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Rockabye Originals are coming to Manchester

Yippee! We are heading up North on the 10th -12th March for the fun and frollicks at the Baby and Toddle show. Held at the fantastic EVENT CITY. It’s amazing the things that I will do to get away from my kids for the weekend. Not only are they the one of the best baby events over 150 top brands and unique products but have expert advice and free seminars to new and expectant parents in the North West everything they need to give their baby the best start.And… exhibitors are invited for a free glass of bubbly on Saturday night! (silver linings after being on your feet all day).

No only Joking, you know that! But we are coming up to trade for three days with some amazing offers to introduce some new customers to the design and quality of our lovely baby clothes. Manchester seems to be an obvious choice for us what with our love of music and the music Royalty that has come out of this Northern Powerhouse city.

We are hoping that they will love our stuff anyway.
We do have some great special offers and a great photo booth competition that we will run on instagram in a quest to get the best baby/kids/family shots posted. Lots to get involved with and hopefully have a bit of fun with too.

We also have 20 pairs of entrance tickets to the show to give away. So email me at emma@rockabye-baby.com if you would like to come along for free.
Hope to see you there.
Emma

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Dancing in the sunlight

Easter is over, it just seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye and a belly full of the brown stuff. Ah well, I’m just wiggling constantly now trying to burn off all the calories that are sitting around my bottom from the half eaten Easter eggs scattered around my house.
Kids are on mid term break, I have been working hard to keep them entertained, run the business and keep everything flowing. So far so good, so the recycling bin tells me -clink clink.
We are on the road visiting family up North and have a week at Centre Parcs, I think we are the only family in Britain never to experienced CP so in for a penny, (or rather a pound- its not cheap).
Anyway I’m keeping the blog super short as we all need holidays.
This week I’ve I been be getting prepared for our first event of the year. A rave !!!! (a super, kids disco rave). We are bloody honoured to be part of the Camp Bestival warm up gigs hosted by our friends at Big Fish Little Fish Events.
BFLF Events have invited us along to play. They are a family fun events company for the post–rave generation of parents. It’s great fun, so if you haven’t been before with your sproglets, you should try it .
The raves take place in real clubs and venues and is basically like a club but not so dark ad scary. There are play areas with tents and tunnels and a baby chill out area. A Licensed bar, free transfer tattoos, cake stalls and face painting, and that’s just for the adults ……only joking.
Music wise it will be Iain Baker and Dylan Beale plus Camp Bestival DJs leading the sets on the multi-sensory dance floor, complete with glitter cannons, bubbles and of course the giant parachute dance – what more are you looking for in an afternoon. Grab your self a beer and show baby how to boogey.

We are part of the Hackney event on the 17th but there are lots of other dates coming up too. Have a look at their site for more.
So the theme for the Rave – ( it is making me giggle now saying ‘rave‘ – yes glow sticks will be handed out, and nope I am not joking) the theme being “outer space” I have been working on a space backdrop for our photo booth installation. I’ve shared the designs with you below – I think they are great. The design basically being the idea of being a rock star as in stars and constellations. I’ve created icons of rock and pop and put them into the nights sky. Simples
Were going to bring a box of dressing up stuff and get parents and kids to pose for us in front of the sky and then send the kids free pictures. We might even have a prize for the craziest pose.
We also have a tiny stall too selling our wares so if you are looking for some cool summer stuff , or if baby poops himself again and you are all out of clean clothes we are the fifth emergency service.

Check out their site for other dates as we will be launching a competition next week to win tickets to the events in your area.
http://www.bigfishlittlefishevents.co.uk/
So what else is going on in Rockabye Land I hear you say?
Our Mellow Yellow collection is ON SALE right now. There are mid season sales on everywhere you go so we thought we would join in for a couple of weeks too. This range is made from a medium weight jersey fabric and it is just perfect for layering up when you are never quite sure what the weather will do. With our striped greys offset with the bright bursts of yellow and pink, perfect for our rave / disco event.
Feel free to SHOP NOW
If you spend £40 online during the sale you will get a free guitar toy/cushion (worth £16). Who doesn’t love a freebee?
Hope to see you on the 17th or feel free to drop us a line and share your thoughts.
bye for now Emma xx

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New sunny summer collection is revealed

Is that a sun I see before me ? That strange yellow circle in the sky ? must be. Looks like it’s time to get the summer clobber out of the loft and have every meal time outside. I am determined that it is summer even if I am still layered up and have hats and gloves close by. But really I do find this emergence into summer such a positive time of year, even thought he weather doesn’t always play its part correctly. I love that things are blossoming and dare I say it people seem happier. (Ok maybe I am a bit delusional there).

