Down With The Kids
In our quest to make Best of Britannia the UK’s biggest pop-up Department Store the BoB team have individually and collectively occasionally been accused by our own offspring of perhaps being neglectful in our championing of the child-friendly product-range at BoB.
Not that our children would mind the opportunity to take a spin in a Ginetta sports-car or a nautical trip courtesy of Fletcher Boats and not that they haven’t all been very supportive (one to the degree that she knitted hats and gloves for a year and took a very tiny space to sell her wares at BoB 2013)…. but to show that we’ve been listening we have a special little announcement.
Being welcomed at BoB in 2014 are the very appropriately named The Little Shoe Maker (we at Best of Britannia like a brand that “does what it say’s on the tin”) whose brand is the brainchild of Kevin Rowley & specializes in bespoke & hand-made shoes for babies & toddlers. Trained in both the footwear industry and as an artist, Rowley’s experience spans over twenty years and came about through him not being able to find any suitable British made footwear brands after the birth of his daughter Momoko.
The shoes are truly unique, everything you see, everything you feel, all the stitching, the cutting, the moulding, & even the designs are all created by Kevin at his studio. None of these shoes have been near a production line, not even another pair of hands. The emphasis is to recapture those lost techniques and styles that are being edged out by the onslaught of mass-produced cheap imported products. thelittleshoemaker.org
Joining them are the wonderful Vevian whose baby & toddler shoes are both sourced and made in England. They too use traditional shoe making techniques that ensures they are not only of high quality, but also safe and comfortable for those precious little feet. Each pair comes in a wooden box lined with beautiful fabric, so once they have been worn they remain a unique and very personal keepsake – a reminder of a special moment in a child’s life and something to be treasured forever. These shoes make a wonderful piece of memorabilia for any parent and, as such, the perfect gift. vevian.co.uk
Keeping the little ones (and big ones) feet warm through a British summer are Celtic & Co who offer Kids-wear within their extensive range of footwear, clothing, outerwear and accessories made exclusively from the finest, all-natural fibres. Based in Cornwall, Celtic & Co was founded more than 20 years ago by husband and wife team Nick and Kath Whitworth, and is now one of the UK’s largest dedicated retailers of luxury sheepskin products. They currently operate through UK and US websites, mail order and a handful of small boutiques. Celtic’s iconic sheepskin boots and slippers are true originals and are still handcrafted in their factory in Newquay celticandco.co.uk
Happily and newly signed up to BoB are Imminkkids who bring the countryside into the cities with their range of colourful and practical organic cotton clothing. Their inspirations are the children they share their lives with and they countryside they live in with each piece of Immink baby and childrens wear being a hand me down in waiting, carefully constructed to last through a whole family’s needs. To be loved and worn and loved again. They have carefully selected fabrics to wash and wear well, and which age beautifully, adding character to each and every garment. The seasons come and go but Immink baby clothes work across the year layered up and down whatever the weather.
Imminkkids live and work in a way that impacts on the environment as little as possible. So they use organic cotton for their jersey and keep their products air miles down by knitting and dying the cloth in the UK. If they could grow cotton here they would and although they are in sunny Norfolk the climate is not quite right for cotton growth! Imminkkids Made in Norfolk, England imminkkids.com
If your children (as ours do) have a tendency to behave slightly wackily from time to time then you need look no further to redecorate their bedroom than to select the Mad World wallpaper print from Brennan and Burch. Brennan & Burch is a luxury interiors brand where Lisa Brennan’s fantastical, colourful illustrations and hand-drawn characters decorate cushions, wallpapers, footstools, throws and rugs. Her strong and thought provoking style is timeless, recognisable and unites everything Brennan & Burch creates. Brennan & Burch co-founders Lisa & Majida have been friends since the 1980s when they met at school in Camden Town and were heavily influenced by street style, rockabillies, punk, casuals and acid house. They started their independent fashion brand specialising in limited edition streetwear in 2000 to celebrate popular culture. After 10 years of selling worldwide in stores such as La Foret Harajuku, Selfridges and Topshop, they have turned their effort to the home and branched out into interiors where clients include Bouf, Hotel Pelirocco and Paul Smith. www.brennan-and-burch.co.uk
And to light up their little lives we’re delighted to welcome White Rabbit England which was established in 2001 and was the brain child of sisters Charlotte and Victoria who set out to recreate the magical lamps they loved as children. They loved white rabbits and had a pet white rabbit called Harvey.
“So White Rabbit was a perfect name for the business and we always say ‘white rabbits’ to each other on the first of the month for good luck too!”
As little girls in the 1970’s, Victoria and her sister Charlotte slept with an enchanting pottery toadstool light beside their beds. Hand painted in earthenware and decorated with dancing elves and fairies, it was the magical centrepiece of their bedside table, filling their bedroom with a gentle, reassuring light. Some years ago, now grown up, married and with young children of their own, the sisters set out to find a replacement for the light they had known and loved as children. When they couldn’t find anything suitable, they resolved to make their own. But not just for themselves; for children all over the world. And so White Rabbit England was born.
“We are passionate about design, British manufacturing and mostly our customers, who from birth upwards will treasure and grow old loving our products so that the next generation can too.”whiterabbitengland.com