Category Archives: kids clothes

Jump around

I have been in business now for over ten years running it around my kids –which has been tricky at times to say the least. I am the first to admit that it’s not the easiest of roles, and I do work all hours and have to dispense medicine with one hand and take a business call with the other. But it is satisfying. I’ve had babies throwing up on sets, models that won’t smile and spend days making cardboard props but that all just turns into a normal life really. What I love is a Friday evening boogie in the kitchen with my kids, a glass of wine and BBC 6 music turned up loud.

There is nothing like dancing to relieve stress, oh and burn off some calories of the packet of biscuits that is now empty by my desk that I have no recollection of eating! Plus there is just something enchantingly entertaining about watching your kids get down to the beat. Whatever age you are, dancing just makes you feel good.

It was this love that I have for music that inspired me to set up my own baby clothing business back in 2006, Hating the pink and blue explosion on the high street, the clothes available didn’t reflect me at all. I wanted to make Original baby clothes for my baby girl that were a little less ordinary and set out to do just that. Music and Scarlet (who was 6 months at the time) were my muse, (she is the little baby face on every garment) so I created a range of clothes for my little rock star and packed them in record sleeves to make them a super cool gift.

We were one of the first alternative kids clothes to market and I feel really proud to have been so brave and created something different. The rest is history – or should I say hard work and bloody mindedness.

I ‘ve been around a bit over the last ten years, selling everywhere from East End Markets to Harrods and House of Fraser, I take my wares and brighten days with clothes that make you smile. I have done Christmas markets and music festivals and even the odd school fayre!

When I came across ‘Big Fish Little Fish’ a couple of years ago, I felt this could be a great collaboration. They created the original family rave experience for parents and their little ones. You turn up at a REAL club venue with super hot DJ’s from the 90’s (many who have kids of their own) and they recreate the club scene – all be it a kid friendly version, in the middle of a Sunday afternoon.

I went to a great gig in the Vaults at Waterloo in London with my kids and loved it so much I asked if I could get involved, so now whenever I can I do just that.
This weekend Alex Paterson of the legendary Orb is playing the Scala in London’s Kings Cross which should be an iconic event. I’ll rock up, as usual, with my kids, husband, camera and clothing rail and join the party.

We sell our clothes to the parents and offer a free family photo service, that we mail to them as a momento of the event. I have a suitcase of crazy dressing-up hats and wigs to use as props, it’s completely bonkers but fun. The kids have a fairy cake, a smoothie and a boogie and we all go home 2 hours later completely knackered and happy.

There is always a bar (keeps Daddy happy), a cake stall, a craft area, glow sticks and a chill out zone for the tiny ones. Personally I like getting into the heart of the action with the bubble machines, a deep bass, and disco lights and let the music take me back to an age before kids, even before a little hand drags you away to take them for a wee! Anyway if this sounds like your thing, then put your hands in the air like you just don’t care, and jump around. I’ll see you there with my clothing rail and a shandy.

www.rockabyeoriginals.com
http://www.bigfishlittlefishevents.co.uk

Bye for now Emma
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All the fun. Of the Fair

So balancing kids and running a business is a brave move for any working parent. I am sure that there are more woman diving into this venture than men, and that is why I am under no illusion that we must all be mental! Or up for a challenge at the very least.

I am sure that your life is exactly the same, but the down time that I inevitably try to plan for the family always seem to get seductively swallowed up by some time worm. Before we know it our quiet weekend of doing nothing ( yes I do put doing nothing in the diary at least every six weeks) end up being busier than ever.

A few weekends ago was prime example, It was the BURYfields festival in Chesham, Bucks on the Saturday, a family day out and then the amazing Big Fish Little Fish on the Sunday where we set up our photo booth stand and sell a few of our clothes at the same time. Of course we had to fit in the usual stuff that weekends bring. Like swimming clubs and sleepovers, homework and birthday parties, you know the normal weekend activities and chores that are far to boring to even write about.