Anyway the Rockabye summer collection arrived two weeks ago and we hope you like it. It’s bright and cheery, edgy and fun, so what else do you want – free icecream?

So this season we have a soft grey and yellow stripe range and a light weight dark denim range which is classy and cool. The patterns take the shape of puffball dresses, dungarees (as shown) and also fully reversible denim hoodies, (which are fabulous denim one side black and white stripe the other). There is a diagonal striped tee, denim rara skirts and frill, cap sleeves fitted tee for girls with star and guitar embroidery details, and wait for it…. the return to the super short short! A unisex pattern straight from the 1970’s that looks great as swimming trunks on the beach, or fabulous for girls with or without tights. The look can be completed with a bandanna bib that looks cool tied round the neck to collect dribble or stylish glances. We want you to try it an love it so use the code BLOG25 to get 25% off at check out – Oh and delivery is free too.

If you follow us on Face book (RockabyebabyLDN) or instagram (@rockabyelondon) you will have seen the shots of the Private View held up at Shed 66 last week. It was a great evening with guests taking up the chance to buy the new lines fresh in and also drinking quite a lot of wine. Party games that included a lot of stretching and bending were hilarious and I had so much fun I will just have to do them more than once a season. I will post the next one up on FB to our followers so watch this space for an invite.

So enough about the clothes Emma, what else is going on? well Big Fish Little Fish was grooving again a few weeks ago and I heard it was a corker, especially as Roisin Murphy!!!! made a secret appearance and had everyone bopping. I am determined to get a ticket next time and take my vid camera as I really want to do a blog on this super cool phenomena that is just awesome and deserves all the awards it has received. Oh and if you can’t wait until September have a listen to the live set here.

I also thought that as many of you love your music that it would be good to let you know of some of the many family friendly music festivals that are on in the next few months.

Ta ta for now and don’t forget if you are festivaling this summer dress your kids in style and don’t give in to mainstream cute.

Love and stripey suits Emma

 


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Happy New January

I know it’s more than half way through January already but Happy New Year!!!! and I hope 2015 is a great year for us all. After a much needed Christmas break it is actually really nice to get back into an organised office and get going again.

Such a busy year ahead and they seem to go past quicker and quicker. Don’t you think?

My dad said to me that life is like a toilet roll. It starts off slow at he beginning but when you get towards the end it just goes quicker and quicker. Not that I am near the end – hope not anyway, but the analogy with life and loo rolls has got a certain amount of charm. I just hope it’s luxury plush toilet paper and not the cheap stuff that scratches your bum.
Anyway I digress, so what has this month got in store?

Well here is some great news. In the next few weeks we will be launching the brand at House of Fraser as an online concession. Due to the success of the Peoples choice award last year at the POP at HOF ( last MAY see earlier posts if you want to know more) we were asked to come on board and trade online. We are really excited about this and it’s a great opportunity to get Rockabye out there and see what the public thinks – We would love to have your feedback anyway. We are not live yet but will keep you up to date when we are so you can go and have a look.

One thing I am really looking forward to this weekend is BIG FISH LITTLE FISH Hosted in quirky venues, BIG FISH LITTLE FISH is a club (as in a nightclub rather than cubs or the like) for parents and their kids. The weekend afternoon parties have great music by top DJs so parents can re-live their glory days and teach their kids what a real party is. This Sunday they are in Electrowerks at Angel, London. I am taking Simon, Scarlet and Fred and will keep you posted as to who had a fight with who and who made a fool of him/herself by eating too many sweeties and throwing up. See life with kids really isn’t that different. Can’t wait

So any new Designs, I hear you ask ?
Yessiree, the biggest change design wise is that we are making our range of clothing smaller – we have pulled the collection back to our classics range – you basically can view online now – and then have been designing away and have two complimentary capsule collections in for Summer and Winter 2015.

