21jolly things for an awesome start into 2021!

paul paula blog 2021

Hi everyone. Now, I hope you are doing great. After the little bummer of being in lockdown over the holidays we just got the news that schools will not re-open next week either. It does not come as a huge surprise but resilience is written in B I G letters over my head now.

The days are short, cold and my motivation for another round of home schooling is more than low. I admit!

Still being positive and seeing the situation as a ‘it is what it is’ kind of thing I can feel my limits a bit more clear these days too.

So wherever you are, I really hope that you are ok and walking around with your chin up. I am sending you a virtual hug because we all need one.

Please enjoy some things, reads and finds to get into 2021 with a little skip… or tow:

wooden rainbow montessori
Great shop with wonderful Montessori toys that may make homeschooling a tiny bit easier!

10 Family-Friendly Things You Can Do at Home This Winter That Don’t Involve a Screen. Dwell.

 

fish stuffed animal handmade
Unique and very cute soft friends*!

The best things for ourselves and our families that made an unbelievably weird year just a little more manageable.

 

star moon coffee mug
Beautiful ceramics and I basically want them all. New year, new tea mug… :)

2020 celeb scandals.

 

oversize cashmere scarf
Spoil yourself ladies! With these luxury knitted items. Because home office means comfort and we want it chic.

I will join this ‘Ready to Crush’ 21 days challenge starting next Monday. You too?

 

linen tablecloth
I cannot even remember when I put a proper tablecloth on. But this year I bought one to make the holidays a tiny bit more festive. And I have to say – it is so lovely and make a great difference when it comes to atmosphere.
Meaning: I will get one for Spring too because the one I got fits more with the Christmas Mood.
My eyes are on those because nothing can beat linen*!

The simple knitted ensemble in subtle colours is T H E thing for adults right now. This is the perfect baby version*!

 

vegan aubergine cauliflower lentil harissa
I love herbs and spices and made this delicious vegan recipe recently. With lots of harissa!

How was 2020 for Chloe and Darshana? Read their interviews…

 

soor plom-velour-corduroy-overalls
New Soor Plom* collection available.

I am a huge fan of Ren Skincare and this is one of my favourite cleansers.

 

RAINBOW-VASE DIY
Great DIY. A paper mache rainbow vase.

It is cold outside baby. And this cream* will help to keep your skin in check.

 

ceramic palette and brush rest bunny
For the little artist: Bunny palette and brush rest* in ceramic!

OMG. This minty lip balm* is the best!

 

playroom mural sun
Very cool mural, all DIY and rather easy to copy!

2021 will definitely be the year of sneakers. (again)
What else would you wear with your comfort chic ensembles???
And these never go out of style…

 

lorna murray
These beautiful (sun) hats* are now available in Europe as well! Adult sizes are available as well.

 

Happy 2021 everyone!!! Lots of love, health, and resilience…

 

*affiliate links
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How I grew in 2020 with Darshana Salvisberg

Darshana Salvisberg
In the second part of this mew series I am talking to Darshana Salvisberg. Darshana is the founder of Atelier ParsMei. An eco-friendly, boutique feeling children’s brand that dresses mums as well.

A brand that offers convertible, classic contemporary design. The label is very conscious when it comes to their sustainable footprint and ensures that every aspect of production is transparent – respecting both the planet and its inhabitants.

I had the pleasure to meet Darshana in Florence during Pitti Bimbo twice and I am so happy to catch up with her here today. And hopefully in person very soon again too. She is a truly inspiring person that brings a lot of passion with her.

Let’s hear how she did over the last months:

Paul & Paula: How did 2020 start for you? And what were your original business plans for this year?
Darshana: The beginning of 2020 was already hectic for us as a family as we moved back to Switzerland from Dubai. The exciting part was the launch of Atelier Parsmei’s first ever Spring Summer 2020 collection online. The not so exciting part was the decision for my husband and I to separate. Followed by news of a pandemic taking over the world, and the ensuing lockdown as a shock for everybody.

