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Alanna Felton is the founder of mollyboo, a range of beautiful accessories for stylish kids. She lives in Muscat, Oman and is mum to two young girls, Molly and Rose.
What inspired you to create mollyboo?
When my first daughter was 10 months old, I fell pregnant with my second daughter and realised that going back to my previous career in advertising was not an option for a few more years! I have always been passionate about design and after searching for good quality, classic accessories for my daughter I realised that it was a challenge to find what I was looking for. Taking the plunge, I decided to follow my passion and use my background in advertising and marketing to develop a brand that offered a simple, stylish and fun range of accessories for kids.
What are the most popular items in the collection and what are your personal favourites?
There are four ranges in the mollyboo collection – our classic, bright, luxe and pastel ranges. I have found that each colour speaks to different people depending on the age of their children. The pastel range seems to appeal to parents with young babies, while the luxe and classic ranges are popular with young girls. In the summer, colours from the bright collection are proving to be a popular choice. Our pink and aqua polka dot sunhats are popular with girls but boys tend to favour the khaki green and blue hats. Having lived in Australia, I am very conscious of the effects the sun can have on the skin of young children, so our sun hats help protect kids from harmful UV rays.
How are mollyboo items made and what special features do they have?
The entire mollyboo range is designed in-house and then manufactured according to very specific details. Quality is key and has been central to our initial popularity. All sunhats are 100 percent cotton and have an adjustable neck strap with chin toggle allowing kids to run and play freely without their hat falling off! Fully reversible, all hats offer great sun protection and are designed with a tab to allow your little one to personalise their hat by clipping on a mollyboo bow of their choice. mollyboo bows are all handcrafted using high quality grosgrain ribbon. Our bows are securely attached to an alligator clip with a non-slip pad to ensure your little one can run, skip, hop and dance without the clip falling off.
How often do you introduce new colours and designs to the collection and what can we expect to see from you in 2016?
mollyboo launched in September 2015 and, in a short space of time, we have
acquired a loyal following of parents seeking good quality accessories for their kids. I’m always listening to customer feedback and asking what people want. We are in the early design stage for a range specifically for boys and are also looking to add some additional products to our collection that will be aligned with our classic, simple, stylish and, of course, fun philosophy! Watch this space.
What are the most challenging parts of running the business and what are the best bits?
Juggling two kids under two while starting up a new business has been stressful at times, yet often the most challenging elements are the most exciting and rewarding. Building the website really tested my skills and taught me new ones. Navigating various forms of social media from a business perspective has been a learning experience and ensuring the commercial elements of the business plan make sense is also something new for me. There have been periods of doubt, but it allows me to work from home and be with my girls as much as possible, so I feel very blessed.
What do you love about raising a family in Oman?
We moved to Muscat two years ago, knowing very little about this part of the world. However, the relaxed pace of life, year-round sunshine and the wonderful Omani people make Muscat an amazing place to raise a young family. We have made many great friends and love living here.
Any top tips for mums of little girls who love to accessorise?
The great thing about mollyboo bows and headbands is that they are made using classic colours, so you can be sure to find one to match any outfit. The bows and headbands make perfect gifts and can jazz up everyday outfits, party dresses, school uniforms – they’re a great accessory for any stylish girl!
It’s so important to protect our little ones from the sun, so mollyboo hats offer great sun protection and are ideal for trips to the beach, park or school. People have been great in sharing pictures of their children with mollyboo accessories and I try to post many of these to Instagram – so you can also find some great styling examples @mollybookids!