls Love

BY // 09.09.21

As the time for holiday family photos approaches, entrepreneur Esther Freedman offers valuable advice on dressing kids for that “say cheese” moment. With two little girls and a baby son at home and with 10 years of creating the most adorable clothes for little ones, the founder of the cuteheads label knows the subject well.

Rule number one when selecting the perfect outfit for the family photo: It must be comfortable.

“That’s something that we talk about a lot, comfort. You know that the second they put it on if it feels uncomfortable, forget it. It’s a fight,”  Freedman tells PaperCity. “And who wants to fight with their kid on picture day? It’s hard enough.

“It will show on their face if they’re miserable or they’re crying the whole time. I’ve personally been there with my 5-year-old.”

Freedman advises selecting the photo outfit for the pickiest person first. “Dress that person first and then figure out the rest of the outfits.” She confesses to being that individual in her household.

It’s also important, she says, to pay close attention to the use of patterns in the fashions. Photos with too many patterns can look messy and you don’t want the patterns to clash. In order to successfully plan the outfits for her professional photos, Freedman goes so far as to lay out everyone’s clothes together to get the feel of the total look. She even photographs the clothing grouping for further study.

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A native Houstonian, Freedman launched cuteheads in October of 2011, the same month that she quit her job with her father’s company and got married. She began with a simple line of knit basics and quickly evolved cuteheads (named after her cockapoo puppy) into a full collection of everything from casual tees to custom dresses. In advance of celebrating that 10th anniversary, cuteheads reached a milestone in sales. Online sales have reached 15,000 pieces with 2020 being her best year to date and 2021 on track to exceed that record breaker.

“I have always loved fashion and I love seeing my kids and all kids express themselves through clothing,” Freedman says sitting in her light-filled workshop in The Heights. “It’s something that is a big part of a lot of children’s identities. I like to be a small part of that and be a part of clients’ special occasions, weddings and family photos.”

Cuteheads founder and designer Esther Freedman heads the production from a shared workshop in The Heights.
Cuteheads founder and designer Esther Freedman heads the production from a shared workshop in The Heights.

In addition to selling her designs online, Freedman’s workshop, which she shares with dressmaker The KIT, produces numerous custom pieces, in particular flower girl dresses. In fact, Freedman considers herself something of an expert on the subject of creating frocks that will be comfortable for the youngster’s entire spin in the spotlight. She’s currently working on a flower girl jumpsuit with a detachable skirt.

“It’s actually quite a challenge to make something like that.” she says. “But it’s going to be so cool.”

Freedman’s custom work has included creating a baby’s first birthday outfit from the grandmother’s napkins, fashioning a communion dress from a grandmother’s wedding dress and crafting an heirloom dress from the collection of a grandfather’s shirt.

Beyond that remarkable 15,000 piece milestone, Freedman does cuteheads pop-ups in brick-and-mortar shops. That includes the party supply store Emerson Sloan in Rice Village and Tomfoolery Toys on Beechnut, where she is about to launch a month-long pop-up, and The Monogram Shop on San Felipe.

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