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FRECKLES IS ACE

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Freckles is a beautiful kids store located in Avalon on the northern beaches of NSW, where this blogger (me) happens to live.  I had nothing to do with the store picking up Alex & Ant as a label, so it was pretty exciting to see so much of the Summer range on display as I walked the kids to school one day!  Elyse and her team fill this store with quality labels and fantastic gift items, the stock is ever changing and the windows always look gorgeous.  The special Alex & Ant window featured our Megan Hess poster-size colouring-in design and a wonderful pegged clothes line of Summer pieces.  Inside the racks were full with our love-heart, ice-cream and watercolour prints, coloured pom poms and tassels, boys stripes and shark print and lots of baby onesies folded around the shelves.  There were a few baby dolls dressed up too!  The collection has raced out the doors, so this is why I’m writing in the past tense….

Stay up to date with the store at http://www.frecklesforkids.com/

Thank you Freckles For Kids, your support is heartwarming xoxo

Freckles

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NOW SHOWING AT ARMADA COLLECTIONS

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Welcome Olivia from online store Armada Collections, a wonderful supporter of local children’s fashion and Alex&Ant.  We’re so thrilled to introduce their store to our readership.

http://www.armadacollections.com.au

A&A: Which five words best describe you?

Crazy, Dreamers, Fun, Hard Working, Motivated

A&A: How did you come to start your business and what point has it reached this present day?

My sister in Law and I really wanted to start our own business, after about a year of dreaming up ideas we finally decided. So many Mums we had spoken to loved to dress their kids in something different than your usual retail stores. We wanted to be able to reach people in all areas especially those areas that don’t have much variety in kids clothing. Coming from our own personal experience when you have kids going to the store to find a perfect gift or just an outfit can be a big effort – now Mums can shop with us without leaving home. We decided an online boutique featuring Australian Designers and really focusing on the quality of clothing so parents would always trust our brands we stock. 

A&A: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome along the way?

Making the right choice and decision on stock and trying to find something a little bit different that everyone will love. Also the hurdle with being online is trying to get people to trust what we say is gorgeous really is!!! They can’t touch and feel so we really need to build a trusted data base.

A&A: Tell us about the area in which you’re located and what’s special about it.

We are an online store, so we are everywhere, anytime you need us!!

A&A: What inspires you?  Books, Blogs, Websites, People, Movies, Family, etc…

Our  friends and family. Always staying on top of what is new by constant research online and of course our wonderful children!!

A&A: What dream(s) do you still want to fulfill, personal and/or professional?

We want Armada to become a house hold name – we want people to remember our personal customer service that we give to everyone that shops with us. We want to keep growing our brands and make people more aware of the wonderful local fashion we have here in Australia. We would one day, like to branch overseas so we can introduce our brands to other parts of the world.

A&A: Tell us your favourite Alex&Ant item from your store and what response you’ve had to the label.

Our favourite winter piece is the Bow Silk Pants in Black, perfect for any winter wardrobe you can dress them up or down….everybody loves them!!

Enjoy ~

Fleur xo

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NOW SHOWING AT…LELLOW KIDS

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Welcome Loretta from valued Canberra stockist, Lellow Kids.  Here’s what she has to say about her gorgeous store and life in Braddon on the fringe of the city.

A&A: Which five words best describe you?

Mother, Driven, Busy, Passionate & Caring

A&A: How did you come to start your business and what point has it reached this present day?

I always knew I had the drive to run my own business – I just wasn’t sure what business that would be. Prior to having children I was a bookkeeper.  After becoming a parent I stumbled into retail, taking the reins of Lellow Kids (formerly Lellow) from friend Diana Derek in October 2011.  When I took over, I added things to the store that I knew parents would like whilst still driving the business from a smart bookkeeping point of view.  Stocking a range of clothes, shoes and toys catering for newborns to 12-year-olds, our store specialises in presenting quality products as cheaply as possible.  Items include clothing by Alex & Ant, Munster, Minti & gorgeous tutus by Tutu Du Monde,  a range of French-made toys from Moulin Roty plus a variety of shoes and boots.  I think the store is quite unique and has a real sense of style, so locals shouldn’t feel the need to go to Melbourne or Sydney.

