Category Archives: 2015 Mummy Must Have Awards

SM chats to… Stacey Jackson

Stacey Jackson is one heck of a slick mummy. Balancing a career as a popstar (giving the Taylor Swift gang a run for their money in her forties) with running a busy home, record label and now fashion line, Stacey is a transatlantic mother of four and rarely spotted out of high heels. Somehow she also finds time to work out, party with the Made in Chelsea gang and Snoop Dogg and perform live around the world.

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SM: Stacey, what are you up to at the moment?

Stacey: You know that saying ‘when it rains, it pours’… I’m about to launch my new StaeFit workout tops which I developed to help women with various issues they face while working out such as skin irritation like breast rash. It will initially be available on Staefit.com. I’m also debuting a new single off my three-volume cardio mix album called StaePumped. The single is called “How Much is That Hottie in the Window” and it features a good friend of mine, Andrew Derbyshire who was a finalist on Britain’s Got Talent. 

SM: What would be the best advice you could give our readers when hiring a nanny?

Stacey: As a working mom, finding someone with good judgement is imperative. I recommend you check them out so thoroughly — even try to find them on Facebook or Instagram for example. Are most of their pictures of them partying? You can get a sense of a person by the images they choose to upload. Also when interviewing, give the candidates scenarios so they can tell you how they would react. Such as, “what happens if I’m away and the child spikes a fever?” or “what if there was an accident on the playground, how would you handle it?” or “the phone rings while the baby is in the bath tub, what do you do”. You’d be surprised the number of crazy answers you can get. A good nanny shouldn’t even have to pause to reply to these questions with answers that will make you feel they know what they are doing.  Also I suggest to actually speak to their references, don’t just take an agency’s recommendation. 

SM: Any plans for a childrenswear line?

Stacey: Haha, very possibly. The first Stae Brand being launched is my fitness range called StaeFit so I’m focused on that right now. But you never know… I hope to carry the Stae range through to other brands, StaeSexy (lingerie) StaeHome (home accessories) and you never know… StaeYoung or StaeKids 🙂

SM: Are there any future pop stars burgeoning among your brood?

Stacey: My 17 year old son is an awesome drummer and at the moment my 8 year old daughter wants to be a pop singer like her mommy… We’ll see how long that lasts! 

SM: And finally, we recently announced the Shortlist for our 2015 Mummy Must Have Awards. Do any of the products or brands we selected stand out for you as a parent?

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Stacey: I’m an avid fan of the coconut water. It’s amazingly rehydrating and tastes delish! I take it to the gym and I also drink it before I’m about to go on stage. Love!

Follow Stacey on Twitter @Staerox

Vote for Buko Coconut Water in the #MMHA 2015 here

Aaargh me hearties, our pick of Piratewear for girls

If your children are pillaging the high seas right now, you’ll know that pirate costumes for boys are everywhere.

But if your daughter is craving parrots and treasure troves too, get her decked out in our pick of nautical stripes with a little Pirate naughtiness…

Mothercare’s purple pirate kitty works well for little ladies, plus it’s on sale – just £2.50!

Itsy Bits have been Shortlisted for our #MMHA and we think these frillies would be great for Lil Miss Captain Jack Sparrow…

Alex and Alexa’s beautiful nautical dress will double as a party outfit or trip to Grandma’s… And it’s just £14.40 in the sale.

And if she’s a Scooter Girl, it’s gotta be this helmet from Microscooters (again, in our #MMHA)

 

 

#Boutique Focus… Lilly and Sid

We’re recent newcomers to the childrenswear craze that is Lilly and Sid. From their concession in Harvey Nicks to their plethora of product and design awards (vote for them also in our #MMHA 2015) the brand has grown through word of mouth and happy customers. Not to mention adorably dressed children!

We caught up with Emma and Imran from Lilly and Sid for our Boutique Focus interview…

SM: How did Lilly and Sid come about?

Emma & Imran: We had worked as Head of Buying and Design for leading retailers for many years, always with the dream of running our own business together at the back of our minds. After having our daughter, we found it really difficult to find trend led clothing with a fun twist which was also affordable. 3 years later we had our son and found it even more difficult to dress him so we decided to set up our own brand named after our first two children- Lilly + Sid.

SM:  Where do you get your inspiration for collections?

