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Ella Loves Local: Natalie and Verity from Nightie Night Lane

Ella Loves Local: Natalie and Verity from Nightie Night Lane

Christmas Morning. Squeals of delight, festive cheer, presents, carols, family fun. This was the inspiration behind Nightie Night Lane being created, to design and make beautiful nighties for girls, and pj’s for boys to wear on Christmas morning. To wake up and feel like Christmas in every way. When I heard about this I thought that it was the most beautiful basis to design night wear. There is something different and special about Christmas morning, and this sentiment is held in my heart as my own children move towards this special time of year in 2015. When I had the chance to give Ella one of their beautiful nighties, my heart melted. Made in Australia, their range is exquisite, beautiful and divine. Here is Ella in her own gorgeous ‘night time poem’ nightie… can’t wipe the smile off her face…

Ella Loves Local Nightie Night Lane Happy Ella After

Ella Loves Local Nightie Night Lane Happy Ella After

So let’s hear from the girls themselves….

1. What inspired you to start Nightie Night Lane?

Natalie:  I had been trying to find a white, pure cotton nightie for my daughter to wear on Christmas eve that would look beautiful on Christmas morning. I couldn’t find anything! I had been making pyjama pants for my kids and Verity had been making nighties, so together we pulled out the trusty sewing machines, sought advise from a clever friend and a mother-in-law and Nightie Night Lane was born!

2. How do you juggle business and family?

Verity: One must have stamina! You must be at the computer screen with all your tabs open at once. All the time. Forget quiet time and be mindful that the kids don’t know what’s going on in your head, so the amazing acorn they found at school today IS just as important as the expensive shipment of organic fabric, that took you three weeks to secure, in such small quantities seems to have gone missing in the post!

Natalie: You have to be really organised with your weekly routine if you want it to work! Every second needs to be used as productively as possible and plan every day. We have been getting our children involved in the business from the very first stages and they have been as excited as us to see it grow. They have put up with mummy’s testing every pattern style on them, coming to suppliers, sitting through phone meetings in the car and photo shoots in public places in their pyjamas! Grandma’s are very handy for posting deliveries. Oh, and a slow cooker! You really need a slow cooker!

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?

Hearing feedback from customers about how much their children love their nightwear. We love it when customers send photos of our products from all around the world. It’s a lovely feeling to know that we are involved in such special times for families, adventurous holidays, birthday and Christmas mornings.

4. What has been your biggest challenge?

Verity: Fabric supply… arrrrgh!!!!

Natalie: No child is a standard size! Every pattern in every size has to be tested on every child we know for prefect fit and comfort before anything ever makes it to production.

5. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business?

Verity: If you can multi task (and I dare say all mum’s can) have a go. It is however all absorbing so expect to be stretched further than you ever thought you could be. What have you got to lose, except your sanity? Who needs that.

6. Three words that describe Nightie Night Lane?

Pure, classic, loved

7. What’s your favourite current product in your line?

Verity: For me it is elements of the product that have worked well. A certain trim, a fabric, the way a strap sits that will sit well on all sorts of little bodies which are so different and change rapidly.

Natalie: I love “milk before bed”. It is timeless and loved by big and little girls alike. We are changing this slightly this season, making it even more luxurious.

8. Pay it forward to another local business. Nightie Night Lane loves…

Graphic design from Little Blue House Creative
The lovely Kath designed our logo and can help you with the design of anything!
So if you want your children to have divine nightwear this coming summer, head to Nightie Night Lane today.
Our readers have a very special chance to purchase something with a special discount…simply enter the code ELLA in checkout for 15% off your order! Thanks girls!
Cotton On Kids – New Season Kidswear and Kidsroom Collections

Cotton On Kids – New Season Kidswear and Kidsroom Collections

I don’t know about you, but when certain emails come through my inbox, my heart skips a beat (yeah, a little nerdy I know!). This week when Cotton On Kids shared a preview of their new season BOHO range, I instantly thought of my kids and how much they would love it. Cotton On Kids is one of those brands that are my favourite go to. Over recent years they have improved the durability of their clothing out of site. Wash after wash, there is no colour run, balling or fading. I have to give it to them. They are on a winner.

