As regular readers of the blog will know, both Rosie and I are big supporters of small businesses. And there are few we love more than the brilliant Hullabaloo Prints, which just so happens to be based down the road from us in South West London.
We first discovered Hullabaloo Prints on Instagram soon after Emma Aitken and Amy Pike launched it back in October 2015. Both of us felt an immediate affinity with the brand and its beautiful maiden collection of muslins and swaddles, which were created using the traditional Indian technique of block printing paired with timeless British designs.
You see, as a couple, India holds a special place in our hearts. Before we met, Rosie lived in Udaipur, the gorgeous Rajasthani city known the world over for its famous Lake Palace which featured in the James Bond classic, Octopussy.
There she fell in love with the vibrant colours, patterns and fabrics worn by Indian women every day, and was inspired by the incredible workmanship of their skilled craftsmen and women.
Once we were an item, Rosie and I went back to India a number of times together, not just to Udaipur but also to Jodhpur, Delhi and Goa, where I totally fell for the country too, its people and the beauty of everyday life.
So, it’s no wonder that Hullabaloo Prints caught our eye as it reminded us of that same unique beauty you see everywhere you turn in India. Which is why when I spotted on Instagram that this local London business was launching its first clothing range for babies and toddlers up to 3 years old, I personally reached out, offering to help spread the word.
Because not only does the new range offer a load of fresh designs and colours, the styles they’ve created are also unlike anything you can find on the high street today, bringing back the traditional cuts of dungarees, summer dresses, pantaloons and shirts that we would have all worn ourselves as kids.
Exactly the kind of clothes that we love to dress our Teddy in…
Teddy on Granny’s swing, modelling Hullabaloo Prints’ Frog Prince dungarees
Speaking to me this week about the launch – out now to buy from their website – Hullabaloo Prints’ co-founder Emma Aitken explains below how it all began and what inspired the new collection, as well as sharing some exciting news about what they have planned for the future.
“Both Amy and I come from design backgrounds, and before becoming mums for the first time, we both spent a lot of time in India. There we were hugely inspired by the artisan method of hand block-printing, with its characteristic imperfectly perfect prints, which we firmly believed that parents in the UK would absolutely love.
“So we put our heads together and came up with the idea behind Hullabaloo Prints and our collection of whimsical designs based on traditional English childhood themes and stories, which we had hand printed on beautifully soft cotton, initially as swaddles, muslins and bibs.”
“But, having starting my career in costume design, I always dreamed that one day Hullabaloo Prints would evolve as a business and we would create our own range of children’s clothes.
“Both Amy and I share a real passion for beautiful hand-crafted textiles and all things baby and toddler, so we are so excited to finally bring this first clothing collection to the market.”
So Emma, tell us more about your production process…
“We source our cotton in Chennai, which is then shipped all the way up to Jaipur where our wonderful printers carve our unique printing blocks in teak, using Amy’s designs from London. They then mix all the colours based on Amy’s very specific instructions and print all of our fabrics by hand, ensuring that everything we make has both beautiful soft colours and the magical childlike quality that our brand is known for.”
“In the Indian culture, it’s all about forging a relationship with the craftsmen you work with; not just online but physically in person, so they are fully on board with what we have been trying to create. I feel like we’ve really invested in our designs, our suppliers and the talented crafts people that we work with out there. What’s more, they have really invested in us too, which is just so humbling.”
“The relationship we have with them is so lovely and a real family affair. I think we’ve created something really special here and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Teddy with his tool box, modelling Hullabaloo Prints’ Blue & Green Stripe Pantaloons
And what’s next for Hullabaloo Prints?
“I’m pleased to report that we are currently working on some exciting new designs for this winter, which we hope to bring out later in the Autumn,” says Emma. “And next summer we plan on doing a more established and broader clothing collection, increasing the range, colours, cuts and designs, including more options for boys as well as a unisex collection, and even some adult options for mums and dads too.”
“From our London home office to our suppliers in India, Hullabaloo Prints is a family business in every way, so we’d love for this ethos to run through our designs as well.”
Teddy in the garden, sporting Hullabaloo Prints’ Stags & Acorns white shirt
The new clothing collection is out now and available to buy direct from the Hullabaloo Prints website, including a wide range of gorgeous outfits for both boys and girls ranging from one to three years old, as well as their classic collection of muslins, swaddles and prints in the same lovely designs.