The latest installment of ‘handmade with love’ introduces Bridget, Amy and Maggie, the uber talented ladies behind Lambsie.
Lambsie create beautiful, original handmade baby coats by up-cycling the best quality woollen garments and pair them with beautiful linings and having been very kindly sent a Lambsie for Phoebe, I have been totally blown away. The attention to detail is impeccable and Phoebe looks utterly gorgeous in it (photos below!) garnering compliments wherever we go. The vibrant burnt orange colour is super stylish and the Liberty print lining is just divine!
Lambsie have also recently added a line of super cute hats to their range too, perfect for the winter months.
Names: Bridget Casement (right in photo) // Amy Carter (middle) // Maggie Hemingway (left)
Tell me a little bit more about yourselves:
Bridget // I’m mum to Theodore who has just turned one – it’s been a crazy and fantastic year and my head’s spinning a little at how fast it’s all gone. At the same time as returning back to work full time, I also stepped the social media up for Lambsie too and promoting it and managing sales could be a full time time job too.
Amy // I’m mum to Molly (11) and Harry (8) and when I’m not working they keep me busy with their after school activities and busy social lives!
Describe your business in one sentence: Exclusive, handmade baby coats, made to order.
When did you start your business and why?
Bridget // Lambsie’s been in the making for about 2 years but we’ve been an official business since March 2015.
What did you do before you set up Lambsie?
Bridget // I’m a full time IT Project Manager. I’ve always been creative but my career has never allowed for an outlet for this. Lambsie is a perfect tonic for me and gives me the opportunity for design and social communication.
Amy // I work part time in a business development role for an accountancy practice but have always had a strong creative side that I am excited about resurrecting through Lambsie.
Maggie // I retired from working in school with troubled teenagers in 2012. I thought I would try my hand at growing and selling garden plants but found I hadn’t the space. Then two new babies arrived in the family and I turned my thoughts to sewing for them.
Did you face any challenges setting up your company?
Bridget // For me, juggling a full time job, a baby and a new business proved to be bit of a challenge but I’m enjoying doing new things that make me happy. Joining Twitter was also a bit daunting – it’s a totally new world and I had no clue about the etiquette!
Maggie // I leave it all to the girls: I’m just getting my head around a mobile phone!
What is a typical work day for you?
Bridget // Being online and updating the Lambsie social media network is a big part of my day. Hours can go by without me noticing, whilst I’m editing our website, taking photos of the products or writing a blog. I have all contact with our customers and take care of sales and marketing. Keeping on top of this, whilst being a full time Project Manager, is ageing me beyond my years I’m sure. But I love it!
Maggie // Washing woollens and cottons ready for sewing. Spreading the table with buttons, threads and fabrics for the next Lambsie project. Looking in bags for things I’ve lost and then a few hours at the sewing machine.
Describe your creative space:
Bridget // My sofa. My bed. Anywhere that has wifi. Generally anywhere that I can spend an hour or two when Theo’s gone to sleep.
Amy // I love being outdoors, it gives you space to think and opens your mind to new ideas.
Maggie // My work table is in the kitchen. It’s a big room with lots of light and a small sitting area extends to the side. I have all my wools and fabrics displayed here on the shelves of my Sewing Cupboard. I can gaze out at the garden from here and plan the next Lambsie.
Who and what inspires you?
Bridget // Mum! Her skill for such a professional finish on our products always astounds me. She’s self taught and has always sewn as a hobby, yet to see her handiwork, you’d be sure she’d worked in textiles all her life. Also, to work doing something I’m passionate about and with people I love, is really special and drives me to continue with it every day.
Amy // Definitely mum! Also there are so many creative social media sites to take inspiration from such as Pinterest and Instagram, so it is easy to tap into ideas wherever you are.
Maggie // Colours and shapes in nature. Our children and grandchildren.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Bridget // I’d say that getting our first order via the website, after somebody saw us at a festival was a real achievement for Lambsie. Somebody saw us and loved what we were doing, went away and came back days later to place an order. Until that point, all our orders had been from friends of friends, so this was a real high point for us.
