Thursday, 23 October 2014

Halloween Masks From Opposite of Far

Earlier this year, we introduced you to American brand Opposite of Far, which specialises in exquisite children's play-masks - and, when we saw its latest offerings, we couldn't resist sharing them!

Each mask is the work of play-enthusiast and animal lover Jessica Near, who hand-crafts her creations from Eco-Fi Felt.

Customers can choose from a huge range of animals, including foxes, rabbits, giraffes, walruses and hippos. Jessica and her team (that's husband Mike and right-hand woman Christine - Opposite of Far is a family affair) have even introduced some spooky new designs for Halloween.



A former pre-school teacher, Jessica is keen help children engage in imaginative play - and these creepy masks are wonderfully detailed. We love the pirate beard!



Each design can be made in babies', children's and adult's sizes, while tails are also available to complete the look. 



This trio would be perfect for a Halloween party - or a seasonal window display! See the whole menagerie over at Opposite of Far's website

Friday, 17 October 2014

This Week's Best Bits

Happy Friday, folks! What's caught your eye on the web this week? Here are some of our favourite links..



Bubble brand Braveling has released a new Autumn/Winter look-book. We love all its Little Titans tights - but this 'Wild Thing' pair might just be our favourite. 

Elsewhere, Scandinavian Minimall has launched its own online Halloween shop, stocked to the brim with creepy clothing, toys and accessories. We're big fans of the My Little Day party supplies - perfect for a spooky get-together!

And, on the subject of seasonal inspiration, we've been swooning over these pictures from Blake Lively's autumn-themed baby shower all week. The sparkly apples would look great in an A/W window display. 



Finally, Raegan Moya Jones (founder of Bubble favourite aden + anais) demonstrated how to create the perfect swaddle on youtube. You could give it a go yourself with their new merino-muslin blankets

Have a lovely weekend! 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

B&S Meets...Magnus & Mouse

Launching a new children's brand can be a real roller-coaster ride, fraught with challenges and setbacks - but, in the end, hard work and perseverance pay off. No one knows this better than Penny Telford and Isobel Armstrong, the founders of new Bubble brand Magnus & Mouse. We caught up with Penny, who told us more about their journey from ambitious mums to professional fashion designers...




Penny, when and why did you decide to found Magnus & Mouse?

We started Magnus & Mouse in early 2014. Isobel and I have been friends for a long time and had spoken a lot about her idea for printed cot sheets. With both of us looking for more flexibility to work around our families, and having skill sets that complimented each other well, it felt like a 'now or never' moment to put our ideas into action.

What challenges have you faced in the process?

The biggest hurdle for us was finding the right suppliers. The quality of the organic cotton, the print quality, and also the working conditions in the suppliers we selected were all really important to us. We did lots of research online, much of which to no avail. Being a start-up we found some of the bigger suppliers weren't really interested in spending time talking to us and answering our questions. After putting in some serious legwork, we found many useful resources to help with our search and we now have a great partner who already works with some really big and trusted names in the industry. We also visited the factories first hand and were really impressed by both the quality of the goods produced and the conditions. All the factories we work with have extremely high standards and adhere to very stringent regulations. The care for their employees was also clear, which really made us confident in our selection.





How would you sum up your brand’s philosophy?

Fun, stylish and parent-friendly.

Could you tell us a bit about your first collection?

It was important all our products were suitable for boys and girls, so that was a great starting point. With the idea being born in Sweden, where Isobel noticed the range of cot sheets was much more stylish than anything we had over here, unsurprisingly they all have a real ‘Scandi’ feel to them.

All the prints are really fun (our kids loved identifying the animals!), simple and bright. We wanted them to have personality and inject colour into the cot space, which we think can be quite bare with many infants now using baby sleeping bags (including our own babies).




Why have you chosen to launch Magnus & Mouse at Bubble London? 

We attended the last edition of Bubble London and we were really impressed with the quality of the venue and the brands that attended. It was important to us to exhibit somewhere that attracted the right audience and fitted with our own design ethos. We also noticed how many of the exhibitors were offering organic and eco-friendly products and we were very encouraged by that.

We hope that people love the designs and the idea as much as we do, and of course we’d welcome speaking to anyone interested in stocking Magnus & Mouse.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to start a baby brand, what would it be?

Take time to do your research properly. Finding the right partner, and someone you can trust is key. Whilst the Internet is obviously a great resource, never underestimate the value of getting out there and meeting people first hand. Things that can take weeks over email can be solved in just a few minutes of face-to-face time. Going out to Turkey and spending time with people was the most useful thing that we did.



Catch Magnus & Mouse at Bubble London on February 1 and 2, 2015. 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Catching Up With Darlo

If you attended the SS15 edition of Bubble London, there's a good chance you'll remember Rising Star finalist, Darlo

The ethical babywear brand launched at July's show - and, when we heard that it would be returning in February 2015, we couldn't wait to catch up with founders Chloe and Jim!


Darlo's organic cotton leggings, vests and babygrows were a big hit at Bubble - not least because each garment provides a week's worth of meals for a child in India. 

The brand is partnered with Mumbai-based charity, Project Crayons, which provides education, shelter, food and hope for children and youths in marginalised communities. Darlo's 'A Little Giving Changes Lives' food programme is just one of its ambitious charitable projects. 




Chloe and Jim decided to found their own social enterprise after being struck by the lack of support available for children in developing countries. 

Since exhibiting at Bubble in July, they've secured their first order, been invited to the Houses of Parliament, and (most excitingly, if you ask us) organised their first lifestyle photo-shoot! Their mini-models, Henry and Willow, are some of the cutest we've ever seen...



Colourful organic comfies for a good cause! What could be better? 


You can catch up with Darlo at the February 2015 edition of Bubble London, where they'll be showcasing a range of new styles and colourways.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Grand Designs: Bubble & Speak Visits Designjunction

It's been a busy few weeks for team Bubble and Speak, culminating in a trip to Designjunction at New Oxford Street's cavernous Sorting Office. 

We spent hours wandering the halls of this renowned design show, which was brimming with exciting exhibitors and unique pieces. 


Alexandra Daisy Ginsburg's installation, Design Taxonomy, was one of the first to catch our eye. Created as part of the Dezeen and Mini Frontiers show, it featured 112 futuristic model vehicles. 

Dominic Wilcox's Stained-Glass Driverless Car was also a real show-stopper. 


Later, we bumped into Bubble favourite Molly-Meg, who had a pop-up shop at the show. We love that cute Lapin & Me lamp! And is that a copy of Lille Nord we spy on the middle shelf?


Finally, we stumbled across this beautiful exhibition, which had been created in aid of Designjunction's chosen charity, Teddy's Wish. Dubbed 'A Child's Dream', it featured customised ercol chairs and Anglepoise lamps. 


We came away feeling seriously inspired! But how about you? What's got your creative juices flowing recently? Let us know!