How Boulder’s OB Off Duty Combines Fun & Fashion for Trendy Tots
Peplum tops. Rock and roll denim jackets. Bell-bottom jeans. When it comes to the inspiration behind Jennifer Ward’s OB Off Duty brand of trendy clothes for toddler girls, Jennifer draws from the unique style and personality of her five-year-old muse and daughter, Olivia Belle (OB herself!). As the founder of OB Off Duty, Jennifer curates fashion-forward toddler clothing items that help little girls express themselves and their style, working to empower them to let their unique personalities shine through from the inside out.
Lisa: How did the idea for OB Off Duty come about?
Jennifer: After having my first child I became obsessed with children’s clothing. I channeled all my love for fashion into dressing my daughter, but shopping for fashionable children’s clothing proved to be difficult. The styles all seemed to be very babyish, cartoonish or covered in characters. My goal was to find looks for her that I would wear but in miniature.
Lisa: How did you make that idea a reality?
Jennifer: It all started with social media. My friends and colleagues would often comment on my daughter’s over-the-top fashion style; then they’d ask me to do personal shopping for them and their kids. Then my life was turned upside down when my husband and I decided to move to Boulder. After commuting from Boulder to New York City for work for a few months, I decided to follow this passion and, as they say, the rest is history.
Lisa: What experience did you gain in the fashion industry while living in New York City?
Jennifer: I’ve worked in fashion for over 20 years and have focused on many sides of the business. I was heading up PR and social media for H&M for 15 years before pursuing OB Off Duty, so I’m very familiar with the business of curating and creating high-fashion clothing that’s accessible for all. I have a lot of experience building a brand from the bottom up and balancing trendy styles with affordability as well, which has been key in launching OB Off Duty.
Lisa: I imagine the differences between living in New York City and Boulder were pretty stark!
Jennifer: Yes! I’m a city girl at heart, and there was an obvious difference in style specifically. I found styles in Boulder to be a lot more casual than the stilettos and leather pants of New York City. But when it came to children’s wear, there really wasn’t too much of a difference. There will always be moms and parents who want to play dress up with their children every morning no matter where they live.
OB Off Duty is targeted to little girls who want to dress as cool as their moms do. It’s not a brand that’s focused on a specific city. It’s more about a specific attitude.
Lisa: What would you say the mission of OB Off Duty is? How do you hope your clothing makes the little girls wearing it feel?
Jennifer: Our mission is to have fun with fashion and to allow trendy tots to stand out for the one-of-a-kind girls they are! Our pieces are made to be versatile, mixing up well-loved pieces with contemporary twists. Our little girls shine all on their own, and OB Off Duty simply helps them to express their unique personalities even more and to truly stand out like the strong women they will grow up to be!
Lisa: What are some of your favorite OB Off Duty pieces?
Jennifer: The website is a curated collection of hand-selected items that reflect my daughter’s style. Our fall collection in particular is full of fashion-forward street style pieces, like leather skorts, bell-bottoms and velvet pleated skirts. Olivia’s street style look usually includes something super feminine mixed with something edgy, so we offer a lot of very fun, feminine tops as a staple.
Lisa: What’s on the horizon for OB Off Duty?
Jennifer: We’re still a relatively new kid on the block, so we look forward to continuing to grow and expanding our sizes and categories beyond toddlers. We’re also discussing adding clothing for little boys to our site to reflect the rock and roll style of Olivia’s little brother, Gabriel Bowie (GB)!