Me & Buddy is a boutique full of such gorgeously chic childrenswear and parenting products it’s like having a stylist pull together your nursery. We caught up with founder Madeline Walsh and found out how William Morris inspired her and why she loves Ewan the Dream Sheep.
SM: How did Me & Buddy come about?
Madeline Walsh: My daughter Darcy is five and my son Cillian is 20 months. Over the years I have been constantly searching for useful yet beautiful baby and toddler products which fit into my lifestyle and the modern aesthetic of my home. I knew other parents were doing the same and that they would love to be able to find these wonderful products all under one roof. So I left my career in finance and set up meandbuddy.com to bring the best in baby and toddler gear together in one place.
SM: How did you go about deciding what to stock?
Madeline Walsh: Everything in the store has been hand-picked and our offering is highly curated, so when someone is shopping at Me & Buddy they are delighted with what they have found. When choosing which items to stock I started with the products I had found for my own children and which I knew other experienced parents also swore by, e.g. aden + anais swaddles, Storksak changing bags, BabyBjorn baby carriers and bouncers. From there I just did a lot of research into new, innovative yet beautiful products and sought out small brands who were producing wonderful things that most customers were unlikely to have seen before.
SM: Why is it important to have great looking baby/toddler products?
Madeline Walsh: I’ve always loved the quote from English textile designer William Morris: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” as I think it’s a great approach to buying for your home. But once you have kids it becomes increasingly difficult to live like this and you can easily find yourself swamped by baby gear which is not particularly useful and far from beautiful. From personal experience, great looking baby gear makes me feel more content in my surroundings and I’m sure it has a calming effect on the children too.
SM: Which items do your own kids like the best?
Madeline Walsh: They’re very fond of lots of the products but, if I had to pick a few, it would be the musical cloud nightlights from Mellipou, Ewan the Dream Sheep, the Noodoll soft toys, the natural wooden toys from Pinch Toys and the Swedish moccasins from Moccis. They also love the board books.
SM: What advice would you give to new parents on nursery design?
Madeline Walsh: I’d recommend starting off with a neutral palette of whites and greys because it creates a calm environment for the baby. After that, adding unique items that both you and the baby will love to look at and play with. A theme of clouds or stars always looks lovely and I’d advise not to go overboard on one accent colour as it’s great to leave plenty of scope for adding other unique items as time goes by.
Also to bear in mind that you’ll probably be spending a lot of time in the nursery in those early months – feeding, changing your baby, hushing them to sleep – so make sure it’s comfortable for you too and is a space you’re very fond of.
SM: Who designed Buddy the Bunny?
Madeline Walsh: Buddy the Bunny was designed by a friend of a friend, Evgenia Golubeva, who is an award-winning illustrator of short films and books for children. We worked together on the design, and I had very specific directions on how he should look, even down to the pockets on his rucksack and the height of his shoes!
SM: And finally, we love your new baby checklist. What baby items do you think are totally over-rated?
Madeline Walsh: That’s great, I’m so pleased you love the new baby checklist. I feel that new parents get so much conflicting advice on what they need for a baby and, from personal experience, it’s easy to end up surrounded by a lot of clutter that serves little purpose. Top of my overrated list has got to be the top-and-tail bowl. I used mine once then switched to Water Wipes and never looked back! I also think wipes warmers are hilarious, if only for the impracticality of training your baby to only be happy with warm wipes – what happens when you’re out and about?
On the other hand, sleep aids like Ewan the Dream Sheep are totally underrated – I’d advise new parents to buy at least one before their baby is born. The Walsh Family is never without Ewan!
Shop online at meandbuddy.com