Love By Design
Unique, eco-friendly playwear designed by Savannah’s Lane Huerta has children’s imaginations soaring
Even though her superhero capes have been featured on ABC World News Tonight and have been special-ordered from different corners of the world—from Europe to Korea to New Zealand—the truth is that Lane Huerta was never really that much into superheroes.
“I was not a fanatic of that stuff as a child,” Huerta says. “But I did love to play dress-up. We used bed sheets for costumes and cardboard boxes for cars, the same things that my daughter does now.”
Huerta was always a fanatic, however, of the arts.
“Ever since I was little, I painted, drew, and built things,” Huerta recalls. “My grandmother was an artist, and I knew that I had to be in the arts in some fashion.”
Huerta considers herself lucky to have been able to attend a performing arts high school as a teen and then to have worked in a variety of artistic mediums in her twenties. Before moving to Savannah, she worked with a handbag designer, at a record label, and with a rock poster artist who had a screen-printing shop next door.
“I taught myself screen-printing and sewing,” Huerta says. She fashioned her new talents into home décor items such as tea towels, pillows, and kitchen linens. Huerta and her husband were living in San Francisco, where they found it difficult to have their own home as well as a studio space. So they chose to move to Savannah, and soon after Huerta began her small business, Lovelane Designs.
“I was lucky enough to get a studio in the Starland District in 2009,” Huerta says. “Here, I could buy some larger equipment to be able to take it to the next level.”
Then, her daughter Clementine came along.
“My focus has shifted since the day my daughter could talk,” Huerta says. “If she wanted to play dress-up with whatever was around, I would say that I can do something even more colorful and fun. My designs were a natural progression from my daughter’s love of using her imagination and our need to unplug and create our own stories.”
Huerta had already sold her home décor items on the Etsy website, where artists can sell their handcrafted work to anyone in the world. When the site promoted her new collection of vibrant superhero capes, bracelets, helmets, and crowns for children, Lovelane Designs really started to take off.
“Moms have told me that they don’t see anything else like it,” Huerta says. “Everything is handmade and heirloom-quality.”
Huerta says it’s very important to her to use inks and fabrics that are created from environmentally-friendly and kid-friendly materials. The kids who slip the capes over their shoulders seem only to care about how it makes them feel inside.
“You can see the wheels turning in their mind as they put them on,” Huerta says. “Then they rush off, running around and you see that their imaginations are soaring. Or you see kids putting on a crown and having a whole new demeanor. I love empowering little people, I love empowering my daughter.”
More online praise from sites like The Huffington Post and Today.com has helped Lovelane Designs grow quickly, and Huerta is doing her best to keep up. So far, she has been able to hire from within the artistically-supportive community she found when she moved to Savannah.
“I have young people just out of school helping me, but also mothers and grandmothers,” Huerta says. “I’m trying to keep everything here in Savannah.”
Huerta notes that the transition to Savannah for her family has made an even larger impact on her health practices. Lovelane Designs may have superheroes that encourage defying gravity with their capes or stopping bullets with their bracelets, but there hasn’t been one created that is immune to harmful UV rays from the sun.
“We have a boat and we love to be on the water,” Huerta says. “But skin cancer runs in my family. Both of my parents have had melanoma.”
Huerta’s parents have lived throughout the Southeast during their lives, including Florida, where boating and swimming can be done even in the winter months. Even if you’re lucky enough to be able to spend holidays like Thanksgiving at the beach, you must be responsible for protecting your skin from harmful sun exposure.
“We all may be superheroes, but we still have to take care of our skin,” Huerta says.
Being responsible with sunscreen is a smart choice for getting outside and playing—something Huerta believes whole families should do often. Though her cape and crown designs are for kids, Huerta hopes parents and other family members will get swept up into the imaginative worlds that her playwear inspires.
“My daughter inspired me to make these, so you never know where being creative with your kids might lead,” she says. “Creating your own stories and adventures is a wonderful way to spend quality time with your family.”
For those grown-ups who may envy their children’s super look, Huerta may have a solution for that as Lovelane Designs continues to grow.
“I get so many requests for adult capes,” she says with a laugh. “We’re working on that too.”
Lane Heurta was recently awarded the Golden PO award from the Land of Nod and was one of the finalists for this year's Martha Stewart's American Made contest. Learn more about Loveland Designs here.
Photos above of children in Lane Huerta's playwear are courtesy of Lyn Bonham Photography.