Bringing Thoughtfulness to Children’s Clothing.
Meet Sarah and JP, co-founders of Chasing Windmills, a Denver-based company that makes children’s clothing and nursery bedding from merino wool — a lightweight, quick-drying, odor resistant and impossibly soft fabric. Sarah and JP first met in their freshman dorm, just a few days into their undergraduate years at Bowdoin College in Maine. Their journey then took them to Washington D.C., where JP attended law school and Sarah worked as an actuary. After working as an actuary in the corporate world for eight years, Sarah began building a photography business on the side, making the move to do something she was truly in love with as a career. Her willingness to re-evaluate and pursue something she cared about inspired JP to rethink his own career choice. Working as a full-time lawyer, he was beginning to feel that work was consuming his life.
It took a sick day to give JP the final push he needed to leave behind his law career. Home for the day from his office, JP ended up researching merino wool and where it came from (at this point, he already had a favorite merino shirt of his own, which he wore almost every day he wasn’t in the office). In his research, he stumbled upon ZQ Merino, the same company Smartwool, Ibex and Icebreaker use to source their merino wool. The company spent an hour on the phone with JP talking shop, and their willingness to begin a relationship with him, as well as their passion for merino, inspired JP to pull the trigger, leave behind his law career and begin the company he and Sarah had been dreaming about.
Sarah and JP designed Chasing Windmills with the goals of embracing the adventurous spirit of childhood and connecting families, including children, to a sense of environmental appreciation and wonder. Their most recent clothing line is ideal for the active child; — whether reading on the couch or embarking on a more serious camping adventure, merino wool is incredibly soft and quick to dry. With sayings like “Follow Rivers,” “Go Outside” and “Adventure,” printed on playful blue and orange merino, Sarah and JP’s designs capture the magical spirit of childhood.
The clothing is also designed with the couples’ deeply held environmental values in mind. Merino wool is 100 percent biodegradable, and ZQ Merino sources its wool from Australian and New Zealand sheep that are raised by ranchers who meet strict environmental and animal welfare standards. All of ZQ Merino’s sheep are grazed in free-range, pasture-based systems, with minimal human intervention so the sheep can be … well, sheep. Every ZQ Merino rancher also meets specific environmental standards to avoid harming the ranch land and, if necessary, mitigate any impact on the land they may have.
Aside from the source of their wool, Sarah and JP also try to embed their company with an appreciation for the environment by creating products that can last. Their bedding line can transition easily from infanthood to toddlerhood, and the clothing they make is durable and simply designed, enabling it to be passed from one child to the next. Chasing Windmills products are also now made entirely in the U.S., reducing the carbon footprint of the company. As the company grows, Sarah and JP maintain one of its main focuses on keeping the “quality over quantity” motto at the forefront of their business decisions.
“We don’t want to be one of those companies that releases a new collection every month,” says Sarah.
Instead, they are carefully working to curate their next collection, a series of long john pj’s, which will include items to fit kids up to 8 years old.