Jean Polsky owns Estella with her husband, Chike Chukwulozie.
Jean was born in New York City and has been interested in fashion since she was old enough to figure out how to dress herself. Her first job was an internship at the beautiful Bergdorf Goodman, and professionally speaking, she hasn’t strayed far from the fashion industry.
In 2002, Chike and Jean opened Estella, an eclectic, designer baby clothes and high-end children’s clothing boutique in New York’s Village.
The concept behind Estella was to bring the amazing, artisan-inspired kids’ clothing they saw scattered across Europe here to New York. In 2002, luxury children’s fashion in NYC was synonymous with big box retail, big price tags, and somber, conservative frocks. They saw things differently. They knew that children have personalities, and they believed that their clothing and handmade toys should too. Their vision was built on high quality kids’ and baby clothes that were designed by mothers and craftsman rather than corporations. These creations were full of gorgeous colors, textures, and spirit.
Kids loved wearing these clothes and parents loved owning them.
Their eco-friendly baby toys and organic cotton toddler clothes became popular due to their lack of chemicals and harsh treatments that are pervasive in the majority of the cotton sold in too many major retail outlets. Current cotton harvesting and treatment processes harm the environment and surrounding areas, but at Estella, they have a firm commitment to environmental stewardship. Their handmade baby toys and luxury clothes use GOTS-certified cotton, which allows them to produce quality products that are kind to the environment and the people who design, handle and wear them.
Their retail business blossomed over the course of 11 years.
They were humbled by the response from the press, celebrities and all their customers: Estella appeared in the New York Times, Vogue, Elle, The Today Show, People Magazine, US Weekly, InStyle and numerous other press outlets.
When he's looking for inspiration, Mizrahi heads to Estella ...
- Designer Isaac Mizrahi on cnn.com.
'It sounds totally random, I know, but I adore the incredible color sense. They never get too twee the way they do in other kids' stores--it's very eclectic and sophisticated in an exclusively New York way.”
Over the years, they created various collections of toddler and luxury baby clothes because their customers were asking for them and they did not exist in the market. Their customers wanted soft, elegant, and organic infant clothing that supported artisan workers and didn’t contain harmful chemicals. Knowing that their designs were in demand, they designed a capsule collection of Estella bamboo baby clothes, which has since been featured on the Martha Stewart Show and in other national press outlets.
Estella gift shoppers always wanted that extra something special to include with their baby gifts that would surprise their friends and family.
Thus, their complete line of organic baby toys, baby blankets, and nursery decor pillows was born. Their luxury baby gifts have gone on to win prestigious national awards. Barney’s New York and other luxury baby boutiques picked up the line, and the public demand for Estella’s high-end baby gifts has only continued to grow. To cater to this demand and grow our collection, they closed their retail location in 2013 and now sell through specialty baby boutiques, gift stores and on their website.