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Interview with writer&editor Jenny Dalton

Jenny Dalton is a UK based freelance writer and editor. While pregnant with her son, she launched an online blog/magazine/store called Little Big  www.littlebigmagazine.com. LBM is a rich platform focusing on good design for children : toys, furniture, art, decor, lifestyle, food, books (check out the special Amazon store; crafty). Recently Jenny  launched  Brand-I, a shopping directory to stop fakes online www.brand-i.org. The creative and well connected journalist tells us more about her activities and the things and places she likes.

 

Speaking about business…

How long have you been in the children’s industry? About four years.

When and how did you start Little Big ? It was in my head during my first pregnancy with my son – now nearly 6. Like many parents that early parenting time is thinking time – it’s such a shock becoming a parent for the first time and realizing all the things you thought would exist don’t.

What brands do you carry in the LBM store? Corraini books, Flensted mobiles, Deuz playmats, Hommu Barcelona wall stickers, and Editions Paumes’ interiors style guides.

How large is thestore? Oh, LittleBig is pretty small! One day I hope to have the time and resources to expand it.

Advice for young entrepreneurs in the children’s industry? Look at colour, innovative materials, and price point.

Advice for retailers? Avoid any more Scandinavian themed stores – there are so many doing great things already – especially the likes of Kidsen. Really, there are so many exciting new markets to explore!



…and about the world and other places…

What would you say about the general economical climate in your country? Precarious. We live in difficult times.

What are your favorite cities in the world and why? I’d love to travel more – I used to for my job on Elle Decoration and to some extent in my work for How To Spend It magazine at the Financial Times. To date, Rome (it’s a party city, so glam); Palermo (surprising, raw); Kathmandu (beautiful people); Marrakech (both bustling and completely serene, depending on where you are).

Have you seen interesting children’s stores that you liked recently? I really like the concept behind UnDueTreStella in Milan – products made with contributions from children themselves. (www.unduetrestellababy.com)

Interesting things to see in your area? If your family likes cars and motor racing the new Brooklands Hotel Surrey is great for a weekend stay – it’s right next to the Brooklands museum which houses one of the old Concordes, and loads of old cars – all on the old Brooklands racetrack, the first purpose built British racetrack. (brooklandshotelsurrey.com)

Your favorite stores? Museum stores. Especially the shop at the Natural History Museum – all those soft animals and gemstones!

 

more about yourself now!

How would you describe your personal style? Used-to-be-stylish-but-now-largely-confused-and-scruffy.

Your perfect Sunday ? Rest! Never happens.

What do you prize most in life? It’s a cliché, but family and thinking time (mutually exclusive?).

What inspires you at the moment? Trying to work with brands to help solve the counterfeiting issue.

 

 

on the cultural side…

Your favorite bedtime reading with the kids? My daughter’s favourite current book is Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood – it’s all about colour. I never tire of the Frog & Toad stories for early readers by Arnold Lobel – so funny!

A movie you recently saw and that stayed with you? The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and the Kite Runner (both about suffering children).

Your favorite movie to watch with the whole family? The kids are a little young to sit and watch a whole movie so far – and I’m not usually into animated films – I find them too long and boring. However I loved Despicable Me with Steve Carrell, and I still don’t think you can beat the beauty of 101 Dalmatians.

The book on your bedside table; what you like about it? Ha, there are so many books on my bedside table – the trouble is finding time to read them! I’ve got Peggy Guggenheim: The Life of an Art Addict; Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals; Bruno Munari’s Design As Art. Haven’t touched any of them for a month or so… Sad. But Peggy Guggenheim is an inspiration; Gerald Durrell’s tale of his childhood in Corfu is so simple and evocative; and I love how seriously Bruno Munari took children’s design in the mid last century.

 

focus on kids and kid’s products…

What’s missing in the current children’s product offer? I still don’t think there’s enough variety in clothing for boys. Too much sportswear and visible logos, which I really dislike.

An online destination, preferably children’s related, that inspire you? poissonrouge.fr – I love the creativity of this gaming site and the fact that it is updated regularly. It’s perfect for pre-readers as it is so intuitive. & I love peeking at The Selby for family interior inspiration. (theselby.com)

Latest item added to your child’s wardrobe? A Fabric Flavours Green Lantern T-shirt for my son – they are really lovely heavy quality jersey: fabricflavours.com. And a Christina Rohde cardigan for my daughter from Custard: custard-online.co.uk

Your favorite website related to children? I love the artwork on laffichemoderne.com, and its online tool that allows you to ‘design’ rooms around that poster – it’s actually a really easy-to-use design tool to give you colour / flooring ideas for kids’ rooms. I adore the selection on kidslovedesign.com, and favourite clothing stores are custard-online.co.uk and www.fluke-kids.co.uk.

