Monday, February 27, 2012

Mini me or ?

What is your mind set when you shop for your kids?

Do you buy clothes for your children similar to what you would wear?  Do you allow your kids to choose their own clothes? Do you take their personalities into account? Do you buy clothes that you were "deprived" when you were a child? Or do you get inspiration from magazines and movie stars kids?

Katie and Suri doing a stop of shopping at Hermes, as you do!
I know when my kids were little I did all of the above!  When they were really little, especially for my daughter,  I generally I bought things that I would wear,  lots of navy, red, white clean lines simple designs, jeans, tees, nothing too complicated.  By 4 she was a fairy and the fairy dresses were on rotation!  My little man had a fixation with Batman, so he too had 5 Batman costumes that were worn all the time!  By 7 they were both their own little people so from that stage I gave them a couple of options and they would choose themselves one.   

Since my children are 17 & 16, I have no control but I still have an influence.  Polo for my son with jeans, whilst my daughter is quite fashion forward, has a certain look, knows what suits her and just goes for it! 

Now I am in the enviable position of buying clothes for other peoples children. What makes it hard and exciting at the same time is the hope that my customer and their children will firstly trust my taste and secondly want to buy my clothes, all the while I have to order things so far in advance.  So for the past few weeks, I have been checking out the overseas fashion weeks for inspiration of what is to come for winter '13 and today watching the Oscars and drooling!  (So far Milla Jovovich in Ellie Saab!) 

Jessica Alba and gorgeous Honor doing
a spot of shopping!
Chat soon!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Minti has arrived!

I swear Minti would have to be the most popular brand with many young mums!  Today it arrived in store and I had customers literally pulling at the boxes!  My shop looks like a bomb has hit it...  All because of Minti.

I can see why the brand is very popular!  Excellent quality of fabrics, quirky designs, comfortable fit. And amazing colours!  The colours are truly amazing, specially for the boys.  Where other brands have a handful of dull colours for the boys, Minti loves vibrant blues, red, greens and yellows... and sometime all these colours mixed together.

So I guess reliability, good design, hard wearing fabrics, FUN!, make this great brand so so popular!

Chat soon


Sunday, February 19, 2012


Tutu Du Monde has to be one of the most dreamiest, romantic brands I have ever come across!  Andrea's attention to detail, fabric, craftsmanship can not be faulted.  Also her knack of creating something new and different every season is pretty amazing.  

all things nice
A great example for this would have to be the piece de resistance  "All things nice" in Berry just in time for Christmas last year!  The only way to describe it would have had to be A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  We wanted to have it as a Christmas window but lets just say in two days we had but sold out of it!  We were very happy to see that "All things nice" has been repeated but given a look with a different colour this season.  A more "season-appropriate" colour, I guess.  Some of the very popular styles are replicated with a variance that make them new and other styles have a different colour giving them their own personality. That's what make these dresses so unique!  

This new season will also see the introduction of capes, boleros and cardigan to compliment the look!

What little girl doesn't want to look like a princess?  you tell me, I guess if I could get away with it I would be wearing a tutu everyday.  Believe me my daughter had a few tutu's when she was little and let's just say we got our moneys worth!  Tutu Du Monde has taken tutus to a new level.  No longer are they just for dress-up... they are now seen more as evening wear/formal wear for girls than belonging in the dress-up box!  

So with great anticipation we await for the new season Tutu Du Monde range to be in store and online early this week!  

Chat soon!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

how I buy

happy buying season to me...

many customers constantly ask me how I do my buying, what strategies I use and how I co-ordinate all the different brands to have a cohesive season!

Well I will do my best to give you a quick insight and how the my brain works during this crazy time.  I definitely won't bore you with budgets, business plans and dollar spends what I can tell you is how I buy.