And then it was March! How has your business been affected by the coronavirus?
We saw closure of small boutiques, cancellation of orders, cancellations of the 2 largest children’s wear trade expositions. Due to the lockdown and Covid-19 cases, we experienced huge delays with our factories. Both with respect to the development of our Spring Summer 2021 collection as well as the production of Autumn Winter 2020 collection and the delays continuing to date.

And is your business model resilient enough to recover from the impact of a crisis and manage potential crises in the future? Meaning, have you been able to lay the groundwork for recovery or are you still ‘just’ reacting?
The good thing about us being a sustainable brand is that we do not produce big quantities. We do not like to hold stock, which meant that with a small production, we were on the safe side as we did not take a big financial risk. We also had the flexibility to manage production volume which helped us deal with changes in wholesale orders.
As a new brand, we were, however, not able to attend the kids wear fairs Playtime Paris and Pitti Bimbo. And for us, they are great platforms to make our brand aware to the global buyers.
That said, we do not see the fairs happening anytime this Winter, therefore our challenge remains the ability for us to present our products to our buyers virtually.

I am sure the pandemic is a big learning curve for all of us. What was the biggest take away for you as a business owner so far?
I think that as a new start up, we have to adapt very fast to changes and also accept that things can happen in a different order than the one we have in our mind.

How do you do to stay optimistic?
Absolutely. Sometimes when we are in a dark phase, we think that we have been buried. But actually we have just been planted.

And what is the hardest part of this pandemic for you?
Restrictions with respect to how we live our lives. It has been hard to accept a reduced level of freedom in many aspects. And especially the inability to see people we love due to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements. Powerlessness vis a vis the viral ravage.

What kind of business opportunities happened over the last months?
We were so happy that Playtime offered their online showroom service. Despite the cancellation of the fairs, we had a number of buyers from around the world showing interest in Atelier Parsmei and contacting us. We have also started working with a sales agent in China and we are very optimistic about Atelier Parsmei’s future.

Has your relation with your local community changed since March?
Not really.

What is the feedback from your clients/ customers?
Our clients like our niche products, the quality we offer and the stories behind each of our collections. They are excited to see how we evolve as a brand.

Last question: What is the first thing that comes into your mind when I say ‘2021’?
New beginnings!

Thank you Darshana, wishing you all the best of luck in 2021.

 

Read the interview with Chloe Bowers

Photo: Darshana Salvisberg private
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How I grew in 2020 with Chloe Bowers

chloe bowers

Every now and then I am missing the blog series that I used to do. Interviews with inspiring people, breakfasts from around the world or sharing favourite children’s books from people in the kids industry.

And then I generally miss the sharing and supporting part of what blogging used to be in the very beginning. Therefore I decided to invite some lovely women to share their 2020 story.

Since it has been a very different year to what everyone had in mind, it changed and challenged us. And especially when running our own company. What were the main pain points and what did we learn over the last months…

My first guest is the delightful Chloe who runs her own PR agency and lives very close to me here in West London. Her clients include the gorgeous Little Cotton Clothes amongst others.

Lets see how 2020 went for Chloe so far, her learnings and wishes for the next year:

P&P:How did 2020 start for you? And what were your original business plans for this year?
Chloe: 2020 started with alot of excitement, I was looking forward to focusing more on my business and being able to take on some new clients. With my youngest daughter due to start full time at school in March, I was excited to have more time and freedom. Then lockdown happened, no school, no nursery – hello homeschooling!

And is your business model resilient enough to recover from the impact of a crisis and manage potential crises in the future? Meaning, have you been able to lay the groundwork for recovery or are you still ‘just’ reacting?
Being a consultant I can be flexible with the business. So thankfully I was able to continue as normal work wise but having to think a bit more outside of the box.