The Summer lines are based on two colour ways – The Summer Denim range and the Bowie range which is a diagonal light grey and yellow stripe, (We launched a tiny range of this last year in a cool as you like pair of baby dungarees and they were such a hit). We love these stripes so much that they are now being made as a summer puff ball dress, a short sleeve tee, a tulip shape triangle dress – that whooshes out when you twirl, and cute yet practical dribble bibs/bandannas to match.

The Summer Denim range mirrors the yellow and grey styles with the addition of mid weight hoodies and super-short shorts that draw their inspiration from a 1970’s pattern that I found in a vintage shop in Amsterdam – we are loving them.
What we wanted to do with the capsule collection was to make them all Summer essentials but allow for seasonal layering. So all our new designs compliment each other so you can swop and change through out the entire two seasons and still have outfits that work. The Winter collection plays to this too.

The Winter samples for AW15 are also looking great. My favourite are the new bonkers tights. We have some winter dresses and a couple of sweat shirts thrown in for good measure. So watch this space and we will share more as soon as we can.

All the designs will be revealed at the BUBBLE trade show www.bubblelondon.co.uk taking place on the 1st and 2nd Feb at the Business Design centre in Islington. We are on stand E6 so do drop by and say hello.

Think that’s it for now
Have a great Jan look out for the live Face Book posts and I will keep you up to date in FEB. Have Fun, Love fashion and show them your attitude. Emmaxx

Where did the Summer go?

Blimey oh Riley it’s been a while since I last blogged – what a busy Summer. The last time I was tapping away at the keyboard we were in the thick of it on the countdown to the HOUSE OF FRASER competition, and that was back in May! As you can probably tell, (as the posts stopped) it all got too much to blog daily and work an 11 hour stint every day for a fortnight. I moved over to Face Book for the updates and no doubt you saw the news there but for any one who didn’t it was a brilliant experience. We sold lots of our lovely clothes and met great people. It was a ride – and although we didn’t win the top super dooper prize we did win “THE PEOPLE”S CHOICE AWARD”. Yippee.
To celebrate we had a small gathering of everyone who helped, including all the kids and parents who came down to hold the mini protest in Oxford street – The only time they would be allowed to shout and scream their way around a London Department store. With a “what do we want ? Rockabye-baby – when do we want it? Now” Super Fun with knobs on!!!

Summer came and went in a blink of a sunshaded eye, and here we are mid way through September already. You might remember in February we had a meeting with River Island well…….. last week we supplied them their very first order and it is now up online and looking good. riverisland.website We are hoping its going to go really well and we are delighted with this new relationship and hope it goes from strength to strength. So far they are stocked only online but who knows maybe they will be on a high street near you soon.

Another great relationship was made over the summer as we supplied Baby Brands direct they were voted the “BEST RETAILER” in the NURSERY INDUSTRY AWARDS and we supplied them with their new line in baby apparel. So we are hoping this will introduce our range to a whole new audience , let us hope they love it as much as we do.

We also took our brand back to it’s Dutch Roots and supplied a new shop in the Netherlands Hip and Klein if you have a moment have a look at their site it is really cool.
They were one of the first suppliers of the new Who’s your daddy Tees and the rocktastic range with the re-issued “Drums” and “Anarchy” etc which are going down a storm and, as you requested now go up to a size 8-10 years so there is no excuses for your older kids not looking as cool as your wee nippers. check out the range here

We were at the alternative trade Fair London Edge last week with the new range and met some great new people and brands including Freddies of pinewood super demin with a fab 50’s Theme. Nicky Rockets does a great range of tee’s for curvy women that come with a free eyepatch – coolio. If you are looking for retro cosmetics look no more my love as we met the lovely girls at Le Keux Cosmetics with their vintage lip Paint and Eye Liner and finally we just have to mention the Pin up Academy where you can pop in for a pin up style makeover – if that’s your thing then this will be too.

Summer also had us a tweet from Cherry Healey and we made a new addition to our packaging with an alliance with Tuck Tuck retro sweets and the ever so lovely Lisa cherry Lips Gomm. Now whenever you order an item from our site you will get a free packet of retro sweets. It’s sweet to be nice.

