Interview – Bobby Rabbit
Rooomy meets Nicky King
Rachel Burns asks Nicky King, owner of children’s interiors online store Bobby Rabbit
all about her fab collections and her thoughts on sustainability within the
kids interiors market.
Rachel – Hi Nicky, tell us about Bobby Rabbit and your mission?
Nicky – Bobby Rabbit was my favourite childhood toy – a gift from my Nana on my first birthday. For about 10 years, Bobby came with me everywhere: to nursery, on play dates, to school, on holiday, and today he lives on, tucked away inside a shoe box in my wardrobe!
Bobby is the inspiration behind my brand ethos: fun over fashion, lifelong over throwaway. Our shop is a lovingly curated collection of toys, home accessories and furniture for babies and children aged 0-8 years old. We like to think that every product in our collection captures the spirit of our brand values and has the potential to be as special and memorable as Bobby was (and still is) to me. Our strapline, “for little treasures” says it all.
Twice a year (in summer and in winter), we launch new collections, taking our favourite new finds and styling them into ‘Bedtime Stories’ – playful, magical rooms to spark little imaginations. It means that our customers can shop by product or by room and re-create the looks at home.
Our mission is to inspire kids and grown-ups alike, helping them to create precious memories: “Cherish when small and remember with a smile and tall.”
Rachel – You’ve worked in the world of children’s interiors for a while now, what’s been the best improvement you’ve seen?
Nicky – Definitely the influx of smaller, innovative independent brands – and this is what makes it so exciting! Fifteen years ago, when I was launching Habitat Kids in London, most of these amazing little brands didn’t exist. These days, there is so much more choice out there for parents, not only in look and style but also in buying options and sourcing. The influx of social media has definitely helped these smaller brands to get ‘out there’ and be noticed, and likewise has helped parents to gain inspiration outside and away from the high street.
Rachel – What do you think is on the horizon for kids’ interiors?
Nicky – I think there is a definite move towards longevity and sustainability in children’s interiors. Increasingly, parents are understanding the value of quality over throwaway, and products that are responsibly sourced and made. Buy less – spend the same!
Rachel – What is the best way to find inspiration when planning or designing a new kids’ room?
Nicky – Visual platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are by far the best place to start. You can start by saving your favourite images on either platform and before too long, you will start to get a feel for your style and preferences. Ask your kids! It is important to make them feel part of the process as well – after all, it’s their space, too.
Rachel – What do you think is the driving force behind a keener interest in handmade items?
Nicky – Care, love and attention to detail. Handmade items come with a special and unique story behind them – they are one-of-a-kind. And why wouldn’t you want to be a part of supporting that?
Rachel – When it comes to our children’s bedrooms’, what do you think sustainability means for parents?
Nicky – It’s about creating longevity in children’s spaces: buying quality products that last longer and are ethically and responsibly made and sourced using quality materials, rather than throwaway options. At Bobby Rabbit, we are conscious about where we source our products. We try to choose FSC-certified wooden toy and furniture factories, we have a soft spot for natural materials – and we love our organic cotton bedding collection.
It’s about understanding the value of this. It doesn’t necessarily mean spending more overall either – just buy less of the throwaway instead!
Rachel – Sustainable materials are wonderful, do you have a favourite?
Nicky – I love wool (and this definitely shows in my collection!) It’s warm, cosy and practical for kids as it is naturally stain-resistant. We offer felted rugs, garlands – and my new favourite – pompom animals (including a Bobby Rabbit mobile) that have been specially handmade for us by one of our amazing customers!
Rachel – Sustainably made items are often more expensive due to the price tag on the raw material and the care take to look after the environment whilst producing them. What would you say to parents who are concerned about the extra cost involved?
Nicky – With quality comes longevity – buying a bedding set for £10 won’t last as long as one that costs a little more. It is highly likely that there is more traceability to the manufacturing process in the more expensive bedding set, too. By making the right choices, you are doing your bit to help your children’s future – and you can’t put a price on that.
Rachel – If you could only have one product from your collection which one would it be?
Nicky – It would have to be our Bobby Rabbit Mobile. He’s handmade from wool and cotton with a beautiful grape vine wreath. He’s perfect for nurseries and children’s rooms, and perfect for the grown-ups too – and you can’t get much more sustainable than that.
Rachel – What is the process for Bobby Rabbit when curating such wonderful collections?
Nicky – 4 months of thought, 1 week of travel, 1 month of buying and curating, 1 week of photography, 2 weeks of madness – then launch! The key is in the thought. I start to develop my vision for the next collection as soon as the previous one is launched… The whole cycle takes around 6 months from start to finish.
Rachel – 3 words to describe Bobby Rabbits style?
Nicky – Happy, cute and playful.
Rachel – I love all the bedtime stories and room planning ideas on your site. Do you have a favourite?
Nicky – Our ‘Treasure Island’ room was a lot of fun to shoot. My vision was to create a shipwreck using the bed, inhabited by all the sea creatures! When we create our bedtime stories, we do it from a child’s viewpoint – what will they think when they step inside this room? How will they interact with the space? And most importantly, will they remember it? I think this one is pretty memorable, and I love how it makes kids and adults smile. Well, I hope so anyway!
Take a look at all that Bobby Rabbit has to offer with the brilliant curation of Nicky King at the helm.
You’re sure to find something for your own kid’s room or the perfect gift for another.
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