Nellie Quats is one of my new favourite brands for beautiful, good quality clothing for Daisy. I first discovered them last year, but unfortunely then their sizes stopped at age 8. However, undeterred, I wrote to them and asked if they were going to do bigger sizes and the lovely Elinor (founder) wrote back and said she would make a bigger size in whichever design I wanted. I put in my order and have followed them ever since growing from strength to strength. Elinor gets the designs just right, traditional but with a modern twist. Think Liberty print, pinafores and Peter Pan collars and to my excitement they now go all the way up to age 10 in some of the designs.
I have had the joy of meeting Elinor at the two Shop Up events in London and she is every bit as charming and beautiful as she comes across in her Instagram feed. Below is a recent interview.
When and how did you 1st come up with the idea of Nellie Quats?
I started designing and making my own clothes at about the age of 10 and had always wanted to do something in fashion. Even though I studied photography at University, I still felt drawn to fashion. After spending a lot of time with children at work, I was inspired to create clothing for them that allowed them to be their fun, energetic selves, whilst still looking stylish!
My parents have always run their own business so it only felt natural to do the same. So I came up with the idea of starting Nellie Quats in the summer of 2015.
What were you doing before Nellie Quats?
I was working at a sewing studio/shop for a year teaching children and adults to sew.
How do you juggle family life with working at Nellie Quats? Any tips for my readers?
As I am in my mid 20’s, I don’t have children yet (probably pretty rare for a childrenswear company!) I have serious admiration for parents who run their own businesses and have a family too. I can only hope one day I can successfully juggle it all!
What’s the best bit of running your own business?
Being tagged on Instagram in photos of children wearing my pieces that I created, each one is just as exciting as the first ever tag. Also getting emails saying how much someone loves a piece you have made and how much their children enjoy it is just an amazing feeling.
And the worst?
Before I began self-employment, I assumed one of the perks would be to be able to take a day off if you need it, but it turns out that’s not really how it works! I currently work 7 days a week pretty much every hour of the day (and sometimes night too), and when I’m not working on it, I’m thinking about it. It’s a huge challenge to find balance in your life and time for anything other than the business.
What advice to you have for people wanting to launch their own career?
If you want to do it, just go for it. As challenging as it is, it’s incredibly rewarding. All you need is a clear idea and to be prepared to put in the hard work.
What are your five favourite items from the new collection?
Hide and Seek Playsuit – red john
Nellie Quats has kindly offered Shelley Loves readers 10% of until Sunday (14th May 2017) with the code shelleyloves.