First the house rules:

  1. I have to love a brand, if I don't love it I can't sell it!  Plain and simple!
  2. I have to find the clothes "morally" acceptable for me, i.e. would I allow my children to wear it, if the answer is no, well its not on my order!
  3. Are the fabrics of the best quality and is the brand well reputed, because my shop is like my home, its a representation of who I am, and I would definitely not put rubbish in my home.
  4. I have to like the people that I deal with, this economic environment has really shown up the good and bad in people in all industries and especially in fashion.  If the agent or the distributor or the design house are hard work they are then off my list!
Okay, now here the actual buying rules:

gorgeous Sarah from Sancerre!

  • I guess what season I am buying for plays a big part, summer = dresses, dresses and even more dresses
  • To go back with the dress, cardis, leggings, accessories
  • So basically I build outfits, that is how I buy, I buy outfits
  • Winter is all about layering, long sleeve tops, hoodies to go on top, jeans/pants/trackie/skirts so on to go underneath
  • Occasionally you just buy pieces because I love them!  So if I see a cute tee that there is nothing to go back with I will buy it because I love it!  And I am sure you will find something to go back with it!
  • One major rule is that I will not buy everything that a brand shows me, there is no art of buying in that, I buy for my customers and for my taste and as yet I have not come across a brand that I LOVE everything from!
  • I am also always on the lookout for new and exciting brands... Its nice to inject some newness to the shop!
  • Try to attend as many gift fairs as possible, there are amazing barometers for both the industry and economic environment, always a great catch up with people!
So there you have my buying secrets... Its not brain surgery but its my process during this hectic season! 

Saying all the above, best I get a move on with all the orders that I have to submit!

Chat soon!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Are you a Sale or New Season Shopper?

Don't you just love the word sale... for me it sends a tingle up my spine, in a good way of course.  I don't see it as money I spend but rather money I save! (at least that's what I tell Jim!)

When Sales are on I try to be good and have a plan of what I need to buy and generally I always buy things that don't date and can be used from one year to the next.  For the house,  I buy things like towels (white, grey or taupe),  bed linen (white of course!), platters (again all white) , picture frames (white, I think you get the gist of my colour scheme at home).

As far as clothes for me are concerned classics are the order of the day... a good pair of jeans, nice shoes, ballet flats, scarves, pea coats, black tees (although I am banned from buying any more black tees but I will sneak one in there), tights to name a few.  As for my kids when they were younger I tried to adapt the same policy for them as well.  Fred Bare was always I brand I tried to bought on sale, its style never dates, they tend to have classics that are similar in style every year with some variances, ie denim, good quality tees and dresses.  Needless to say it was always a size bigger and for the next year.

In saying that, I generally am not the best sales buyer, I love new season!  When new season starts I tend to purchase the things that are new that I truly love, nothing is as disappointing as saying soemthing you love and not buying it and then constantly search for that piece that has sold out!  I have learned from past mistakes not to take it easy because the seasons are early, if I see something for and its 40 degrees outside I will buy it and then I know its mine!  Also I am not a laybyer!  I admire the discipline that my lay by customers show, I am of the "instant-gratification" school!  I see it, I buy it and I am happy!

I always advise the same to my customers, from sales purchase things that don't date from one year to the next, styles that you and your child love because you know they will wear it, and the odd statement piece that injects the child's personality! And when you see new season items that you love, buy them because they disappear and you are left disappointed.  So I guess now is a great time to visit our shop because we are on 50% Off all our summer range and BOY OH BOY there are some great pieces to be bought right now!  Also everyday we have new season deliveries so you have the best of both worlds!

We discuss that quite often with my friends, I have friends that buy everything on sale and will drive to some great distance for that sale piece and some that hate sales and buy what they want as soon as it comes in!

So my question is what sort of a shopper are you a sale or full-price shopper?

Hope to see in store for those great bargains!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sneak Peek Time!

It's that time of the year again... when all the buying begins (more details in the coming weeks) and new season starts arriving!

Customers constantly ask us here at Little by Little what is new what is coming, colours, fabrics, details, design and for some brands we can give details for others we just have to rely on our memory!

Well some of the brands have realised some amazing images of what is coming and I thought I would share them with you... more images are available on our facebook page.

Enjoy and let me know what you things!

Chat soon.

minti w12

Minti w12

Nolita Pockets w12

Desigual w12