As you may well know Rockabye was inspired by my first baby Scarlet Tallula, she is the little baby with a safety pin on every garment, well two weeks ago my muse turned ten! We had a great treasure hunt party hiding clues, (and finding them) in Bread rolls in the local Darvells bakers and in packets of loom bands in the art shop and all over town before heading home to eat a Monster High Doll Birthday cake. See the picture below – its not a great piece of art but hey I am a busy lady and I didn’t know that you couldn’t paint with food colouring did I?
If you want the clues for your own Berko Treasure hunt I will happily send them to you too.

Date for your Diary 18th October where I will be having a stall in Carmenta life in Berkhamsted if you want to pop by and see our lovely stuff and maybe buy a gift or two.
Bye for now and keep on Rockin’ Emma

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Progressive preschool

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Emma with on award on her boob. what else?

Emma with on award on her boob. what else?

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COUNTDOWN TO HOF – Friday and glad of it.

So it’s 10 Days To Go until the HOF and there is still a bundle of work to do. Everyday it gets a little closer and one job is completed to make room for another.
The only thing keeping me going is that it is Friday an as I had the baby fair last weekend I intend to spend a day doing not much tomorrow. Loving the Friday feeling. Friday Friday Friday Friday

Today’s track of the day is Friday I’m in love by the Cure

View todays diary

COUNTDOWN TO H.O.F the madness begins

Well another week passes and I am still alive – just.
Last week was utterly bonkers as we count down to the House of Fraser experience things get a little crazy.
For the next 14 days I am going to leave you a song for the day which sums my state of mind and the general well being of the office. So prepare for some action.

Last week was testing and things can only get better, Monday being a bank holiday weekend we started to tear up the garden and partially build a gazebo – only the weather wasn’t kind and we ran out of time – so hence we are living and working in a bit more mess than is normal – not to worry.
My husband flew off on business for 6 days leaving me with no child care for the weekend which was the Baby and Toddler show in Blue Water Kent.

The Great retail Revival and House of Fraser POP At HOF was kicking off with a whole lot of paperwork. With staff rotas, training days, stock to be sorted etc etc. Plus we have marketing events to plan and book, anyway enough work to keep us out of trouble, plus there is the rest of the business to run and we have the amazing whos’s your Daddy tee’s in production which needs over seeing too. (but they will be worth it)
I spent Monday evening planning the weeks work and allocating tasks only on Tuesday morning to have both my staff call in sick (and one is on holiday). At the beginning of four weddings and a funeral the film starts with the’ F’ word repeated about 10 times – that was my verbal start to Tuesday.

All worked out well though, the marketing plan that I had been mulling over on twenty bits of paper materialised into a plan (thanks Rach my lovely neighbour for your help). Staff rota was written, hair stylist booked. Simon Sparks hairstylist to the Berkhamsted stars is going to be creating Rock and Roll hair do’s for kids in store over the two weeks and we have some other suprises too but I am keeping those secret for now!!!
Wednesday we sorted stock for HOF and for the Baby and Toddler Show in Kent, packed the car only for the battery to be dead on Thursday morning when I was about to drive to KENT. I got going but two miles down the M25 found out my bonnet was flapping and had to stop to shut it properly and on the way back after setting up in super speedy time I got caught in a five hour Traffic jam.

Friday at the B&T show trading was great and I met loads of people and told them all about HOF and people got very excited and promised to blog about Rockabye and POP at HOF – so don’t forget. Saturday was weird as metal pole in the stand opposite me fell down and all I saw was a four year old girl and a bloody head so I stepped in with my newly acquired first aid skills and kept her calm until the medic came – which took forever. She was absolutely fine, but her parents were shook up – not a good way to end the day, So Sunday evening 9pm kids are collected from friends houses where they had been living over the weekend and all is well if not a little pooped.

Today in the office we have boxes galore and cars to be unloaded and xls sheets that should have gone out last week mounting up and life well is a little crazy – what a perfect link to my “14 days to HOF and 14 songs” to sum up the feeling. So please put your hands together as we embrace the madness together with Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd2B6SjMh_w
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The advantages of working from home

Now I know it’s not everyone’s cuppa green tea – working from home. And I am the first to admit that it really is not always easy. You have to be super focused and have to ignore the pile of washing up or a full clothes basket when you should be calling your customers or planning the next years cash flow.

