Sometimes we come across a new children’s clothing line that we just have to shout about. Bumble & Ava is one of them. This week we interviewed Natasha Dickinson, the clever mama who founded the brand…
What inspired Bumble & Ava?
Simply, the birth of my elder daughter Ava. My mother Alexandra is a talented seamstress and began to make beautiful clothes, mainly dresses and bloomers for Ava. A number of people commented on them and we began to take commissions. We decided to expand into production earlier this year and as Kenya is very close to our hearts we wanted to be a part of their growing manufacturing industry.
Why the name?
Alexandra is known as ‘Bumble’ to her grandchildren and Ava is my daughter.
What is your USP?
Our fabrics! We collaborated with the talented Fashion Illustrator Susannah Garrod to create our unique designs. This collection of illustrative, colourful patterns is inspired by the Victorian Fairground. We particularly feel our signature horse and dove prints really stand out from the crowd.
We are also delighted that Bumble & Ava supports ethical business practices. Giving back to the communities is hugely important to us, so we found World Fair Trade factories and community based workshops.
Best bit about starting your own business?
Working alongside my mother who is so diligent and incredibly sacrificial with her time for Bumble & Ava. I know that she is doing it all for me and my girls. I also love working from home and being part of my girls’ day. This is a luxury for working parents and I try not to take it for granted. Sometimes I wish I was in a quiet office with a coffee machine and adults to talk to…but most of the time I love it!
Losing my evenings to my computer! Juggling family life and then starting my working day at 7.30pm can be pretty exhausting. I fear I am not alone!
Advice to other mumpreneurs?
Be brave and ambitious. It is challenging to be a full time parent and have a new business. If you don’t believe you can achieve great things then you could lose the drive to continue.
Your inspiration in terms of children’s clothing?
I tend to look to adult fashion for inspiration. I love patterns and ruffles and I don’t think children necessarily need to be dressed in ‘childish’ designs or fabrics. There are obviously practical aspects to consider with children…washing, comfort and sizing- however they can still be stylish.
Where do parents go wrong when it comes to dressing their babies/ children?
I don’t think parents necessarily do get it wrong. There is so much choice and parents can really mix and match. They can buy essential items from the high street and mix it with a Bumble & Ava piece to stand out.
If it seems a parent has ‘got it wrong’, I would imagine, if it is anything like my household, that they have simply given in and let their child dress themselves!
What is your favourite item from your collection?
I have a couple of favourites. I adore the Bella Blouse and wish we did grown up sizes. I love the soft lace, high neck and ruffles. I think it is really chic!
I also love the toy bag / play mat as it is really fun and practical, which makes a great gift.