That’s a statement upon which most western child psychologists and educators agree.
“Kids who know their strengths and weaknesses and feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures,” clinical child psychologist Dr. Michelle New recently wrote on www.kidshealth.org. “They tend to smile more readily and enjoy life. These kids are realistic and generally optimistic.”
One way to foster this sense of esteem-building individuality is by helping children find clothing that expresses their unique personalities, beliefs, and style. But with the retail children’s clothing market increasingly dominated by large retailers selling mass-produced garments, that’s easier said than done.
Award winning designer and entrepreneur Heath Kane experienced this reality for himself one afternoon last year, after a visit to the playground with his 5-year-old daughter. The “special” T-shirt she had badgered him to buy from a popular high street store was being worn by three other girls also.
Kane then realised there were few places where he and other parents could buy unique gear for their children and avoid “turning them into tiny clones” through their purchases.
He and his business partner, Jordan Hammond, saw an opportunity to support independent merchants selling original children’s goods while also supporting parents and friends who want to encourage individuality in the children they care about.
In March 2013, the pair launched Loubilou.com, an online marketplace for one-of-a-kind children’s toys, clothes, and accessories sold by designers and merchants offering limited-production wares. The site offers sellers an easy and affordable way to develop or expand their online business and reach a broader audience of buyers seeking items not available on the high street.
The two aim to tap into the growing UK children’s clothing market (currently worth £6.5 billion and expected to grow to nearly £7 billion in 2015, according to a recent Key Note report), which is now dominated by fewer than 100 companies. Kane says they aim to redirect some of the big 100 companies’ market share to the boutique and small businesses who had limited access and exposure previously.
“We’ve created a platform to support the many independent small businesses that haven’t had the resources to compete until now,” explains Kane, 40. “And we’re meeting the needs of independent-minded consumers who are for looking for something special for their children.”
Loubilou is an online marketplace for original children’s toys, clothes and accessories from independent sellers, designers, and craftspeople from around the world. Designed to delight and inspire, Loubilou delivers a more personalized, more satisfying e-commerce experience for consumers and merchants alike. To learn more, visit www.loubilou.com.