Hi Julia, tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Julia, I’m 29 and I am originally from Russia. I’ve lived in Scotland for almost 15 years now (through school, uni and beyond), the last 7 of which in Edinburgh. I have a husband, a 2yo daughter and a little scruffy dog and we are expecting our newest addition in July!
How do you find family life in Edinburgh?
I think Edinburgh is a wonderful place to bring up a family, we are all so lucky to live here. It’s safe, it’s green, it is jam-packed full of culture and history, amazing walks, shops, child friendly cafes and playgroups, brilliant schools, and of course, all our friends are here! We live quite centrally and love the freedom to walk most places we want to get to, particularly when the sun is shining.
What’s the story behind your store?
After Anna came along it admittedly took me quite a while to stumble across all the amazing kiddie brands that are out there and that are not available to us on the high street. I always felt a slight degree of discomfort with just how much most mainstream brands gender stereotyped their products with the usual parade of pink/ glitter/ kittens/ fairies/ unicorns/ butterflies for girls and brown/ blue/ green/ tractor/ pirate available for boys.
When eventually I came across these new, exciting, modern brands that came up with cracking gender neutral themes in amazing, high quality fabrics and cool new shapes, it was like an obsession was born and it didn’t take long before I thought that it would be awesome to be able to gather up all my favourite brands together into a little online shop of my own. Even before Bunny Hop, I was pretty much a professional online shopper so it seemed like a no-brainer to set up the shop online.
How did you come up with the name, Bunny Hop?
When my daughter Anna was born she was given one of those Jellycat bunnies by a friend of mine. Out of everything she was ever given she ended up forming an amazing bond with ‘Bunny’ and doesn’t go anywhere without it and I can’t imagine she would be able to go to sleep if it wasn’t there (we now have four of them just in case). Bunny Hop is really my little nod to Anna and her first love.
What’s the best and hardest part about working for yourself?
The best part is of course the flexibility and the fact you don’t have to leave your kids/ home for a set number of hours every day.
You make your own decisions and are able pick only the things you really believe in and that you think are right for you, your business and your customer. Of course there are always numbers to take into consideration but at the end of the day you are able to say- stop, this is not for me, this isn’t what I signed up for, this isn’t my ethic, and no one has the ability to tell you otherwise.
What do you look for in clothing/accessories when buying for Bunny Hop?
The design- is it comfy, is it practical, is it something that a little person would get lots of use out of? For the price of it- do you get what you pay for (for example has it got a nice warm lining/ good pockets and buttons/ is it truly unique)? What is the material- I love labels that use organic fabrics because they really are just so soft and do feel different to the touch- is it pure cotton/ breathable etc. Prints and patterns- some are so amazing that when I first see them I get heart palpitations!
I try to order the items that I think would be most appealing to the widest segment of Bunny Hop customers, but I do also order a handful of what I like to call ‘show pieces’- these are possibly not for everyone and are maybe just a bit more out there, but they are just SO cool that I simply cannot pass them by!
Lastly, what trends are you spotting for A/W 16?
Lots of animals and wildlife and inspiration from the outdoors, like the night sky and the seasons. Also lots of brilliant graphic prints and patterns which are the cornerstone of any good wardrobe!