Amy // Seeing Lambsie evolve from an idea into a business.
Maggie // Making 15 Lambsies in time for our first festival.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Bridget // Stick with what you know! Lots of people are enthusiastic about what we do and say how we should do bigger sizes, different products etc but hearing encouraging people telling us to stick with our niche has helped us stay true to Lambsie.
Amy // Always follow your gut instinct.
Maggie // Know your market.
Have you always been creatively driven?
Bridget // In a word, yes. Since an early age, I’ve always been creative and used to scribble out all sorts of inventions. My professional life has never given opportunity for creativity and I’ve always been somewhat frustrated by this. For years I’ve tried to think of suitable creative outlets, so when Lambsie was born, my appetite was finally satisfied.
Amy // I’ve always been creative with an eye for detail and tried my hand at many things. Photography and cake decorating are other interests that I draw inspiration from.
Maggie // I’d like to think so but I’m perhaps more of a problem solver. I thought Lambsie was as much a way of using up shrunken jumpers as it was a creative activity. I do have creative bursts when I won’t sleep for thinking about new ideas.
Bridget // I’m in midst of applications for autumn and Christmas markets and fairs. Choosing the right event, location etc is key to our success. We’re looking to be at more local Yorkshire based events and also at a trendy London market too.
Amy // Excited to be taking on some of the creative side of Lambsie and learning the ropes from mum so that we can cope with demand as the business grows.
Maggie // What to do with all the leftover scraps of wool and cotton. I can’t throw anything away. I’ve just pieced together some very very shrunken bits of a woollen jumper and made a little hat so that may be a way forward!
In terms of your work what couldn’t you live without?
Bridget // Wifi! Almost everything I do for Lambsie requires access to the internet. I’m always online and we’d be nowhere without modern technology.
Maggie // My hands and my eyes. Both are showing the signs of age. I need to invest in a good task lamp and sharpened scissors.
What do you love most about what you do?
Bridget // Working with my family is just great and having a say in what we do as brand gives a real sense of satisfaction. Getting fab feedback from friends, family and customers alike, gives me a buzz and spurs me on to carry on each day. Trawling through charity shops on the look out of new quality fabrics is also really enjoyable job – sometimes you find a real gem that becomes the most gorgeous baby coat!
Amy // Working together and involving each other – it’s an important part of any business.
Maggie // Upcycling and recycling discarded garments/ charity shop finds. Working together with my family and sharing the rewards of our efforts.
What are your business dreams?
Bridget // To hang on to our original idea of creating a niche, quality product but growing the customer base and becoming a well-known and successful baby brand.
Amy // I love the Eco ethos of Lambsie and I think that’s one of our greatest USP’s and hopefully something that will help to drive us forward.
Maggie // I’m not a business woman but I think my girls have that interest. I’d like to see them take Lambsie forward to be whatever they want. Upcycling has a market now but it may not last so I’d like to work with them to develop their own business ideas. ( Boys, that goes for you too!).
When are you happiest?
Bridget // Facetiming mum and discussing recent orders and seeing her latest creations. Oh, and when someone places an order of course!
Amy // Seeing all the comments from happy customers.
Maggie // When the girls tell me that a customer is delighted with their Lambsie. Having so many mother and daughter moments – magic.
The lovely Lambsie team are also going to be at the Crafty Fox Christmas Market at The Dogstar in Brixton on Sat 5th Dec, so if you’re in the area, do pop by the Lambsie stall and see for yourself just how gorgeous the Lambsie range is.
In addition to this lovely interview, Hello Baby has teamed up with Lambsie to offer one lucky person the chance to win a beautiful Lambsie hat in a colour of your choice.
Terms and conditions:
- Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding anyone professionally associated with Hello Baby Blog or Lambsie.
- The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
- The prize draw starts at 12am on 5th October 2015 and closes at 12am on 25th October 2015.