This season’s collection  features fashionable tran seasonal pieces with everyday essential that kids (and parents) will love. Little girls will love the flowy skirts with bright tassel drawstrings and floral-patterned kimonos, and the boys will go nuts for our fun printed tees and cool new pant styles including drop crotch trackies and cuff chinos. Honestly, I cannot wait to get Ella into some of these pieces….


What’s even better is they have also released their new Kidsroom Collection – Sweet Dreams & Outdoor Aventure!  The collection, which is 100 per cent cotton, includes fresh new items that are perfect for decking out your child’s entire bedroom – from quilt covers, pillow cases and cushions to some new accessories including wall art, heart-shaped lighting and woven floor rugs.

Kids will enjoy sweet dreams in liquorice-striped sheet sets, sorbet-coloured polka dot quilt covers and ice-cream-shaped cushions, while the adventurous will love both the safari and outer space-themed looks which feature rhinoceros-printed quilt covers, rocket ship cushions and starry night wall decals.

All styles are designed to be mixed and matched, with items from the new collection matching back with our existing products, so whether you are looking at a complete room re-vamp or some small upgrades; the new range caters for all budgets and needs. The new collection is available in a range of designs suitable for single, double and queen size beds, ensuring everyone in the house, including toddlers, teens and even the ‘big kids’, can have fun revamping their bedroom. Prices start at $14.95 for a piece of wall art through to $69.95 for a queen size quilt cover, making the new range an affordable option for growing families.

Here are some of my favourite pieces from their amazingly styled rooms… (click on each link to go straight to their web store)

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So whether you need kidswear or a gorgeous makeover for your kids’ room….Cotton On Kids has certainly got you covered!


Ella Loves Local: Melanie & Lesley from Mr Willo

Ella Loves Local: Melanie & Lesley from Mr Willo

Screenshot 2015-06-18 10.16.07I don’t know about you, but after having a boy I was pretty shocked to see the lack of range for boyswear when you walk into the clothing departments in several kidswear stores. After having Ella, the range seems endless, however unfortunately for boys it’s been really limited. That said, if you turn to local businesses like Mr Willo, who have clearly found a gap in the market, you will find the most divine, funky, hip and cool shirts for little dudes that you ever did see. Like most of my finds, I stumbled across Melanie from Mr Willo on Instagram. A fellow Primary teachers who was also on maternity leave, I was captured by their unique designs and cool edge. Who says that boys shoudln’t have all the fun? I’m thrilled to share their range and story with you today and I’m sure you will fall in love with their amazingly cool shirts, just like I have…..

Their signature GUTHRIE shirts…

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A little bit about Mr Willo:

Mr Willo is a Melbourne label, made up of Melanie, and her mother-in-law Lesley. She is a primary school teacher on maternity leave and has always had an interest in colour, pattern, fashion and design but without any training in the fashion industry she never dreamed of finding herself in the world of fashion and design let alone in children’s wear!

Lesley always thought fashion was a field she belonged in. She has forever loved it. Throughout school she sought out creative subjects and studied textile design, pattern adaptation and pattern making. With life’s twists and turns she was tugged in other directions, pursuing many others things. The sewing machine has been a constant throughout- making, altering and repairing clothes but it was with the arrival of her first grandchild, Mr A, that she has come full circle and ended up using the skills she had such a thirst for earlier in life to set her on the path that is Mr Willo.

Mr Willo is a lot about who they are and their passions. From the beginning they decided to name each range after a musician as music is a constant and something they both have strong ties to. Each of Lesley’s children are musos in their own right and they wanted to bring Mr A up surrounded by music. Their debut Guthrie range was named as a cheeky nod to him. The incorporation of the flannelette they love into our Guthrie range was due to the strong connection to the fabric through their dads and CJ, Lesley’s son and Melanie’s partner, Mr A’s papa. Family is important and this is a small family owned and run label.

