Q&A with Sarah, Katy and Pam.

We work with amazing small businesses at not only pink and blue and it’s important to us that we meet each one. So we can hear their story and talk about their passions and values.

Whether we’ve visited them at their office, factory, or said hello over Zoom (oh lockdown!), they’ve all been fab. So we wanted to find out a little bit more about them and share it with you.

This week, we spoke to Sarah (founder of 2LittleBoys), Katy (co-founder or Mimi and Will), and Pamela, (writer and founder of Just Like Me Books). Here is what they had to say!

Q&A with Sarah Watts, founder of 2LittleBoys

Sarah, Founder of 2LittleBoys

Sarah, Founder of 2LittleBoys (she can be found on the right in this pic with her kids!)

We love 2LittleBoys! They bring us colourful themed activity books; ‘I’m going to be really very brainy and this is my plan’ doodle pads; ‘I’m going to be a superhero’ t-shirts and many many more. Let’s quiz Sarah, founder of 2LittleBoys, and see what she has to say!

2LittleBoys’ Holiday Keepsake Book

What product of yours brings you the most joy?

The product on not only pink and blue that gives me the most joy is the ’This is my…’ books.  Specifically ‘Holiday Keepsake’.

I gave them to my three to do when they were little and the answers to questions were hilarious and although the photos they took were generally of my bum, they are priceless to return to.  The ‘favourite thing about the journey’ in the holiday book was invariably the snack and their ‘favourite present’ at Christmas was invariably the noisy thing that a well-meaning childless aunt would have bought!

Who do you love following on Instagram?

I love watching not only pink and blue grow and gather momentum. (thanks Sarah!!!) Otherwise, I mainly like to keep track of my friends and family on Insta.  We usually take 2LittleBoys on the road every year to various shows and fairs and the circuit is a real community of like-minded individuals, all of whom I am sorely missing spending real-time with this year.

What would you love to change about the kids’ industry?

I’m no longer in quite as touch with the kids’ industry as I used to be.  I have personally worked to some pretty strict core values for the past 17 years and I’m glad they are aligned with not only pink and blue.  I think that in order to make change happen, one needs to BE the change.  Big business will always go for the money and they, therefore, tend to be quite reactive.  It’s up to parents to seek out quality and it’s up to us designers to create an alternative to the same old stuff being churned out.  At some point, there will be a paradigm shift when the public wants it enough.  I have faith.

What question would you like to ask your fellow Partners?

I’d ask the next set of Partners – what product or design that you have seen do you wish you’d come up?  I remember a few years ago seeing a photo of a little girl wearing a sweatshirt that said “the future is equal” and it made me smile ALOT and made me slightly sad that I hadn’t come up with it.

Tell me about your favourite item of clothing? (Asked by our Partner, Katy, co-founder of Mimi and Will)

I loathe clothes shopping so if I find something I like, I’ll buy at least 2 of the same thing and then proceed to wear threadbare over the years. I have 2 enormous black jumpers that I bought from American Vintage a few years back that I live in and will weep when they wear out.

If there was one item you wish was around when you were a child what would it be and why? (Asked by our Partner, Pam, founder and writer of Just Like Me Books)

My mum was a primary school teacher who could make up a game with a piece of fluff if she wanted so we were pretty sorted for entertainment.  Spotify would have saved a lot of sitting by the TV to record TOTPS though 🙂

Q&A with Katy Penman, co-founder of Mimi and Will

Katy, Co-founder of Mimi and Will (seen here experiencing her first post-lockdown haircut!)

What can I say about Mimi and Will? Well, one, their lovingly designed T-shirts can honestly be enjoyed by all kids (love rain? – tick, love dinos – yep, love reading – you’re sorted).  Two, they’re t-shirts are ethically sourced and organic. And third, they collaborate with the most awesome people to make their designs. Let’s hear from Katy Penman, co-founder of Mimi and Wil, and find out more about her.

Mimi and Will’s Read More Books T-shirt

What product of yours brings you the most joy?

It’s impossible to choose a favourite! All our t-shirts are designed for us by creative people whose work we admire, from the worlds of comics, illustration, ceramics, film, interior design and more.

