Last Sunday was my first experience of Bubble, a Kids Trade Show in London which also involved a trip to two very different V&A Museums!
I’m pleased to report no travel drama on the train to London this time around! Although it was another long journey from the beautiful Newcastle Central Station, I made it in plenty time to say hello to my lovely brands Sture & Lisa, Smafolk and new brand soon to be added to Retro Kids, Maxomorra. I saw some other gorgeous new brands with a vintage feel and the ones to watch out for are Rockahula Kids, Star 51 and Milk & Biscuits. It is great to hear that retro remains a key style in kids fashion.
I made perfect timing to hear Jim Johnson, a top business coach, share his knowledge in helping businesses increase their sales and profitability; I listened intently to his guide to business growth. I missed the lovely Julia Koorn from Cherry Pick for Kids, who was representing My Little Day and their gorgeous party decoration range and I too was disappointed that Suzanne Peters from Kids Style Junkie wasn’t around on the same day as my visit.
There was time to spare to make it across to Bethnal Green to Dot to Dot at the V&A Museum. I navigated the London lanscape like a city Bear Grylls and rather smuggly arrived in great time only to find that there are actually two V&A Museums. After wondering whether Museums were once like chains of pubs or hotels, I set off once again for the one I was actually intending to visit.
Dot to Dot is a new showroom for Independant artists. There, I met some fantastic talent and whilst they weren’t right for Retro Kids, I enjoyed soaking up the raw talent and meeting the people behind this new showroom. I found it to be a really intimiate setting, especially compared to Bubble and by all accounts it was a huge successful for all involved! Loved how Spud Kids & Corby Tindersticks had retro display props and Okido and the lovely Sally Nencini caught my eye too! I particularly loved the little soft toys resembling my all time favourite, Miffy!
I’m lucky that I didn’t need to make the journey there and back in one day; my brother lives in London and of course with World Cup final on that night, we enjoyed tea at home and a few beers watching the match!
The next day I had time to visit GRAD (Gallery for Russian Arts and Design). At the moment they have an exhibition on Cold War Commodities: Everyday Life, Work and Play behind the Iron Curtain. I was thrilled to see some iconic vintage toys and in particular my all time favourite Nevalyashka Roly-Poly Doll which was produced from 1950’s – 1970’s.
The Learning Resource provided by GRAD explains “Generations of Soviet toddlers were kept entertained by some version of the Nevalyashka Roly-Poly doll, the Matrioshka’s less glamorous cousin! Wooden versions were popular in the nineteenth century, representing ruddy cheeked merchants and clowns. The principle of these dolls are always the same; a weight placed low inside the hollow body of the toy ensures it always bounces back to a verticle position. Coupled with a colourful appearance and a tinkling sound, the Nevalyashka is a fun and engaging toy, still popular to this day. It assumed its shiny new plastic incarnation in the late 1950’s at the Sergiev-Posad toy institute and was rolled out to factories across the Soviet Union”.
Kitsch Kitchen have reproduced this lovely toy that has an endearing little jingly sound inside and you can see the range we sell here.