Together they design and create super cool handmade threads for littles with big style. They strive to challenge the babywear norm. To design clothes that are eye-catching, fashion-forward and meet the needs of the little wearer. Clothes that reflect the personality of the little person and their parents. Mr Willo aims to inspire fun. In life. In fashion.

1. What inspired you to start Mr Willo?

We formed Mr Willo to challenge the lack of inspired, quality boyswear choices for little misters. As a new mother, I struggled to find a dapper yet practical outfit for my 2 week old son (Mr A) to wear to a wedding. Discouraged, my complaints to my very talented mother-in-law Lesley about available options turned into an excited discussion over breakfast burritos at a local café and ultimately led to the decision to go ahead and start a new label. Our objective is to create high quality, unique items with our shared ideas of aesthetic and practicality in mind.
2. How do you juggle business and family?

Like most mumma’s running a small business from home, I work when Mr A naps. Thankfully he’s a pretty great sleeper. I can noisily hammer away in the next room applying press-studs to our shirts and he’ll continue to sleep. When he is going through a change in routine or is unsettled and I’m unable to get anything done during the day I am fortunate that I have a wonderful support in my partner CJ (AKA Papa Mr Willo). He’ll take over with Mr A and allow me the time and space I need to get things done.

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?

Definitely seeing photos of little people wearing Mr Willo! We love that our customers adore their Mr Willo pieces and feel honoured that they share photos on social media of their gorgeous children enjoying their threads. The feedback we have received so far has been incredible. It’s great to know that children are chasing adventure, making memories and reaching milestones wearing Mr Willo.
4. What has been your biggest challenge?

Time. Managing it, longing for more and realising that building and growing our label is going to take time. We get so excited sometimes and want things to happen instantly. We can’t help but want to speed up the time from idea to conception and having the finished garment in our hands, or our piece in a magazine, or our next range to be realised and released. We need to be patient and let it evolve.

5. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business?

Take the leap. Just do it. Learn as you go. Find a supportive creative community, join it, build relationships, make friends, ask questions. Enjoy yourself. Celebrate your achievements. Be humble. Get excited. Have fun!

6. Three words that describe Mr Willo…

Distinctive. Considered. Evolving.

7. What’s your favourite current product in your line?

Our signature ◆ G U T H R I E ◆ shirt is our absolute favourite! Each and every one is unique; you will not find another just like it. It was our first item and it grew from our love of flannelette shirts. Both Lesley and I have a connection to flannelette through memories of our dad’s wearing it. The first ◆ G U T H R I E ◆ was made especially for Mr A. We include many small design features to ensure complete comfort and practicality. Flannelette is great to work with. It’s hipster, it’s cowboy, it’s city, it’s country, it’s just cool. It suits everyone and can be styled in so many ways. The fabric is so perfect for little people. It’s soft, cosy and easy to care for. It actually gets better with wash and wear. Precisely what is needed in children’s clothing.

 8. Pay it forward to another local business. Mr Willo loves…

Grandy and Baa (, sweet little friends full of whimsy and imagination. These quirky softies are lovingly handmade in Melbourne out of the most stunning textiles, think wool, linen, velvet, cotton, corduroy and cashmere, some even screenprinted by the very creative maker herself.  Each one bursting with personality. Once you start browsing the store you won’t want to leave with your shopping cart empty. Choosing the perfect friend out of this gang is quite the challenge. I dare you to adopt just one. They make a perfect gift for a new baby, a small child’s birthday or that grown up friend that appreciates beautifully handcrafted items. Be sure to follow on Instagram (@grandyandbaa) to be privy to some pretty interesting conversations between these unique characters and their talented maker Rachael.

So head over to MR Willo and grab your little man his own little GUTHRIE!