 

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Veja, for a better world

 

 

When they hit the market in 2005, Veja shoes got a lot of attention, for they were  the first ecological trainers brand respecting both humans and the environment. Clean design - organic cotton from the Northeast of Brazil – wild Amazonian rubber and ecological leather - workers’ rights are respected : their look and story  had all to seduce. Great news, mini versions of the green shoes, inspired by the adults style, are now making their way to success. 2-10 years old.

Available from September at Elias & Grace, Petit Aime, Marie Chantal, Bonpoint, Galleries Lafayette, Bellerose

 

 

 

 

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What’s up in Argentina? Ask Maru!

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She’s a photographer and she lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her full name is Maria Eugenia Alvarez Colodrero, but you can call her Maru.  Not a mum yet, Maru  has 2 nieces and 1 nephew that she loves sooo much: Serena 1year, Francesca 2 years, Pedro 6 years. She takes pictures for magazines and brands, but she also spends time working on commissions and personal projects. The right person to ask about kid’s fashion in Argentina

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Company profile : douuod

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Brand name : DOUUOD (Doudou, pronounced dwoodwoo) - Country of origin :  Italy

Created in : 2006

Name of the founders : Patrizia Boscherini, Elisabetta Mambelli

Sales points : 5 flagship stores, 200 multibrand stores worldwide – Multibrands includePupi Solari (Milano), Sciuscià (Napoli), San Carlo (Torino)

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Iconic families

 

Thanks to Jenny from cool blog the-little-list for sharing these pictures of singer Serge Gainsbourg and wife Jane Birking. Lou and Charlotte, you made (an still do!) dream many of us!

Currently on display in London (Phillips de Pury; last days) and in New York (Bonni Benrubi Gallery) are the wonderful photos of Linda McCartney. A good occasion to peep at another similar one-of-a-kind family life, with little Kate and Stella this time.

If you can’t see the photos in real life, have a look at the book. Jaw-dropping.


Linda McCartney: Life in Photographs by Annie Leibovitz, Martin Harrison, Alison Castle and Linda McCartney


I am off to Venice Biennale. A little break but I’ll be posting again next week!

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New designers on a very playful mood

Freya Sewell

Jo-Yun Wang

Lucy Bunney

Hannah Niskanen

 

Lots of playful design as well as children’s related year-end projects at the New Designers show in London. Let’s hope the ideas of the young graduates will have an impact on the market.

And let’s wish some of their wonderful products will also be available to buy.

 

 

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Happy 10 years SIRCH!

 

Sirch, the German company of  wooden good is celebrating its 10 years anniversary. New products in the range, the x baby-highchair and x wooden storage box for toys will be presented at Maison & Objet in Paris in September.

www.sirch.de


 

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Sophia, 4 years old – London, UK

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Sessi (Sophia) loves ballet, being creative , adventuring , she is incredibly curious and asks questions about everything. Her mother Carla de Reyes Mezbur is the Co-founder of  Sisters Guild (www.sistersguild.com) blogger (www.sistersguild.blogspot.com) and full time mum to Sessi (Sophia) 4 and Oona 2.

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Pavlov, our new dog

 

Our dream is to have a dog : a Weimaraner, a Pointer, a Labrador, a Comodorre…We like them big, which makes it difficult with our rather urban style – the poor creature wouldn’t be very happy in a flat. One day we might do the big jump to the countryside, so in the meantime we have adopted a new friend : a cardboard puppet by Garudio Studiage that we found at Sarah Supermarket in Selfridges. We love our little Pavlov and…no need to take him to the park. Your children keep asking for a little rabbit or a baby lion? No fight, Garudio has that too.

garudiostudiage.com

 

 

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I shop Caramel

 

Sales everywhere; time for good bargains! My guilty pleasure of the week was a tour at Caramel baby&child.

I love the feel of the stores (clean but generous), the products and brand selection, the visual displays and the touches of vibrant colours.

Addictive!

Caramel baby&child – 291 Brompton Road, South Kensignton - 259 Pavilion Road, Sloane Square - 77 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill

 

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Madeline, 7 years old – Chicago, USA

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Maddie, 7 and her brother Simon, 4  live in Chicago, IL. Maddie loves to perform in front of a crowd, wear beautiful ballet costumes and pose for photos. Alyson is a designer and developer of kids books and printed matter in Chicago, IL. She started her own press this year called Grow Books press.

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Quick preview on Christmas 2011 (that early?!)

 

 

Lovely puzzle – a quick preview on one of the wonderful toys that will be available for Christmas  2011 at Nature&Decouvertes

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