There are often times when I wish I could go into a nice clean office and leave the mess and the kids behind, do my job, get paid and feel part of the minimalist furniture. Instead I commute to shed 66, my rather beautiful, green shed 20 meters from my back door.

On a normal day I drop children at school for 8.30am occasionally go into town – to do the weekly shopping or send out orders at the post office and rush back to Shed 66 for 9.30am when the other members of the Rockabye staff come to play, I mean work.

Two days a week I look after other people kids after school so they can look after mine the other two days and Fridays I finish at 3.00pm ready to have time with my kids. Seeing as though they are the reason I set up this business it seems only right that I get to spend some time with them.

Anyway, although all the advantages around school are obvious and I know I have my cake and eat it too, but there are the disadvantages too. The first one being that I never have in between time between having my work head on and being a mother – I am often in the middle of a call or a webinar or something when kids walk in and I have to carry on as normal – even though I am signing them with my eyebrows to leave the biscuit jar alone – like that would ever work.

One minute I am trying to chase a dept, getting a new design off to print or sending a last minute email the next minute I am in the kitchen cooking tea and doing homework – there never is any transitional time that I think as adults we all need to get into the mindset of the next role.

On Monday though I have to say that I had this whole working from home malarkey down to a fine art and I really did see the advantages of working from home.

Melda my long term office assistant left a week or so ago and Suzie was starting on the tenth March – great I thought Monday morning, new staff, all good. What I had failed to plan in though was that it was my son – Fred’s 5th birthday that day – and we decided to have a party after school for 14 school friends.

Now in our house birthdays are a big deal – balloons and bunting are up – pile of present s – parties oh and I have to MAKE a cake – we are not allowed to buy one – the thing was that I had ran out of icing sugar the night before and so when I woke up on Monday morning nothing was ready – I had a list and a plan and a baked empty very boring chocolate cake but no fancy batman Lego cake – no way.

Suzie started at 10 and after a quick shop at 8.45 I was knee deep in black sugar icing and cake crumbs and scouting round the Lego box looking for Bat Man’s head and the lamp post ( as you do ).
Lucky my husband Simon was off work .and as a good planner does written a to do list . It looked something like this:

• Get toilet roll tubes form craft drawer for batman monoculars
• Put party ring biscuits on strings for washing line game
• Hide bats in the garden
• Find gold coins
• Plant magic beanstalks – get soil in yog pots (14)
• Get wellie for puss in boots -wellie throwing
• Flour and bowl for Goldilocks porridge game
You get the idea.

I also had a spread sheet of activities left over from Scarlet’s party a few years ago, so I scrubbed out Dr Who and put in favourite Characters and.. voila – I almost felt organised.
I had party bags and labels done and pass the parcel wrapped – I was wearing my superwoman knickers with style today.

At 9.50 I had battled with the Lego men (and women – blimey that are feisty) made a Batman guitar Lego cake – filled it with chocolate butter icing and love and went to wash my hands. As Suzie would be arriving any minute I gave Simon the job of sticking Smarties to the bottom of the cake just to complete it, job done.

Suzie, as she would be on her first day, was right on time and she came in to the house to say hello and I made her a cup of tea, as we were walking up the garden path to the shed said she said “ oh I like the guitar cake isn’t your husband amazing?”
I was absolutely speechless – work like a nutter and then someone else comes in and takes all the credit – now there’s a life lesson. Anyway Suzie had a first day of figuring things out, I popped back to the house ensuring that the Smarties were stuck to the cake to a high enough standard and that Simon was working his way down the crazy list and then went back to training Suzie and everything ran like a dream.

I collected Fred at three and the fun began. Biscuits were chomped from the washing line, gold coins were found in the grass and magic bean stalks planted. And guess what – when it was time to sing Happy Birthday we made one little five year old boy very happy indeed.

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Goodbye Melda

This week our lovely Melda is leaving us for brighter shores and windolene?,  ( now I am showing my age). After nearly one and a half years with us, she has bagged herself a super duper job as a window dresser for Debenhams.

With her glamous style and fashionista frolics I am sure if she stands still long enough people will think she is a model too. Good Luck Melda and Thank you – Life in Rockabye- won’t be the same with out your tea! (and sorry for posting these pics – I am sure you will hate me for this). Good Luck and keep on Rockin’