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Meet the Maker - Tracey Samuel - Bonnie Mob

Posted on February 23 2017

 Bonnie Mob at Young Hearts

 Great advice, 'Get a cleaner! Have a family calendar that syncs with everyone on it, I still get caught out with those pesky inset days!! Try to find some ‘me time’ every week'

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Tell us your start up story? How and when did you begin?

Bonnie mob started out as Bonnie Baby in 2005, I started it because I was pregnant Tracey Samuel Bonnie Mob
 with my daughter Alice, I was looking at the baby wear market and couldn’t find anything I liked for my new arrival (believe me, 12 years ago there was a very limited baby and kidswear market).

I was a womenswear designer for Sonia Rykiel in Paris and was doing a crazy commute from Brighton to Paris every week ( I got the best of both cities with a little pied a terre appartment in Paris), I skipped off to Paris on a Monday morning and came home on a Thursday, it was slightly de-railed with the reality of a newborn and the logistics were too much for me to continue that life. So Bonnie Baby was a way to keep me creatively busy. It’s since mushroomed and grown into the family business it is today.

(Pic of Anna Whitehouse (Mother Pukka) & Tracey Samuel at Bronte London restaurant, pic by Sarah Tobin Photography)

What does your brand stand for / what is important to you?
The bonnie mob represents the freedom of childhood, the mood is colourful, playful and above all comfortable and durable. We use organic materials wherever possible and are committed to working only with high quality manufacturers.

Quality is very important to me, our motto is ‘buy once, buy well, pass it on’ a bit like the clothes of my childhood, we shouldn’t be throwing away clothes. I love nothing more than seeing a customer when they present me a 3rd child proudly wearing a Bonnie mob sweater that was bought for the first child!

How did you come up with your name?
We started out as Bonnie Baby, it was a bit of a nod to my Scottish roots, but we started to make older kids clothes so a few years ago we re branded and ‘the bonnie mob’ was born. We kept ‘bonnie’ but wanted our name to reflect all the ages and playfulness of the brand, so ‘mob’ represents our gang of colourful, adventurous kids from babies to 7 year olds. Think ‘Red Hand Gang’ rather than Bugsy Malone’!

What do you love most about running your own business?
The freedom to make your own choices and decisions is a real privilege, but running your own business is hard work!

What keeps you motivated?
Designing and learning new things keeps me on my toes, I recently visited our new sock factory and was remembered how much I love learning the technical side of making things. I’m a bet of a geek when it comes to machines, especially knitting machines!

What inspires you?
Colour, Travel, Art. And hanging out with my kids.

Tell us about this seasons designs?
SS17 is called SMILE!

It was inspired by the nostalgia of the 70’s, summer festivals and music.

I drew all the characteristic prints by hand then I scan them and make them into repeat prints. I loved drawing the dancing bunnies, the vintage 70’s cameras and tiny tee-pee’s that then made it into fun and cute prints.

The knitwear as you would expect is a joyful mix of rainbow colour flashes and cute motifs of rainbow shooting stars and bowie clouds!

We’ve used a great selection of fabrics including; lightweight organic jersey, terry denim, soft twill and organic cotton lightweight knits.

The collection represents the energy, happiness and love that comes with a weekend at a sun kissed festival.

How do you keep the balance in your life?
Oh god! Do I have balance? I think I do, but that depends on when you ask me the question, its something I’m working on, but my kids and my husband Gareth keep me in check.

What do you do with your kids when you’re not working?
I’ve got 2 sporty kids, Alice is a swimmer and Rhys sails, so I’m often found poolside or on the shoreline cheering on my future Olympians!. As the kids get older ( 11 and 9) the dynamic changes, now its more about hanging out and chilling and watching movies or taking long walks along Brighton seafront or chatting over a bit of cooking or baking.

Any busy mum survival tips?
Get a cleaner!

Have a family calendar that syncs with everyone on it, I still get caught out with those pesky inset days!!

Try to find some ‘me time’ every week.

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