Emma & Imran: Our design team are always looking for new ideas. We have a weekly design meeting where we gather all the new things we have seen during the week and add these to our trend boards to include in collections. As a British brand we are very lucky to have access to amazing archives and exhibitions and are particularly fond of the V+A. Most of our collections have been inspired by our heritage and have included British Artists, Pantomime, Punch and Judy and Fairytales. We are also greatly inspired by children and look at life through their eyes when designing, making sure we don’t take ourselves too seriously and that our collections are fun.

SM:  What is your best-selling item?

Emma & Imran: We change our collection each season, with very few carry over lines. Our customers like newness and to buy into the new trends. Our best selling items usually have a unique twist, like our sunsafe swimsuits each with a L+S character or our boys sweatshirts with an integral mask to the hood. We design all our own prints and fabrics in-house too and as each one runs for one season only, they are limited edition and often our best sellers. Our customers know that we don’t repeat stock in-season so our best sellers can sell out within the first few weeks launch.

SM:  Which items do your own children like best?

Emma & Imran: Our two eldest are now 12 and 9 so don’t fit into our collection, but our 12 year old daughter does still cosy up to one of our knitted blankets she has had for years. Our 9 year old is into the Liverpool Football Kit- eek! Our youngest child, Sami, is our chief muse and test runs many of our clothes- favourites being the colour green and comfy joggers.

SM:  What have been the biggest challenges of running the business?

Emma & Imran: The biggest challenges we face are managing time and money. When you run your own business, especially a husband and wife team, it is very hard to take time out and switch off. We also like to work around the children , and our initial business strategy included ‘ never miss a sports day’ and we have kept to this- the consequence often being midnight finishes once the kids are in bed, bathed and homework done ! We are a self-funded brand as we want to keep 100% control of our business and this holds its own challenges at every stage.

SM:  And your proudest moment…?

Emma & Imran: there have been a fair few- from our launch range being bought by our hitlist of ideal stockists including Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, to seeing someone wearing Lilly+ Sid for the first time to more recently the amazing support we have had for our charity fundraising. We are very lucky to have won lots of awards, our most treasured ones being those voted by our customers, who are without doubt the most important part of our journey.

SM:  What’s next for L&S?

Emma & Imran: we’ve got lots of exciting things in the pipeline and see lots of growth opportunities over the next few years, but ultimately we will continue to enjoy growing our boutique brand.

Editor’s pick: how lovely and cheerful is this knitted blanket? And it is machine washable too…

Celeb Mum Becky Mantin’s pick of our #MMHA 2015 Shortlist

At SM we are big fans of Becky Mantin’s style, attitude and general joie de vivre – so were delighted when she cast her thoughts over our Mummy Must Have Awards Shortlist.

Stand outs for Becky included Kozikidz rainwear“These look great and the perfect cover up for playing in the rain or going to Forest School without worrying about a change because of wet, muddy knees. Without trying, it’s hard to say if they are durable and comfortable but the idea is good and the designs are very nice.”

Kozi Kidz Essentials Rain Sets Lifestyle

Lilly and Sid Sunsafe Suit: “These are very cute and seem practical too with the hood. I like that the front zip seems long enough for easy on and off and that it’s SPF 50+”

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And of course her own amazing Nappy Grab Bag (once you’ve tried it you’ll wonder how you lived without it!):

“Fabulous of course! Sure to be a worldwide hit! This should definitely win! ;)”

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Follow our Instagram to cast you own vote in the Mummy Must Have Awards and read more of Becky’s opinions on our Shortlist.

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#NEWS The Shortlist for our 2015 Mummy Must Have Awards

Well, we’ve tried and tested, sniffed and scoffed, wriggled in and out of and generally let the kids do their worst on so many great products… But we’ve finally come up with the Shortlist which will not only form the basis of this year’s Mummy Must Have Awards but also launch our Instagram.

So… without further ado, we unveil the Shortlist of 24 and ask you to go to https://instagram.com/slickmummy/ and give us your feedback on our choices with likes or comments to help us decide on the final TEN winners: https://instagram.com/slickmummy/

Look out for the feedback from our panel of celeb Slick Mummies this week too!

Anyway – here we go… Ta-Dah! Let us know what you think of our choices (we’ll be giving out a few spot prizes for great feedback too!)

