Place of Little Dreams is a bit of a magical name to a brand so I’m instantly drawn to it. And when I meet Lexi, one typically rainy June morning, i know why…she is her ‘brand name’, and she instantly brightens up the room. She’s just dropped off her boys at school and nursery, her husband has been working very late for the last couple of months so she’s been a little bit of a single mother, but she looks beautiful! And not in that slightly threatening way us women don’t often like. She is an ethereal beauty not only on the outside but quite clearly, as we chat for about 2 hours non stop, on the inside too! She is passionate and determined to make things work. She is happy with life and grateful and that really shines out of her. And no, she isn’t a perfect human being as none of us are but she is genuine and that is why I think her directory, A Place of Little Dreams, is brilliant. It is REAL and she knows what us mama’s want!
What made you start Place of Little Dreams?
I’ve always been incredibly creative and with the journey I have been on as a Montessori teacher and then a mother, I realised how different and unique every single child is. Boy, girl, sister, brother we all have unique qualities and I wanted to offer families the opportunity to celebrate and provide these for their children and themselves. When my Godmother died last year, a lady who was a huge inspiration to me and my life, I took it upon myself to make sure I could put all my energy and love into something I really believed in and really benefited the little children of this world. My godmother was a Montessori Teacher herself and with 3 children like me. She believed in every
single child she ever came across, she believed they were all capable of amazing things. It was her untimely death that made me take the plunge and create what I believe to be a place where amazing things can happen, in whatever wondrous way a child would like to perceive it.
What were the difficulties you faced at the start and how did you overcome these?
Doubt. Actually starting something and people believing in you and what you’ve decided to do.
Time. My eldest has just started primary school, my middle son was at nursery in the mornings and my youngest was still at home with me all the time. My husband is one of the busiest men I know and we have no family or childcare in London.
Guilt. Juggling everything I loved to make room for something new and not jeopardising anything, and not feeling guilty that maybe it was ok to do something for myself.
How did I overcome it!!!! Well, my middle son is a creative free spirit who’s soul is happiest when mixing paint, moulding clay, drawing stories from his imagination. With him home every afternoon from nursery, it was the opportunity I took to follow his needs of fulfilling his creativity, that created many of the activities on the blog today!!! That ticked a huge box!!! As far as developing my ideas and putting them from thought to pen to paper, once I had got the boys to bed I worked every single evening to create what I wanted to show to the world!!! As my husband is a Dr and works a few evenings a week I wasn’t jeopardising our time together, and instead of watching TV and folding washing, I sat at my laptop and planned and dreamt and never folded any washing!!!! I think when
you really believe in something and it’s new, you find this incredible energy from somewhere, and you just don’t stop until you reach that goal, it was with that feeling that the self doubt soon began to fade, and the belief set in.
As you mention above, you have 3 boys under 6, when do you manage to find the time to work on your business?
It’s becoming a little easier now to find the time, my youngest has started at his nursery now and goes there 5 mornings, and my older two are both at Primary school. I still work 3 evenings a week, plus the 5 mornings I now have, so there is definitely time to work on Place of Little Dreams and provide enough creative inspiration and support to the businesses I promote on the directory.
Explain what Place of Little Dreams is and why would a brand benefit being on your directory?
Place of Little Dreams is a lifestyle website for anyone with young children in their lives. From the audience that follow the creative blog, they are then immediately opened up to exploring all the incredible brands and boutiques that are on the Directory. As a brand being on the directory, you are amongst a carefully selected and curated group of unique children’s brands, boutiques and resources. Every brand on the directory is offered a promotional platform including themed promotions, giveaways, competitions, collaborations, and the opportunity to attend pop up fairs and regular meetings with other awesome brands on the directory.
You have already organised pop up fairs for your clients. Where and when are the next ones?
Our next Pop Up will be the Christmas Fair at the OSO arts centre in Barnes SW13, on Monday 11th December 5pm – 9pm for evening shop and free glass of prosecco, and then Tuesday 12th December 9am – 2pm for daytime shop.
I’m also very excited to announce that I will be starting to do pop up fairs in Edinburgh in 2018, so any Scottish unique children’s brands do get in touch with me as I’d love to collaborate!!!
Networking is the key in this industry. Do you have plans to enhance this for your clients?
Yes, absolutely. I soon became really aware, that these fabulous and inspiring women that I was meeting, who have created these fabulous brands, would really love to be able to meet other like-minded entrepreneurs. I decided to create a networking hub for those boutiques and brands listed on the directory, aptly named #thedreamup. This is a regular meeting offered to those listed on the directory, giving these fabulous women in business the opportunity to discuss the highs and lows of their journey of running a small business. From lending advice, from social media queries to marketing resources to new ideas. It’s a really exciting venture, everyone loves #thedreamup!!!!
Where do you see yourself in the next 6 months to a year? How long is a piece of string!!! I’m a dreamer and a wanderer, always having creative ideas up my sleeve…some possible, some not so possible!!! The growth Place of Little Dreams has seen over the past year, has all been an organic process and I think my main priority now is to consolidate everything I have created, as it has literally gone whoosh, from a small idea to a full blown business!!! So who knows…I’m always open to suggestions from my clients and where possible love to support their forward thinking ideas where I can…the most important thing for me is that my business remains a fun and happy place where I can inspire, support and grow, following the needs of all those amazing individuals out there.
What’s the biggest achievement you’ve had so far? Marrying my absolute best friend and constant believer, and subsequently having my 3 beautiful boys. My husband and I, have been together for 15 years and married for 10. We were so young when we got married but I wouldn’t change that for the world, we have explored and embraced this crazy life together, and I will nurture that always. We always joke that we hold hands through the adventures we travel through together, and to be honest we do exactly that!!! My boys are the most precious little people, they have shown me a love that I never knew was possible. Everyday I remind myself how lucky I am to have them in my life.
If you were an animal what animal would you be? I am without a doubt a swallow. A swallow is the symbol of everlasting love and loyalty to family.
And to top it off, you can buy her characters on print from A Place of Little Dreams for £15 – £20! I mean, that really is the dream!
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