We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Miles and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Katie, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Sustainability is a primary focus for our company. A central goal of our company is to construct all of our products with recyclable, biodegradable, eco friendly fabrics and to design all of our costumes to last so that they can be used everyday, washed, and passed down rather than ending up in a landfill. Complete sustainability is an evolving goal and we haven’t figured it all out yet, but we are continually tweaking our practices to be as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. In addition to our commitment to eco-friendly products, we also manufacture in a fair wage factory located in downtown Los Angeles. Producing locally as well as fair wages and fair treatment of workers is as important to us as our bottom line and we make every effort to ensure that we are manufacturing with high ethical standards.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started working as an entrepreneur in 2011 and had a couple of start-ups that were somewhat successful but I could tel they would never make big waves. In 2018 I met Rachel Jones and we quickly connected on our mutual love for sewing, designing, art and fashion became fast friends. During a discussion about our children’s love for dress-up, we both agreed that there was a lack of quality costumes for kids on the market. We had both been in search of open-ended play costumes made from durable, natural fabrics and were unable to find these types of costumes. After talking about this shared experience, we had our “aha!” moment and Hijinks Costumes was born. We combined our entrepreneurial and design skills and set out to rethink and redesign children’s costumes. We have A LOT of challenges with starting this business. The factory we were working with on the manufacturing of the first run closed down in the middle of production and we had to find a new factory to work with. We ended up missing Halloween and launching right after because of this set back. We are also both mothers to elementary age children so we are running the second year of our business while homeschooling our children, which has been challenging to say the least! We also weren’t able to start production on our second run until months after we were supposed to because all of the factories and purveyors in Los Angeles were forced to shut-down. It has been a very difficult time to be a small business, but we are determined to keep going and have just had to be very creative with just about every aspect of how we work and manufacture.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Having just moved to LA from NYC only a couple years ago, I am still a tourist myself! But, I am partial to all of the amazing nature, botanical gardens and outdoor activities available in LA and would probably start with some of those. I love all the hiking trails and would definitely take them on a hike in the Los Angeles National Forest. One of my favorites is Eaton Canyon and I would pack a little picnic to have when we got to the waterfall! I would take them to the ocean for a picnic or bike riding. And I would definitely take them to one of the amazing botanical gardens like Huntington Gardens or Descanso Gardens. I love to cook at home with the amazing variety of fresh ingredients you can get at the farmer’s market so I would definitely get up early on Sunday morning and take them to the Montrose farmers market where we can shop for our fresh ingredients, fresh baked bread, homemade pickled vegetables, jams, hummus and dips. Then we could finish up the shopping trip with delicious street food and live music!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my success to my amazing business partner, Southern good luck charm and co-creater of Hijinks, Rachel Jones! I couldn’t have created Hijinks without her and I owe at least half of the success of our company to her creative genius and calm and steady personality.

Hijinks didn’t make it through the pandemic but that I am still designing and you can keep up with me and my new projects by following me on Instagram.

Website: www.katieelizabethmiles.com

Instagram: @katieelizabethmiles, @ledesignfreak

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.