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Nicky Goodman is the founder and owner of Little Icons, a childrenswear agency  based in London, UK. Little Icons represents Finger in the Nose, American Outfitters, Etiquette and Pale Cloud. “Why did you pick up these brands? What products are performing well? How is the UK market at the moment? “. Nicky tells us more about her activity and how it is to be an agent in the kids industry.

When and how did you start the agency? My first sales campaign was January 2010, so for Winter 2011 collections, very pregnant but very happy!
I was a sales director at Four Marketing in London for womenswear and then kidswear from 2006. After 12 happy years there I felt that I need to balance family and work and that working for myself was the best way to do this. Fortunately my experience in kids sales there meant I knew exactly what I wanted to do

Do you have partners? No just myself, I have help in the showroom when I need some

Where are you based? Live and work in London
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Do you cover the whole UK? Yes UK
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Do you have regional/sub-reps? No, most customers are happy to travel to London, I always work around the Bubble show dates to help those who only visit once. Otherwise some clients will order from the sales books and images via e mail. My suppliers provide us with some great tools to be able to do this
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What was the first brand you picked up and why? I was working with Finger in the Nose already. As long as I had them I knew I could make a success of my first season, I absolutely love the brand, the company is strong and very supportive of what I need in the Uk. Without them I may not have been able to get started
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What products are performing well in general? Products that offer a balance of great fashion for kids with durability and quality. Outerwear is always good for me in the winter. In the summer the coloured jeans and animal print t shirts were great sellers in store

How is the UK market at the moment? At the moment it is not easy but individual stories still seem to be upbeat. Accounts that strive for new product, who can educate their own customers and develop a reputation of trust and quality of service are doing fine. Summer is so hard, lack of sunshine and too much rain is a killer. However, all my existing accounts are in the diary for next season and some new ones are popping up every month. It seems to be a great industry for people wanting to create new businesses and work for themselves, it is very inspiring

How is the high end segment performing in the UK? The high end segment is always the last to be affected by recession. Buyers do report that their big spending customers are more cautious than they used to be. I think this is linked not just to money but consumer knowledge of the market. There is so much choice for them now that they are wise to a product that offers value for money, it is not just a logo or a label that they will pay for.

Have you witnessed major changes in the childrenswear industry recently (last decade)? In the UK, yes, I would say that the European way of dressing children is now being embraced here. 10 years ago the big brands dominated childrenswear, labels were still very much sought after – for those who could afford it, for the rest it was the high street. Now we have a great new world of designer collections from unknown designers, producing tasteful exciting products that the children like to wear and the adults like to shop for. Pricewise it offers something below the top end yet well away from the high street commercialism. Liberty kidswear is a prime example of this accepted look in the Uk, British, Belgian, French and Dutch brands all creating an eclectic mix of colour and fashion.

What type of PR actions do you cover? I am the UK contact for all press request for my brands, samples are sent to Junior magazine and independent stylists for newspapers and on line magazines in the Uk

Do you plan to grow/add brands to your assortment? I am not looking to expand unless the right collection comes along. I cater for a certain market and so anything new I offer should be something that my existing clients would want to buy. They would also complement each other rather than compete.

Anything else you would like to add? Its a great business to be in, I enjoy my work so that can’t be bad!

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Pale Cloud Campaign
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