#ellaloveslocal – #supportsmallbusiness – #shoplocal

























Mr Willo

#mrwillo #welovetoplay



Instagram: @mr.willo

Facebook: /youngmrwillo


◆ G U T H R I E ◆ shirt

long sleeve RRP $65


◆ G U T H R I E ◆ shirt

short sleeve RRP $60



Ella Loves Local: Nat from ChiKhi

Ella Loves Local: Nat from ChiKhi

Hold Up, Hold Up! In case you have been living under a rock somewhere, you NEED to know, see, touch and experience the gorgeous new threads that are Chi Khi! The brain child of the ever so cool, and passionate Mum to boot, Nat Basingthwaite, Chi Khi kids has burst onto the scene with gusto.  Their range is inspired by the edgy moochrome palette and features unisex designs, many of which can be worn by both girls and boys. We’ve been lucky enough in the Korber household to experience the gorgeousness of Chi Khi first hand, and all I can say is that as a Mum, the quality of the fabrics is like nothing I’ve ever seen. Thick quilted dresses, soft bamboo cotton, warm luxurious knits. Honestly I wish that they came in bigger sizes so that I could wear the stuff myself. What’s also unique is the passionate way in which Chi Khi’s CEO and creative director, Nat Bassingthwaite, manages to find the time in her crazy schedule to manage Chikhi. Hashtag ‘MummyCrush’. Along with her two real life children, Chi Khi is certainly a love that she clearly wants to nurture, and by the looks of it so far, it is paying off!

Here are some of my favourite threads….

The Nylah Knit


The Willow Bamboo Quilted Dress


The Frankie Striped Knit


The Lennox Reversible Bamboo Vest


and here is my own Chi Khi Monkeys rocking their outfits…

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and now, from the amazing Nat herself….

1. What inspired you to start Chi Khi?
My children were the biggest inspiration. The choices I was making always had them at the forefront of my mind. I have always thought about being a working mum and how I could balance that work family life.  Having invested in property and business before I thought I could take the step in creating a brand, inspired by my children, my experiences as a mum and my love of design and fashion.

2. How do you juggle business and family?
It is never easy. I do have an incredibly supportive husband who is like my right hand. It is a constant juggle of who is doing what and who has the kids. Ideally we try and have one of us with them all the time but we support each others dreams. I don’t have much of a social life but I prefer tp love my work and spend time with my family. Also my job is fairly social so I don’t feel like I really miss out on anything. Except for sleep!

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?
As a mum it is watching my daughter conquer her fear of the water. That was beautiful to watch.

With Chi Khi it really is just seeing what you have in your mind come to life. Also the response has been extraordinary. We have had so many people place an order and then once they receive their order they buy more. That feels amazing.

4. What has been your biggest challenge?
Has been learning how to run your own business. I do love to learn and this has taken it to a whole other level. Also time management.

5. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business?
Take your time. Learn as much about the business and what is involved before you start so you know what it takes.

6. Three words that describe Chi Khi….

7. What’s your favourite current product in your line?
The Evie Dot Cardi is a real statement piece. Double fronted knit is made from 100% cotton. If you want to stand out from the crowd, this is something a little different. Beautifully finished with matte black buttons.

8. Pay it forward to another local business.  Chi Khi loves…
Stylerunner, is the best Online store for all active wear. The two girls who founded this are super talented Julia and sali and have been instrumental in helping me with Chi Khi. Every step of the way!

Nat, your new line totally rocks. From style to comfort, Chikhi has got it covered!

