WE ARE CLARKS KIDS

When I was a child my mother used to take us to buy our shoes from Clarks. I expect her mother might have taken her to Clarks too because it has been around since 1825 - which is incredible. For any brand or company to be around for that long they must be doing something right and will have amassed a lot of knowledge of how to do it to.

I have always been a fan of Clarks - mainly due to the fact that their shoes are so comfortable and fit so well - they do half sizes and measure width. They are also long lasting, great quality and reliable.

As my feet were to my mum, my kids feet are important to me. They need to grow and develop without being restricted or confined so I always invest in good footwear for them. I look for support but with enough flex so they can run and jump around.

This season Clarks have some great kids shoes - fun, colourful, supportive and cool. 

I have clearly projected my love for metallic shoes onto my daughter with her silver sandals. I like these because they feel secure on her feet, are lightweight, plus they have Air Spring FX technology in the sole which gives them a bit of bounce. 

What I like about my son's shoes is that they are tough - they protect and support his feet but are also sandals. He is an active kid who loves running and riding his bike and i've struggled in the past to get summer shoes that don't wear out so i'm pretty pleased with these.

 

Magical Fun Inf Girls Sandals £32 / Magical Tor Jnr Boys Sandals £34

This post has been kindly sponsored by Clarks. All thoughts and stories are entirely my own. We have properly tried and tested these shoes with life - not just for this blog post.

Photography by @janelookerphotography

BRAND: MIMI & LULA

Having a daughter who (like me) loves sparkly things, and who also has (like me) fairly messy hair I have found myself constantly battling, hunting, negotiating everyday for hair clips, hair bands, headbands; so when an old art college friend got in touch to tell me she was using her experience as a womenswear accessories designer to launch a super cool kids accessories brand Mimi & Lula I knew I was going to be a loyal customer.

NAME OF BRAND: Mimi & Lula

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: January 2017

BY WHOM WAS IT FOUNDED: Natasha Hodson and Nicola Byrne. 

WHY WAS IT CREATED?

Mimi & Lula was founded in January this year by Natasha Hodson and Nicola Byrne, two mums and ex-colleagues who shared similar frustrations when dressing their 3 year old daughters.  After many mornings spent frantically hunting around for a hair clip they realized 3 things; 1) there are never ever enough hair clips in the house 2) they always fall out 3) the styling is one dimensional (flowers, girly).  They realized that there was a huge gap in the market for good quality, stylish and practical hair accessories for mums who want something different without paying designer prices.

They soon realized that it was not just hair accessories that were in demand. Seeing obsessions with glittery handbags and tutus develop, the range grew to include bags, jewellery and dress-up and MIMI & LULA was born.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND:

The MIMI & LULA range of accessories is designed to appeal to children and parents alike. Whilst practicality, value and safety are at the forefront of parents’ minds, we know that most girls will be more excited by a sparkly tiara or glittery handbag than a hair clip that stays in place all day! The MIMI & LULA range has both.

The range is a departure from the mainstream girls accessories, born from an understanding that the personalities and daily style choices of children are as complex and varied as our own. 

From the little girl who wants to be a fairy princess every day, to the one who’s obsessed with dinosaurs, to the other who wants to change her look on a daily basis, MIMI & LULA’s diverse range has something for everyone.

Whether parents are looking for a unique and special gift, a high quality hair clip that goes with every outfit, or a quirky one off piece to make a statement, they can be assured that the MIMI & LULA range has been designed with love and tested to the highest children’s safety standards.

Unlike other brands where accessories may come as an add-on to a clothing range or an after-thought, for MIMI & LULA, accessories are the main event. At MIMI & LULA we know that great accessories can make an outfit, express personality and add that special ingredient – sparkle.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU:

  • Essentials  - Practical hair accessories – higher quality, they stay in, they match everything

  • Unique bags that they’ll never want to take off – sequin balloon bag, glitter dinosaur, furry cloud with lightning bolt

  • Party wear – sparkly tutus, glittery wands and sequin covered wings

  • Gifts – sterling silver and gold plated pendants and bracelets – a unique and perfect gift in a bespoke Mimi & Lula box

 

BRAND: SCAMP & DUDE

Scamp & Dude was founded by mother of two Jo - who after having to spend time away from her children in hospital was inspired to change career and set up the brand.

Scamp & Dude clothes are fun, colourful and cool, plus they are great quality and wash well (which makes me happy). The whole brand is positioned really well and I love it's attention to detail - such as the super power enhancing lightning bolts on the sleeves of all clothes and the secret pocket in the comforters to keep a photo or special object of a missing loved one.

My kids and I all have the leopard print jumpers and love them - in fact their jumpers get the most request for wearing out of all their clothes!

