Entrepreneur’s Roots Lead to Success

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Photo credit: Van Dover Photography Pictured from left: Lillian, Janie, Boyceand Michael Ward.

Arkansas family, Janie and Michael Ward, offer a unique children’s clothing line comprised of treasure-engrained fabrics and items based on family traditions throughout the south. If you haven’t heard of The Yellow Lamb, you’re in for a treat.

The couple started an infant and children’s clothing business four years ago in Little Rock. Janie grew up swaddled in beautiful heirloom daygowns and dresses made by her mother, Arden Boyce, a popular southern impressionist artist, and both of her grandmothers. When the couple’s daughter Lillian was born in 2015, they couldn’t find the same quality clothing they wanted so Michael began sewing for her. 

Yes, he is the one who does the sewing! Michael’s mother, Sue Ward, has been a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher for 44 years at the Mansfield School District, so he learned his craft from an early age. Sue made sure all her children knew how to sew. “We grew up around the sewing room and always had access to the machines and plenty of fabric options to be creative,” says Michael. “I first learned about leadership and finance through FCCLA involvement. I will forever be grateful for personal experiences and opportunities provided by the Mansfield School District.”

The creation of daygowns gave The Yellow Lamb its start. “We love the delicate fabrics and beautiful laces and trims used to create these heirloom pieces,” added Michael. “We began doing custom work for infants and children in our neighborhood in the Heights area of Little Rock and the demand quickly outgrew our resources. We began partnering with some of the best artisans and seamstresses across the world to create what you see today as our clothing line, The Yellow Lamb.”

The couple are passionate about designing and creating classic clothing that can be worn any day with ease of care. “Parenthood is a busy time, but beautiful clothing should not be saved only for special events,” says Janie. Michael is constantly in search of fine sewing techniques and designs that are “as beautiful today as they were generations ago”. Janie added, “The beauty of these garments motivates us to design and create, what we call everyday heirloom, for the infants and children of today.”

The couple are proud to continue their family tradition creating beautiful children’s clothing. Their brand can be found in stores throughout the south and in the treasured Little Rock children’s store, The Toggery, or online at www.theyellowlamb.com.

Janie has lived in the Little Rock area for 23 years. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Michael grew up in Mansfield and graduated from Arkansas Tech in Russellville. He has also received a masters degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and a doctorate at UALR.

Their children, Lillian, 4, and Boyce, 2, attend St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School. “Our children are definitely the muses of our clothing line. Childhood passes quickly; dress them while you can. Every day is a gift and should be celebrated with beautiful clothing,”concluded Michael. You can follow their latest seasons on Facebook and Instagram at The Yellow Lamb. 

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