We met Anca Huizenga in the alleys of Dot to Dot London, where she’s browsing the collections for her freshly opened children’s e-store Pluk&Paloma. A few weeks later, we are in touch again to learn more about her store and to get fresh comments about what she found at the shows.
When did you start Pluk&Paloma?
I officially started the business in October 2016. After 4 months of work & selecting brands to carry, the site opened on February 10, 2017, so it’s all very new & exciting!
Is that just you or do you have a business partner?
I’m doing it alone for right now. If the business grows quickly I will hire an intern or staff member. And there’s always my dog, Pluk, after whom the shop was named! Sadly, she’s not very good at packing & buying. She just likes to chase her tennis ball around the office. I’m open to possible collaborations.
How did the idea come to you and what were you doing before that?
I had just gotten my degree in English Language & Culture from the University of Leiden and was figuring out my next step. A friend of mine was pregnant last summer and she pointed me to an online shop for baby clothes that was for sale. That site was sold quickly, but if I’d bought it I would have changed everything. So I decided to start from scratch and do everything exactly how I wanted it. I love clothing, design, interior styling & kids, so this seemed like a perfect fit for me. So far it’s the greatest job ever!
Where are you based?
I live in The Hague, the Netherlands, but my apartment is too small to keep the inventory at home. So I have an office space in Leidschendam, 20 minutes away, where I keep my inventory and pack the orders.
How many brands do you carry?
At the moment I carry around 36 brands. I’m looking to switch out some of the Korean brands for some smaller and more responsible European, American & Australian brands. My idea for the shop is to stock beautifully made, lesser known, brands (Otti, Jax & Hedley, Wild Hearts Wonder, Ministitches, Ahoy Amigo, Childhoods Clothing), in combination with a few higher end showstoppers, such as MarMar Copenhagen, Maileg, GRO, Sways & Repose.Ams. On my wishlist are Donsje, Little Unicorn, Pehr & Fiona Walker.
What shows did you visit and what are the 3 brands you had a crush on?
I visited Market at kleine fabriek, Dot to Dot, CIFF Kids & ShowUp. I was supposed to go to Playtime Paris, as well, but sadly had to cancel due to the launch of the website and the amount of work that still had to be done. This was my first time visiting the shows, so it was all very new to me. I loved so many of the brands I saw, it’s hard to pick just 3 favorites! At Dot to Dot my favorites were Jax & Hedley (the quality of the fabric is amazing & the designs are so stylish) & Wild Hearts Wonder. I think WHW’s wallpapers are going to be a big hit in the rich neighborhoods of Amsterdam. Also, Otti is so special and Lotte is such a nice girl. I talked with Owl & Dog Playbooks about a possible collaboration to do the books in Dutch, so that would be amazing. At CIFF I placed an order with Bonheur du Jour Paris for AW17, their clothes are so romantic and feminine, but with a cool kick.
Did you find everything you wanted or do you thing there are articles missing on the market? If so in which category and what?
I find it difficult to find good & stylish things for boys. Some brands like Jax & Hedley do great gender-neutral stuff. I loved Nixnut at kleine fabriek. They make beautiful basics for the littlest ones, especially boys. They’re really valuable in a market geared towards girls. I’m still looking for some great mocs & shoes, I’m hoping for a deal with Donsje Amsterdam and later on with Angulus.
A selection from Pluk&Paloma
Gamcha Felt Balls, 20€
Gamcha Bowling Set, 32€
Marta Abad Blay Print, 40€
Organic muslin cloth, Cam Cam Copenhagen, 6€