This is going to come across as quite a blunt, frank blog post but one I’ve decided I needed to write. We are behind. Yes we are, we so are. There are people working their arses off to keep us ahead, to help us keep up to speed but in general as a nation we are behind. I know this may offend some people and that is of course not my intention but I am going to explain why I feel this is the case so please do bear with me. I am also sharing some inspiring Insta accounts who get what I mean and I am also adding a list to the bottom of just a snippet of the people I love and support.
As some of you are aware I am now running Styled By Naomi as a home/children’s decor business. I decided to follow this route after some initial success in November last year and because quite frankly, I found it such a calming, more purposeful route for my business and I realised I should have followed my dream to make things to sell years ago. Since then I have been inspired by some AMAZING ladies on Instagram. Instagram is where it is at. I am over FB in the nicest possible way for inspiration. I love it for keeping up with friends and love that my blog page reaches so many lovely people but Instagram is now my first love. Yeh so they have changed it and everything is less organic but ‘pah’ to that- find your tribe on Insta and these lovelies will carry you and build you up. Inspire you everyday and give you a much needed boost. If you’re not on Instagram then get yourself onto it.
As a result of being on Instagram I have found more and more love for children’s decor, home decor, children’s fashion and ladies fashion. I follow some amazing accounts.
However, I have also found that there are lots of things I love and adore on people’s accounts that cannot be bought in the UK or that are imported to the UK and not made by people here or even the accounts aren’t UK based.
The thing is, there are some gorgeous people who are ahead of the game, who are making things here in the UK or who are importing beautiful products from abroad to keep us up to date. These people deserve everything, all the support and love. These are ladies generally, sorry men but they are generally ladies that I have come across, who are working their absolute socks off to inspire you and bring you the best. It’s not Mamas and Papas, Mothercare or IKEA that needs your support (I mean sure I may make the ODD purchase here) it’s these people. So now is the time to get behind them. Most of the businesses I follow and love haven’t been going long- NOW is the time to start supporting small businesses, stop buying just from the general High Street, go off the beaten track and find these people. The more you support them the more you encourage them and the more inspired they will be. Thus, you will change the way people shop for children and support ladies trying to make a living for their family.
Didi and Bud makes stunning PJ’s and there’s new ones for mamas.
Arlo is on Insta as a separate account because I wanted an outlet for my love of monochrome and the fact that I don’t want to purchase his clothes from the high street as far as possible. Everyone around me always thinks Arlo is well-dressed and they love a good joke about the fact that he rarely wears colour. This is because I want him to develop a style (obvs my style for now) but it is important to me that he does not wear blue, baby blue or clothes with certain motifs. I won’t go into it too much because I’ll probably offend some people but I just think that the UK has spent too long dressing children in a certain way for boys and a way for girls- quite frankly the offerings in the high street for newborn babies can be pretty shite. As a teacher for many years, I once did an exercise discussing what 11 year olds felt made a newborn baby a girl or boy- you can guess their answers. It is more than just aesthetics I am referring to, I am referring to blurring the lines between boys and girls and giving children the chance to develop their own style- encouraging them to buck trends and build on their own confidence and self-esteem by making informed choices.
For my business, I wanted a wooden camera for a prop. I couldn’t find one in the UK that had been made by a UK business. I am sure there may have been one but I couldn’t find one. Laura from TMN wanted wooden beaded garlands with tassels, couldn’t be found in the UK. Now I make them. I wanted a wooden pear because I found a pear light, couldn’t find any in the UK. My friend wanted a headband without a big bow, just a knot, I spent hours helping her search, we found a few- a hell of a lot more abroad. She also wanted a particular rug for her nursery- couldn’t find many at all in the UK- found plenty in Australia. Quite a few clothing brands I love for Arlo are not UK based. Another example is that I wanted some socks for his Christening- nothing special but a certain type. Took me three hours to find one person stocking them in the UK. Yet, they are all over Insta.
The cracking news is that there is a change happening, the change is now. There are some mums supporting small business who really do get that there is more to children’s decor and fashion than just the High Street. And to all you mamas- I love you all very much because without you I wouldn’t be on this journey. But the more that people support these people, the more we can build on our UK based market for such amazing, inspiring items and clothes. Things that brighten up the everyday.
I love running SBN as it is but I feel that people still don’t fully get my things and others’ things as much as I’d love them to. So this is why I am sharing my thoughts. Go out, get inspired.
Theo’s Room on Instagram inspires me everyday (shares a whole lot of love from all over the world)
The next time you fancy a little something for your child’s room or a new piece of clothing, think of us. Trying to inspire the everyday with quirky – fuck baby blue for boys and baby pink for girls – items and clothes. We deserve all the love and support because we are working hard to bring you unique, quality made items. Really bloody hard.
Lots of Love
Here’s some Instagram accounts to inspire you and start you off for your next purchase: