Hello, my name is Jean Polsky, and I own Estella with my husband, Chike Chukwulozie. I was born here in New York City and have been interested in fashion since I was old enough to figure out how to dress myself. My first job was an internship at the beautiful Bergdorf Goodman, and professionally speaking, I haven’t strayed far from the fashion industry.
In 2002, Chike and I opened Estella, an eclectic, designer baby clothes and high-end children’s clothing boutique in New York’s Village. The concept behind Estella was to bring the amazing, artisan-inspired kids’ clothing we saw scattered across Europe here to New York. In 2002, luxury children’s fashion in NYC was synonymous with big box retail, big price tags, and somber, conservative frocks. We saw things differently. We know that children have personalities, and we believe that their clothing and handmade toys should too. Our vision was built on high quality kids’ and baby clothes that were designed by mothers and craftsman rather than corporations. These creations were full of gorgeous colors, textures, and spirit. Kids loved wearing these clothes and parents loved owning them.
Our eco-friendly baby toys and organic cotton toddler clothes became popular due to their lack of chemicals and harsh treatments that pervade the majority of the cotton sold in the majority of major retail outlets today. Current cotton harvesting and treatment processes harm the environment and surrounding areas, but at Estella, we have a firm commitment to environmental stewardship. Our handmade baby toys and luxury clothes use GOTS-certified cotton, which allows us to produce quality products that are kind to the environment and the people who design and handle them.
Our retail business blossomed over the course of 11 years. We were humbled by the response from the press, celebrities and all our customers: Estella appeared in the New York Times, Vogue, Elle, The Today Show, People Magazine, US Weekly, InStyle and numerous other press outlets.
"When he's looking for inspiration, Mizrahi heads to Estella ... 'It sounds totally random, I know, but I adore the incredible color sense. They never get too twee the way they do in other kids' stores--it's very eclectic and sophisticated in an exclusively New York way.” - Designer Isaac Mizrahi on cnn.com.
Over the years, we created various collections of toddler and luxury baby clothes because our customers were asking for them and they did not exist in the market. Our customers wanted soft, elegant, and organic infant clothing that supported artisan workers and didn’t contain harmful chemicals. Knowing that our designs were in demand, we designed a capsule collection of Estella bamboo baby clothes, which has since been featured on the Martha Stewart Show and in other national press outlets.