Little Whimsy is the perfect one stop shop for stunning decor, toys and accessories. In this week’s segment of Behind the Brand we chat to Clare Brookes, owner of Little Whimsy.
We dive into the details of product development and production. Clare also shares her Insta favourites and insights on what we can expect to see next from Little Whimsy in the near future.
For those who haven’t heard of Little Whimsy, can you give us a brief description of what you do?
‘Little Whimsy is a curated children’s boutique. We source children’s décor, toys, accessories and more from all around the world to make it easy for you to shop for amazing goodies in one place. We try to be unique in the range of brands we offer and where possible love supporting ethical and small brands and business.’
We absolutely love that Little Whimsy is such a supporter if ethical and eco-friendly brands. Can you tell us a little bit more about the products and brands you work with?
‘We feel it is so important to do our bit so that our children don’t grow up to live in too unhealthy a world. By making conscious decisions when buying toys and décor you are helping the environment and supporting ethical working practices but also teaching your kids the importance of this too. I really dislike the current super mass produced and very cheap to buy and then discard retail market around right now. I love products that are well made to be passed on and on for more than one child’s enjoyment.’
How do you select and curate such a beautiful range in your store? Is there a process behind what you choose to stock?
‘There isn’t much method in our purchasing madness. Basically I know what I like pretty quickly and I’m always on the lookout online, on social media and when travelling for a new and exciting brand or product. It helps that I have an awesome group of staff with fabulous taste that I can run new items by as well.’
With Little Whimsy being a family owned and run business, do you find managing a work/family life balance challenging?
‘Yes at times but we also have a family owned construction company that I also help run and I find I am happier and healthier when I am running a million miles an hour. It is very important to have good staff that you can trust and delegate too when the workload gets too much. I do find it hard to switch off from work and worry that my workload isn’t always ideal for my children but I just make sure to spend real quality time with them on a daily basis.’
In the business, what roles does each member of the family play? I can imagine your little ones would be very good product testers of the toys and books!
‘I have to try my hardest to keep my kids out of our warehouse as they just want one of everything! I often have them in mind when I am buying and it really helps me think about what toys/books they would actually good use out of and enjoy properly. My husband has very little to do with the business he just comes in occasionally to comment on the constantly increasing stock levels.’
What exciting things can we expect from Little Whimsy in the near future?
‘We have just added a small Grown-Ups section to our store so will add goodies for the parents as well as why should the kids get all the fun! Otherwise it’s just constantly on the lookout for new brands and we have a couple of trips to South America, Australia and America planned over the next year and I find it so much fun browsing local stores and design fairs to find something unique.’
Who are your go-to instagram accounts you love and why?
– @cleverpoppy Julie is amazing. She is right on trend yet unique. Her feed is fun and it helps that she is also our little whimsy social media manager.
– @teamtonkin just wow, colour, texture and more her styling is to die for
– @lavara_photography such a dreamy feed and Lavara is such a lovely and down to earth person in real life as well
How would you describe your personal style for interiors and fashion?
‘Black and white and natural wood. No matter what I tend to gravitate towards things in these three colours/tones. Having a construction company we are constantly moving and renovating homes and I love the freedom this gives me to be constantly changing up our interior style. Our last home was a very modern renovation so was a stark black and white Scandi feel. Our current house is a bungalow so we have added in a lot more traditional elements and textures while still keeping quite a modern feel. And we have just sold and purchased again so get to start the renovation fun all over again shortly. Fashion wise I am pretty simple and comfy give me jeans and a tee or comfy mum pants and converse sneakers any day.’
What has been your favorite trend for kids interiors/fashion in 2018?
‘I have loved all of the natural wood and eco-conscious items appearing in children’s rooms.’