I am sure the pandemic is a big learning curve for all of us. What was the biggest take away for you as a business owner so far?
The brands that I represent have a really strong online presence so it was even more important for me to really shout about it during this year. They have great collections and incredibly strong imagery which was key during this time. With editors and stylists not being able to shoot any of their own stories during the long lockdown so many press were relying on brand imagery. This is something I would now always recommend to brands – that you can never have enough strong images.

What do you do to stay optimistic?
Plan things to look forward to within a short time-frame so it’s never far out of reach. Try to see things through the eyes of my children.

And what is the hardest part of this pandemic for you?
Losing the ‘normal’ of everyday life.

What kind of business opportunities happened over the last months?
I have continued to secure some really great coverage for the brands that I represent.
It’s been trickier to build new business relationships this year. Because I am not able to go out and meet people, but it’s been a good time to look forward, research and make plans for the future.

Has your relation with your local community changed since March?
I value all the independent stores, cafes and restaurants more than ever.

What is the feedback from your clients/ customers?
This year has been so different for everyone but the common thread is businesses and brands have had to react quickly. And work in new ways which perhaps they didn’t think were possible before.

Last question: What is the first thing that comes into your mind when I say ‘2021’?
Hope and excitement.
I want to celebrate so many missed birthdays and special occasions with family and friends, hug each other and have a good dance.

Thank you very much Chloe. Wishing you a dashing 2021!

 

Image: Chloe Bowers private
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Modern embroidery for a cosy Christmas decor!

Modern embroidery

Yesterday I stumbled upon this cute Etsy shop that has some delightful and sweet embroidery kits. And just perfect to add to your Christmas decor. Or to put under the tree for someone you love.

Chloe designs* modern embroidery kits that are design led and really simple to make. And the colourful, positive messages will brighten up your home immediately. So, get your craft on with these fun, colourful craft kits. They are simple, stylish and great for beginners and makers with alike.

Chloe lives in Loughborough, UK and works out of a beautiful former textile factory, which is gradually transforming into a light bright studio space. She designs and makes all of the products there and sends them out to you with love!

Deck the halls with these sweet embroidery kits…

Modern embroidery
Isn’t he cute, this little embroidered Christmas Tree*?

 

Modern embroidery
Loving this Christmas Tree Wall Hanging* as well. And then you can release your creativity and add pom poms, sequins, or even iron on patches…

 

Modern embroidery

Modern embroidery

Modern embroidery

Modern embroidery

These little hoops would even make a lovely tree decoration. What do you think? Hearts* or Ho Ho Ho*? Which one will you choose?

Altogether the kits are for those who are overwhelmed by the traditional crafting world but who still want to have a go at something creative! And therefore make a great gift for someone that needs a little colour and creative down time…

 

And if you enjoy embroidery, what about hoop art or these dreamy accessories?

 

*affiliate link
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One eclectic children’s room with a vintage touch

eclectic children's room

A proper Interior Tuesday today and I have one eclectic kids room to show to you. And when the owner also runs a Vintage & Antique shop, you know you will be in for a treat.

This beautiful house is situated here in London and has a detail to be discovered in every corner. A cool velvet and hot pink sofa, a Moroccan tiled feature wall, or a deep copper and white enameled bath in the master suite.

Getting curious? I bet you do!

And the rooms of Madeline and Tippi Rose are just equally stunning and intriguing. For myself, I wish I could go for a flea market stroll tomorrow.

Modern wallpaper, vintage armoires, quirky accessories and lots of animal friends:

eclectic children's room

eclectic children's room

eclectic children's room

eclectic children's room

eclectic children's room
Oh, how much I love these lamps!

 

eclectic children's room
What do you think about this mix? A little bit girl, slightly boho, definitely fun and a whole lot of sweet. Rooms to dream, to play and to talk with your sister until late at night and you cannot keep your eyes open any longer.

 

More London family places:

Via Priceless Magazine
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