friday focus – Retro Kids

I always thought that I was a pretty savvy shopper. Not in a financial sense, more in a ‘oh, if you need THAT, then you’ll need to go HERE’ sense. Kind of also like my sister, who is a designer – as soon as she saw a long lens fuzzy paparazzi picture of Kim Kardashian’s wedding dress, she IMMEDIATELY went “oh, that’s Givenchy.” And she was right (and that’s why she’s bloody great at what she does).

So I *thought* I was good at knowing where to go for stuff, until I started blogging. I did the whole linking-up-with-other-social-media type stuff (yep, we’re on Facebook, Twitter AND Instagram, if it’s not enough for you to read me here!).  As soon as I did, I came across SO MANY brands, designers, and online shops which made me realise, I was just a mere NOVICE. A veritable AMATEUR. I hadn’t even got STARTED! As I’ve mentioned on here, my sister is currently pregnant, and she has now asked me to stop texting and emailing her links to the new websites and designers I am coming across, as she is desperately trying to SAVE money before the baby gets here, and apparently, I am not helping.

I have so many new favourite brands that I will definitely be blogging about in the future, but I wanted to feature this online shop sooner rather than later as there was Not A Single Item on this site I wouldn’t buy. This is a bit of a problem, as I’m a stay at home mum with a bit of a small budget when it comes to ‘stuff I want but don’t really need’. (Yes, yes, I know that I could turn around and say to my darling husband “oh but I NEEEEEEEEDED it” but he would quite rightly suggest that petrol, food, and oh, the mortgage are things we NEEEEEEEEED to use our money for….)

Retro Kids is run by Joanne, who has 2 young girls, who are probably the best dressed kids in their nursery or school room. From the ABOUT page on her site, she says she has a love affair with retro design, is influenced by scandinavian design, and the 50s, 60s and 70s. She places a huge emphasis on ethically produced items, and supports British designers and businesses. She stocks Småfolk and Maxomorra, which are two of my most favourite brands, and just to up her cred count with me, I don’t think she likes character clothes either 😉

I contacted Joanne to warn her about my gushy gushy post about her very cool shop, and she very kindly offered to answer a few questions for me:

littlekidstyle: what inspired you to start retro kids?
Retro Kids: I wanted to work for myself and try to create that work-life balance us parents all crave. I am yet to achieve this! I have a genuine love of retro design and wanted to create a fun kids store specialising solely on retro style, something I could not see out there on the market amongst the same abundant kids ‘concept and eclectic’ stores which appear to focus on the contemporary and minimalistic ‘yummy mummy’ parent. I also wanted to stock design led items, and make these accessible to everyone.
LKS: What did you do beforehand?
RK: I worked within the criminal justice system in a very demanding role and when compulsory redundancy was announced I grabbed it with both hands and I decided I wanted to try something entirely different.
LKS: how did you go about choosing the particular brands that you stock?
RK: Some of the brands I have known for a few years and others I came across in blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, magazines and internet browsing.
LKS: Had you bought them for your own kids previously?
RK: I really wanted to have the brands KATVIG, 4funkyflavours and AlbaBabY on board, as I felt their quality was outstanding having previously bought outfits for Erin, I can speak from personal experience that these outfits are still like new for Florence – testament to their quality. It’s false economy I feel to buy cheap clothes that only lose their colour and shape very quickly.
LKS: what makes your store stand out?
RK: I like to think my store screams colour and the products complement each other. Personally, I feel there are too many of the same kiddie ‘concept’ stores and those in monochrome. I specialise in retro style so if that’s your thing, you know where to shop! I also hope people find it easy to navigate and hurdle free to checkout, I know it frustrates me when you have to enter all your personal details just to even find out the grand total with shipping rates – designed on purpose to get that all important email address. People are often surprised to hear that we have only been trading for 5 months and that ‘we’ is actually just little ole me wearing each hat running the business; you are guaranteed to get that personal touch from me, I feel you only get from an independent store.
LKS: if you had (only) £50 to spend in your own store, which items would you buy?
RK: This is a very difficult question as I genuinely love in equal measure all the products I stock. For clothes, I have a soft spot for the AlbaBaby Baggy Crawlers but the 4funkyflavours range exuberates funky retro cool and with our range you are spoilt for choice. For toys, the illustrations of Ingela P Arrhenius are beautiful and I love the Lapin & Me Woodland Dolls…Actually, I’m not sure I would be able to choose as I have too many favourites, can I opt for a store voucher instead please to give me more time to browse and whittle down my wish list? (both of which we have as online features!)
LKS: what was your most loved/hated childhood outfit?
RK: My most hated outfit was a handmade knitted jumper with my name on the front – oh and slippers made from a bathroom mat!

MMM, those slippers sound something SPECIAL. Joanne’s site is FULL of just totally awesome stuff (no bathroom mat slippers, either). I’ve had serious difficulties in pulling together an edit of the site – take a look here:

littlekidstyle loves... retro kids for girls


littlekidstyle loves... retro kids for boys and babies


littlekidstyle loves... retro kids interiors


Isn’t just everything SUPER cool? I love the AlbaBabY baggy dungies that Joanne mentioned, they are perfect for a day at nursery running about! And the navy coat, orange patterned top and orange trousers would look awesome on Mr Fox. I have to admit that we already have the pink pull along cat, too 🙂

I’m aware that this post *is* a bit gushy-gushy. You probably think I’m angling for a massive fucking discount or free stuff. Well, you’d not be wrong (hey, a girl’s gotta try her luck!) but actually, when you see something that you truly love at first sight, you just want to tell people. The first time I visited her site, I tweeted about it immediately, such was my excitement.

And actually, Joanne saw RIGHT through me, but as she is as fab as her site, she has offered all littlekidstyle readers an exclusive 20% discount code! If you enter the code “LITTLEKIDSTYLE20” between Friday 26th September 14 and Tuesday 30th September 14, you will get a very generous 20% off all non-sale clothing items! How freaking cool is that?!?

I don’t know about you, but I’m now off to add all the above items onto Otis’ Christmas list, and also onto Coco’s birthday and Christmas lists. See, they DO need stuff after all 😉

Have an awesome weekend – be sure to comment below or on Facebook, or tweet me @littlekidstyle to let me know what you’ve bought with your 20% off code!

Lucy x


ETA 27.9.14 – I’m an idiot and didn’t put that the code is only available for use on non-sale *clothing*.

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