Caboodle Kids’ motto is “comfy kids, colourful kids, happy kids” and they really do keep to it. Their range is full of comfortable yet stylish designs for babies and children, all with a varied selection of eye catching fabrics. With an easy to navigate website, you can browse their in stock items or head to the custom made area where you can choose exactly what you want. Mel, founder of Caboodle Kids, says “I pride myself on offering a hand made clothing range which is loved by kids for its bright joyful prints and loved by parents for its originality, comfort and ease of use.” and this is exactly what you get when ordering; bright colours, originality and comfort…what more could you ask for when dressing your babies and children.
I think small businesses like Mel’s walk a fine line between wanting to come across as sleek and professional whilst still maintaining that personal and handmade vibe that people who buy handmade love. I’ve already mentioned Caboodle’s website which certainly offers that sleek and professional side of things. Very clearly set out with striking photos that show off the clothing range beautifully, its easy to find what you are looking for and all the available options.
What to choose
I’m the kind of person that likes a lot of choice, I never pick the first thing I see (well, thats not exactly true, sometimes I do pick the first thing I have seen but not before I’ve look at hundreds of other options) . This makes the Custom Made Shop section perfect for me. Once you have chosen the item you want to order you can then select your patterned fabric and any coordinating elements too. One feature I particular love is the “Caboodle’s Choice” which means that Mel will choose the contrast plain fabric or popper colours for you. This is great because it means you’ll get a fab match for your favourite print; let’s face it, Mel is the one sitting in her studio stroking this beautiful fabric all day so she’s going to know exactly which options will perfectly enhance your garment. And you get the fun of a little surprise when your parcel arrives. If, on the other hand, you’d prefer a lot of choices to be dealt with on your behalf then head for the In Stock Shop. All you need to choose is the size you want to order and then just find something gorgeous. And you get the added bonus of your clothes being sent within a couple of days so your happy post comes nice and quickly. Of course, the custom made loveliness is totally worth a few weeks wait for Mel to work her magic.
So why should you buy handmade?
What are the real benefits? Being totally honest, buying handmade is more expensive than a lot of high street shops so you must be getting something a bit “more” for your money. First off handmade is often better quality. This is certainly the case with the items I received from Caboodle Kids; perfection personified. As a maker myself I always look closely at anything I buy (whether it be handmade or high street bought…yes i buy from the high street too!), checking the stitching and how neat everything is inside the garment. Everything from Mel was spot on, exactly how I would have made it and that is a massive compliment to Mel’s skills because I am super picky. Another benefit to buying handmade is you are more likely to get something unique, or at the least a design far more original than the high street selection. When it comes to Caboodle Kids, this is true because they hold such a great and varied selection of fabric (the majority being gender neutral too, which I love and I know is a massive bug bear for many buying from high street stores) and you can customise your choice to your preference by matching prints with loads of wonderful plain colours.
Handmade to last
Handmade makers often like to design to last your child too. They grow so quickly, its always such a shame when a much-loved pair of trousers are suddenly too short. Fear not, Caboodle Kids have this in hand too (have they thought of everything?! I think maybe yes) because their baggy harem trousers are designed with a long waistband and ankle cuffs which means you can start with them folded up then as your little one grows you simple fold back down adding inches to the overall length. One feature I especially love about Caboodle Kids’ trousers is the ability to customise the waist-size. One of the options when ordering trousers is “Do you have a tall slim child that requires and size down on waistband?”. The truth is, no I don’t have a tall slim child but I do have a short child with a tiny waist so its kind of the same thing. Any time I make trousers or pants for Fletcher I always have to size down the waistband to get a good fit so to have it as an option from a handmade business I am buying from is fantastic.
I was never sure if it was a good thing to be a handmade clothing brand rep having previously been the owner of a similar business myself. In reality this just shows the faith that Mel has in her product, and rightly so because they are fabulous. But with all this glorious choice, what did Fletcher and I choose? Yes, I am one of those annoying parents that lets their child choose things but, to be honest, when I asked him to choose his favourite fabrics for his new clothes I knew he couldn’t fail because they are all lovely.
Ranger Hoodie; red monster with grey contrast and black edging [http://www.caboodlekids.co.uk/product/handmade-ranger-hoodie-2/]
Party and Play Trousers; cobalt and navy blues (I wanted them to coordinating with lots of Fletcher’s tops so went for two-tone but rather than patterned and plain) [http://www.caboodlekids.co.uk/product/party-and-play-trousers-2/]
Party and Play Tee; orange dines with black contrast [http://www.caboodlekids.co.uk/product/custom-handmade-party-and-play-tee/]
Round neck Tee; monochrome clouds with grey contrast [http://www.caboodlekids.co.uk/product/custom-handmade-t-shirt-2/]
Party and Play Trousers; fall leaves with orange contrast [http://www.caboodlekids.co.uk/product/party-and-play-trousers-2/]
Hooded Tee; blue dragons with black contrast [http://www.caboodlekids.co.uk/product/handmade-custom-hooded-cowl-tee-2/]
Every item came professional packaged and in the time I expected (a couple of days for in stock and 3 weeks for custom made) with email updates throughout the process. Fletcher loves them all, and he can be pretty tough critic at times, drawn to them by the striking and colourful fabric but choosing to wear them again and again because of the comfort and freedom of movement they offer. He’s worn them everywhere; exploring the garden, in a muddy playground, for a cosy day at home.
So what are you waiting for? Get your order in with Caboodle Kids. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.