Saturday, 24 November 2012

Lucas Frank (clothing not the drug dealer)

So shopping for kids when they aren't your own can always cause a bit of a quandary. I am the proud auntie (that’s Cool Auntie Steph) to 2 fabulous nephews and I love choosing gifts for them. Let’s be honest, kids clothing is beyond cute, so they have had the joy of hand-picked baby grows, hoodies and t-shirts since they were born. However, my sister’s taste in clothing is very different to mine - classically cool - and she dresses her boys accordingly so I'm always on the lookout for things that she will love to dress the boys in.

This year I shall be treating my lucky nephews to Lucas Frank, an award winning brand of designer wear minus the hefty price tag. All the clobber is beautifully designed and carefully stitched garments for little gentlemen aged 18 months – 10 years old. And what’s this award?  Only a GOLD AWARD WINNER by top mother & baby website, Bizziebaby: Mums loved the quality, durability and price of the garments. Can’t say fairer than that! Choose from polos, tees and hoodies and get your little guy(s) kitted out in style. Plus the fresh collection comprising of navy and white will look super fresh once Spring rocks around. And where clothing is concerned a celeb endorsement goes a long way – Sophie Ellis Bexter anyone?

And if you order online they even do gift wrapping on some items. Awesome! 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Christmas in the Castle

So we've had glasses, tailors and some crass stitched naughtiness on the Alternative Christmas Gift Guide. Now for some superb gift ideas of the homewares variety...

Visiting a friend in Barnard Castle the other week I stumbled across an independent retailer to shout about, a boxfresh business that has already had a feature in Elle decoration: Oswells. Tucked away down one end of the high street the shop has been open for 6 months and is going from strength to strength.

With the high street in decline and online sales rising there has been a real resurgence in successful independent retailers, coming to the fore of the retailing landscape. Oswells fits this bill. Lisa, head honcho, previously worked at Liberties and Harvey Nichols, buying for their homewares department. This experience and knowledge has transferred into a confidant, seamless and original product selection which has grown organically to include stationary, furnishings, toiletries and games. A family run business, Lisa works alongside her hubby Mark and sister Julie to ensure the brand remains strong and gets the glory it so deserves.

I love what they have to offer. Here are a few of my favourite pieces from their online shop:

And if you can't make your mind up or the person you are buying for is notoriously difficult to buy for (that would be me then) they do Gift Vouchers. That's Christmas sorted, Barnard Castle style.

Now for the grand finale: the ampersand symbol (hint hint...)