A&A: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome along the way?

Getting people to understand that their children need to be comfortable in what they wear.  Sometimes customers just like the cheapest option as kids grow so fast, but this means that the clothes are not always 100% cotton and 100% quality.  Educating people to invest in their children’s comfort and wellbeing can be challenging.

A&A: Tell us about the area in which you’re located and what’s special about it.

Braddon is fast becoming a trendy fringe area of Canberra city and in the last 6 months the area has dramatically changed with many apartment style buildings under construction.  There are big plans to build more inner-city housing, which is fantastic for us – to be situated in an area with loads of potential for growth.  Already there are other gorgeous little gift shops and homewares stores popping up.  Rather than shopping in the malls people like to come to Braddon for the charm of a strip-shopping experience.

A&A: What inspires you?  Books, Blogs, Websites, People, Movies, Family, etc…

The people that inspire me are my family, in particular my parents who have taught me that nothing comes for free and if you are passionate in what you do and work hard you will see the rewards.

A&A: What dream(s) do you still want to fulfill, personal and/or professional?

Professionally I would love to see the store grow,  in fact we are moving the shop to larger premises in the same street so I’m hoping the bigger store will give us more presence.  We want to be THE go-to place to if you are looking for funky kids clothes or baby gifts etc..

A&A: Tell us your favourite Alex&Ant item from your store and what response you’ve had to the label.

I love the floral playsuits which flew out the door at Christmas, and the little booties.. My customers absolutely love the Alex & Ant label and we’ve been taking pre-orders for the winter booties.  The grandmas love the floral baby outfits and I had one lady come back three times for the same outfits for baby gifts!

Thanks so much for your time, Loretta.  We hope this blog sends some visitors your way :)

Enjoy ~ Fleur xo

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WE SHOULD BE SO LUCKY!

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Look!  Here we are featured on the latest mail-out from Baby’s Got Style, thank you BGS.  It’s always such a thrill to see how our valued wholesale accounts embrace our latest ranges.  Who would we be without their continued support?  To all of you who lovingly invest, unpack,  merchandise and promote ALEX&ANT in your beautiful stores, we send our gratitude and best wishes for the Winter season.

Enjoy ~

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NOW SHOWING AT~MOLLY AND JACK

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Oh, it’s the start of a new month so we must introduce you to another of our fantastic stockists!

Welcome to Kerri’s story, owner of the beautiful retail store Molly & Jack in Oatley, south of Sydney… Named after her 2 children Molly & Jack, this gorgeous store reflects Kerri’s love of beautiful things.

A&A: Which five words best describe you?

M&J: Hardworking, determined,  sensitive, creative and unorganised

A&A: How did you come to start your business and what point has it reached this present day?

M&J: I had been working for 22 years as either a receptionist or secretary and never really enjoyed what I did.  I always jumped at the opportunity to do anything a little bit creative at work like organising office functions or doing the office floral arrangements. I always felt like there was something out there I was meant to be doing and this was definately not it.

Three months after the birth of my second child I decided to change careers,  took a big leap and opened Molly & Jack.  The store is named after my 2 children.  It has been extremely hard work but I feel like I have finally reached a place where I am happy with the way I have built up my store and the loyal clientel I have.

A&A: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome along the way?

M&J: Realising that you need to cater to your customers which means buying with your head rather than your heart.  Not everyones tastes are the same or life would be pretty boring and you really need to go with what works best for your store.  What works in one suburb may not necessarily work in another.

A&A: Tell us about the area in which you’re located and what’s special about it.

