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Finding beautifully made, affordable childrenswear can be a hard task.  We’re all so used to trawling the high street and settling for homogenous designs, or cooing at the covetable but unattainable designer brands on Instagram that we sometimes miss the middle market brands that can tick all the boxes (and survive the washing cycles).

One such brand is Their Nibs, a local award-winning go-to vintage inspired kids and Boho lifestyle brand created by ex Head Buyer for Laura Ashley and local mum of one Fiona Bell.

We caught up with Fiona to hear more about the history of Their Nibs, Fiona’s life as a working Kensal mum, and her future plans for the brand.

Congratulations on your fifteen-year Anniversary! It’s so wonderful to see an independent brand stand the test of time.  What made you want to start Their Nibs all those years ago?

I was working as Head of Buying at Laura Ashley with a small son and it was the classic mum feeling of guilt – particularly when I had to travel for long periods of time. I could see a gap in the market back then for a kid’s brand that bridged the gap between the High Street and the “usual” brands, and so in the searing heat of July 2003, I launched Their Nibs (the name deriving from a term of endearment I used to call my son – ‘Finn His Nibs’).

My taste has always been quite eclectic with a particular love of vintage inspired prints which has been a common theme in all the collections. 

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Their Nibs is known for wonderful prints, and vintage look fabrics – how do you go about designing and sourcing materials?

The ideas for our prints come from so many sources- vintage fairs, old books and even old postcards. 

Our pieces are all hand painted especially for the brand and printed in Jaipur- India. We are often out in Jaipur sourcing new fabrics and scouring markets for gorgeous vintage inspired laces and trims.

You started life as a boutique store in Notting Hill and you still retain a boutique in Kensal Rise – what have you noticed about the change in shopping habits over the last fifteen years?

It’s so hard to survive as a small brand on the high street – rents are so high and unfortunately business rates are linked to the rent you pay!

Of course people are shopping more on-line but I do feel small more localised shops enhance a brand. We use the shop as a mirror of the brand with my husband Charlie making the entire fixture and fittings from reclaimed wood and collecting vintage bits and pieces to dress the shop.

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You’ve had a number of celebrities wear and talk about your brand, including Kate Moss and Sadie Frost, whilst Oscar winning actress Maisie Sly recently wore one of your dresses on the red carpet.  How does it feel to be recognised in this way?

It was such an honour to have dressed lovely Maisie Sly from the Silent Child for her much-anticipated meeting with the Queen! Kate Mosses daughter was pictured in one of our dresses when Kate was married in 2011 which was a real honour too considering the brands she could have chosen – in fact Lyla Grace has worn our clothes since she was a baby and attended our 10th Anniversary party back in 2013.

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Your gorgeous bird print pyjamas have been all over Instagram – please tell us you will be re-stocking so we can all get our hands on some!?

We had some delivered two weeks ago and they have sold out already! The next order will be in August and we are planning on ordering double the quantity – they have been so so amazing!

We’re excited to hear that you’ll adding homewares to your collection with luxury bedding and cushions – can you tell us more about this? 

Their Nibs has had a “Re-Birth” into homeware over the last 2/3 years. We are launching an eclectic bedding collection this Autumn (including cushions.& throws)  inspired by prints and vintage / folk embroideries. 

We will also be re-launching kids bedding in super soft jersey for Autumn 2018.

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You’ve lived in Kensal Green for seventeen years, what drew you to our gorgeous part of London?

I’ve always been a West London girl since I first moved to London from Yorkshire in my early twenties. Kensal Green has a lovely community feel, though when we moved here seventeen years ago there were not quite so many delis and coffee shops!

It’s a cliché but so true that people seem to have a genuine concern for each other and I feel for kids growing up in London. There are also so many interesting folk in Kensal, which makes for a lovely warm, eclectic and exciting community.

What do you enjoy doing locally both with and without your family?

We have a Border Terrier so we know every local park very well! As a family we love Sacro Cuore on Chamberlayne Road – just the best pizza! We also love going to the Lexi Cinema, and as a treat to myself, I go for a gorgeous facial or massage with the equally gorgeous Anu at Jivta Ayurveda.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Be happy, above all else be happy.

What can we expect from Their Nibs in the future?

As well as the bedding collection, we are launching a small ladies dress collection this Autumn.  We have also collaborated with a fabulous UK manufacturer of apothecary and candles which will be available any minute now!

Onwards and upwards to our 20th Anniversary!

www.theirnibs.com
Store – 54 College Rd London NW10 5ET
Instagram – @theirnibs
Facebook – @theirnibslondon
Twitter – @theirnibsuk

Their Nibs is offering a 25% discount to QPM’s on presentation of your QPM’s card in store or with code LOCALS25 online.

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15th ANNIVERSARY VIDEO – CLICK IMAGE TO PLAY

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