#supportsmallbusiness #ellaloveslocal #shoplocal





Ella Loves Local: Charlotte & Jacqui from Little Wild Things

Ella Loves Local: Charlotte & Jacqui from Little Wild Things

There is nothing nicer in my book than soft, comfy, gorgeous bamboo cotton. It feels so beautiful against your skin. As a Mum I’m always looking for gorgeous clothes for my kids that are comfortable and caring on their skin. I remember that feeling as a kid, when I’d have to wear something that was so ‘itchy’. Mum never heard the end of it. So when Jacqui from Little Wild Things contacted me about her new venture with fellow friend Charlotte, I was interested so say the least. Not only have they created beautiful t-shirts for kids, made from organic bamboo cotton, but their designs are like nothing else I’ve seen. Funky, cool and creative. I was immediately drawn to the batdog, and catgirl designs for my little one’s. Here they are, wearing them with delight….

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A local couple of girls, with extensive experience in the fashion / buying industry, they really know what they are doing. It was lovely then to meet them and get to know how Little Wild Things came to be…

1. What inspired you to start Little Wild Things…

Being from a fashion background we wanted to created something that is stylish for kids but didn’t want to over complicate it. We knew a full clothing range can be super fun to design but the logistics of running can become difficult. So concentrating on one category, the t-shirt, means we could focus. Because don’t forget there is a lot more to our lives now than just work… our beautiful kids.

2. How do you juggle business and family?

 I guess I probably answered a bit of this question above. Just focusing on one category has allowed enough head space to juggle work and family. But in the beginning it was difficult as there is a lot of effort in setting up a business

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?

 I think what we really strived for is a marketing platform, so reaching 1000 followers on Instagram was pretty exciting… The last 10 followers took about a week, so we were constantly checking our status and boom we got there… now we’re aiming for 2k and then 40k!!

4. What has been your biggest challenge?

Photoshoots!!! ahhh… didn’t even think about the photoshoot challenge when starting the business revolving around kids in photos. We started with quite a few friends in the shoots but now its mainly just my (Jacqui’s) kids Oliver, Willow and Ella starting… its just easier to manage.

5. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business?

Just do it! expect hard work but it is very rewarding

6. Three words that describe Little Wild Things…


7. What’s your favourite current product in your line?

Oh geeze.. I’m very happy with the new long sleeves… I guess I would choose Loco. Inspired by my Loco kids 🙂 and I like the girls contrast colours of Loco.

8. Pay it forward to another local business.  Little Wild Things loves…

Rookie&Co. We did a competition with them recently. Love their gear and they are a great team.

So head on over and grab your babies a gorgeous bamboo tee. You won’t regret it!



Wild Winter Wonder @ Cotton On Kids

Wild Winter Wonder @ Cotton On Kids

Without a doubt, one of my favourite places to shop for my kids is at Cotton On Kids. Their style, their affordability and in recent years, their fantastic improvement in their durability has made it my go to place for all things kidswear, shoes and accessories. Honestly, their wardrobe would be at least 50% cotton on kids, and this winter, this will be no different. Especially in Melbourne weather it’s all about layers. Short sleeve, long sleeve, cardis, jumpers, jackets, beanies, scarves…..they’ve got it covered. Literally. JEjGtjhcaNLQ95h3NW6wSGwNRnNH049njF5v6f6mDG8 As we head into the cooler months, I’m excited to share with you Cotton On KIDS new Autumn/Winter collection, which is all about outwear and letting kids be kids by layering up in their favourite items and heading outdoors for some fun! The new collection, inspired by winter wonderlands with a focus on navy blues and khaki greens, will take customers on an adventure through the great outdoors where they can play, dream and create. For the girls, it’s all about faux fur vests, bomber jackets and long-line cardis which can be teamed with moleskin pants, tulle skirts and gum boots, while the boys can keep warm in duffle coats, puffer vests and crew neck knits worn back with drop crotch track pants, chinos and hi tops. E7yIjsaNjLTWFEpN6iFX4gPCIEQsg1Z6QMwvsAUnYEA Ella just loves the bright colours, the prints, the comfort. The fit is wonderful with generous room, particularly in the length of the legs. From head to toe, they’ve got everything covered. Style, Fit, comfort. I love how versatile the pieces are. You can mix and match colours, patterns and textures.  And there is nothing like a touch of sparkle to make a little girl smile. What ever the combination, it still looks and feels fabulous! Clearly Ella thinks so… IMG_7493   IMG_7478   IMG_7504   Screenshot 2015-05-04 14.59.27   Screenshot 2015-04-24 09.06.02

Honestly, there are not many places that I recommend over and over for comfort, price and style, but this place certainly has it covered.  for So head to the wonderful, wild, wondrous and wintery world of Cotton On Kids and shop up a storm today.