M&J: Oatley is in Southern Sydney 21km from the Sydney CBD.  It is surrounded by some great parks and most are situated on the water.  There is a great sense of community and a real old world feel to the shopping village.  There is a great pub, wonderful cafes, craft shops and deli’s.  Oatley has previously been called the Double Bay of the South.

A&A: What inspires you?  Books, Blogs, Websites, People, Movies, Family, etc…

M&J: My children inspire me definately.  They are what drives me everyday to make the best life possible for them.  I also love going to markets and looking at blogs where I am constantly inspired by things that are not only unique but beautiful.  I am amazed at the amount of creative people out there designing and making the most beautiful things.

A&A: What dream(s) do you still want to fulfill, personal and/or professional?

M&J: My dream is to build my business up and take a small step back to enjoy what I have.  I wish for my family to be as happy and healthy as possible.  I also want to concentrate on being more organised in the future.

A&A: Tell us your favourite Alex&Ant item from your store and what response you’ve had to the label.

M&J: The bloomers and co-ordinating singlets.  The gorgeous white singlet with pink crochet flower and pom poms.  These just walked out the door.  The thing I love about Alex & Ant is the brand is constantly evolving while still keeping with its signature look.  All my customers love Alex & Ant.

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NOW SHOWING AT~SPOILT @ SUBI

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Thank you Jo for being part of our journey, it is an absolute privilege to be stocked in your beautiful store ~ Spoilt@Subi. You create so much love & happiness around you, and the wonderful feeling you get when you enter your store is a true testament of your talent, care & passion.

We love your enthusiasm towards ALEX&ANT and we are very excited about dressing your beautiful customers & your two divine little angels – Indiana & Lottie.

So here is Jo’s story – find out what inspires this successful & passionate gal!

A&A: Which five words best describe you?

Jo: Talkative, friendly, perfectionist, organised and optimistic.

A&A: How did you come to start your business and what point has it reached this present day?

Jo: It all started over seven years ago when I finished uni and decided that sitting in an office all week was not for me.  I needed something a lot more colourful, interactive and fun.  I’d always wanted to own my own gift shop and decided to take the risk.  Spoilt @ Subi opened its doors over six years ago now and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  I love going to work and love the never ending retail therapy!

A&A: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome along the way?

Jo: Mmmm… by far the biggest hurdle came after Indiana arrived which was balancing work with family.  24 hours in a day just never seemed enough.  Thank goodness for amazing staff!

A&A: Tell us about the area in which you’re located and what’s special about it.

Jo: Subiaco (Western Australia) is a really vibrant suburb.  The shop is located next to the Subiaco train station which is surrounded by a mix of retail, commercial and residential apartments.  It is constantly growing and evolving.  What’s special about it?  Without doubt the amazing customers we have that are our neighbours!

A&A: What inspires you?  Books, Blogs, Websites, People, Movies, Family, etc…

Jo: Definitely my husband Reid and my two beautiful girls, Indiana & Lottie!  Every day is full of laughs and smiles thanks to them.

Websites & blogs are definitely a weakness of mine.  I could quite possibly spend days looking at endless sites full of architecture, photography, furniture, clothing, and new products.  It’s so fascinating the products people create.  The ideas people come up with keep me continuously inspired and amazed.

A&A: What dream(s) do you still want to fulfill, personal and/or professional?

Jo: Travel!  I can’t wait to take Indi and Lottie travelling!  By far one of the most memorable holidays I had growing up was visiting Disneyland.  I just thought that place was the bees knees and didn’t want that holiday to end.  I am definitely taking them there even if Mickey Mouse isn’t “in fashion”.

There are a few other ideas I have that I would love to achieve professionally, but sorry, it’s ‘secret squirrel’ business.

A&A: Tell us your favourite Alex&Ant item from your store and what response you’ve had to the label.

Jo: I LOVE the Alex & Ant girls singlets!  I just adore the white singlet with the big pink crochet flower and pom poms.  Oversized flowers, pom poms and lace trim are all a weakness of mine!

