the people behind the online stores


The people behind the online stores {part nine}

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Your name and age? Katrine & Eilidh (first picture), we’d rather not divulge our ages…

Shop: Niddle Noddle {kids fashion, toys and a little bit of vintage}

Where do you live? We both live in Crouch End, a charming, leafy area in North London, full of beautiful parks, cafes and children shops. We love the village atmosphere in Crouch End it makes a nice contrast to the hectic centre of London.

What did you do before you started the shop?

Eilidh: I grew up in the beautiful historic city of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital. After graduating from Drama College I packed my bags and headed for London where I worked professionally as an actress for many years, well until around the time my daughter Freya was born (almost 5 years ago). After Freya came along I decided I wanted to do something different. Last minute castings and young children can be extremely difficult and stressful to organise! Problem was, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I wasn’t qualified to do anything else! A chance meeting in a local park with another mum who had a daughter the same age planted the seeds of an idea into my head! The mum was Katrine, a Dane, my husband is from Denmark, so we got chatting and discovered that we shared a real love of children’s design new and old.

Katrine: I originally come from Denmark where I spend most of my childhood in Copenhagen. I was always really interested in design even from a very young age! However my main ambition has always been to have a family so most of my work life has been very sporadic with odd jobs doing everything from working in kindergartens to waitressing. My big move to London happened in 2001 when I was training as a chef at the Danish catering college and made sure my apprenticeship would be in London, where I had already met my then boyfriend (now husband). I managed to work as chef for 2 years but had to stop following an accident on my bicycle (nothing too serious just a badly broken leg that left me unable to do the long hours of standing cheffing requires). After that I worked in retail while I also did a photography course at the London College of Printing which I left with a distinction. Following my studies I dappled in freelance photography for a while until I had Emmie 4 years ago.

And how did you get the idea to open an online shop? Our girl’s would soon be off to school and we realised they wouldn’t be needing us in the same way anymore. So we thought it might be fun to launch our own children’s boutique. We both felt there was a real gap in the market, most of the other children’s boutiques, lovely as they are, all seemed to sell the same things. We wanted to offer something a little more original.

How do you choose the products and/or collections you sell?
The majority of our clothes and accessories are sourced from smaller labels that haven’t yet reached the broader market.
We have carefully selected each item because we think they are very special.
Created by designers and artists (most of them parents themselves) who appreciate how important good quality and design is.
Many of our items are handmade and therefore one-offs. We don’t believe in mass production and have chosen to stock only a few of each item, which adds to their exclusivity.

What is the most fun part of this adventure?
We enjoy almost all of it (except maybe not the accounts!) It’s been a steep learning curve as neither of us have any real kind of business background. But we love this experience especially the kind comments we’ve received about our whole selection which we have worked very hard to source.

What do you think will be the next trend?
We really love Good quality classic knitwear which can be worn all year round!


Darling Clementine incl {the people behind the online stores}

darling clementine
Lindsay is running the very cool eco shop Darling Clementine and above you find a selection of items she sells and below you find some interesting things about her and the shop. I actually invited her to the series I just run “the people behind th eonlne shops” because I thought it is a god fit and always interesting to know a bit more…
Have a look at her shop which is full of really stylish products that are all ECO. YAY!


Your name and age:Lindsay Meyer-Harley 29 Years Old

Where do you live: Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Shop: Darling Clementine

What did you do before you started the shop: I worked in Advertising, worked as a Nanny and was a stay at home Mama to my 2 year old Juliette

And how did you get the idea to open an online shop:
 I always wanted to have a retail space, it started as an eco-chic boutique and naturally progressed to a children’s shop when I had my daughter 2 years ago and has such fun shopping to fill her world up with sweet things.

How do you choose the products and/or collections you sell: Oh this is my favorite part. I scour the internet on places like etsy to find special pieces that will brighten kids lives! I am constantly scouting for darling pieces I just must have. Some of my vendors have been a “someday I’ll sell” for years.

What is the most fun part of this adventure:
 Honestly, making new friends. I love building these relationships with vendors, bloggers and site curators. I want to know my vendors by name, know their story and help build their brand alongside building my own. That is the key to a good business relationship in my opinion.

What do you think will be the next trend: We’ve seen many kids brands follow the adult trend of body conscious clothing (ie the skinny jean). And while it’s darling on kids, I think what’s next is slouchy, comfy clothes. I am collection lots of great items for Spring that are slouchy, soft and very wearable.


The people behind the online stores {part seven}

Your name and age: Daniela/ don’t want to tell :)

Where do you live: I live in Lisbon, Portugal, but I am actually from Vienna, Austria.

shop: Loja dádá  (eco kids fashion)

What did you do before you started the shop:
Before I started the shop, I worked as an IT/web consultant, building websites and so on. In fact, I still do.

And how did you get the idea to open an online shop:
The shop was a project of mine that came to my mind during my maternity leave, from the fact of staying home a lot, and also from my still lasting love for the internet and for all online activity, including online shopping.  Nowadays, my husband helps out at the shop, as it is quite hard to have a regular job and do everything else by myself. This is why my shop is only slowly growing, but new things are on its way.  My shop has just been launched last May, and therefore is still very new. I am improving it right now, I am in the process of translating it, implementing online payment options and promoting it. I am also increasing the number of brands I sell: next summer, I will be able to sell bobo choses, kids case, mini rodini, as well as my favorite la queue du chat,  and some basic collections that I will have available all year around.  Things will not stop there, so look out. With a little help from Peggy (great motivator!), I will even try to do everything quicker than scheduled.

