Olive Loves Alfie has always been our local kids' clothes store on Church Street in Stoke Newington, N16. It's been around for 9 years now and has stood the test of time, always stocking a cool edit of the best of British, Scandi and Spanish kids brands. I probably go in there once a week to have a look at all the beautiful clothes as they stock our favourites including Mini Rodini, Tootsa MacGinty and Saltwater Sandals. There aren't many kids clothes stores I enjoy visiting which is why I do so much online shopping, it's probably the only physical kids shop that I actually purchase from. Sometimes it is nice to see what you're buying in the flesh, especially when you are parting with £25 for a kids tee! I always find the staff at Jojo Maman Bebe to be rude and Petit Bateau you are watched suspiciously as you shop the store. Olive Loves Alfie has always had a creative, fun, independent, relaxed kind of vibe and I love their non gender stereotyping, I am a massive fan. They have recently opened a new, second store called Olive Loves Alfie East.
I met owner, Ashlyn Gibson, at the Mere Soeur event they held there back in May. This woman is a bit of a legend in the kids clothing industry so it was good to finally meet her face to face and in her mega new store Olive Loves Alfie East. We really connected and straight away knew we wanted to collaborate on something together. It's located in Londons newest postcode, E20, right next to the Olympic Park and Westfield Stratford in an up and coming, growing neighbourhood called East Village. The concept behind the new lifestyle store is that not only is it a shop but a place to encourage thought, creativity and friendship through workshops and events held there regularly (see their workshops section on their website for the latest info). They do everything from cacti print workshops and mothers day card making to pavement art days. The best thing about the area is the Olympic Park is right next to it, as is Westfield Stratford, so you really can make a whole day out of it with your family, especially if it's a bit more of a trek for you to get there. There is also metered parking nearby if you need to drive otherwise transport links are pretty good. I know Ashlyn is working really hard to raise the profile of the community there so there will be lots happening, including a food, drink and craft market held there every Sunday in the summer.
We recently collaborated to organise a 'mama meet up' at the store - a brew, cake, in-store discount and hang out with some amazing mums who are raising the future so well! We plan to do some more sessions so keep an eye out for the next ones on mine and Olive Loves Alfie East Instagram feeds. We will be doing baby and pre-school age meet ups, chalks outside the shop are perfect for older kids to entertain themselves. Here are a few pics from the first meet up we did...
Not only is Ashlyn an award winning children retailer, she works as an interior stylist and has written two books, Creative Family Home and more recently Creative Children's Spaces. We love the unique, colourful and fun ideas with an emphasis on the importance of books and areas to be creative in. Childrens bedrooms should bring a sense of warmth and security and there is an abundance of ideas in these books to inspire you and your kids.
I'm looking for ideas to do Violet's room at the moment and she has totally inspired me to try something different. I like her house wardrobes/ storage she uses in store, they would look so fab in the eaves of a kids room with clothes used as display. Here are some of our favourite pages from Creative Children's Spaces...
Ashlyn has a reputation as 'the non conformist mum' with an anarchist spirit which is why we love her so much! We asked her a few questions about what she is up to at the moment and her take on kids interiors...
1) Tell us a bit about your new store, Olive Loves Alfie East and what you've been up to at the moment?
Our new venture, Olive Loves Alfie East, caters for modern family life with a selection of childrenswear, womenswear, accessories and perfume. Ranges of wallpaper and children's furniture sits alongside homewares, lighting and plants. There is also a wide selection of toys, games, books and art materials as well as pocket money toys and handmade chocolate. We are busy organising workshops - from perfume salon evenings to weekend plant workshops
2) Where do you get your inspiration from?
I travel all over the world in my work as an interior stylist and writer with a focus on real peoples homes. I love the honesty and authenticity of it - I find that more inspiring than looking at a showroom full of product
3) What's the most simple and cost effective way to transform your childs bedroom on a tight budget?
Use your imagination!
4) What 3 items are a must have in a modern childs bedroom?
1 - A bed that can double up as a launch pad for creative play (I love the Rafa Toddler bed for this very reason)
2- A space on the wall where kids can be creative
3- Easy storage for children's books that encourage them to read
Above: Rafa Toddler Bed
5) You have incredible wild jungle scene wallpaper in your new store, Olive Loves Aflie East. Where can we get our hands on it?
We were the first UK stockist of Bien Fait wallpaper - mosaic featured in my first book, Creative Family Home and was on the cover - The Wild is an integral part of the interior of our new store in the East Village. You can buy the wallpaper from our website or in-store
6) Do you have any top spots/ destinations for finding unique interior pieces and ideas?
I am lucky to travel with my work and to visit lots of inspirational family homes - I am mostly inspired by things that have been homemade - handed down through the generations - but I do get to hunt out the best contemporary design for kids with personal recommendations from the children and families that I meet - Rafa Kids and Kutikai are my two favourite brands and both are available to see in our store and order online
7) You are a really inspiring individual! What are your top tips for decorating a child's room to keep it unique?
Make it personal. There are lots of personalised artworks and interior ideas out there - I love the bespoke names for Lala Loves Decor and we sell them in the store
8) What do you think are going to be the biggest trends in kids decor/ interiors over the coming years?
I believe the zeitgeist is anti trend - in other words it is about listening to your children - trying to capture the magic of their imaginations without being too drawn into the idea of 'must have' products
We are giving away a signed copy of Creative Children's Spaces by Ashlyn Gibson in collaboration with this blog post. To enter please sign up to our newsletter and leave your name and a comment below on why you should win this interior bible. We will also be running the book giveaway over on Instagram so check out our feed for an extra chance to enter. Competition finishes on 24th July.
Olive Loves Alfie East are also offering a generous 25% off their Rafa Toddler Bed (while stocks last) for Finlay Fox readers. Just mention 'Finlay Fox Blog' in-store or over the phone when talking to them. This is a really beautiful kids bed and a great offer so don't miss out!
Olive Loves Alfie East
6 Victory Parade