Alex & Ant is always a hit with customers.  Before the season even starts we have customers asking when new stock is arriving.  But seriously what isn’t there to like about the gorgeous label?!  I am totally addicted.

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NOW SHOWING AT~CHARBELLA BUBS

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Welcome into the world (long-awaited, I know) of another special ALEX&ANT stockist, Charbella in Cronulla NSW.  This time it was a VERY exciting journey to visit this stunning store and into an area of Sydney with which I’m unfamiliar, but Donna made me feel like an old friend.  Olive was as good as gold and we had a gorgeous time in the store, surrounded by so much more than beautiful children’s clothes.  Charbella is styled beautifully and you can really appreciate the wonderful artistic flair and clear vision that drives these siblings.  There is a wonderful feeling in the air of Charbella Bubs, and you can see that all the loyal customers feel it too. We were so happy we spent most of the day there, it was a long day for Olive, but it was certainly well worth it for the inspiration I took away.

A&A: Which five words best describe you?

CB: Truly unique, everchanging style and beauty

A&A: How did you come to start your business and what point has it reached this present day?

CB: My sister and I have always had unique style.  We both wanted to pour our creative energy into something that we both could connect with.  Our children were born, Charlie and Bella and then came Charbella Bubs.

A&A: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome along the way?

CB: Toning down our creativity and not wanting to do that.  Having to please the masses.

A&A: What has kept you going and continues to inspire you?

CB: That we feel more people have dared to step outside the square. That “The Shire” is opening up to change.  Geographically it’s a beautiful small coastal town on the outskirts of Sydney.  It’s next to the oldest national Park in Australia and has access to the ocean as well as Port Hacking.  There are alot of birds around as well as great surf spots.  I grew up in old Bondi.  I watched Bondi grow and believe that this area will with time.

A&A: What dream(s) do you still want to fulfill?

CB: I would love to live in Bali with my son for a few years.  I would love a coastal cottage with an outdoor shower and a vege patch,  I also would like to swim in the ocean with my son  for the rest of my life… Those are my dreams.

A&A: Tell us about your favourite Alex&Ant stock item from your store and what response you’ve had to the new collection.

CB: I love the blue peace dove body suit.  I like the fact that it is blue and works for all.  Customers love the range.  They keep buying the pieces because they are unique and a great price.  The little polka dot shoes are cute too.  They love these.

Our bottles feature prominently, but if you look closely you’ll see our hats & shirred Anglaise onesie/playsuit folded, a couple of Surf VW bodysuits in the window…oh, and Olive rummaging through the styles!  Unfortunately most of the ALEX&ANT pieces were yet to be unpacked at the time, so we’ll look forward to seeing them on our next visit.  Of course, if any of our readers visit now (at the time of this post), you’ll see the whole Collection (baby – 6yrs).  Please make sure you mention our blog so I know someone out there is reading it!?  Love Fleur x

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NOW SHOWING AT~MY MESSY ROOM

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

On Friday, Olive and I took a little trip to Summer Hill to visit one of our delightful Sydney stockists, ‘My Messy Room’.  What a gorgeous suburb and my thanks to Stav & Bec @ MMR for making us feel so welcome after our long drive (we did stop off at Belle Fleur chocolates to keep up our blood-sugar. You’ve GOT to try their new ‘Apple Strudel’ available only at their Rozelle & Petersham stores). We adored My Messy Room as is, but we know the store will look even lovelier when a huge delivery of Spring/Summer arrives ~ particularly when Stav merchandises our Alex&Ant collection with her trademark flair.  Any day now!

A&A: Which five words best describe you?

MMR: Optimistic, dedicated, family orientated, inspired and hardworking.

A&A: How did you come to start your business and what point has it reached today?