Here is some more information from Jo on what her inspiration was behind launhing the brand and what we need to know about it:

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: Scamp & Dude

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: Launched 19th Nov 2016 (Founded the company in Feb 2016)

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Jo Tutchener-Sharp

WHY WAS IT CREATED: I had to spend a long spell in hospital recovering from brain surgery and found it so hard being away from my kids. I hated being apart but worried so much about how they were feeling without me, which inspired me to create a brand that makes children feel more secure when apart from their loved ones. Separation anxiety can be really tough for kids.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: Our slogan is 'a superhero has my back' which is written on the back of the plain sweatshirts and tops and runs along the inner neckline of all garments in the collection reminding kids that a Superhero is watching over them at all times. The range consists of a collection of sweatshirts, leggings and t-shirts which are all Superhero inspired, some feature our special super charged leopard print (it has little lightning bolts amongst the leopard print) and others our super cure little Superheroes including Super Dino and Super Bunny. All come with an embroidered neon pink lightning bolt on the sleeve which gives kids a burst of Superpower when they need it most. There are also some special Superhero comforters to make kids feel safe and protected, the Superhero Sleep Buddies are either a bunny or dino shaped cushion comforter to sit on the child's bed. They have a special pocket at the back to hold a photograph of someone they want to keep close. We are donating one for every one sold to vulnerable children including patients at the largest Children's hospital in London and via two amazing charities, Grief Encounter and Don't Forget the Kids who work with children who have either lost a parent or are struggling with a parent with cancer.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: The best sellers have been the Super Soft Sweatshirt in Navy Leopard featuring Super Dino, the Super Soft Sweatshirt Coral featuring Super Bunny and the two Super Soft Sweatshirts in Coral and Green Leopard. The Women's Sweatshirts sold out in some sizes in less than a week! More arriving next week. The Kiss Catching Wall Stickers are very cute, you can smother them in kisses if you have to go on a business trip and your child can collect them when they miss you. The leopard and bolt print Swag Bags are also pretty great (if i do say so myself!) they were created for housing all of the kids crap that ends up living in the bottom of your handbag. Random cars, bars, raisins, packs of cards basically whatever you carry with you to entertain them on the move. So your handbag stays clutter free and you don't end up pulling a pen out of your bag mid meeting to find it is covered in squashed raising. It also makes a great compact change bag as fits a pack of wipes and a handful of nappies. I use mine as a cosmetic bag though. It is a multi use zip bag basically!

Available at Liberty and www.scampanddude.com @scampanddude 

BRAND: JOOLZ

I love buggies, when I was a child I loved doll's buggies and my interest has continued as a grown-up. As a family we have had a lot of buggies - new and secondhand ones, singles, doubles, big and small and my newest one is the Day2 by Joolz - which I love.

I didn't know much about Joolz when I was looking for a pram for my first baby but the more I learn about the brand the more I like it. They continually innovate and really research and understand their customer's needs, plus they are a sustainably concious brand and support 'Positive Design'.

Here is some more information on Joolz, how it came about and what their aspirations are as a company:

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: Joolz

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: 2004

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Founded by Emile Kuenen and Stan Vermeulen

WHY WAS IT CREATED: It all started on a bright and sunny day in 2004. I was invited by a group of friends to celebrate the great weather by cruising the canals in the city centre of Amsterdam on a boat. All of a sudden we were talking about pushchairs, and the fact there wasn’t much to choose when it comes to functional and beautiful pushchairs. That night I made together with my friends a wish list for the ideal pushchair. They should be ergonomic, comfortable, safe, easy in use and have smart solutions for folding & storing. We started with the first designs, and after a few years of hard work, the first Joolz pushchair was ready to hit the streets by the end of 2007.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: It is our DNA. We believe that happy parents raise happy children. That’s why we offer young families building blocks to spark their lives with positivity. We call it ‘Positive Design’. It means, we build award-winning, ergonomic, comfortable and stylish pushchairs, car seats and (organic) accessories that contribute to a vibrant lifestyle. Within our philosophy, we look for innovative solutions that help us create a sunny future. Our reusable packaging, the Joolz Birth Forest (where we plant one tree for each sold pushchair), our brand new Dutch production facility and our new Amsterdam headquarters are the epitome of that. Housed in a sustainably renovated factory with greenhouses and other smart energy-neutral solutions, it is an inspiration to further grow our ‘Positive Design’.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: Joolz is always innovating and trying to change the market – examples are our unique Tailor collection, personalised My- Joolz service, our re-usable packaging and the plant a tree initiative. All of our products offer innovation and customer satisfaction! About Joolz Joolz is a fast-growing Dutch company from Amsterdam (founded in 2004) that designs and manufactures ergonomic pushchairs and accessories. Our pushchairs, designed around the human body of both parent and child, are stylish and comfortable. It is with good reason, that the Joolz Geo was awarded the "Best of the Best" Red Dot Design Award in 2015. Our goal is to inspire young families to live a positive life; from pregnancy to the first day at school. We call this Positive Design. This is reflected in our ergonomic products, re-usable packaging, the Joolz Birth Forest, the partners with whom we work and the steps we take in the area of sustainability. Currently, Joolz is available in 25 countries in Europe, Asia and Australia.

NUBIE

Nubie specialise in cool, contemporary, stylish products and furniture for kids rooms and nurseries. They have so many stunning things - everytime I look at their website i'm inspired to redesign my whole house!

