Have you ever oohed and aahed over a piece of clothing to then realise it's way too expensive to purchase? But there is the luxury of knowing there could possibly be a sample sale around the corner or you just might find that amazing piece at a designer sale somewhere. Taadaa that way too expensive piece of clothing you've been drooling over all season can now finally be yours!!! With kidswear this isn't so much the case. Sample sales rarely happen and designers sales are really unheard of, until recently. Junior Style has made this happen in the kids fashion world. And I'm thinking, finally!!! Junior Style brings you kids designer clothing for discounted prices at their sales events here in London. Their sales events take place in Islington for 3 days, Thursday-Saturday and bring you an array of designer clothing all under one roof for discounted prices! Genius!
I've had the opportunity to work with Romaine from Junior Style for several years now and I just love the concept. I had a lovely chit chat with Romaine recently. Read on to see what she has to say!
TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND? HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR JUNIOR STYLE?
I am a mother of two boys Eugene (11yrs) and Ethan (6yrs).
Upon having my first son, I wanted to have a job that worked around Eugene. I had worked in women’s wear and menswear part time during my theatre studies degree and even alongside my full time job after finishing University, as I was interested in fashion. I had also worked for a company that ran regular women’s wear and men wears sample sales.
I struggled to find my son quirky, stylish, high quality clothing that was also at affordable prices. So with my knowledge of fashion, running events & the want to dress my son in something other than GAP, Next and M&S, Junior Style was born. The Junior Style Events promote children’s fashions to the general public.
WHEN DID YOU START JUNIOR STYLE? WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO REALLY GET IT GOING?
Junior Style held it’s first children’s clothing sale in November 2004. I remember it well as it was snowing and very cold. Despite the weather, a good number of keen mothers braved the snow to visit the Event and it was surprisingly more successful than I initially thought.
I am very lucky to have a lot of support from family and friends and could not have got through the first year without their encouragement. Now, friends, family & loyal customers support by spread the word about the Junior Style Events. The boys love being involved in the business and helping out…the little one especially loves helping out with the credit card machine!
I think by offering something unique, really listening to what my customers have to say and offering great customer service these have really helped me move the business forward.
There are so many favourite designers & brands I love, such as Rock n Regal, Marmalade & Mash, Nixie Clothing, That’s Not Fair London, then I also like Beau Loves, Indikidual, Moi, Shampoodle, Dyno, Bobo Choses & Scotch & Soda. Through Twitter I am coming across lots of great independent brands and labels with beautiful designs on offer.
DO YOUR CHILDREN KEEP YOU UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST FASHIONS, MUSIC ETC? WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU LISTENING TO AT THE MOMENT?
My eldest loves clothes and creating outfits. Eugene has great taste and will often help me choose my outfit and accessories when I am going on a night out! With Eugene, it is more about his own style and knowing what looks good, rather than following fashion. Eugene comes along to the trade show in Islington for Children’s wear called Bubble. Eugene loves viewing the new collections and speaking with the designers and finding out where they get their inspiration, from.
The children dictate the music in the home usually and love music that they can get up and dance or sing along to, so lots of pop music and singers like Tinie Temper, Rhianna, Bruno Mars & another favourite is reggae music. Eugene keep’s the family up to date with regard to music and what’s in and what’s not.
I like listening to Janelle Monae, Emile Sande, Dionne Bromfield, Alicia Keys & Ella Fitzgerald. I love a great mix of music from Classical to Garage music from my 20’s.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CAFÉ, SHOP, MARKET, MUSEUM, ETC THAT YOU GAIN INSPIRATION FROM? OR JUST LIKE TO GO AND RELAX OR PONDER NEW IDEAS FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
I live in Islington and there are so many lovely independent coffee shops to try out. I love to have my morning coffee out as I spend most of the day working from home in front of a computer and two of my favourite places to have coffee are the Coffee Works Project in Camden passage or Tinderbox on Upper Street. Whilst enjoying my morning drink, I will try to answer emails, make plans and get inspiration for any projects from my best friend Pinterest!
Oh, my favourite shop right now is Anthropology. I find it very inspiring and has lots of fabulous finds.
I am always coming up with new ideas, so I carry a little notebook around with me wherever I go and make notes.
IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANYONE IN THE WORLD WHO WOULD THIS BE? WHY?
I am not a designer in any way shape or form, so I have never thought about this before now. There are thoughts of a Junior Style range and this would be collaborating with someone….but can not say who as yet. The range will include t-shirts, baby grows and accessories and should be available by this time next year!
WHO ARE YOUR INSPIRATIONS? PEOPLE YOU LOOK UP TO OR FIND INSPIRING?
I look up to my mother, father & sister’s. My parents have always been supportive of Junior Style and offer advice etc. My parents had many businesses so I have been able to gain through their experiences and learn through their mistakes. They were also very encouraging as a child and there was no such word as ‘cant’ in our house. Everything is possible.
My eldest sister Melinda practises Nichiren Buddhism and seeing the changes in her over the years really inspires me.
WHATS THE BEST ADVICE SOMEONE HAS GIVEN YOU? WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE US?
Going back to question seven, I guess it’s the encouragement & advice from my parents which is echoed in Audrey Hepburn’s quote
‘Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’M POSSIBLE”!’
WHAT’S IN STORE FOR JUNIOR STYLE? ANY BIG PLANS, EXCITING NEWS, ETC?
The business is just about to re-launch. The new Junior Style will feature an online fashion guide with lots of relevant information on trends, new brands, up-cycling, styling and a shopping community of trusted brands and retailers, offers, pop-ups & sample sales. Junior Style will still hold our Events in London, which give new brands a platform to show case their collections and for customers to get to know lots of fantastic independent brands they may not traditionally come across.
Somewhere really hot, close to a sea with crystal clear waters, with no one around for miles, where I can relax all day and eat sumptuous food in the evening! ……Or go with my friends to one of my favourite places - Miami! (I’m a Gemini and can’t make up my mind!)
All pictures taken by Jackie B.