MMR: I had been a Buyer for a women’s chain store and whilst on maternity leave I started to think about doing my own thing so that I could have a better balance with family and work.  I had loved my job but it was highly competitive, lots of travel, late nights and deadlines.  I enjoy working and knew I needed to do something, but wanted it to be on my terms.  I hadn’t ever thought about childrenswear until Hudson arrived and that world suddenly opened up to me!  I then realised that there was an opportunity to open a store near where I lived, featuring products that I loved and couldn’t get in the area, to utilise my buying and retail skills, be my own boss and work just as hard but for my own gains.

Within the first year of opening I became pregnant with Harvey (which was a surprise) so my plans for My Messy Room stalled a little whilst I became a mum for the 2nd time, adjusted to having two little babies in the the house as well as running the store, online business and being a wife!

Now that both boys are that little bit older (nearly 2 and 4), I feel very inspired and determined to grow my business again and have lost of plans for the summer!

A&A: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome along the way?

MMR: You hear it often, but its time and not having enough of it!  It’s learning to prioritise and get systems in place to run your business as efficiently as possible in the time you have.  I found last year very challenging to say the least and I wasted so much time chasing my tail!  This year I am slowly making the changes to ensure the business side runs more smoothly so that it allows me to source different products and spend time with my customers.  These are the reasons why I opened the store.

A&A: What kept you going and continues to inspire you?

MMR: There is no doubt that it’s my family and the talented people around me that continually excite me about products, crafts, designs, textiles!

A&A: What dreams do you still want to fulfil?

MMR: Gosh, that’s a hard one and I have  a few!  Ultimately though it would be to have a better balance between my family, my own business and my husband’s business.  To travel with my kids every year and give them opportunities to explore and grow….

A&A: Tell us about your favourite Alex&Ant stock item from your store.

MMR: My favourite Alex&Ant items are the water bottles.  They are supercute, timeless, practical, inexpensive and best of all encourage healthy living!

If you can spot the Alex&Ant bottle design @ My Messy Room in the pics below, join us on facebook and tell us! Be the first to send us a facebook message quoting the name of this design and you will win it :)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/ALEXANT/216064142887

Love Fleur X

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NOW SHOWING AT – TEN LITTLE INDIANS

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Welcome to the second ‘Now Showing At’ blog, where we put one of our valued Alex&Ant stockists up in lights!  This month we chat with Emma from webstore TEN LITTLE INDIANS.

MIOW – GLAMOUR PUSS TEENEW SEASON WINTER DENIM SKIRT

A&A: Which five words best describe you?

TLI: Hardworking, persistent, mildly obsessive, practical & sleep deprived!

A&A: How did you come to start your business, in what year and where can we find it?

TLI: Tina and I met when we were both expecting our first child.  We both had a love for children’s clothing and were living in an area where we didn’t readily have access to the products we were looking for.  We were sure there were plenty of people out there in the same position hence Ten Little Indians was born.  That was over 3 years ago.  Our business has obviously grown immensely.  We stock over 70 brands, shipping hundreds of parcels each week throughout Australia & internationally.

A&A: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome along the way?

TLI: Time is always the biggest hurdle – not enough of it! Sometimes people will say that it must be great having an online business that you can do from home not understanding that running our business is truly full-time.  Having a family and working is always a juggle.  We’ve been approached so many times by stay at home mums saying they want to do what we do.  Our advice is always that it is not as easy as it looks.  We try to be brutally honest so that they know what they are getting into.

A&A:What has kept you going and continues to inspire you?

TLI: Our children of course!  How can you not keep going with a family relying on you?

A&A: Please tell us about your favourite Alex&Ant stock item from your store.

TLI: My favourite Alex&Ant item is definitely the denim bird skirt, my youngest Hattie just loves this skirt because my eldest daughter Martha has one too!  It looks fabulous teamed with her Alex&Ant Glamour Puss long sleeve tee.

A&A: And finally, what dreams do you still want to fulfill?

There are oh so many….it’s only by reaching for the stars that we can inherit the universe!