Nubie invited me to style one of their Babou shelves - although I wouldn't call it styling so much as 'using'. I love these shelves and so do the kids (my daughter has the rose in april version and my son heaven blue).  I often change around what is on their shelves but this is what they currently look like:

 

Nubie was founded by a design loving mother who was frustrated with the lack of choice for well-designed children's homeware items in the UK and with a background in e-commerce decided to do it herself. Here is some more info on the brand and how it all started:

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: Nubie

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: 2007

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Amanda Short

WHY WAS IT CREATED: “Nubie all started with the birth of my daughter Florence. With a love for design I felt frustrated at the lack of unique, well-designed and stylish products for the nursery available within the UK. With my quest for cool kids stuff, and my background in e-commerce, I carved out a new career into the world of childrens’ spaces with the launch of Nubie and began to share our finds with other new parents!” (Nubie Founder & Director, Amanda Short).

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: A one-stop-shop for all things styling for little ones, Nubie is brimming with a treasure trove of designs from leading brands, providing an eclectic collection of furniture, homeware and decorative buys that perfectly complement today’s modern family! Whether decorating a nursery for the first time or redesigning a playroom, Nubie has everything parents could need in creating a harmonious environment for children to flourish in.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: Our super stylish Babou shelves - perfect for storing all your little one’s toys and treasures!

 

H&M + KIDS AUTUMN FASHION

I am a massive fan of H&M - for my whole family (including my husband and sometimes my house). Every time one of my children goes up a clothes size or the seasons change - Autumn is coming (already), it is where I go to get their new clothes and basics, and while i'm there I usually get something for myself.

For me H&M ticks so many boxes - it is colourful and fits well, I like my kids to wear fun, happy, colourful comfortable clothes and this is something H&M does very well.

The clothes are great quality, durable and wash well, plus they do a lot of things in Organic cotton which I've found to be better for sensitive skin.

It is ethically and sustainably produced and as a company H&M have ambitious plans to improve on this year on year, which is something I am starting to look for more in a brand.

And also because it is such great value.

The new Kids Autumn Collection from H&M has so many cool things and they currently have a great Top & Bottom Deal for £6.99 - which is brilliant because you can mix and match any top and bottom within the deal so I can get things for both kids.

The new H&M Kids Autumn Fashion collection is available in store and online from 11th August 2016. This includes the Top & Bottom Deal from just £6.99 (Girls + Boys)

This post is in collaboration with, and kindly sponsored by H&M. All thoughts and views are my own.

BRAND: RUSKS & REBELS

Rusks & Rebels is a cool, kids clothes founded by parents Gayle & Matt who were motivated by creating a business that could lead to future employment for people living with learning and developmental difficulties - like their 14 year old son who has a rare chromosome disorder called Williams Syndrome.

The great quality clothes are ethically produced mostly in Tanzania & Pakistan - as well as being able to trace exactly where and how the clothes are made, they can ensure fair methods were used to do it and that money is going back into the area to improve local infrastructure.

The brand specialises in bold graphic prints and offer a personalised service - where the clothes can be customised with a name, initial or message.

I have a lot of respect for this business and Gayle & Matt motivation and for founding it. Rusks & Rebels are about building something for the future that will benefit a lot of people all over the world and it is a great business to support.

Here is some more information about the company, their motivations and what we should buy from them:

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: Rusks & Rebels

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: The Summer of 2011

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Gayle & Matt

WHY WAS IT CREATED: When Rusks & Rebels was born in 2011 we were motivated by the possibility of it leading to future employment for our 14 year old son Dylan, who has a rare chromosome disorder called Williams Syndrome. The Syndrome affects all areas of Dylan's development, he is a 14 year old boy living with the height, weight and educational and emotional development of a 5 or 6 year old. With one hand on a rather large piece of wood however, I am happy to say that all the medical conditions related to the Syndrome have so far past Dylan by, with only a few minor issues. So, his future health looks very positive, however his lack of development promises for an uncertain future in terms of employment.

As Rusks & Rebels has developed from an idea into the brand we have today, our motivation to provide future security and employment for Dylan has evolved into a BIG DREAM to one day be able to offer employment opportunities for not just Dylan but for many adults, young and old, that are living with learning and developmental difficulties.

This is our Ultimate Dream and the reason we come to work every day! We will hopefully in the next 12 months have taken the first steps to employing our first young adult with learning difficulties!

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: At Rusks & Rebels we love the world around us and care immensely for our environment. We are committed to do everything we can to improve, reduce, re-cycle and re-use throughout our company.

We are Ethical! Our clothing manufacturing partner firmly believe in 'TRADE not AID' and they work hard on keeping as much of the manufacturing processes in the local community of cotton growers of Tanzania & Pakistan. This helps retain profitability where it is needed and also means you can be sure of the production quality. Every penny therefore goes back into the surrounding neighbourhood and works towards improving local infrastructure. We love the fact we can trace the source of our merchandise and be 100% sure that the clothing is ethical and based on fair practice!

