Tell me a bit about your background at Oilily and Kiekeboe and how it evolved into the inception of your own line?
I worked at Oilily for 6 years. This was the best experience I got in children’s wear creativity wise. The motto a thing of beauty is a joy forever was told to me by Marieke Olsthoorn the former creator of Oilily. I was pushed by Marieke and created dresses with wings, sweaters with knives & forks and jackets with hands. The creativity had absolutely no boundaries. I learnt a lot about quality, fabrics, colour and print. After my fifth year I became Senior designer which meant leading a team of 6 designers. My last year in Holland was spent designing for Kiekeboe. A classical and good quality children’s wear range. The team here was made up of 15 people compared to 800 at Oilily. I learnt a lot about how a small company is run dealing with different aspects of the design process and actually got to design my own range for toddlers and new born. I worked with one other designer who gave me more experience to start up my own collection.
How and when did Tickittyboo begin? How has it grown/changed since the beginning?
Tickittyboo began in September 2002. I came back form Holland and started freelancing to get some money behind me. London is fabulous and it didn’t take long to get inspired. Although in the beginning I always have masses of ideas and have to stop myself from making the collection too big! The garments must be different, and it’s always changing.
What is your inspiration for the line?
My inspiration for Tickittyboo is obviously Tickittyboo island. Each season I write a new story and create characters which inspire me to create the range. This is the only way I can work. The other really important key factor is the fabric which I always buy before I start designing.
How would you explain the overall feeling and energy of the collection?
The overall feeling of the collection has to be Quirky yet still classical. Humour is so important to me although I really am still that traditional English girl at heart. I love beautiful fabrics, funny prints, embroideries and surprises! Detail is very important to me. Every child likes finding something hidden in their pockets.
Please explain to me the Tickittyboo story, its characters and how it all translates into the clothing.
The story so far: Tickittyboo is an island. It is divided into 3 areas, KITTYVILLAGE and BOO-LAND. The BOOM’S swim across to the island of Tickittyboo everyday to collect nectar from the flowers to survive. All the flowers which grow there form the shape of a tick, TICK-TOWN. KITTY-VILLAGE is a place where the BOOMA’s get their food. Giant rocks which look like cats guard openings in the ground. The BOOMA’S have to take the rocks apart and slide down a hole. This is where Tickittyboo trees grow. All kinds of snacks and fruit hang on these trees in peculiar shapes. BOO-LAND is a scary place for BOOMAS. Enter at your own risk. Although the most famous of all BOOMAS has some very interesting stories to tell about BOO-LAND. He tells about how he has to fight off the ghosts in BOO-LAND to drop the flowers from TICK-TOWN in the river. If he manages to do this then the flowers turn into glow in the dark stars.
What do you put with the clothes in terms of hang tags, packaging etc. to further describe the Tickittyboo story?
Each garments has a special hang tag with the story inside. You can collect a new story each season. Eventually I’d like to make a book to go with the clothes. Also inside Also inside each garment is a
glow in the dark star hidden. I also have Tickittyboo balloons and postcards of the island with the story printed on the back.
Please explain your most recent collection.
My most recent collection is summer 2004: “Welcome to the world of BOO. The island of Tickittyboo is busy these days so the BOOMAS have divided their attention and are sunning themselves on ships around the island. He sun beats down and reflects the sacks of glow in the dark stars the BOOMAS have stored on board. Clambering, falling, stretching, the BOOMAS rig up each BOO-LAND ship and play around the waters of Tickittyboo. The echoes of the BOOMETTES echo around the waters. They are hanging in the trees waiting for the BOOMAS to come ashore and sing them down from the KITTY-VILLAGE palm trees. When the BOOMETEES have been wooed down from their palm tree the BOOMA must reflect the shine if her hair in one of his glow in the dark stars. Otherwise the BOOMETTE must go back to the top of the tree. The collection colours are Turquoise, pale pink, orange, bright pink and white. For the boys I have used burnt orange, pale green, olive green, and ecru. Key fabrics include amazing pre silk stripe of all the colours, which is inspired by the deck chairs on the Tickittyboo ships. A crinkle claret red check for the girls and a heat reactive cotton for boys shirts. One of the most beautiful fabrics is a n Italian cotton adorned with sequins and painted with big pastel orange and mint spots. The collection is about combining rich fabrics together to give an almost patchwork feel to some items.
What is your size range?
Ages 2-3, 3-4, 4-5, 5-6, 6-7, 7-8