A&A: Thank you for this insight into your busy life and successful business,  and also for this gorgeous photo of Hattie in her Alex&Ant ensemble. You too (our blog readership) can outfit your child with 20% off during the month of July.  That’s 20% off all Alex&Ant purchases through Emma & Tina @ Ten Little Indians.   Just enter “AA” in the coupon section of the checkout for the discount to apply during July only.

http://www.tenlittleindians.com.au/

And whilst you’re shopping you can read Emma’s blog, Even The Smallest Things Matter, written about Alex&Ant!

http://www.tenlittleindians.com.au/blog/

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NOW SHOWING AT – MY BABY ROCKS

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Welcome to our 1st “(Alex&Ant) Now Showing At…” post. I chose this title to put the names of our wonderful stockists ‘up in lights’!  They deserve it for all of the fantastic support they afford us.  Today we’re chatting with Mary from webstore MY BABY ROCKS and here’s what she has to offer us about life as a mother and store owner:

I have 2 kids, Joshua who is 5 and Chloe is 2, who keep me busy!  They are a huge part of My Baby Rocks, modeling clothes for me and testing out all of the lovely clothing, hair accessories & shoes.  My Baby Rocks is very much a family affair.  My lovely husband runs the website and has spent many many hours designing and putting it all together.  I have been running My Baby Rocks for 18 months now and love keeping up with all the latest trends and fashion.  It is wonderful to turn a hobby which I am passionate about into a business, whilst still being able to spend time at home with my family and of course, the kids look fabulous!

A&A: Which five words best describe you?

MBR: A Fun-loving perfectionist, very busy, even more tired but extremely happy!

A&A: How did you come to start your business, in what year and where can we find it?

MBR: My Baby Rocks began back in 2008 after the birth of my gorgeous daughter Chloe, unlike with my son there was a never ending supply of adorable outfits and accessories for girls…only trouble was I could not think of anything worse than shopping with an unwilling 3 year old boy and a tiny baby with severe colic!  Along with the colic came endless washing, soaking and scrubbing resulting in many out of shape, faded clothes complete with my worst enemy – lint!  So came about my mission to find quality clothing that looked new wash after wash.  Shopping online made life so much easier, but I just couldn’t find the bright, loud and quirky clothing I was looking for.  This is when the idea behind My Baby Rocks began, located in Madeley, Perth and we haven’t looked back since…

A&A: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome along the way?

MBR: Definitely, not having enough time – no more lazy Sundays or movies.  Being an online store means plenty of phone calls and emails in the evenings/weekends and working from home…well it really never ends!  In order to keep my sanity, I have learnt to organise my time better and allocate hours to both work and home as well as trying to keep working into the early hours of the morning to a minimum.  And I’ve had to accept that there’s always tomorrow!

A&A:What has kept you going and continues to inspire you?

MBR: The support of my wonderful husband who is always willing to lend a hand and my mum, who without this would not have been possible.  My kids continue to inspire me day after day and I hope to one day have a business that they can play a role in, or at the very least some very well dressed grandchildren.

A&A: And finally, please tell us about your favourite Alex&Ant stock item from your store.

MBR: My favourite Alex and Ant item at the moment would have to be the raspberry cord elephant pinnie, Chloe just loves this dress and we get so many comments when she is wearing it.  The fabric is light and looks fabulous teamed up with a long sleeve tee, tights and maryjanes.  I am eagerly awaiting the next season of Alex & Ant, I can’t give away any secrets, but it is absolutely divine!

A&A: Just LOVE that pic of Chloe showing some toddler attitude!

Thank you so much, Mary, for your wonderful and honest insight into your life and business.  To thank our blog readership, that’s YOU, Mary will be popping a free Alex&Ant wrap in with any Alex&Ant purchase from MY BABY ROCKS. Or wraps are not only perfect for swaddling, they’re great as a pram cover, tummy-time rug or a for a general snuggle!  Just enter “BLOG” at the MY BABY ROCKS checkout before June 30.

http://www.mybabyrocks.com.au/cart/index.php

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