Following your dreams takes courage, right? And guts, and hard work. And quite often a large injection of cash, but we’ll have to gloss over that, as so far we haven’t met a wealthy yet dim person willing to hand over a massive amount of money, and although several fifty pence pieces have recently turned up down the back of our sofa (lucky, hey? Because usually you only ever get coppers from the Bank of Sofa-) we’re not going to be troubling the Times Rich List any time soon. But what we are rich in is ideas. Loads of them, all tumbling over each other, keeping us awake at night, scribbling furiously on random bits of paper. (Interestingly, no matter how many notebooks I buy, which is a lot, because I love notebooks and stationary generally, I never have one handy when I need one. The better the idea, the further you are from a notebook. I’m calling that Alice’s law.) We have two new designs in production, we’re picking the t-shirts really carefully (getting samples sent and everything! All very professional round here these days! ) We’re thinking of new ways to make recycled clothing easy and cool. We’ve got fab new dress fabrics. Now all we need is time…and to sell off some older stock so we can fund some fun, new bits, and so we have some more space to store the new bits. Space is crucial, as neither of us are exactly rattling about in ginormous houses with extra rooms all over the place.
We’re working on a lot of feedback that we’ve had recently that it’s all very well and good making interesting clothing for small children, (and we’re not going to stop doing cool-wear for the smallest people) but really the gaps are in slightly older childrenswear. I’m finding this out first-hand now, as my not especially Amazonian eldest daughter is already wearing clothes that are two sizes ‘older’ for her in some shops, and some of the stuff for that age group is a bit grown-up for a 6 year old. She’s six, and tall, not sixteen. On a recent fraught trip into Next, she was gutted that the bunny t-shirt that she had been eying up only went up to 5-6. The older t-shirts were OK, but you can’t really compete with a glittery bunny when you’re six. We found one with sunglasses on which was nice enough, but it had the word ‘cool’ on. And, as Polly pointed out, ‘the writing is a bit messy,’ – no idea where she gets this geekery from…
Boys’ clothes too are a bit of a minefield. There’s nothing wrong with star wars, lego, or spiderman t-shirts, or stripes (heavens no. If stripes had not been invented, I would nearly always be half naked. It’s very rare for me to wear a stripe-free outfit. I think I own somewhere in the region of eight variations on the Breton-stripe top.) But after a while it’s all a bit dull. You either dress them as advertizing spaces for massive franchises, mini preppy lads – a look I’m quite fond of, but the reality of skinny jeans is that they are fairly useless in superhero maneuvers – or mini middle aged men – polo shirts with the collar turned up and chinos. 5 year old trainee superman + chinos is a recipe for a lot of laundry. And I don’t like excess laundry work. You don’t get paid overtime on it or anything. A good, soft t-shirt goes a long way, I think.
But also, our ideas are just our ideas. And along with a fondness for flip flops, stripes, early evening wine and croissants, Sarah and I also share most of our ideas. We think along pretty much the same lines. So we’re interested in other peoples’ ideas about what is important in childrens’ clothing, whether you like shopping for recycled clothing, what are the gaps in the high street provision for the clothing of your offspring. All of that. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the things that you think are important. Or accost me in the playground (that goes for Sarah too, I.O.W readers!) Or write us a long letter. You’ll have to email me for my address first, but I do love a letter through the post, so do, please! It’s a stationery thing.