Also, as a  lifelong bookworm, published author and English Literature graduate, I have to say the slogan Read More Books holds a special place in my heart.  When you read or listen to a book, whole worlds, real or imagined, are open to you.

Who do you love following on Instagram?

I just discovered The Felt Cove and her colour palette, as well as the textures in her work, makes me feel instantly calm and relaxed.

What would you love to change about the kids’ industry?

I would love to see sustainability, reuse and sharing of garments being the default.  Our t-shirts are made to last and it’s a shame for just one child to get just one year out of each.  I’m still wearing great t-shirts from 20+ years ago – or more often, my daughter steals them!

What question would you like to ask your fellow Partners?

‘Tell me about your favourite ever item of clothing?’

If there was one item you wish was around when you were a child what would it be and why? (Asked by our Partner, Pam, founder and writer of Just Like Me Books)

A backlit Kindle!  No more reading under the covers with my trusty torch after lights out, or deciding which 4 of my favourite books to take on holiday with us.

Neil Slorance’s Dungeon Fun starring Fun Mudlifter!

What product or design that you have seen do you wish you’d come up? (Asked by our Partner, Sarah, founder of 2LittleBoys)

I wish I’d invented Fun Mudlifter!  She’s a brilliant character (and role model) from Neil Slorance’s book Dungeon Fun which is available from not only pink and blue, and if you like Neil’s style, he also designed our Supersaurus t-shirt for Mimi & Will.

Q&A with Pam Aculey, Founder and Writer of Just Like Me Books

Pam, founder and writer of Just Like Me Books can be seen here in this fab pic. Hi Pam!

Just Like Me Books, really do create our kinds of books. Celebrating diversity, encouraging empathy, and all in all creating books that all kids can enjoy – make us the BIGGEST fans. We talk to Pam Aculey, founder and writer of Just Like Me Books, to find out more about her!

Buster Finds His Beat front cover of the book

Just Like Me’s Buster Finds His Beat book

What product of yours brings you the most joy?

Definitely my first book ‘Buster Finds His Beat’. This book is all about a little autistic boy of mixed heritage. Buster wears ear defenders as he can find sudden and loud noises distressing. This book promotes awareness and fosters an understanding of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). But also celebrates  Buster’s strengths and the way he sees the world around him. This book was heavily based on my eldest son Walter who is Autistic.

Who do you love following on Instagram?

Obviously ‘not only pink and blue’ (thanks Pam!!) but also other individuals who honestly and authentically champion Diversity and Inclusion. Some of my other favourites are @Mirrormewrite @roundtablebooks. I also love fashion and fitness so I also love to follow @stylemesunday and @fayes_fitness

What would you love to change about the kids’ industry?

The sexism aimed at children. I have three boys (6, 3 and 18 months) and I am forever seeing the gender-based stereotypes from clothing and toys. It seems to be the same marketing format ‘Princesses vs Superheroes’, slogans that read “happiest is the prettiest” and “I get my looks from my mummy” juxtaposed with “here comes trouble” and “strong like Daddy”. I would love for brands to move away from the old narrative that girls are only pretty, delicate and shy whilst boys are strong, brave and adventurous. Can we just get clothes where the slogan is empowering regardless of gender, race or ability?

What question would you like to ask your fellow Partners?

‘If there was one item you wish was around when you were a child what would it be and why?’

What product or design that you have seen do you wish you’d come up? (Asked by our Partner, Sarah, founder of 2LittleBoys)

Non-spill 360 Degree Rotating Bowl – My three children have all gone through that throwing food all over the floor stage and whilst I’m all for ‘messy play’ us parents know how annoying picking up cold cemented porridge off the floor is!

It’s a 360 degree rotating bowl and allows you to keep food in the bowl no matter what as it turns in every direction. It saves time, avoids wastage and pure wizardry at it’s best!

Tell me about your favourite item of clothing? (Asked by our Partner, Katy, co-founder of Mimi and Will)

This would be a cardigan  I ‘borrowed’ from my mum around 15 years ago. She bought it from a vintage shop in the 70’s. It’s full of beautiful colours and ever so snuggly to wear.

I don’t wear it often because It’s so precious and also I don’t want her to remember that I have it because she will definitely ask for it back!