Carrying on the series of conversations with people who inspire Gather & Co I caught up with Nikki Taylor, founder of modern kids store, Rose & Guy ahead of this weekend’s Shop Small Event created and organised by the super mama herself.

You can follow Nikki, Rose & Guy and The Shop Small Event on Instagram. 

Tell us a bit about yourself and how Rose and Guy began?

I’ve loved working in retail since my teens and before Rose & Guy I used to sell vintage clothing, buying it wholesale from America as a side business to my retail career.  When I was on maternity leave with my little boy Isaac in 2015 I couldn’t find any cool unisex leggings so I started making my own.  I went back to work part time and continued to build Rose & Guy, sewing well into the early hours most evenings over the next few years.  Then, pregnant with Summer I borrowed a lump sum to buy materials for my first ever collection. I took the earliest maternity leave that I could to allow me to make everything up prior to giving birth.  It felt like such a risk at the time, the money, the fabrics, the time and effort, but the collection was really well received and for the next nine months I took my foot off the (sewing machine’s!) pedal and enjoyed maternity leave alongside posting out orders and marketing Rose & Guy. 

What are your dreams for Rose & Guy? 

I’m utterly devoted to my children and want to be there for everything…  taking them and picking them up from school, cooking dinner for them and tucking them in at night so I want Rose & Guy to work for me and allow me to do this but I’m also career minded and I want the business to be a huge success, continue to contribute to our families income and expand – perhaps through part manufacturing in the UK. 

What’s your proudest achievement?

Arh that has to be my babies. I’ve wanted to be a mum forever. 

What drove you to set up The Shop Small Event?

I started exhibiting at a few ‘instagram markets’ across the UK but there wasn’t anything like them in Suffolk or close by.  I knew a few other local Instagram businesses that were keen to start exhibiting at similar events to grow their brand’s awareness and to get in front of their customers but often a long journey meant that after paying for the stand and petrol then it just wasn’t feasible. I wanted to create a family friendly event that was affordable for small local businesses that also provided a platform to build a supportive community where we could help each other not just on the day of the event but throughout the year. When I launched the first Shop Small, Rose & Guy had about 20,000 followers so I marketed the event through there. I didn’t have to include venue hire or organisational costs because I exhibited myself which meant I too could make sales on the day and kept other’s stall costs down. It went really well and we all had a brilliant day. I can’t believe there’s going to be 60 of us this weekend and I’m so proud of the supportive small business community that we have created.   

What can people look forward to at Saturday’s Shop Small Event? 

It’s going to be a real family friendly day. There’s an Easter egg hunt, soft play, cosy reading corner and a free fruit and snack station alongside some really gorgeous children and adults clothing, skin care, nursery and home décor brands. The event will be ticketed at just £2 for adults (children free of course!) and all proceeds will go to Cystic Fibrosis Trust, a charity close to my heart. 

And finally what do you like to gather?

I love to gather little keep sakes from our family adventures and holidays. We’ve got a treasure basket made up of all sorts - rocks, shells, pine cones…. each with its own story and memory to hold dear.

The Shop Small event is taking place at Wherstead Park, Ipswich on Saturday 6th April and open from 10am – 4pm. 

Gather & Co will be exhibiting alongside other independent design led brands including @alicatsilverstudio@anniehoneystitchesArbonne@auntclaravintagechina@beginningwithb@bellabow_fairy@bluebellandbear,  @bohocandle2018  @boo_and_mimi@_bubbuh@butterfly.bows,   @ceciliabelleclothing@christinamarie_art@cimoneadele@claybearofficial,   @colourmefun@creatinghappy18@designsbyfranukEnsignAccessories,   @garnhamglass@gennanory@goldunicornclothing@harry_and_dax,   @happycatkids@heytherestickers@jodiedavey,  @karenwoodcraft,   @kitty.makes@knotsandbells@kokoandkokodesigns@laurafletchertextiles,   @little.poms,,   @patch_kid_co@popandpunch@popsandpearl@popsyandmama,   @riverblossom_, @rocketandpickle@rose.and.guySassLadiesBoutique,   @shipleyandco@sisiandseb@sophies_babybonnets@stellarandcloud,   @sylvie_be_gladys,@thepaperpeony_  @thepigeonandthewolfTropicSkincare   @twinkledustkids@willow_and_ivy@winnie_woo_uk@xaieclothing and 

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