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MicroScooters 3 in 1 Scooter – we think the combination of Swiss engineering and bright colourways is one of the best ways to get little ones moving in a safe yet empowering way. Think so too? Vote here
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Weleda Skin Food moisturiser – Victoria Beckham puts it on her feet, Adele uses it as face mask, we think it work its magic on everything from crepey tummies to washing up hands. Love it too? Vote here
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Tortue De Mer Beach Kaftan – we adore these wearable kaftans for adults and kids, which work just as well with jeans as on the beach and come in delicious colours. Rock the Boho look? Vote here
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Pacapod Sequoia changing Bag – part handbag, part changing bag, part tardis, we love this clever design which is sleek enough for the boardroom and means you don’t feel like you need to stop being a ‘handbag girl’ when you have a baby. Love style AND substance? Vote here
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Charlie and the Chesterfield Afternoon Tea at the Chesterfield Hotel – one of the most delightful and decadent child friendly experiences we’ve come across in a long while. Think this one has the golden ticket? Vote here
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Bisuiteers biscuit gift boxes –  can’t bake, won’t bake, want to send a box of delights and pretend you did bake? Biscuiteers are smart cookies… Vote here
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Sudacrem Skin Cream –  now a firm fave as an inflight face mask and loved by celebs from Cheryl VF to TOWIE, this is a cheapie little tube that means business. Vote here
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Becky Mantin’s Nappy Grab Bag – an ingenious innovation for on-the-move changes, this is everything you need in a stylish disposable pouch. Love the cleverness? Vote here
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Lilly and Sid Sunsafe Suit – got a sunbunny who burns or a little swimmer who won’t stand still for sun cream? Pull on a charming character suit which protects from UV rays and are practical in the pool. Think they make a splash? Vote here
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-TEN- Baby Massage Oil – lovely consistency, gorgeous almond smell, a brilliant way to bond with your newborn. Agree? Vote here
EVE 3 Step System full range (2)
Adam and Eve Teenage Skincare range – a brilliant range with sleek, sophisticated packaging and natural ingredients to pamper tortured teen skin. Vote here
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Itsy Bits baby girl frillies – awww, we just melted when we saw these. Your little girl doesn’t NEED them but she damn sure wants ’em… Vote here
koz kidz rain wear
KoziKids rain and windproof playwear – this Scandinavian range of outerwear and warm layers means there’s no such thing as it being too cold to play outside. Get fresh, Vote here
merino kids go go bag
Merino Kids GoGo sleeping bag – made from merino wool these bags are warm in Winter, cool in Summer and so cosy your child will curl up in a cocoon. Love to snuggle? Vote here
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Mum’s Office School Year Diary – Forget the iCal when it comes to remembering who needs their swimming kit or school trip money. These come in lovely colourways, are size ‘handbag friendly’ and you can organise your life on one whole page and the rest of the family on the opposite one. Vote here
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Sago Sago Apps for Toddlers – inspirational, designed to encourage free play and will most likely create a new generation of whizzkids, this is toddler friendly tech and makes fantastic ‘down time’. Vote here
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Phil and Ted’s Wriggle Wrapper – when you’re out and about and there’s no high chair, or no cot for a nap, this clever wrap folds down into your changing bag and holds still even the most fidgety children. Vote here
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Aden + Anais Musy mate – it’s a comforter, it’s a burp cloth, it’s a sock puppet for when you need to distract them. It’s washable, it fits in your bag and the more they chew on its ears the more love it puts out… Vote here
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Baukjen Clerwood Jersey Dress – the perfect jersey dress; pull it on with Converse for the school run or heels for the office. Chuck it in the washing machine when it is covered in spit-up and no need to iron either! Vote here
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Little Life Snuggle Pod Penguin Sleeping Bag – sleepovers got awesome with this little guy, who folds out from a backpack into a comfy bed. Vote here
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9 London Stretch Mark Cream – Emily Evans’ boutique just got a concession in Harrods and celeb bumps flock there for designer maternity threads. But we love her stretch mark cream in its cute Russian Doll packaging; a must for any baby shower gift bag. Vote here
Baby Zoo Gus nightlight
Baby Zoo Gus Nightlight – kids adore this cheeky lil turtle and he provides that middle ground between sleeping with the lights on and turning them off. Switched on to this one? Vote here
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Buko Coconut Water – delicious organic coconut water that the whole family will love and you’re saving the planet as well as getting some essential vits. Vote here
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Miller Harris Coeur de Jardin – this is confident and sophisticated, a fragrance that says ‘Mummy, you smell like a princess’ and ‘Baby, you’re hot!’. Vote here

 

Winners will be announced in July