To Shop - Big Dreams

Big Dreams started as a small store with a big heart. But it didn't take long until the dream was too large for the small store and they needed to relocate to a larger space that could accommodate the wide selection of toys, treasures, clothing and more...

Big Dreams now boasts two stores in Melbourne and an online store for those further afield. With everything both little and big kids could ever dream of we recommend checking them out. They have also just launched the online release their second magazine, Big Dreams Winter, filled with beautiful imagery and items to fawn over.

We asked Mary, the great mind behind Big Dreams a few questions about her lovely stores...
When did Big Dreams open and who started it?
Big Dreams came to be about 7 years ago, started by the same person as Small Dreams (which was a few doors down). Shona the original owner decided she wanted out of retail and sold both stores. Big Dreams was only 9 months old when Mary purchased it. Coming from wholesale industry experience it was a bit of a retail experiment. Just about 12 months in she knew it was going to be fun and something to grow.

What makes Big Dreams so unique?
Big Dreams is filled to the brim with quality toys, clothing and shoes for children, from the tiniest newborn right through to the big kids! With such a great range, we pride ourselves on being able to help even the trickiest customer find something that they can cherish or gift to a loved one.

What type of experience do you hope your customers will have in your store?
Big Dreams has become a wonderful mix of whimsy, nostalgia and contemporary design. Over the years, our small business has grown and developed its very own sense of style which is embodied in our two beautiful stores. Warm, inviting, colourful and fun - Big Dreams is filled with things we love and we hope our customers love them just as much!

How do you go about finding all your wonderful products?
Our products are an eclectic mix of items sourced from our lovely long-term suppliers and things stumbled across on the web. However, often it’s the designer that pops in to the store to show us their wares who catches our eye - we love to support local!

Tell us something about Big Dreams that might surprise people?
We are super excited to announce the online release of our second ever magazine, Big Dreams Winter, which we produced completely in house. From the photography, illustrations, styling, layout and wording - it was a lovely chance for our team to collaborate and draw on their exceptional skills. Our edit will be published biannually as a curated showcase of our most favourite things that can be found both instore and online.

What does Big Dreams look for in the perfect children's toy?
Fun and safety are definitely our biggest priorities. Next we look for toys that can cater for varying stages of development but with a quirky twist. We love tactile chunky wooden toys, whether left natural or finished with food-safe dyes, that invite play. We also value toys that promote imaginative play, leaving kids free to write their own story

What inspired you to launch the Big Dreams magazine?
We wanted to carve our own path and be leaders in the kids industry. Launching our magazine really was influential in highlighting where we are aiming to go as a business.

Who do you work with to create all the beautiful images?
All of our photography is done in house by Laura, a talented member of our team and the styling of our photo shoots is a collaboration between Jen, Mary and a few of the other girls who work here. We’re proud to be one of a few retail stores that almost exclusively use our own photography.

Collingwood Store
336 Smith St,
Collingwood VIC 3066
(03) 9078 9438

Northcote Store
267 High St,
Northcote VIC 3070
(03) 9489 2193

20 Jun 2014
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To Shop - Made 590

Tucked away in the eclectic streets of Newtown, Sydney, is a gorgeous little treasure filled store Made 590. Every inch of this bright store is piled high with fun and engaging homewares, toys, clothes and trinkets. It's very hard entering Made 590 and leaving again empty handed...

We asked owner Christina Kelly a little about what inspired her to open the store...
When did Made590 open and who started it?
Made590 opened in 2004 by myself, Christina Kelly.

What makes Made590 so unique?
Made590 is 100% independent, we focus on all things colourful, cute and crazy! Our in house clothing brand is all designed by us and created and manufactured in Sydney. We focus strongly on good quality fabrics sourced from anywhere and everywhere. Our home and gifts add to our selection of clothing. I always like to find products that aren't everywhere and that are well price pointed.

We are the Australian distributor for many of of our brands which means that we carry the biggest range of these brands in Australia, for example OMM from Sweden, Jane Jenni, PSikhouvanjou, Lapin & Me and Ryan Berkley!

What type of experience do you hope your customers will have in your store?
I strongly believe in good customer service, you can always count on being warmly greeted in store and expect a good chat, all the ladies at Made590 LOVE to talk! Prepare for a colour and visual explosion, many customers are happily overwhelmed by choice and colourful displays!

How do you go about finding all the wonderful things that fill Made590?
Oh the internet is a very good friend of mine! I find many brands that we source from overseas via blogs/websites/ hours of searching for a specific product! Locally, we are lucky enough for many amazing artists to approach us with their creations.

Markets such as The Finders Keepers Market are also a treasure trove of talented designers. Most recently Instagram has been a very big part of sourcing and connecting with new brands, being such a visual instant tool we are able to connect with such talented companies world wide.

