Jessica King from The Mini Edit
I first met the lovely Jessica King when she was the childrenswear buyer at Selfridges. Today see’s the launch of a new venture for Jessica- ‘The Mini Edit’ an online multi-brand childrenswear retail concept. Aimed at fashion conscious parents and gift buyers, The Mini Edit offers a definitive ‘cut’ of the best in contemporary children’s fashion, toys and gifting; and the first web-based childrenswear retailer with customer interaction built-it. So let’s find out more about the concept and the lady behind it.
How did you start in the kidswear industry?
I’d been working in womenswear for a few years when an opportunity came up at AlexandAlexa to head up a new retail concept they were launching. I was so inspired by Alex’s vision and entrepreneurial spirit and the ripples they were making in the kids industry that I couldn’t resist. Once I’d started in kidswear I was completely hooked. Kidswear is like the side of the industry that doesn’t take itself too seriously, referencing all the trends of mens and womenswear, but in a more playful way, plus the people are so much nicer!!
How did the idea for The Mini Edit come about?
It all started with a conversation with my mum about two years ago… I was ranting after a long and political week at work about how cool it would be to strip away all the boring traditional bits of kidswear and create a store that focused on real fashion and real families. Once we’d finished thrashing out what it would look like I couldn’t get the idea out of my head and eventually plucked up the courage to resign and do something about it.
What can we expect?
As the name hints the site is an edit of the best in contemporary kids fashion, toys and gifting. We really took our time to curate our favourite pieces from a whole range of brands, from established names like Stella McCartney and Kenzo, through to contemporary collections like Être Petite and Ruff and Huddle alongside some really gorgeous design led toy and gift brands like Lomography cameras and Penny skateboards.
You have launched the business with your mum- how has that been? Have you ever encountered any difficult moments when opinions have clashed?
To be completely honest, I’m really lucky to even have her on board, so wouldn’t dare push my luck and argue with her! Mum’s really well respected in her field and is continuing to work with her existing clients, so isn’t in the business on a day-to-day basis which I think helps with the dynamic. I look after the day to day operations, buying, digital, customer services etc with my amazing colleague Emma and then we do a finance review with Mum once a week over Sunday lunch!
How do you choose the brands for the website?
Actually that’s the easy bit for me! There are so many incredibly cool contemporary kids brands out there that it is more of a struggle to select out rather than in. The first question I ask myself when looking at a brand is ‘If you stripped away all the branding, marketing blurb and lifestyle imagery, would the individual pieces still be fashionable, beautiful and desirable?’ if the answer is yes then they’re in!
What are your favourite brands?
I’ll always have a huge respect for Stella McCartney. I love the fact that she interprets trends directly from the women’s line, but still manages to make the finished collection completely child focused. Season after season the collection is jaw-droppingly cool and yet still perfectly wearable for a two year old that rolls around on the floor!
I also have a real soft spot for Être Petite… I wear a lot of the women’s line and have a real affinity for a retro sweat!! That and the fact that the collection is covered in french bulldogs and we have a little frenchie puppy called Nala!
Which celebrity tots are top of their game fashion wise?
I know it’s a little cliché, but I can’t help but smile every time I see North West in a little tutu and biker boot combo, she is a very cool little chick! My number one mini soul sister is Alaia Rose Barbier though! She’s the daughter of the stylist Monica Rose and has a collection of mini Chanel and Celine that would make your eyes water!
Setting up your own business is a brave and tough task. What advice would you give my readers who want to set up their own business?
Do it! You should do your due diligence, ask for lots of advice from honest people whose businesses you admire and try to make sure your business plan is as water tight as possible, but at some stage you just have to take the leap!
When you are not busy working, what do you enjoy doing?
I’m a massive family girl. I’m not often not working, but I’ve structured the business to allow me to enjoy both at the same time. In my down time you’ll find me curled up on the sofa with my boyfriend, the puppy and the cat (or trying to keep them from killing each other) or round the dining table at my mum’s house bickering with my sisters!
How would you like to see the Mini Edit evolve?
Long term I’d love to look at bricks and mortar. I have a fascination with the new relationship between bricks and clicks and am determined that we will crack it one day!
In the short term I’m just so excited to share what we’ve been working on so far and learn how customers will interact with us and the site.