Meet Cry Baby’s designer and founder - Esma Ilyas. After graduating high school in 2014, she felt lost and didn’t know what to pursue in life. She just knew that she was always doing something creative and spent her days scrolling through endless pages on Tumblr. After spending her summer watching nostalgic movies, she wanted to bring back choker necklaces. Creating one of the first online jewelry brands that quickly became the biggest trend on social media: Stargaze Jewelry was born. She started by selling a few chokers on Tumblr that were handmade with products from her local arts & crafts store. Fast forward 2 years later with a cult following on Instagram, Stargaze quickly grew to become a multimillion dollar brand. Soon after, she teamed up with a few partners and created Ivory Ella: a truly mission-driven apparel and lifestyle brand that supports elephant conservation. Ivory Ella has been able to donate over $1.7 million over the past four years to Save The Elephants.
Esma knew that her ultimate goal was to create her own clothing brand that aligns with her style. Cry Baby was launched on February 11th, 2018. Growing up being an active user on Tumblr and what she did with Stagaze, she quickly wanted to bring back the 80s and 90s fashion to Cry Baby while adding her own modern twist to it. After analyzing what other brands promote and post on social media, she wanted to make sure that Cry Baby really sticks out. She had the idea of not always just posting products and brand related content but bringing her daily used tumblr blog onto Instagram so that the customers actually have a lot to relate and engage with.
What sets Cry Baby apart from other brands is not only the posts behind it but their mission. She wanted to show the world that “it’s okay to cry.”
“It’s okay to cry. Over boys, girls, friends, family, love or hate. Sad tears and happy tears. Tears are healthy. It shows that you care. Shows emotion, hard work and dedication. Cry over something you really want. Cry because you lost or won a contest, or met the person you look up to. Cry whether you failed or succeeded. Or because you’re just stuck at a point in life. Cry because you lost someone or you got a new member in your family. Cry yourself to sleep some nights. It doesn't matter if you’re a child, an adult, male or female. Everybody cries. Remind yourself it’s okay to not be okay. Cry for absolutely no reason too. Cry and let it out. Refocus on where you’re headed, chase your goal, work hard and be dedicated. Remind yourself that we are all imperfect and at the end, we all have emotions. Whatever the reason is - it’s okay to be a “CryBaby”.
Esma started posting vulnerable and meaningful images where she quickly saw that a lot of her customers related to it on a deeper level. She not only wanted to make this a clothing brand but turn it into a community. Customers love that they can just go to the brands page not only to shop but chat with others, make new friends, get advice from each other and overall just be inspired. This sense of community and friendship is what keeps people coming back for more each day.
Cry Baby has evolved into classic must-have pieces, vintage runway inspired modern fits, TV/Celebrity inspired pieces with its own twist, signature sets, branded loungewear and staple dresses, all while embracing comfortability with the It Girl look and maintaining the nostalgia.
Cry Baby is working hard on quickly expanding and hoping to get more people on board with what they stand for. We hope you like either our clothing, story or mission and encourage you to join our community. Everybody should embrace their inner “CryBaby.”