We pride ourselves on both our customer service and the quality finish of our clothing. We believe our customer service is second to none and we will always make sure our customers are happy. We are very proud to say that the feedback from our customers and returning customer on our customer service over the past 5 years has been very positive and has meant we have created many friendships with our customers, bloggers and other brands in our industry sector.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: Take your pick! We are immensely proud of our current collection and love every single garment!

Gayle: My favourite item from our current collection has to be our Stripy Long Sleeve Initial T-shirt! I love the contrasting elbow patches and the flock design. My 2 year old has one and looks adorable!!

Matt: Our best seller and still one of my favourite products is our Personalised Baby Hooded Jacket. We have a wide range of design colours to choose from to create a one of a kind garment for your toddlers which makes the perfect keepsake when they grow into the next size!

BRAND: PAPU

Papu is a Finnish brand who are passionate about making good quality, practical, fun clothes. The clothes are designed in Finland and are sustainably and responsibly made in Europe from GOTS-certified organic cotton. 

Papu's clothes are designed to last and some have functions that enable them to grow with the child, like double buttons on baby suits and turn-up sleeves and leggings. 

The designs and unisex prints are fun and humorous - they currently have a sausage print and a popcorn print which i love. The kids and adult clothes are comfortable to wear and you can feel that they are great quality as soon as you put them on.

Here is some more info on the brand from the brand:

NAME OF BRAND: PAPU

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: The first Papu collection was launched autumn 2012. Since that Papu has grown from Anna’s living room corner to a company that now employs 10 people and sells products to USA as well as Europe and Asia. 

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Anna Kurkela is the founder and the head designer of Papu. 

The best stories often start accidentally and that is what also happened with Papu. The story began when Papu’s founder and head designer Anna Kurkela had booked an appointment at a brand new eco hair salon. While having her hair done, she noticed cool postcards on display featuring quirky designs of a melancholy little bird. 

“That’s it! I want this artist to work for Papu!” she thought. Anna called Hanna-Riikka Heikkilä, the artist, found her soul-sister and the rest of the story goes on. 

These thirty-something mothers-of-two find their finest inspiration in the everyday. They’re no-nonsense trailblazers and visual storytellers who don’t believe in girls’ and boys’ collections but draw daring designs for the world’s little people. The adult collection was added to compliment the children’s collection following many requests for the items to be available in adult sizes.

WHY WAS IT CREATED:

”The reason behind the Papu brand was a desire to design lovely, yet practical children’s clothes, but also to manage their production as responsibly as possible. Designing children’s clothes is like a wonderful game, but there are aspects to it you have to take seriously. I want to be able to proudly stand behind everything I do.” (Papu Design Founder, Anna Kurkela)

Papu Design strongly believes that they can help make the world a better place by choosing to act responsibly in their everyday work. 

“Papu is designed with love in Finland - Made with care in the EU”

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: Papu is a young and fast growing children´s wear and lifestyle brand from Finland. 

Positive vibes at Papu comes from the happiness they get from constantly learning and developing ourselves, but also from their warm and encouraging atmosphere –  when the company grows, the people do too!  

PAPU products are praised for their high quality and endurance. They can honestly state that their products will last from the first user to the second and third. The Papu clothes are designed to last and they genuinely grow with the child. Double poppers on baby bodies, sleeves with turn over cuffs and turn-up leggings enable the clothes to be worn longer. 

PAPU is a design brand, but will never put design ahead of usability and comfort. They take pride in making sure that children feel comfortable in their clothes. That is also because they believe the most eco-friendly choice is a product that is being used.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU:

Papu SS16 collection tells a story of a children’s party. Where is my treasure is a tribute to little adventurers and treasure hunters, to their frankness, craziness and adorable ability to let go.

The Kanto tunic has a new interesting hexagon shape and magic pockets and has become one of Papu’s most popular items for mums and daughters.  You will find the dress in seasonal colours and also in print. Papu is part of Nokian Neulomo. Nokian Neulomo was set up to promote responsible textile manufacturing and the clothing industry in Finland. The popular Kanto dress was the first item “Made in Nokia” for Papu.

The long time PAPU favourite and one of the most popular items are the Papu leggings for both children and adults. The leggings are the best quality and distinctive PAPU design and are fun and functional and can be found with knee patches, diagonal stripes, seasonal colours and even golden stitches. This season Papu popcorn and golden sausage print leggings have been a massive hit! 

@papustories

 

SHOP: BURP! BOUTIQUE

Burp! boutique sells fun, quality, ethically produced kids clothes, accessories, books and home decoration. Burp!boutique's blog is also worth a read and contains news from the brand, flash sale codes, ideas of things to do with the kids and designer profiles.

Born from the desire to dress her daughter in cool gender neutral clothes and to find alternatives to the high street Kate founded burp!boutique to cater for individuals. 

Burp!boutique support British made products, up and coming designers and artists, gender neutral-ness and individualism. 