- Entry is free and must be made by commenting on this blog post and filling in the Rafflecopter widget. Entrants can gain bonus entries by visiting Hello Baby on facebook, @hellobabyblog on Twitter, tweeting about the giveaway, following @lambsieuk on Twitter, visiting lambsie on Facebook and then completing the Rafflecopter widget featured in this post.
- The name of the winner will be published on this website within 14 days of the competition closing.
- Hello Baby Blog’s decision on all matters is final and binding on all entrants. No correspondence will be entered into.
- By taking part in this competition you agree to be bound by the competition terms and conditions.
- Hello Baby Blog reserves the right to disqualify any entrant and / or winner in its discretion and without any notice in accordance with these terms and conditions.
- Once the winner has been selected at random using Rafflecopter, I will inform Lambsie and they will be in touch to discuss the size and colour of your hat. Lambsie will accommodate all requests within reason but if a specific colour is not available as requested, an alternative colour will be offered and Lambsie’s decision is final. I’m sure this won’t happen but I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post or arriving late.
With halloween just around the corner, I’ve started to think about fun, creative and inexpensive halloween craft ideas to get Jack and Phoebe in the mood. There are so many brilliant ideas on pinterest but I have narrowed them down and compiled this list of my top 10 halloween craft ideas for toddlers and preschoolers:
1 // I’m a big sucker for hand and footprint pictures and I adore this handprint witch.
2 // These reversible Halloween themed popsicle stick puzzles are not only fun to make but can be played with for days afterwards too!
3 // These Spider pops are just too cute and ever so simple to make.
4 // These cute little Halloween paper plate characters are ideal for little ones as they are super easy to make.
5 // If your little one is a bit too small to be donning a sharp implement and carving a pumpkin, ‘clementine pumpkins’ are a brilliant alternative so they don’t feel left out. They are also a healthy alternative to sweets for trick or treaters, although I know what I’d prefer!
6 // Less crafting and more printing, these printable Halloween masks feature a skull, black cat and spider amongst others and are ideal for younger kids.
7 // There was always going to be one footprint craft in this list and this is my favourite. Featuring Jack-o-lanterns, ghosts and mummies this Halloween footprint bunting will look perfect as a decoration but will also make a lovely keepsake too.
8 // These Hanging foam bats are perfect to add a spooky touch to your garden.
9 // This no-cook edible slime is really easy to make (less than five minutes!) and is perfect for preschoolers, toddlers and babies alike. (If you can’t find the basil seeds to make it, there is a new slime recipe that works perfectly with chia or flax seeds instead at the bottom of the link!)
10 // If the footprint banner didn’t take your fancy, hopefully this Halloween spook banner will.
What halloween crafts will you be enjoying with your little one? Leave a link in the comments below!
When I was a little girl, I loved spending time with my grandparents who are keen gardeners, and I have really fond memories of pottering in the greenhouse and helping them pick their ample crops of fruit and veg including berries, tomatoes and runner beans. Their compost heap was always fascinating to me (at home everything went in the bin!) and I really enjoyed learning about eating seasonally and how certain food got to my plate. We were also very fortunate to have a fruit orchard at home and besides being the perfect place for hide and seek, it was also brilliant to be surrounded by a huge variety of fresh fruit that more often than not was turned into a crumble or pie on a Sunday.
I also have really fond memories of trotting off to the garden centre with my dad to choose bedding plants and helping him plant them upon our return. So when Dobies of Devon got in touch to see if I would like to review some of their plants, I jumped at the chance as I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to encourage Jack to get involved in the garden.
Dobies have been supplying flower and vegetable seeds direct to gardeners since 1880. They have a vast range including vegetables, flowers, herbs, perennials, and a brilliant selection of top quality fruit plants at seriously competitive prices. After a lot of deliberation (the choice really is staggering!), I ordered two boxes of Begonia Plants (the super cascade mix) for my hanging baskets.
This was the first time I had ordered plants online, so I was really intrigued to see how they would be packaged but I was pleasantly surprised when they arrived; they were neatly boxed looking incredibly healthy and surprisingly very moist and hydrated.
Fast forward a few months and the hanging baskets have bloomed nicely. I definitely didn’t put enough plants in each pot as they aren’t as full as they should be but they still look pretty and at least I know for next time!
