During our Christmas visit to Denmark I took the time to go and have a look at some Children’s Shops over there. I found this lovely one on Fyn. It was interesting to see the different ways they displayed items. I love how they have managed to use all the space so effectively. Unsurprisingly they stock lots of the same Danish brands that we do.
A traditional Scandinavian advent calendar has small wrapped presents which have been personally wrapped by the Christmas Nisse (aka mother!) ready for the 1st of December. For each day there is a present to open leading up to the 24th December. (In Scandinavia we celebrate Christmas on the 24th).
Presents can be bought that mean something to the child/children such as something they are collecting or it could be as simple as Christmas chocolate and sweets. Another idea is to break apart a set and wrap pieces up for each day. The year before last we purchased a Lego Advent Calendar and used the pieces from this. Last year we bought a set of moshi monsters so the kids opened one each week day and then Christmas Chocolates at the weekend.
This is a lovely Christmas tradition that the kids look forward to each year. The excitement of opening a little present each day is magical. There are many different versions of the advent calendar that can be purchased. Our favourite is the Maileg Pixie Calendar, which has pockets and rings for each day in December for you to attach presents for each day to. A new version is created each year by Maileg. These Pixie’s are an investment, something to keep in the family for many years. Even when the kids are older they are a beautiful decorative item to bring out at Christmas time. These are the 2013 versions:
Bohemian and romantic, Danish Aya Naya was one of our best selling girls clothes brands from last winter. This winter they are proving to be just as popular. Their style appeals to both the parent and the child as they design clothes which are stylish and a bit more grown up looking which the girls like, but without being provocative which the mums like. On many occasion we have also been asked if Aya Naya design ladies clothes as the Mums would like some of the items for themselves!
A typical winter Aya Naya design isn’t tight, is made from fabrics which are soft, comfortable and floaty, and uses muted colours such as grey, brown and navy. Many mothers are telling us their daughters of five and above don’t want to wear the cute young looking clothes that they still want to buy for them but that they find it hard to find clothes which aren’t more suited to teens. This gap in the market seems to be being fulfilled by Aya Naya. Parents love Aya Naya because their girls love it and it maintains the innocence of children.
A bit late on this post as Top Drawer Gift Exhibition was a few weeks ago… I visited Top Drawer at Olympia in London to look for new unusual things to sell in my children’s shop. My first thought as I walked in was wow, thank goodness I don’t have a general gift shop, there is so much to see! It all looked beautiful. I walked past so many stands desperately trying to hold myself back from looking too closely as I sought out JUST the things that were for children! I found the visit very nostalgic too, bringing back memories of a childhood spent going to Top Drawer every year with my parents who exhibited Danish mobiles!
Wow what a day we had at our Macmillan Coffee Morning at Holme Grange Craft Village last Friday!
We had various stall holders all donating 10% of their takings to Macmillan, a raffle with prizes donated by the shops and the stall holders, cakes made by the shops for people to take and donate. Most importantly the weather was amazing, the sun was shining and lots of people came and made nearly £400 for Macmillan!
Our shop and our website are now filled with lots of beautiful Autumn Winter Kids Clothes. There are lots of corals & greys from one of our most popular brands from last winter, Danish Aya Naya. Aya Naya design girls clothes which are stylish but also practical, with elasticated necklines and arms & soft and comfortable fabrics. Already in the first week of having the clothes in the shop it is yet again proving to be popular.
We then have greys and reds/corals from Little Duckling whose designer brings a mix of Scandinavian & British influences together. The designs are more classic in look but again with a practical comfortable fit to them.
Frugi and Kitekids are both colourful, fun and organic practical kids clothes. Both are British designed, family owned businesses. Frugi is a new brand for us, we are in our second season with them, following a successful first one. Kitekids are one of our original favourites!
We did our usual walk to the end of our road to see the Scarecrows the residents have put out to entertain the traffic heading to Royal Ascot. It has become a bit of a tradition every year with all the residents going to such great effort to make all the fantastic scarecrows and collect money from people on their way to the races for various local charities. My girls, along with lots of other locals love to go and have a look at the creations. The residents did a great job yet again this year with some fantastic creations. Gave me lots of ideas for the scarecrow I will be creating for the summer holidays here at Holme Grange Craft Village, where my shop is! Apparently last year they had scarecrows representing each shop lining the driveway and we are doing it again this year!
This is Bubble London June 2013, the children’s clothes exhibition I go to twice a year to view stock for forthcoming seasons. It took me a whole day to see all our current brands and their exciting collections for SS14 and see if there were any new and exciting brands for Raspberry Red! Manic but so much fun!
These are the industries predictions for SS14
We are in love with these new rattles from Maileg! A pirate themed set with pirate ship and a fairytale set in a castle. There’s a pirate, captain and mermaid and a soft pirate ship. A prince, princess and dragon and soft castle.
For our Maileg bunnies and mice there is this cute red wooden pram.
As for these adorable baby mice in matchboxes, say no more! Oh and their dummies are little heart buttons :)
Our shop is located at Holme Grange Craft Village just outside Wokingham in Berkshire (RG40 3AW) in the UK.
It is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Holme Grange is a delightful village with 20 independent businesses ranging from shops selling jewellery, crafts, kitchenware, home interiors, Italian delicacies and creative activities such as pottery painting, garment printing, painting courses and pasta classes and services such as Acupuncture and Bathroom design. There is also a lovely cafe with indoor and outdoor courtyard seating and free parking. It’s a great day out for adults and children!