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Jen Pinkston’s La Paloma Brand Brings an Artful Twist to Children’s Sleep & Loungewear

Stylish Austin-based brand creates clothes for rest or play any time of day

Jen Pinkston – La Paloma
La Paloma founder, Jen Pinkston, with her daughters

When it comes to clothes, you don’t have to forfeit comfort for beauty — and that’s true for children’s apparel, too.

In fact, this truth fueled Jen Pinkston, a local mom and former Hollywood wardrobe stylist, to create La Paloma, an Austin-based children’s sleep and loungewear brand that blends comfort, play and beauty. The brand, which is now sold online at J.Crew and Maisonette, sports artful pieces of clothing for kiddos to comfortably enjoy the magic of childhood. 

La Paloma’s stylish dresses are perfect for warm sunny days

Inspired by her experience as a mother, Pinkston designed the pieces to be comfortable enough for her kids to wear all day while ensuring they could still look put together and feel like themselves.

“My kids wake up, come downstairs and they’re ready to go for the day; there are so many times we end up going to breakfast and they’re still in pajamas,” Pinkston says. “So I was always thinking, if we roll out of bed and end up at Texas French Bread, what are they wearing and is it still cute?”

a family affair, behind the scenes of a La Paloma photo shoot

A Background in Fashion

Not only does Pinkston draw from knowledge as a mother but also from her time as a wardrobe stylist in Los Angeles. During this season, she immersed herself in the fashion industry through blogging and eventually started creating digital content for brands around 2010.

But, as a native Austinite, she moved back to Austin in 2016 with her husband and two daughters. It wasn’t until one fateful evening in 2019 that she had an epiphany to start La Paloma.

For a while, Pinkston had been searching for quality nightgowns for her oldest daughter but always came up on short. With this in mind that evening, as Pinkston struggled to put pajamas onto her youngest daughter, she noticed the fabric started pilling. Pinkston, who had studied textiles and apparel at the University of Texas at Austin, was reminded of her days in class and something clicked.

“Everything collided (at) that moment (and) I just thought, ‘I think I can make this product that my kids want to wear and do it better than what I’m finding in the market right now,’” Pinkston says.

It was the point of no return — after saying goodnight to her daughters, she immediately went downstairs and started the journey of creating a brand.

Later that summer, she visited a textiles trade show in New York and eventually found a manufacturer before launching La Paloma in May 2020. Since then, the brand has slowly grown into the whimsical yet genuine brand that it is today.

La Paloma, comfort to smile about

Inspiring Beauty

One of the first noticeable aspects of La Paloma is that it sports art-inspired pieces, something Pinkston intentionally planned. The brand partners with both local and international illustrators so children can enjoy and appreciate artful prints, too.

“There are so many beautiful artists and illustrators in the world that are creating such beautiful prints,” Pinkston says. “Kids can appreciate these, too; it doesn’t always have to be super cheesy in children’s world.”

La Paloma offers so many cute pajama sets for kids

Encouraging Comfort

Not only are La Paloma’s pieces designed to be pleasing to the eye, but they’re also made to be comfortable for both lounge and play. Pinkston emphasizes that the clothes are good for a variety of scenarios — going to breakfast, taking a road trip, getting out of the bath, getting ready for bed and much more.

In fact, when the brand released its matching line for moms, Pinkston says that was a key thought in the development process.

“We launched and, immediately, we kept getting messages that were like, ‘I need this in my size,’” Pinkston says. “And, in so many ways, I needed it in my size.”

Pinkston says the house dresses, specifically, have been a personal lifesaver when it comes to getting out of the shower and getting ready to go out, going on vacation with friends, walking around town or doing carpool pickups. 

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La Paloma dress for ladies

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La Paloma comfort for moms and kiddos

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cute house dresses for chidlren

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house dress for children

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house dress for grownups

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cute and cozy PJs

Preserving Magic

Ultimately, however, the brand will always come back to its primary mission — bringing back the magic of childhood. Prior to the evening when Pinkston realized this brand needed to be a reality, Pinkston says it had been a magical day around town with her daughters going to Bull Creek, eating at Sour Duck Market and playing outside. 

At the end of the day, Pinkston wanted to continue the magic of childhood through the clothes they wore, but their clothes had proven to be a hindrance.

“When I was getting them ready for bed, it was just like — man, we had the most magical day and now I’m pulling these clothes onto them and they don’t feel good (or) look good,” Pinkston says.

cute and comfy loungewear for moms and kiddos

A Growing Vision

Though Pinkston hopes to continue the magic, she admits that running a small business comes with challenges. As La Paloma grows, she hopes to balance keeping the creative vision alive while scaling the brand. 

Additionally, Pinkston hopes to continue the brand’s commitment to sustainability through its use of natural fibers, which not only provides clothing that’s best for the environment but also for the children who will be wearing it.

Marked by her vision and experience, Pinkston reflects on La Paloma’s growth and recognizes that though her brand is competing in an oversaturated market of startups in Austin, La Paloma pushes through with its genuine mission. In short, she’s just a mom who saw a need.

“(La Paloma) wasn’t started in an incubator; it wasn’t started based on market research on how we can make the most money,” Pinkston says. “The brand is so deeply ingrained in me; it was just born from this natural place (of need).”

You can order from La Paloma directly through their website or online from other stores such as J.Crew or Maisonette. You can also follow @shoplapaloma on Instagram for updates. Keep an eye out for their upcoming holiday pajama collection coming out in October.