How do you choose the products and/or collections you sell: I chose the collections from browsing the internet, from looking at other shops I find inspiring, from searching and searching and reading and seeing, and well, from places like your blog, Peggy  When I will “get” more time, maybe I will start visiting trade fairs.

The first thing brand I ever chose was La Queue du Chat, I found it while I was pregnant and on vacation in Italy, I saw this lovely shop in Venice and I took a picture of a striped dress with trousers (enclosed).

I am in this picture too, pregnant with a camera in my hand!

What is the most fun part of this adventure:
All of it is fun, but also a lot of hard work.

What do you think will be the next trend: I don’t know! I don’t follow trends so much, I buy the things I like most. And I also try to buy things that are not always easily available at local shops: like nice collections made of organic cotton, black baby clothes, dark baby clothes…(clothes we would like to wear too, as adults)….Colorful baby clothes (as opposed to pink and pale blue) etc.

{Thank you Daniela!}


The people behind the online stores {part six}

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Your name and age: Carl Shaw, 42 (and a half) / Married to Clare and we have three children (3, 6 and 9 years)

Where do you live: Worcester – in the heart of the United Kingdom (famous for Worcestershire Sauce)

Shop: Toyella ( designer children toys)

What did you do before you started the shop: Toyella is our second business. It’s a subsidiary business of Big Room Internet which is a web design company which I still head up.
I was originally trained as a graphic designer and have 25 years experience in the design business.

And how did you get the idea to open an online shop: A combination of my two passions: family and the design business.
Our parent company created e-commerce websites for its customers and we really wanted to create our own e-business – but didn’t know what to trade in.
At home one day I was searching for some Christmas presents for the children and found it difficult to find nice original toys online. Eureka! We’ll sell or own designer toys!

As for the name, my eldest of three children is called….Ella. You get the rest.

How do you choose the products and/or collections you sell: We are very selective and will only choose the best of brands and best in range.
A visit to Nuremberg Toy Fair each February is a fantastic trip. Europe’s biggest and best toy fair. We actively seek out smaller manufacturers there who not currently represented in the UK or Europe…choosing brands that are considered to be too niche by larger wholesalers who are only interested in volume sales.

We like to be the first to bring new products to the UK and champion the best in toy design.

Of course, style blogs such as Paul & Paula are also invaluable resources for worldwide products.
All our products have to be practical, engaging, long life and stylish of course….from the product to the packaging. They have to be nice enough not to want to tidy away!

What is the most fun part of this adventure: The child in me loves the freedom of choosing and retailing toys that we want and like…. but in the knowledge that we’re offering something unique to the market – bringing pleasure to children and parents alike.

What do you think will be the next trend: Parents are getting increasing concerned with the amount of time their children are spending at the computer, Facebook, Wii or TV.
We find it hard to source nice traditional and inventive outdoor toys and games.
I’d like to think more toys will come on the market that utilise ‘fresh air’ and face to face social interaction as the need for traditional play becomes a greater priority for parents.

Advice: Stick to the principles you set out and go with your instinct.

{Thank you Carl!}


The people behind the online stores {part five}

Harriet (with glasses) and Jenny with their lovely children – from front to back in photo:
Esme (3), Edith (3), Freddy (6), Oscar (5) and Otto (1)

Your name and age: Jenny (32) and Harriet (34)

Where do you live: We live in a small market town called Market Drayton in the heart of rural Shropshire in England

Shop: Little Yellow Birds ( products which look fantastic, are great quality and ultimately brighten up yours and your children’s lives)

What did you do before you started the shop
: I was an elite Triathlon coach and Harriet was an Occupational Therapist

And how did you get the idea to open an online shop: As we live rurally and both have young children we tend to use the internet a lot for shopping and inspiration. We found lots of things we loved from far and wide and decided that we should bring them all together under one umbrella. We realised there must be so many people in the same situation as us and decided we could create a “real” shopping experience for those people who no longer get the opportunity to get pleasure from “physical” shopping.

How do you choose the products and/or collections you sell
: Everything we have sourced is stuff that we love ourselves. Quality is of paramount importance to us and we choose things that have a strong design element. We are constantly on the look out for new products and like to choose things which are a little bit different from the mainstream products you find out there. Our signature style is bright and quirky.

What is the most fun part of this adventure: This is a really fun thing to do. We get to shop legitamtely! We love the fact that surfing the internet and browsing the shops and trade fairs is actually part of our work. Of course it’s really hard work too!

What do you think will be the next trend
: As we ourselves have discovered the internet is a massive place and offers so much scope for inspiration. We think that the Scandinavian vibe will continue to feature heavily (repeat patterns, simple lines) but also that as people start to explore a little more they will move away from your every day high street items and start to branch out into to something a bit different.
We also really love the work of artists such as Rob Ryan and James Brown and think/hope their designs and style will be influential.

Little extra story: Harriet and I were very good friends before we became business partners. We have very different personalities but very similar values so we compliment each other well. Prior to starting this venture we looked into a number of other avenues. One of these included designing and making things ourselves. We got our sewing machines out and sourced some lovely fabrics and set about making some hot water bottle covers. They were a disaster. Our stitching was wonky and when we came to turn the first prototype around we realised (I say we, I mean Harriet!) had sewn the applique design on back to front and the wrong way round. Needless to say we decided there were other people out there who were far more talented than us and we should just set about finding them!

{Thank you Jenny and Harriet!}

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