They have so many cool things - check out the graphic print T-shirts  & the fun colourful posters, they are also a great place for presents. Here the founder Kate tells us what we need to know about her shop:

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: burp! boutique

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: Spring 2011

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Me, Kate Hayden-Ellis

WHY WAS IT CREATED: After having had Evie I was aghast at the pinkification on the highstreet and the torpid assumption that people were buying into gender stereotyping. Being a designer I knew there were other alternatives out there and I wanted to make a platform to shout out about cool other, gender neutral, happy brands.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: burp! boutique is full of fun and wants to bring a dash of colour and individuality into your kids lives. We support British made and ethical brands. All in all we are a small team who wish to bring you something different.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: We handpick pieces we love from clothes, soft toys, art and books. We also like working with illustrators to create bespoke posters for us. individual’s Summer collection is gorgeous as are Wild Boys & Girls graphic tshirts.

BRAND: LALA + ZIZO

LaLa + Zizo are a new brand who make very beautiful contemporary but bohemian influenced kids clothes. Inspired by her travels to India and her desire to have a job that worked better with her family life, the founder Vickie followed her dream and left her corporate job to found her brand.

The detailing in Lala & Zizo's clothes is amazing, they specialise in pretty prints, great quality fabrics and beautiful soft embroidery. 

LaLa + Zizo are a sustainable and ethical brand and the clothes are made to last - the type of clothes you want to hand down to future generations. Here is some more information on the brand and how it all came about:

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: Lala + Zizo

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: April 2016

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Vickie El-Rayyes

WHY WAS IT CREATED: To fulfil my dream of being my own boss, escaping the corporate world and to manage my life around my beautiful little ones!

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: I am travel mad and have a deep passion for Indian style and influences. More is best in my opinion in terms of design. Each piece has been poured over endlessly I love prints (we designed ours) and embroideries and wanted to create a collection which isn't disposable fashion. It makes me cry to see the mountains of clothing thrown away and I wanted to make a collection which you would love to pass on to siblings or family. I see each and every piece as a litte treasure.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: My favourite piece is the embroidered vintage dress set, I adore the embroidery and its made of the softest cotton and I think I'm going to have one made in a grown up size!

@mum_of_lalaandzizo

BRAND: POCO NIDO

Poco Nido make fun, happy and colourful kids clothes and shoes. Founded by footwear designer and mother of two, who after she was unable to find any shoes for her children that she loved decide to design her own.

My kids have some Poco Nido short wellies and they are great - super useful, easy for them to slip on and because they are short are easy for them to move around in.

Poco Nido specialise in fun, simple, functional clothes, shoes and accessories that have been made in natural materials. Here is some more information on the brand and what we should buy from them:

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: Poco Nido 

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: August 2011

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Catherine Lobley, a mother of two and footwear designer. 

WHY WAS IT CREATED: Poco Nido’s journey began when Catherine was shopping for shoes for her own children. Tired of the identikit leather pull ons available, Catherine decided to go in search of an alternative. When this alternative was nowhere to be found, she did what any shoe designer would do – she made it herself. And the Mini Shoe was born. Five years later the Poco Nido range has grown to include shoes, garments and accessories, both for babies and children up to the age of 6. 

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: Poco Nido doesn’t buy into conventional or commercial, we like quirky and different.  We don’t follow trends, what you see comes straight out of our heads. Our products are the result of years of overseas travel, countless children’s stories, a love of pattern, symmetry, a hatred of over packaging, a passion for up-cycling and frustration with fastenings.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: For babies you should most certainly buy a pair of our best selling Mini Shoes. They’re available in a whole host of prints, or you can keep it simple with a plain Mini Shoe teamed with our leggings in your favourite print. Our accessories, such as bibs, blankets and bonnets make perfect gifts. We recommend that you mix and match from your favourite items, although gift bundles are available if you love a specific print. 

For toddlers and young children we recommend our wellies. Perfect for splashing in puddles, they’re made from 100% rubber and are ankle height for increased maneuverability and self-dressing. Our Roary the Lion and Flamingo prints are hot for SS16. 

Finally, for children (up to age 6) you can dress them from head to toe in Poco Nido. Mix and match our vests with either leggings or shorts in your favourite prints for those hot summer days we’re hoping for. Even better pair them with our Ludwig the Owl pumps for an enviable burst of colour! 

BRAND: COTTON SPARROW

Cotton Sparrow is a unique, made to order, unisex children's clothing brand. The design led clothes are creative and cool yet simple and comfortable. 

One of the most important things for me when i am choosing clothes for the kids is comfort - i want them to be able to run, jump, play, and feel relaxed in the things they wear. I also like their clothes to be fun and great quality - plus i also love supporting smaller, unusual brands with their craft and talent so it's no surprise i love Cotton Sparrow.

Founded by mother of 2 Kate, Cotton Sparrow's clothes are the kind of clothes that would work well within any kids wardrobe and would be the staples because they are easy, comfortable and great quality.