Anyway, so I had collected my son Fred from school on Friday and out he comes, grin the size of his head, with the school teddy bear or in our case the school teddy badger in his hand, utterly delighted that it was his time to bring home Barry. I know you are going to accuse me of being an utter kill joy, but if you have ever had to bring one of these stuffed animals into your life for the weekend, you will soon realise that is actually just a whole load more work for Mum to do. Basically what you do is to keep a diary of all the things that Barry did over the weekend with your family and take photos. Then the child has to write down the events as a daily diary in Barry’s book. I do believe that it’s a secret conspiracy for the school to spy into your home and see what type of parents you are! Although I have to admit that it is quite interesting to see what every one else’s kids are up to! I always feel like I need to be naughty and make up a load of stuff up like “Saturday and we went to visit all the pubs in Soho and Mammy got really drunk. Here is a picture of her throwing up on the train, and on Sunday we went out for a day trip. Here is Barry visiting Daddy in prison.”

Anyway I think it that all I really have to do is take a few pics – ok so that’s ok no problem, but it’s just printing them out and then getting your child to write about it. It really feels like an extra load of homework that you have to bribe your kids to do on top of the main homework that has been set. Anyway, it just leads to more moaning in my house and as you have to do the stuff first before you can write about it and by then everyone is knackered. The writing it down in the usually a Sunday night scramble that I could really do without. See, I told you I was a kill joy.

In all honesty it wasn’t that bad in the end, we took Barry and the kids to BURYfields, which was super compact festival packed into a small space but had such a great festival vibe it was cool. We saw some cool bands that I had never heard of, the FOXTALES, electric guitars and pysch-folk, THE LOTTERY WINNERS who that had me in stitches as did TWO WAYS HOME and SKINNY LISTER who blew me away with their energy and shanty band antics on stage – well worth a google. They even handed out a flagon of grog into the audience to pass round – which was as original as they come.

Barry got his own wrist band which was a bit of a result (and very sweet of the staff to humour us) and I remembered to take a few pictures and be careful we didn’t loose him, Barry that is not Fred. So job done. Saturday done! (BIG TICK)

We did actually forget to take Barry on the Sunday though when we packed the car to the brim with kids and clothes and cameras and took off for what turned out to be a two hour drive to Balham. Not leaving enough time to negotiate the London traffic was not a smart idea and thinking that we could squeeze in swimming before hand too was an Emma ( I can do it all ) special, I’ll never learn. We turned up at the Big Fish Little Fish event with 20 minutes to set up and so started the whole affair in a it of a panic. Believe me Barry was the furthest thing from my mind.

We needn’t to have worried though as the two and a half our kids rave went like a dream. Simon was mobbed with the Outer space photography booth that we designed for Big Fish, my kids handed out glow sticks and donned tattoos to every limb that passed their way and everyone had a great time. We wrote in the diary that Barry spent all day in bed recovering because he was tired out from partying hard with the bands the night before! Rock’n Roll !

And so we leaf from one type of fair to another as the first weekend of July we set up our trade fair stand in Solihull. It was the first time that we had done the INDX fair so we decided to launch our new Originals name with a bang and brought along an Elvis impersonator.

As you may well know one of our best selling baby garments is the little Elvis suits and so it we wanted to advertise it ROCKABYE style. So Elvis rocked up and rocked out a couple of songs and although we had to keep it short as it was trade fair and people were there to work (It was Elvis’s shortest ever gig) We had loads of people happy to be entertained for ten minutes while Elvis roared our a few favourites and brought a twinkle to the day.

Naturally I got in on the act and struck a pose or two with the King. It was funny way to launch our new collection of the Black and Gold BLING range, and the new SS17 which will be revealed next year. So if you have a shop to website and would like to know more about the new collections feel free to drop us alone and we can fill you in. I will share the pictures with this post but it really got us some attention. We also had a lovely little competition to win tickets to see BEN PORTSMOUTH the UK’s best ELvis Impersonator. He is playing at the Barclay card arena on the 3rd September and it is sure to be amazing, one of our lucky customers will be winning two tickets soon.

