We talk fashionable kid’s teepees + the coolest accessories with Cabana Kids

Your products are so trendy + with such a passionate ethos.. using eco-friendly natural materials, as well as being recyclable with mindful production. Lizzie, tell us your story.

The idea for Cabana Kids was hatched on a sunny trip to the nearby South Coast shortly into the Lockdown of spring 2020. We had struggled to find a suitable sunshade for our daughter Lillie (who was one at the time) something portable, made of natural materials, and in a colour palette that fitted with our home. Essentially, we were looking for a sunshade with the sun factor AND fun factor! So we thought, in the midst of a life-changing global pandemic, why not be bold and come up with our own concept?

What was the initial inspiration to start your own business?

With my 15+ years experience in the fashion industry as the ex Design Director of URBAN OUTFITTERS combined with my partner, Jamie’s creative and technical know-how from owning Cookie Media Design Agency, a huge shift in personal priorities saw us centering our lives around our family as we sought out a healthier work/home life balance. We set about applying ourselves to the challenge of creating a brand that combined our business experience with our new identities, co-parenting our daughter and Jamie’s two children.

It was from this seed that our range of UPF 50 and anti UV tents and teepees grew!
We wanted to launch a children’s brand which focused on desirable sustainable products for children and teach our children a new way to shop that supported a more ethical approach to living and taught them to think and buy more consciously.

Where can we purchase your gorgeous products?

We launched our Instagram less than 9 months ago and launched our website www.cabanakids.co.uk only 6 weeks ago – the incredible support has blown us away. Daily we see the appetite for our unique collections and daily we are amazed at the response we receive from new customers and clients. The community of entrepreneurs and small business owners on IG is like nothing we have experienced in our careers. There’s a true sense of comradery and everyone wanting to support one another which is fantastic!
We had instant messages of support and recognition from the guys at Gus & Beau whose products we have bought and used long before we launched Cabana Kids and feel quite in awe of their achievements.. similarly, Jo the genius behind Scamp & Dude, someone I worked with many years ago in fashion, has been a huge inspiration on how to create and own your brand identity with a clear and emotive message and most recently we have had some lovely content from an IG brand Kid of The Village, who again styled our products in a unique and different approach which has truly inspired us!

We love your content. Have Social Media helped to build your brand?

We are incredibly lucky that Jamie’s business is branding and website development so he has been able to build the entire Cabana Kids brand as a 360 project! It’s been incredible to watch him take an idea and transform it into what it’s become today – I’m in awe daily of how he interprets a thought and digitally presents it for our audience.
It’s been interesting to see how shifts in consumer habits especially online are paving the way for a new breed of customers and defining their spending habits… to think only 10 years ago the thought of purchasing via a phone or social media platform was almost unthinkable and yet now we are finding the majority of our online traffic is coming from such platforms!

Teepees and tents are such a great play space for children – and adults! In your opinion what’s the importance of ‘play’ for both children and adults?

We believe strongly that play allows children (and adults alike) to use their creativity while developing their imagination and interact with the world around them. In developing Cabana Kids we wanted to provide a range of open-ended toys to allow this sense of discovery in order to grow little and big minds.
We felt strongly that in order to do that we had to make our teepees and tents travel friendly which in turn meant there was flexibility in where the play could happen impromptu, again ensuring imaginations were allowed to be free to explore!

The children’s fashion, nursery, and accessories market is growing year on year, how do you stay unique + stand out from the other retailers?

In order to stay unique and ahead of our competitors we continually design and develop with our own families’ needs in mind. We are forever parent-testing our products with our 3 children’s desires at heart to ensure Cabana Kids continue to grow in the right direction. It’s so hard in a world of constant inspiration online to not get sidetracked into thinking you should be doing something other than what you set out to do, or compare yourself to others… but by constantly reminding ourselves in what we set out to achieve, a range of interior friendly unique dens for little and big imaginations, we hope we can continue to deliver some lasting play memories to our customers.

What’s next for Cabana Kids? Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?

We have a hugely exciting year ahead in terms of growth and the journey we see Cabana Kids going on.
We are introducing some new products to the range that we believe will enhance the play setups we offer as well as some truly exciting collaborations we can’t wait to share. It’s hard to think of where we will be in 5 years after the unprecedented year we have just had but our biggest dream is to still be providing lasting play memories for our customers for many years to come.

As an entrepreneur with a parent demographic in mind, how do you find the best work/life balance?

The work/life balance is a real struggle for many and we are no exception. It was one of the deciding factors for us setting up Cabana Kids. Jamie and I both work from home and so we have to be disciplined in our work schedules, but we also have the luxury of stealing a break together or taking it in turns to do the school/childminder run! We are very fortunate in that respect.

Finally, what advice would you give your 20-year-old self now?

Follow your gut… always! It very rarely lets you down.

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