Here is some more insight into the brand: 

NAME OF BRAND: Cotton Sparrow

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: 2013

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Kate Sloan

WHY IT WAS CREATED: I love fashion and design, creating my own brand was a way to do something that I felt passionate about and allowed me to work around my kids. To be honest even if I was working in an office I'd still be sketching. I don't think I know how to do anything else!

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: It's a unisex brand and I have 2 kids of my own so all the designs get tested. I don't hold stock so every order that's made is hand crafted especially for your child. Although simple looking, it is a design-led brand and each piece could be added to any wardrobe.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: The romper is a favourite but I personally like the tie-up shorts.

BRAND: JUMPING DOG

Joost Vandebrug is a Dutch photographer, video director and documentary film director and founder of kids clothing brand Jumping Dog.

For the past 5 years Joost has been documenting the lives of 'The Lost Boys' a group of children who live in tunnels under Bucharest in Romania. Compelled to help these children improve their situation and lives for the better he has founded the CINCI LEI Project which aims to work together with a group of street kids living in Bucharest to create a centre where they can group together and engage in empowering and health promoting activities, such as BMX biking and skateboarding. 100% of the profits from Jumping Dog are going towards funding this project.

Here is some more information on this amazing brand:

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: Jumping Dog London ltd. 

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: Somewhere in 2014, but trading since 15th of February this year

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Joost Vandebrug

WHY WAS IT CREATED: Jumping Dog was founded with the view that not only will the label create clothes that children want to wear but will help the children who need it.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: Jumping Dog is dedicated to making clothes that children want to put on each morning to take them on an adventure of their creation. The label encourages children who want adventure and excitement in their everyday wear, transforming the most simple of designs into an interactive adventure. Each t-shirt can be changed into an individual art work with each wear, jackets can be made to soar over the horizon in their adventures - each piece is unique to the wearers imagination… 100% of the proceeds from Jumping Dog will fund the Cinci Lei project, helping children in need through each purchase.

The Cinci Lei project is helping a group of kids who live in tunnels underneath the streets of Bucharest. They live in abject poverty and face seemingly insurmountable challenges in their every day lives. Photographer, and founder of Jumping Dog, Joost Vandebrug has intimately and uniquely documented the lives of this group of lost children for over 5 years and set up the ‘CINCI LEI Project’ to help these children change and improve their situation and lives for the better.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: The wing jacket! It is the transformer of jackets with magical side wings, hidden behind secret zippers! Disguised as a sturdy, warm, water resistant hooded jacket- to keep mum happy.’

BRAND: MAINIO

Mainio is a super cool Scandinavian adult and kids clothing brand. Their clothes are made from high quality organic cotton and in a sustainable, environmentally conscious and ethical factory in India.

Their modern, graphic and bold prints are fun and easy to wear. The contemporary cuts of the clothes are comfortable and flattering - and some of the adult tops and dresses would also be suitable if you are pregnant.

Here is some more information on this amazing brand - who FYI have just launched a new collection.

NAME: Mainio

WHEN: The first collection was launched in February 2014

WHO FOUNDED IT: Johanna Vaissi is the managing director and co-founder of Mainio, and Outi Makinen is the head designer

WHY WAS IT FOUNDED: Mainio was born from a desire to make laid-back and up-todate children’s clothes, which both children and their parents like. The brand is adventurous and easily inspired to create interesting, bold items for a stylish little one

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: We are surrounded by inspiration, interesting phenomena, colour combinations, everyday insights and street fashion, which are all taken into account, when creating unusual collections. Adventurous Mainio wearers need to be comfortable, so each collection is easy to maintain and can be worn all year round. Mainio clothing is produced openly and honestly. We only work with factories that we know, and the production is open and traceable. The cotton used is always GOTS certified organic cotton, and 2% of sales are donated to improve the welfare of the immediate community of our Indian factory.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: There are plenty of easy to wear, everyday pieces in the SS16 collection. You can also find matching mum pieces, and organic interior textiles! Co-founder, Johanna Vaissi’s favourite pieces from the SS16 are: Visio Jumpusit and Little Black Dress.

PACKING: KID'S SKI CLOTHES

More from my Packing Series - here are some of the things i'm taking for the kids to ski (play in the snow) in.

I decided to go for an all-in-one ski suits for the kids and to invest in some decent footwear - if they are cold or get snow up their back it won't be fun for anyone.

Here are some of the things we are taking:

18 MONTH OLD GIRL

Burton Snowsuit £120 / Sorell boots £40 / Bang Bang Copenhagen £23 / Molo £43

THREE YEAR OLD

Burton Snowboards £120 / Molo £34.40 (was £43) / John Lewis £5 (were £11) / Sorel Boots £40

I also got them some Zoobug sunglasses - Zoobug is an award winning kids glasses and sunglasses brand that was founded by an eye surgeon. The sunglasses are super comfortable and stay on their heads with special arm hooks and a re guaranteed for 18 months!


PACKING: SKI TRIP - KIDS THERMALS

I am going to do a series of posts on PACKING. I kind of love and hate packing. I love planning outfits but i hate forgetting things. It takes me a long time to pack for holidays, i hate the thought of not bringing the right things and now that i have to pack for my family i am determined to get better at it.

