My journey towards founding The Great British Baby Company began unexpectedly one day in 2014. I was passing through a department store in central London when I noticed a beautiful girl's winter coat. I was taken by the colour and the cut of the coat and, convinced that it was perfect for my then one year old daughter, I went over to have a better look. The coat appeared every bit as appealing up close as it did from a distance but, upon turning over the tag, I was surprised to find that I would have to part with a four figure sum to take it home. A shop assistant noticed me admiring the coat and came over to help me. After a string of questions, I discovered that the coat was made largely from synthetic materials, that it was entirely machine manufactured, that it was not made in Britain or anywhere else in Europe, and that it was not a limited edition or special release.
I was not given a single reason why the coat warranted its price tag. And this got me thinking. Could I create children's clothing that has a value beyond simply 'looking nice', that is made of noble materials, and that is impeccably hand crafted? Could I create children's clothing that is home grown, using generations' old expertise, and that would mean something beyond cloth and thread to people? Not one to shy away from a challenge, I started researching and, albeit with setbacks and disappointments along the way, I found a set of skilled British craftsmen and craftswomen who could achieve this standard of luxury.
Alongside designing clothing for babies and children, I trained for eight years as a historian of modern British society and culture. Whilst admittedly an eccentric combination, my enthusiasm for classic British style and my awareness of Britain's textile production heritage have helped greatly in both establishing the core values of The Great British Baby Company and making the creation of true British luxury a viable proposition. Moreover, as the descendent of English drapers and tailors on one side of my family and Welsh woollen mill owners on the other, I have always felt an affinity with traditional British clothing production as well as a desire to draw links between past and present, and build on a family legacy.
I am inspired by what I have seen not only in history books and family photo albums but also in real life. My upbringing in rural Sussex, my childhood holidays in Wales and Scotland, my student days in London and Oxford, as well as my experience as a mother. All these things influence my designs. They help me create the modern interpretations of traditional British styles, the elegant and sometimes vaguely eccentric cuts, that are the signature of The Great British Baby Company.
My love of both the past and the vibrancy of youth are ultimately what lie behind The Great British Baby Company. I founded the brand with two main objectives: firstly, to ensure that fine British craftsmanship is more than simply 'history' to the next generation, and, secondly, to celebrate childhood as a special and precious time that should be lived to the full.
This passion to perpetuate British heritage for the benefit of our children and of childhood is sewn into each and every one of The Great British Baby Company's pieces. It is what, I believe, gives our clothing a significance and a value that in today's world is truly rare.