Tell us something about Made590 that might surprise people?
I started Made590 when I was 23 with absolutely no 'technical' qualifications at all, I had worked in the industry since I was 18 and started my screen printing t-shirt company at the same time. I still screen print many products that we sell in Made590 today.

I think it is really important to offer products in store that you can't find anywhere else and that are created by me! In 2009 my partner Paul and I launched Made590 Wholesale where we are the Australian distributor for many great international brands and also ceramics that we design ourselves.

What does Made590 most often recommend as the perfect gift for kids?
I have realised over time that my taste is quite childlike which I embrace fully! Anything that you buy for a child I would be happy to receive for myself too! Anything from the adorable OMM design nesting dolls to the Jane Jenni plates are popular kids gifts.

Lapin & Me Woodland dolls are often purchased for the child but I know are really bought for the child at heart :) But hands down our most popular baby presents are our hand printed baby onesies that are only available in Made590 and are screen printed by myself weekly.

590 King St
NSW 2042
+61 2 9550 1020

16 May 2014
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wild things

To Shop - The Fairy Shop

Wandering through the front door of The Fairy Shop in Auckland is like venturing into an enchanted land at the bottom of your garden. Filled to the brim with an amazing array of magical frocks, floral crowns, glittery wands, a delightful cafe piled high with fairy cakes as well as a grotto for fairy tea parties, this store has everything a tiny fairy hopeful could ever dream of...

We popped into the fairy shop for a magical afternoon and asked Theresa a few questions about her about her wonderful store...
How did The Fairy Shop start?
An amazing lady named Jill Armstrong brought The Fairy Shop to New Zealand 16 years ago. I worked with her when I was younger and then bought the business 9 years ago. It was a gorgeous woodland store which has evolved into the fairy land magic that it is today! Same heart and love that it was started with but some what enlarged and evolved to what it is today!

What is your favourite thing about running the store?
I absolutely adore seeing the wonder and amazement on children's faces when they walk through the door, meet a fairy, see themselves in the mirror wearing one of our dresses, bite into a fairy cake and generally soak up the magic of the shop. It is a privilege to be part of so many children's parties and also to see Parents revel in their children's delight.

What makes your store different from other kids stores?
We aim to be a destination and an experience. People don't come just to buy a specific product. They come for an experience and we endeavour to deliver that to everyone who enters our store.

We strive to give the best customer service but not just to the adults, we believe the children need to be able to enjoy our store, enjoy the product and experience the magic first hand. We are not just a retail store - we are a kid friendly café, a party venue and one stop wonderland for all things fairy!

What kind of experience does The Fairy Shop aim to create when people enter the store?
When people open the doors they usually stop and gasp! This makes my heart melt. It was my ambition to create a piece of wonderland in our store. We want people to visit us not only because they know they will get a great product but also because it is an outing and an experience all at once. Customers deserve great service and in a store like ours it is important that the kids are happy! If kids are happy, Mothers are free to shop and explore and ask questions.

Tell us something about The Fairy Shop that might surprise people?
I think people expect me as the owner of The Fairy Shop to be a flower child who grew up searching for fairies deep in my mothers garden, however my childhood couldn't be further from this illusion. I grew up on a farm, I didn't have fairy parties, I didn't even have parents who talked about fairies or believed in them! I rode motorbikes, played hockey, had pet calves and generally was a bit of a Tom boy. Now I love pink and all the glorious goodness that goes with The Fairy Shop.

Do you have any exciting news coming up?
The Fairy Shop is constantly evolving and has new and exciting events. We have a World Famous Holiday programme to look forward to and 17 gorgeous boxes of dresses have just landed and been unpacked on to our shelves. Our pamper parties have been revamped and relaunched..... the list goes on!

79 Ponsonby Rd
New Zealand
+64 9 360 1560

04 Dec 2013
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to see and do

To Shop - Shorties

If you're struggling to find the perfect gift for a little person, look no further than the adorable Shorties in Newtown, Sydney. Full of an eclectic array of new and vintage finds, it really does have something for everyone and will have wrapping paper being torn open to shrieks of delight...

We asked Shorties a few questions about what makes their store so unique:
When did Shorties open and who started it?
Celia Morris opened Shorties in 2004, and still owns and runs it today – which makes us 10 next year, wow!

What makes Shorties Store so unique?
Shorties is a treasure trove of fun, beautiful and inspiring retro treats and fashion that takes us back to our own childhood. Shorties is rather more curated than your average children’s store, which is maybe why it seems to captivate the imagination of all people, young and old.

What type of experience do you hope your customers will have in your store?
We hope our customers feel they can rely on Shorties for their unique gifts and treats, and know they’ll always discover a surprising array of things they've never seen before. We focus on keeping things fresh and updated, but there are also certain tried and true favourites our customers know we’ll always have in stock.