We also met the Hayley and Callum ay INDX who introduced us to the coolest ruck sacks that I have seen in ages, made by the German company their reps in the UK are WilliamTurner . We were lucky enough to product test and Fred my seven year old thinks his red dragon bag is awesome. Not only is it super ergonomically designed, it has all the German engineering of a mountaineers back pack. It had hidden pockets and the animal’s little arms can velcro into several places to make a peeka boo too– a brilliant piece of playfulness in design that gets the big thumbs up from us both.

So finally I have to try and sell you some of our fab clothes – as much as I love to write, I would swear a lot more if this wasn’t my kids brand blog! So I will remind that our Cool kids clothes sale is now on.
I’m not sure if you have seen it yet but our very first advert was sent out last month which we are really pleased with. It’s an in house production, ( which means it was shot and edited on my phone!) and happened completely by chance when we’re on a beach in Dorset last Summer.

We were camping and as usual it rained most of the time! But we did get one day on the beach where the kids went wild. There is something about sand and kids that is always fascinating to observe. It’s the land equivalent of being in the swimming pool – kids just seem to love it.
At some point in the day after swimming in the bloody freezing waters of the English Channel, eating a sandy sandwich – the true meaning of the snack is realised, we decide to bury Scarlet in the sand (as you do). Then using the huge bucket that we always take to build humungous sand castles we suddenly had an idea to make a video.

It took ten minutes and Fred’s laugh just cracks me up all the time. If you get to see the outtakes they are hilarious. I didn’t realize that we were actually on a nudist beach and if you look closely … well. Let’s just say thank goodness that we had a big bucket to hide things that might not be deemed suitable for a kids and baby company!

Well that’s it from me for now all I can say is have a good summer with your kids, remember to take time in your diary to do nothing, it really is the best way to spend a weekend. Maybe even better than hanging out with the guy in the big white suit, well just about.

Have a great August xx love and antics
Emma

The art of the Original

Well you may well have guessed, as we missed May’s blog (sorry) that we have been a bit busy here at Rockabye. For the past few months we have been right in the middle of rebranding and as you can see we have dropped the baby (not really that would be cruel, or damn right clumsy to say the least!) yep we’ve dropped baby and added the lovely new word ORIGINALS firmly in its place!

I have to say it’s a lot to live up to adding a word with such prowess as it has, but we have our reasons. The first being that a few years ago we had some copyright issues with our name. It was basically horrible, we couldn’t trade with our neighbours in the U.S. I lost a lot of sleep worrying and could see that this was going to get too expensive for a small independent designer like me.

I came to the decision that if I won or lost the copyright issue it was the clothes and the design that was what people were buying right? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet (and all that). Plus to add insult to injury, we noticed that in the last ten years (yes it really has been ten years since we started), there are about 20 zillion ROCKABYE-babies out there, some doing baby sitting services and some doing funnily enough exactly the same thing as us!

So we thought we’d stop this confusion once and for all, change our name and be done with it! Nothing else has changed, our quality and our sense of style and fun and funky baby clothes are still the same and we still believe that kids rock, ethical manufacturing rocks and value for money rules. So don’t worry kids or mums and dads, we’re the same just more well… Original.

The other thing about the change is we’re so old now that we are almost RETRO! We are THE ORIGINAL kids clothing brand that put music, babies and kids clothes together (and bundled them oh so nicely in a record sleeve). When we started back in 2005 and got our first ten samples together, there really was no one doing the rock n’ roll funky kids stuff that was a bit hard core. Nowadays there are hundreds!! Many of them doing it well, and some hitting the style chords in awesome measures and we salute you.

