Meet the brains behind Sheffield most luxury kids shop, Kind Boutique
I thought I would introduce you to one of our amazing stockists, here in my own home town of Sheffield. Kinder Boutique opened around the same time as Little Lulu’s launched. The owner, Jill Hogg and I have forged a great friendship as our businesses grow together. We often call each other for a chat and to bend an ear about our fledgling businesses but a year on from opening, Kinder Boutique is going from strength to strength. They have some beautiful clothes and accessories, including our gorgeous Little Lulu’s shoes! Here’s more about Jill and what drove her to set up Kinder Boutique!
Jill, could you tell us a bit about yourself? Do you have a background in fashion and retail?
I am married to Mick we have a son, 3 daughters and an adorable grandson who’s 18 months old. I love spending time with the family, enjoying relaxing time and outings with them and endless gym hours I spend with daughter Laura.
I started my working life in retail, my first job was working for Stylo Barrett shoe company. I enjoyed my time in the shoe industry, working on all the departments … I left after almost 2 years to work for Boots the Chemist where I worked for 8 years, holding a senior position and having staff organising responsibilities and training dispenser.
After organising many playgroups and schemes voluntarily while the children were preschool age I returned to work. I was employed in education, initially as a Support Assistant which I did for over 8 years before moving into the office, which I enjoyed for a further 12 years before deciding to have a change of life ….
When and why did you decide to open Kinder Boutique? How did it all begin?
When we were expecting our grandson in September 2014 we felt a little disappointed at the lack of traditional, different, quality baby and children shops generally in the area… We had discussed starting our own business and considered these options more seriously. We felt that there may be an opportunity for us to look at high end quality baby and children’s wear and started researching these possibilities. In June 2015 that we found the premises we are currently in where Kinder Boutique began.
What excites and enthuses you?
I find many things exciting, viewing and buying the collections is one of the most exciting parts, it is extremely difficult to stay grounded as there are so many beautiful quality brands and garments to choose from when buying stock. Although I have not had many experiences of exhibitions and trade shows I am relishing being part of such events which gives a real buzz, everyone is so friendly, helpful and supportive.
I become really enthused by people viewing the ranges of clothing that we stock whether it be in our window displays or viewing within the shop. This is why I find myself so driven to help customers and visitors when they come into the shop as it is really nice to channel my drive and enthusiasm into helping a customer find the right outfit or accessory and ensuring they are satisfied.
Overall I feel excited and proud of the boutique we have created along with the great selection we have put together to offer our customers.
The support for our business has been overwhelming, we have encountered so many good wishes from our immediate neighbours, other independent businesses, local people and customers from surrounding areas, and last but not least our family and friends and suppliers. This has been an inspiration to us as a small, family business.
What are the key trends for children’s wear this year?
I don’t think we have a noticed particular trend, we find the traditional collections are ever popular with many of our customers, such as the smocking designs that Sarah Louise are famously known for. Another popular trend / styling is the nautical themed designs, this is echoed in several brands across the ranges we stock. These trends have not changed too much over many years. The Spring / Summer collections are absolutely adorable, varied and so versatile. The fabrics are so delicate and soft, the colour schemes blend perfectly, whether it’s the pastels or the vibrant colour ranges. The latest addition to our collection Pan con Chocolate has proven a favourite already with many of our customers who love the vibrant colours and beautiful floral designs.
What do you see for the future of Kinder Boutique?
Kinder boutique is still very new and we are still encouraging people to come and visit us and see what we have to offer. We strive to offer a quality service to all our customers whilst building and extending our customer base and maybe grow the business into additional locations.
Can you list 5 of the favourite items from your collection?
Oh there are so many favourites, that’s a really difficult one……
Our formal, Christening collection by Sweetie Pie from New York is stunning, it would be hard to choose a favourite from the range. One example is a white dress with beautiful sequinned detailed top, where the sequins trickle gently onto a full net over the skirt with a matching bonnet.
Secondly, from Spanish designer Tutto Piccolo. Their ‘Tabarca Baby’ dress is a delicate silver and blue dress with shorts set. It has a beautiful shimmer effect, complemented with delicate lace netting and flower bow detail… For older girls we have a similar dress which complements the baby range and styling perfectly.
Another favourite that comes to mind is from Sarah Louise’s boys’ collection. A more traditional and understated white romper with hat set which is perfect for a christening or wedding. The fabric is so soft and delicate with elegant, classy embroidery detail and pleated bottoms.
I’m on a roll now… A more bright and summery outfit we have in store is from our new (and proving popular) brand Pan Con Chocolate. Their boys range boasts ‘Bosco’ shorts and polo shirt set. Providing a vibrant and cheerful combination of red and white striped shorts complemented by a lime green polo short with red and white striped collar and edging on the sleeve. This outfit is the first spring / summer outfit we have added to our grandson’s wardrobe. This outfit will be featured on our Facebook page in the near future being shown off with the Little Lulu’s ‘Dexter’ shoes – quite simply an adorable match!
The final favourite I will pick out are a pair of pram boots from Little Lulu’s. The ‘Charlotte’ boots are adorable and so stylish, they are made from the finest soft, high quality Italian leather, these red patent leather boots have detailed black stitching, leather edging and matching black laces. They are a lovely way to complement many of the outfits we have in store for baby girls.
You can visit their shop in Sheffield at 3 Wadlsey Lane, Sheffield, S6 4AE. Tel: 0114 232 3266
Or visit their Facebook page here for more information.