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Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living

Jessica Elrod’s Cavelle Kids in Clovis

Aug 26, 2016 11:00AM ● By Kimberly Horg

One of a Kind

September 2016
By Kimberly Horg
Photos: Cori Derksen

Keeping only one outfit on during the day was a task for Jessica Elrod as a child – her outfits changed with her mind and piles of clothes quickly grew, much to her mom’s dismay. Now a mom herself (cleaning up more than her own pile), she is designing one-of-a-kind children’s clothes, Cavelle Kids, not only for her little ones but for children around the Valley and beyond.

The fashionista decided to pursue her passion early on by attending Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles right after graduating from Sierra High School. After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in fashion design, she landed a job designing women’s sportswear at Nike in Oregon. 

After marrying her high school sweetheart, Todd Elrod, his military career led them to a small town in southern Germany for a couple years. Around that time, her friends began having children, giving her the idea to experiment with children’s products. 

“I started making presents for my friends’ kids and then people started asking me to make them. I made over 300 cuddle (Minky) blankets which I customized with their baby names and favorite colors,” she says. 

She still makes a handful of blankets each week, but has a couple more projects she handles nowadays. What started as a side job grew first as wholesale business, in which she sold to boutiques. Now she runs her own children’s apparel store in the Valley where she grew up. 

It opened a couple years ago with a custom-designed season that included 25 designs. All of her seasons are based on fairy tales; last fall/winter’s theme was Little Red Riding Hood. This year, the entire collection is based off Princess and the Frog.

“I love what I do. I always wanted to design clothes so I thought I would try it,” she says.

“Kvell,” a Yiddish word meaning “indescribable joy and pride,” was the logical choice for the name. Her collection is more detailed than some; Elrod travels to trade shows all over the country and Canada to find the perfect fabrics.

By combining different textures, she tries to create quality clothes that are unique, down to the hand-picked buttons and thread. 

“We have quality clothes. I know every stitch is made in the USA and are one-of-a-kind pieces which you can’t get everywhere,” Elrod says.

She not only gets all the fabric, but she also creates all the patterns and sends them to an associate to digitalize them, then works with two factories in Los Angeles to make her clothes. Because everything is made in the United States, she is proud of what her company represents and wants to further help the economy in the Valley by opening a local factory to focus her business more on the retail end. With more than 100 boutiques across the country that carry her clothes, word of mouth has built a good local presence. 

“Cavelle Kids combines classic style with today’s trends for the cutest line of clothing ever. I can’t get enough of the quality, soft fabrics and the details that go into each piece,” says Laura Poochigian of Fresno.

The boys’ line includes shorts, pants and shirts that are tailored and designed to be durable. Little girls’ jackets and skirts are carefully pleated and fitted and have matching blouses and sweaters, and she also makes dresses with ruffles.

Additionally she carries different brands in the store, and is the only retailer in the area carrying the Tea Collection. Prices range from $9 to $25 and custom-design dresses range from $30-$60, depending on the collection, and she frequently runs sales.

“As a designer I try new things. I am all about textures. There could be five fabrics on one garment,” she says. “I’m always looking for something different and unique.”

According to Clovis resident Annie Papi, Cavelle kids is a fun, unique shop with high quality clothing and warm, welcoming employees.

“Cavelle is a brand that represents the fun, free individuals that our children all are,” Papi says.

The shopping experience became even more enjoyable when the business partnered with a local photographer in a new location, adding a playroom for the kiddos to play while the adults are browsing. 

“I love the unique details that go into every piece of clothing by Cavelle Kids. Each piece tells a magical story,” says Nicole Fontanilla of Coarsegold.

625 3rd St., Suite A, Clovis •  (253) 970-6629 • Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm

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