BUT…. we were there first, we were the original and we salute ourselves too. In that sense we had to move on out and move on up and making it Original just seemed the right thing to do.
So drum role please…. it is with great pleasure that we introduce ROCKABYE ORIGINALS to you. Our first mini movie campaign launches this month with a few fabulous little films that show just how awesome kids and babies are. We think every kid is an individual and we need to glory in our very things that make us different, BECAUSE that’s what makes us cool!

OUR MANIFESTO:
FOR KIDS ABOUT TO ROCK, WE SALUTE YOU.
EVERY GORGEOUS, MAD ONE OF YOU IS A TOTAL ORIGINAL.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO WEAR FUNKY FASHION AND GREAT STYLE.
DEMAND COOL, EMBRACE DIFFERENT.
STAY ORIGINAL.

We want to champion all the great kids we know that really are ORIGINALS. You will meet 7 year old Miles first and then meet other Original kids’ through the campaigns, we hope you love our little original films as much as we do. In fact we are hoping the Original campaign will inspire you to send in phone video clips of your own ORIGINAL kids and we’ve launched a competition to win a limited edition outfit and also the winner will be the face (and body) of the next advert. So send in your vid clips to our Face Book pageface book

If you have a baby that can clap his hands like no one else, or a kid that is just super talented at drawing pigs, or spinning on their head, or has a super special skill that makes her a true individual. Keep an eye on our FB page for the details and enter the comp – we can’t wait to see your kids vids.

Our official launch is going to be at the UK kids trade fair INDX in Birmingham on the 3rd and 4th July 16. We will set up our photo booth to take pics of anyone who wants to shake their funky stuff. We Also will have a super surprise and a fabulous chance to win tickets to an Original Night out!! Watch the FB page for more information. If you have a store and would like an invite to view the three new collections and our classics range we have designed then get in touch and we will invite you along.

We will also have a local launch event in London and Berkhamsted but this won’t be until October. We want to invite as many ROCKABYE FANS as we can. We’ll have activities for the kids, music, and of course something bubbly for you, and I don’t mean a bubble machine (although to be honest we probably will have one of those as well). DM us though Facebook if you would like to come, bring your friends and join the party. We’ll send you an invite once we have confirmed dates.

And finally I wanted to pay my respects to another couple of true originals. I wanted to post this ages ago, I was just so busy reading everyone else’s thoughts that it was nice for some time to pass, so six months after Bowies death, and weeks after the untimely death of Prince (two of my all time musical heroes). I guess we’ve all had time to think about these men and the legacy of work they left behind. Not only was the ‘Ginger Genius’ and the ‘Purple Pop-tart’ true originals in every sense of the word, but they were focused completely on cutting their own groove, something that is always hard to do and something we should celebrate.

Doing their own thing, and making your own path is never the easiest of choices for the creative soul. It made me realise, that as far as creative role models are concerned we, as the quirky breed of people that make their living in the creative world have very few ambassadors for creativity that makes things wonderful.
The ability to be creative and original to put ourselves out there in our different personas and say “Hello, this is me and this is how I am, this is who I am”, is a great attribute not only to the brave individual but to us as a nation. It is a fabulous display of our cool acceptance of our quirky differences. Our creativity is what us Brits do well, it is part of our identity and we do it amazingly, and we export it even better. So go us!

I saw this amazing Bowie badge last summer in Toronto and my neat little sister bought it for me. Little did I know what a poignant symbol it would become. Since his death I have been wearing it with pride and it is amazing the number of people who comment on it. It got me thinking that as a nation we have days to remember, Rabbie Burns night, Remembrance Sunday, we all wear our poppies with pride and I think we should have a creative day and wear Bowie badges. To celebrate the artists that make our lives so colourful. I think we should have a national day of celebrating creativity. If Japan can take a day off work to view the blossom, surely we can take a day to make, absorb or support ART. So like Bowie we can all be heroes, even if it is just for one day. A good legacy to leave to our kids!

On that note, make today an original day, and be happy for being you. No one else sees the world like you do, and that’s important, so let’s embrace it.
Have a great month and see you next blog.
Emma x
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