How do you go about finding all the wonderful things that fill your store?
Celia is constantly on the look out for bold, bright and quirky products. Sometimes nostalgic, sometimes ultra modern – sometimes found on a random French blog, other times discovered at a country craft market. So many people approach us with their amazing products from around the world too – Celia always makes the time to look at every single thing that comes her way, because that’s how to find that one amazing product that nobody has heard of before!

Tell us something about Shorties that might surprise people?
Some people might be surprised to know that the store was originally conceived as a place for cool Aunties and Uncles to shop. Back when Celia became an Aunty for the first time, she couldn’t find anywhere to buy amazing stuff for her niece, and so Shorties was born (of course times have changed, we’re spoiled for choice now!). When Shorties first opened we had very little stock, but now it’s a completely different story – now we keep the shelves and racks so stocked they’re practically buckling!

What does Shorties look for in the perfect toy?
To us, the perfect toy is something that excites grown ups as much as the baby or child. An amazing product should delight young and old, be sustainably made, and be SO lovely and wonderful it will never end up in landfill and will get passed down again and again and again.

537 King Street
+61 2 9550 5003

05 Nov 2013
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To Shop - Peppin Boutique

Filled with a mix of eclectic treasures, beautiful toys and gorgeous clothes Peppin Boutique has an air of whimsy and adventure. Started in 2010 by Kathleen Waite and Robert Trathen this wonderful little hideaway is the perfect place to spend a few hours...

Located in Auckland's Herne Bay, Peppin Boutique stocks not only their own beautiful brand Peppin that we showcased a few weeks ago here, but also a great selection of clothing brands, toys, homewares and other products.

"With Kath coming from a fashion background and Rob an established freelance photographer, they have created a store and range of baby wear that doesn't conform to the conventional." Every little detail in the store has been lovingly thought out, with old school desks and vintage tricycles sitting in amongst cardboard dinosaur heads and felted garlands.

And while you peruse the lovely selection of wares there is a great little kiddy corner that just screams to be played in, ensuring that both the little and the big leave with smiles on their faces. This is one store that is definitely worth checking out.

We caught up with Kath to have a chat about Peppin Boutique...
How did Peppin Boutique start, and what is the idea behind it?
Peppin was set up to cater for parents who like to purchase well designed garments for their kids.

What makes Peppin Boutique unique?
Peppin is unique because we don't buy stock patterns for our garments - all is designed and patterned by Kath.

What draws you to the brands that you stock in your store?
We like to purchase brands that compliment ours and add to the basic range.

What kind of atmosphere does Peppin Boutique aim to create when people enter the store?
The atmosphere is a boutique one - no formula. We love interesting props , and will always source bits and bobs that take our fancy, usually the rougher the better.

184 Jervois Rd,
Herne Bay,
09 3764 637

08 Oct 2013
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To Shop - Sérénissime Kidstore

Sérénissime is French for serene, and serene is exactly what Sérénissime Kidstore in Lyon, France is. The store was conceived by a French mother, who living in today’s modern apartment era yearned to create a home for her family with no partition between the adult and children’s world. And that’s exactly what you see when strolling through this gorgeous store...

Boasting a truly unique collection of limited edition pieces and exclusive designs from around the world, Sérénissime Kidstore seamlessly blends the grown up world with the imaginative world of the small.

At big person eye level you will see walls of eye catching trompe l’oeil wallpaper, classic Westminster leather lounges and clusters of beautiful lampshades hanging from the ceiling.

Down low at little people height, you will see voluptuous hot pink tutus, tables made from skateboards and Aston Martin inspired ride on scooters.

Not a hideous bright plastic flashing toy insight, Sérénissime Kidstore is a sophisticated, dreamlike world that is playful for children and full of precious treasures for the home.

This gorgeous store is definitely worth a visit if you are lucky enough to be in Lyon.

You can also follow Sérénissime on Facebook and Pinterest.

7 rue Comfort
69002 Lyon
Ph: +33 (0) 9 83 44 10 55

28 Sep 2013
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To Shop - Eenymeeny Store

Eenymeeny kids store in Tufnell Park, London, is filled to the brim with classic and biodegradable toys, locally produced artwork and great quality clothes. A visit to Eenymeeny will no doubt see you exiting with a bag full of goodies...

Eenymeeny was started by mum of two Clare Jay who has 'a love of good design and childish enthusiasm'.

It is all about children, their weird obsessions, their creativity and and their colourfulness. Every piece in the store is carefully chosen, making up a truly fun and unique collection.

Stocking products from ethically minded companies and small local producers, Eenymeeny puts big emphasis on quality. They believe childhood shouldn't be about mass production or trends, but instead should be all about fun and treasured forever.

So next time you're in London, be sure to pay a visit to the adorable Eenymeeny store.