I have been really pleased with the plants from Dobies of Devon and will definitely be ordering from them again in the future. The plants were excellent value and the ordering process was seamless.
You can order the plants either online or by phone 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. Dobies deliver packet seed to all countries within the EU but items other than seed can only be delivered to UK addresses.
*Disclosure: We were very kindly sent these lovely plants for the purpose of this review, but all opinions are my own.
Summer is all but a distant memory and Autumn is officially here; the leaves are turning, the temperature’s dropping and it’s time to break into the chunky knits and my favourite footwear – boots.
A pair of good boots is a staple for the winter months, but with so many gorgeous ones in the shops I have pulled together my ‘Top 6′ boots on the market to help you out.
1 // Timberland Savin Hill Ankle Boots, £120
3 // Jones Bootmaker Lily Ankle Boots, £120
4 // UGG Grandle Biker Boots, £160
5 // Rieker Boots, £67
6 // Timberland Nellie Pull on Calf Length Boots, £130
Have you spotted any must have winter boots in the shops? I’d love to know in the comments below.
*Disclaimer – This post has been written in collaboration with Jones Bootmaker and Shoetique.
Over the past year or so, Jack has really started to enjoy sitting down and watching movies (his choice of course!). I adore watching him staring starry-eyed at the colourful characters and becoming engrossed in these fictional worlds and as a closet Disney / animated movie fan I’m loving it too!
Unfortunately at 15 months old Phoebs still has the attention span of a gnat, so will only sit still for a few minutes at a time but I’m really looking forward to the day when we can all snuggle down for a family movie night and when that time comes, the following will be my top tips for making it a success:
Schedule it //
I love to plan and schedule things and my little ones love routine, so make your movie night a regular date and time and pop it onto the calendar so you can’t break it! You can even print off these brilliant free printable movie tickets to get the kids excited and remember to turn off your mobiles and remove all other distractions so you can really enjoy the movie.
Take turns choosing a film //
When I was younger, I used to love popping down to Blockbusters with my dad and sister and browsing the aisles until I found a film that took my fancy and it saddens me that in this digital era, that is no longer an option for my two. Instead with the likes of Netflix, we can browse from the comfort of our living room which has its perks of course; for starters there isn’t a risk of the film you want not being available!
As a family with little ones of differing ages, you need to choose an age appropriate film that everyone will love. Disney and Pixar films are brilliant for all ages with their blatant slapstick comedy for the kids and the subtle, mature humour for adults that sails right over the childrens’ heads.
If your children are brilliant at deliberating and choosing a film together with no bickering, then you’re onto a winner, but if they have different tastes, let them take turns in choosing a film each week and remember to enforce a ‘no complaning’ rule!
Ensure your entertainment system is up to scratch //
Unfortunately we aren’t all blessed with a home cinema (how cool would that be!) but to make the most of the movie, you need to ensure your entertainment system is up to scratch. For a fully immersive experience, I can wholeheartedly recommend a 4K Television that can offer four times greater detail, depth and sharpness of a full HD TV.
Get comfortable //
Don your PJ’s (there are no comfier clothes surely?!) and immerse yourselves in blankets and cushions to get really snug. I like to close the curtains and light a few candles too, to make it a dark, cosy, cinematic experience. Finally don’t forget to have the remote controls to hand; the last thing you want to do is get out of your warm blanket to hunt them down for whatever reason.
Get the snacks in //
Movie nights and snacks go hand in hand. Whether it be popcorn, pick’n’mix, or ice cream, your little ones (and you) will love a sweet treat nearly as much as the film itself! If popcorn is your snack of choice, these Popcorn Party Boxes will go down a treat (or you can print your own using this Printable Popcorn Bag template) and how cool is this Pick ‘n’ Mix Sweet Dispenser for those with a sweet tooth!
So there you have it; my top tips for the perfect family movie night in. What would be in your list of essentials to create the perfect family movie night in?
*Disclaimer: This post has been written in conjuction with Panasonic.