Seychellois seamstress sews island warmth, greenery into her line of kids clothes

A Seychellois living in Perth, Australia has launched a brand of children’s clothing inspired by the warmth, colours, flowers and greenery of the islands of Seychelles. 
Selma Adeline, born Lesperance, who is originally from Cascade, an eastern district on the main island of Mahe, designs and sews the Belisara Kids clothing herself.
SNA caught up with the mother of two to learn more about her clothing line and her aspirations for Belisara Kids.
SNA: Tell us about your venture.
SA: Belisara Kids was launched in April 2021 to create children’s clothes not found in clothing stores. My clothes are handmade by myself and created to use modern designs with age-appropriate styles.
SNA: Tell us about yourself and your interest in sewing.
SA: Behind this initiative is me, my husband – Dan – and my daughter – Arabella. I sew all the clothes; my husband helps with ideas and advice whilst my daughter assists with the photographs and advertising.
I learnt to sew from my mum at the age of 6. I was born in Seychelles and my mum was well known in Cascade as a seamstress. I would help her during the weekends and school holidays. What started as sewing in buttons and making doll clothes later turned into designing my clothes. I continued this skill when I migrated to Perth, Australia in 2009 where I currently work as a teacher. In my spare time, I have made clothes for my two kids, school uniforms, wedding dresses, tuxedos, christening clothes, and couch cushions just to name a few.
SNA: Why this project, when was it launched?
SA: The initiative started six years ago when my son started primary school, but quickly moved onto the back burner due to his afterschool extracurricular sports. It was only last year when my family was homebound due to COVID-19 cancelling school and sports that I had the time and determination to take up the challenge. This challenge was welcomed as I love designing and sewing and making children’s clothes. Since it was nearing winter, I started with winter pyjamas and now we are moving with the seasons and creating spring and summer clothes. The brand ‘Belisara’ was launched in April this year.
SNA: Give us the details of your products and who are you targeting?
SA: My designs are targeted at parents searching for colourful yet age-appropriate clothing for their children. I make my children’s clothes in Australian sizes 1 to 6 and other sizes can be made on request and pre-order. Items can also be customised.
SNA: What are the different products on offer?
SA: Our current products are winter pyjamas for both boys and girls from Australian sizes 1 to 9, bluey overalls in size 1-4, bluey shorts in size 2-4, and cocomelon clothes, summer dresses, Christmas clothes and other summer clothes to be released in the coming weeks. I aspire to grow into making christening clothes for kids, unique boys shirts, girls blouses, rompers and dresses. You can find my current designs and order on Instagram at Belisara kids.
SNA: Where do you source your materials?
SA: Most of my materials are bought in Perth, Australia itself whilst some fabrics are ordered online.
SNA: Where do you draw inspiration and how do you incorporate the islands in the same?
SA: My inspirations come from the clothes and sundresses I made for my daughter when she was young, so I try as much as possible to incorporate those older style designs into my new designs. With summer approaching I hope to move into colourful sundresses inspired by Seychelles colourful flowers and greenery.
SNA: Where are those sold and what are the prices?
SA: My products are sold in Australia online through our Instagram account and Facebook page. This will soon change once the Belisara website is ready. Our prices vary from $AUD29 ($21) to $AUD60 ($44) depending on the item, cost of materials and labour. Shipping and postage are not included in the prices as it varies for different states and countries. Currently, buyers can send me a direct message on our Instagram and Facebook account to order.
SNA: Do you have plans to open an outlet here in Seychelles and also any plans to mass-produce?
SA: Belisara does ship to Seychelles and has a point of contact in Seychelles where clients can pick up their orders. However, an outlet would not be feasible right now as we want to focus on growing the business and reinvesting profits into creating new designs. Mass production can be tricky as it takes away from the handmade aspect that makes the business special. However, if there is demand in the future, we would consider it.

Source: Seychelles News Agency