Ella Loves Local: Adriana from Mickey Rose

Ella Loves Local: Adriana from Mickey Rose

Since Hudson was born, almost one year ago, I’ve been obsessed with cool pants and harems that have sprouted up all over Instagram. Cool prints, beautiful fabrics, inspiring designs. There are so many wonderful local designers who are creating gorgeous wears for little ones, and recently the new range of harems form Mickey Rose caught my eye. Monochrome, bold and funky, it was with great pleasure that I got to know Adriana. Another local who decided to put her talents to good use, and after suffering a time of grief and loss in her life, was inspired to begin her own business. Mickey Rose was born and the rest is history. Here are some of my favs…

Anything from the their new Monochrome collection…



Tee Pee Harems…


Here is Hudson rocking his Black cross Harems. They have great stretch, and what I love most is the legs have a little extra length.

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More from the beautfiul Andriana from Mickey Rose

1. What inspired you to start Mickey Rose?
I have always wanted to be a designer. Growing up, I would draw, sew, and create for hours on end. As I got older, not only did I realized I loved to create, I also loved to be the boss. Whilst studying both at high school and at RMIT, I was sure I wanted to own my own business. Then when children’s wear came to mind, I knew that was the career for me.

Whilst studying my Dad (Mick) fell seriously ill with cancer and passed away two weeks before my 19th birthday. My whole life paused and crumbled around me. I had told him my dream to be a designer & run my own label (he was a successful business owner himself). Two years after losing my Dad, I realized life is too short, so with a heavy heart I opened Mickey Rose, and now a year in it is the best decision I have ever made.
So, he was in fact my inspiration amongst many.

2. How do you juggle business and family?
Being a business owner is a 24 hour gig. I really love what I do & enjoy my job so much, but I always make sure to make time for the ones I love. I am all about my diary, so I make sure to schedule in time away from work with friends or family.

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?
Wow, such a hard question! I would have to say it would be getting this far in the first year of Mickey Rose. I have worked day in and day out to now have stockists around Australia, and to have worldwide interest in our brand is so thrilling. An exact moment would be getting my first ever stockists with Lala Boutique (She is amazing!). I get blown away with all the positive feedback I receive, I am so so grateful.

(And having the courage to do what I love!)
4. What has been your biggest challenge?
Another hard question… Can I say everything?

But really it would have to be doing this and making so much progress without having my Dad to share it with.
5. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business?
Be organized and take risks. I was told I was too young, didn’t have enough experience, you name it but if you’re ambitious, you can do anything. The best thing I ever did was taking the risk of just starting. Keep it simple but do not underestimate the work load!
6. Three words that describe Mickey Rose…
Fun. Unique. Practical.
7. What’s your favourite current product in your line?
Oooo it would have to be our Monochrome Panda Harems. I think the Mickey Rose aesthetic is captured perfectly in this pair of pants. They sum up the three words above to a T!

 8. Pay it forward to another local business. Mickey Rose loves…

We love so so many brands here at Mickey Rose and always trying to share the love. I would have to say one of our favourite local labels at the moment would be Howi.
I was truly inspired by reading Adriana’s responses to my interview questions and genuinely felt proud of her achievements in starting her business so far. So many of us go through times that are tough and challenging, and Adriana’s story is no different. What is different however is how she used her grief to begin again. I’m sure her Dad would be so proud.

To purchase your own gorgeous harems from the range, be sure to visit Mickey Rose today.