8 Campdale Road,
Tufnell Park,
N7 0EA
+44 020 0011 4202

10 Sep 2013
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To Shop - Tantrum

If you’re ever knocking about in San Fran then Shop Tantrum is a must. Lively, fun and charming, you will totally fall in love as soon as you set foot inside what feels like a bumbling circus tent filled with wonderful gifts and goodies...

While Tantrum is a must for vintage loving folk, the store also offers so many excellent modern brands like the retro cool of Woven Play and the handmade modern style of Bla Bla Kids and Zid Zid.

Shop owners Amanda Weld and Michelle Spear say their biggest inspiration is mid-century carnivals: “The lights, graphics and colours of the tents and costumes, the raw Hollywood glitz paired with the grit of traveling carneys, props and trunks” say the pair.

Tantrum's motto is 'Bringing the best memories of your past to your child's present'. Creating a wonderful, quirky world chock-a-block full of mid-century inspired toys, clothing, jewellery and decor it does just that.

We wish this store could pack up and down and travel like a real circus and roll up into our neighbourhood right now so we could pop in and say hi.

858 Cole Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
Ph: 415 504 6980

04 Sep 2013
to shop
san francisco

To Shop - Nature Baby

Nature Baby Store in Newmarket is filled to the brim with all of Nature Baby's own products as well as a thoughtfully curated collection of beautiful products from all over the world. A store you could get lost in for hours, Nature Baby is well worth a visit next time you're in Auckland...

With shelves lined with natural and organic products, bright and colourful toys and beautifully designed homewares, Nature Baby Store has everything you need for your little one. We asked Nature Baby founders and Directors, Jacob and Georgia Faull, a few questions about what makes their store so special...

When did Nature Baby open its first stand alone store?
We opened in 1999 in Grey Lynn the green inner city suburb with a heart full of goodness. The building is a turn of the century house that still stands as it did when it was first built. The only difference is it no longer has any internal walls, we loved the idea of selling from this old weather board home.

What make Nature Baby Stores unique?
We put a lot of energy into our own line so we can create a unique range of organic cotton and merino clothing that we believe in. It takes a lot to put together but we have a real love of things that you can trace back to the farm where they were grown, knowing they are healthy and sustainable and then right through to our own design process where we are creating. To this we add a collection of the best products we can find in New Zealand and around the globe to bring beautiful toys, organic food, books, nappies and skincare to the mix.

What is your favourite thing about bringing together such an beautiful range of products?
We love babies, the idea of something new coming into the world, it is a real treat to be part of this - to design and select what we believe is the best a baby can get COMPLETELY!

What kind of atmosphere does Nature Baby aim to create when people enter the store?
We have lots of different design ideals running through our brand, ideas like authenticity which we'll pair up with the whimsical, so the stores feel accessible and useful but they'll also feel nostalgic and magical.

Tell us something about your stores that might surprise people?
Our first store used to be a massage parlour called Aladdins, the spa pool overheated one day and nearly burnt the building down, nothing like that happens anymore.

Do you have any exciting news coming up?
This summer we are really excited to be bringing Soludos shoes for children alongside our summer range, we'll also have organic ice blocks from the good people at Nice Blocks on hand for those summer months!

Click here for NZ Nature Baby Store Locations and here for a list of International Stockists.

29 Aug 2013
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To Shop - Seedling Store

Seedling Store in Auckland, New Zealand, is a child's dream come true. With an incredible array of Seedling products to choose from as well as a cupcake making station, craft tables and party rooms, this is one store well worth a visit...

Seedling store has opened following the success of the Seedling brand which now includes over 250 different products and is sold all over the world.

The team at Seedling believe that every child has a head full of great ideas that are just waiting to be explored and this is what they endeavour to provide with their award-winning products and bright and engaging store.

The unique space provides an opportunity for children to explore their imaginations with an impressive craft menu and spacious activity tables as well as helpful staff on hand to guide them.

With options such as gnome and mushroom painting, beading, and creating a birdhouse, the in-house activity centre is the perfect place to escape with your child for a few hours and enjoy making something together.

Seedling also boasts it's very own 'Cupcake Makery' every Saturday and Sunday. For just $4, kids can choose from a range of cupcakes which they can then decorate however they want. From piping on their own coloured icing, to covering it in an array of sprinkles and lollies, kids will have an absolute ball. And there are cold drinks and coffee for mum too.

Seedling Store is also set up to cater for a wide range of kids parties, with 3 rooms available and themes such as pirates, fairies or superheroes to choose from. The parties include an array of craft activities, games and fun group photos as well as crew members on hand to keep the party rolling and to make sure everyone is having a great time.

You have the choice of bringing your own food or having Seedling cater the party for you, as well as options such as face painters, party bags and pass the parcel. Overall, we think Seedling Store is pretty fantastic and a great place to just pop into for a visit or to host your next party.

347 Remuera Road,
New Zealand.
+64 9 5291852

12 Aug 2013
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