I will be sharing tips and packing ideas for clothes, beauty and kids. Plus i will be getting some advice from packing experts - who could be anyone who has made a packing mistake and learnt from it.

I am currently planning a skiing holiday with my two children - my son who is 3 and half and my daughter who is 18 months old. So in order to get my head around packing for it i thought this'd be a good start, plus if any of you were planning a similar trip you can follow my lead.

One thing that i knew from the start that i am going to take are the kids SmallsSmalls make amazing, top quality merino wool long johns and vests - perfect for cold weather plus they are a product i have tried, tested and love.  See my blog post on them here.

Here, Emma one of the founders gives her advice on packing for a ski trip with kids: 

“Packing for skiing is complicated, but I had managed to get it down to a fine art, allowing for a base-layer set and normal cotton t-shirt for every two days of holiday, plus going out clothes, plus PJs and a couple of fleeces. Since we created Smalls, I'm struggling to pack properly because we don’t NEEEED all the “stuff” that we did before, I now overpack! My kids wear one Smalls base-layer set for the whole week…day and night. 

Now, instead of cotton t-shirts, they just layer the Smalls Tank then a Long on top and the 24hr trousers on the bottom. And, instead of a change every couple of days they just wear the same Smalls all week ... literally all week …. they wear them to ski, for hanging out in the evening and for PJs. We sometimes pop a cool top over them for going out to dinner…its not really necessary though! It seemed quite weird to begin with, but our merino is so soft and snuggly the kids are comfortable and it's naturally antibacterial so never gets smelly. 

We live in a society of needing stuff…things …new all the time and with merino and good quality clothing you just don’t…I mean you really don’t.”


SHOP: THE MODERN NURSERY

The Modern Nursery is a shop full of beautiful things for your child's nursery. Their collection is cool, modern and contemporary and the products have been carefully curated from a variety of global brands and small businesses.

Born from the desire to create a nursery for her daughter that broke the stereotypical typical twee image, Laura the founder of The Modern Nursery was inspired by images and brands on Instagram and by her own personal style to go and source the things she liked.

Here is how it all started and what Laura thinks we should buy from her: 

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: The Modern Nursery

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: Blog launched Sept 2015, Shop followed in November 2015.

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Laura Williams, Mother to Alba. Career in Ecommerce for both Jenny Packham and Burberry.

WHY IT WAS CREATED: I set up The Modern Nursery when I was pregnant with my little girl Alba who is now 6 months old. I really struggled to find contemporary items for her nursery that fitted with my style and me, an ex East London girl with a career in the fashion industry. I had a vision that all nurseries would be modern spaces with beautiful, hand picked, contemporary items but the reality of what the high street offers is very different. I started to follow lots of talented small businesses and “instamums" on social media and loved their imagination, style and beautiful product. I decided to build a site that brought all of those established, and up and coming brands under one roof. A one stop shop to build your modern nursery.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: We are not just another kids shop. We are a social site, we post every day on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and we are expanding our Pinterest, Blog and You Tube channel. Alba is my inspiration and also the face of The Modern Nursery. Together, her and I are living our modern nursery aspirations, and our website is a reflection of us and our family. Every brand we stock we own the items ourselves and we have bought for Alba because we had a specific need for that product. We are all about celebrating Mamas making beautiful things while their babies sleep and we love to support other small businesses.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: Kippins baby comforters, The Milk Collective Milk bottle, Ko-Ko-Ko cloud cushion and our Monochrome play-mat.

BRAND: MAMMA COUTURE

Mamma Couture make stunning toys for boys and girls. Their collection includes ride on enchanted creature heads on a stick, beautiful dolls who's clothes you can change, transition toys with a place to attach a pacifier to, crowns and fun soft vegetable toys.

All of the toys are hand made and sewn with love and care and the attention to detail on them is stunning. The doll's faces are hand painted and every month Mamma Couture releases a new dress pattern for them so if you are feeling creative at home you can make your doll a new outfit.

My daughter has one of these dolls and she loves her - she loves changing her clothes and i know that Rita (the name my daughter has given her) will be around for a long time.

The company was founded by Eva who found that after having her children needed a creative outlet to keep her mind strong and focused. Here is what she'd like us to know about her creations:

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: Mamma Couture

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: Summer 2013

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Eva Berkes

WHY WAS IT CREATED: After the birth of my second child, I suffered of a mild postpartum depression. Mamma Couture was the project that helped me get back to my old self. I love being a mum and I love my children, but in this role I felt trapped and I needed a way to channel my creativity, so I started making dolls and soft toys.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND Mamma Couture wants to promote creative and imaginative play. Each doll is designed to become the companion of wonderful childhood adventures and to carry these memories into adulthood.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: I have a special love for my Miss Lemons, each one is one of a kind and they come with many different outfits, also for the sewing bees out there, every month I release for free a new pattern so that one can make their wardrobe for their Miss Lemon (some of the pattern are so easy that it could be a opportunity to teach a bit sewing to the little one).

The Enchanted Creatures are a collaboration between illustrator Laura Doff and Mamma Couture. I really wanted to make hobby horses for my kids and I thought about this project for quite some time but I never managed to have the right vision for it. Then inspired by Laura Doff's illustrations I finally knew what I wanted. That is how this collaboration really started. Together we decided which animals we wanted to create and a Dragon, Horse and Unicorn seemed to be a good combination. It was important for me that the Enchanted Creatures were part of a story so, my sister in law invented the story that narrated the dream of the horse, who wanted to be a Dragon and thanks to the Moon was then changed into an Unicorn. Laura made some sketches (which were absolutely stunning) and from the sketches I made the pattern, she then finalised the illustration directly on the pattern pieces. Her trait is so fine and delicate yet strong! I love that. The Unicorn is majestic, the Horse is a warrior and the Dragon is fantastic, we both wanted to stay away from the easy cheesy version that can be found in commerce and we wanted to keep them almost monochromatic. 


Instagram: @mammacouture

BRAND: NURSERY NAMES

Nursery Names design bespoke prints for children's (or adult's). Specialising in alphabet cards and designs and personalised illustrated name prints. The name prints can be full customisable and they will even colour match your room, cushions or furniture, the designs are unisex and fun.

Nursery Names was set up by illustrator Emily after she was inspired when creating a name print for her niece to celebrate her birth. She spotted a gap for contemporary, modern, bold and colourful name prints and designs and so decided to launch the company.

Here is some more information from the founder Emily on the brand and their specialities and how it all started:

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: Nursery Names 

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: 2013 (launching at Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Fair at Somerset House)

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: Illustrator & Designer Emily Forgot 

WHY WAS IT CREATED: After creating a name print for my niece 3 years ago and getting lots of subsequent requests from friends and family I saw a viable business to create custom name prints that bucked the trend for twee pastels and had a more contemporary unisex feel. I created the full alphabet and launched the site about 6 months after my first name print was made, I have fond memories of working on that first print late into the night just so i could take it with me to my hospital visit the next day to meet my niece for the first time. I think the adrenaline of becoming an aunty helped : ) I am still adding new letter options to the website as the project grows and develops, often taking on board suggestions for new letters through my customers which is a fun way to engage with them and gives me more motivation to create.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: I am not a mum yet, but hopefully one day ( when I hope i will be) I don’t believe my tastes & style will change, i decided to create something that i would want to hang on my wall and hoped that design concious parents would feel the same way, creating something contemporary with some more unusual/quirky letter options was important to me. I was also keen to create something that had a universal appeal to boys and girls and something that could grow with the child (so nothing too babyish). I hope the prints can easily make the transition from a baby's nursery to a more grown up kids space.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: Our best sellers are the customised name prints especially for new borns, you can even now have a play around at previewing your chosen name through our website on the dedicated PLAY section  (this section works best on a desktop). I always send proofs out to customers before printing custom names and although we have developed a palette that works in unison with all the characters we are happy to play with colours so people have something completely unique should they wish. In the past i have colour matched from a swatches of wallpaper, cushions and books with great results, this service does cost an additional £15 but has proved very popular with parents . We also sell full alphabet prints and flash cards straight off the shelf that make lovely educational gifts for toddlers and beyond.

Instagram @nursery_names

BRAND: MINI MAGPIE

Mini Magpie up-cycles clothes, transforming pre-loved items into fun, practical, colourful and creative kids clothes. It was founded with two objectives in mind:  To help the environment and at the same time clothe children in colourful, quality cashmere and wool.

The uni-sex collections are distinctive and include pom poms, shoulder guards, braces, sequins and patches. All the fabrics are at least 80% natural fiber and everything is hand made in Hackney, London.

Mini Magpie run workshops (for all levels) on how to up-cycle an old jumper or T-shirt into something for your kids. They also take commissions from customer's old jumpers - which could make a great gift.

Mini Magpie is such a fun, refreshing brand, the clothes are practical, bold and exciting - the kind of things that kids might imagine up themselves. They are unique and creative and i am looking forward to watching this colourful brand grow.

Mini Magpie was founded by extremely talented and creative mother of two Kimberly.

NAME OF BRAND/COMPANY: MINI MAGPIE

DATE IT WAS FOUNDED: APRIL 2011

BY WHOM IT WAS FOUNDED: KIMBERLEY GOLDING

WHY WAS IT CREATED: I wanted to dress my child in wool and cashmere and help the environment!

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BRAND: Everything is handmade in London.

WHAT WE SHOULD BUY FROM YOU: 'DIZZY' A super soft cashmere balaclava with a wool pom pom.

Mini Magpie workshops teach you how to make your own up-cycled kids clothes using a domestic sewing machine. Bring along a couple of old jumpers and go away with a hand made mini outfit for your little one. From £20. Total beginners welcome. 

Although mainly focusing on kids clothes i sent my old denim jacket to Mini Magpie to have it customised and it is now the most amazing denim jacket in town - my daughter also has a matching one!

Instagram: @minimagpiekids