THE BABY COT SHOP
Is there an arm of your business where you made a change during the challenges faced by many retailers since March, that you will keep in place?
Indeed, our video consultations are here to stay because we can better assist our customers as far as the Middle East and the United States. People ﬁnd our personal touch reassuring, and a level of intimacy has always been woven into our brand. What is the main criteria for products that you stock and oﬀer to your customers? Safety and Craftsmanship tie at number one. It is mandatory that the product is not only safe for use but that it is also produced with the utmost care and attention to detail using high-quality materials. Ultimately, that has an eﬀect on aesthetics, which is the ﬁrst thing people see. I believe parents should have great design, functionality and safety built into the nursery, and should not have to compromise on any of these. Childhood happens only once. Our job is to make it memorable.
How do you source new products or spot new trends that emerge?
We ﬁnd that our customers are trendsetters themselves. Fashion and interiors are intricately linked, and we draw inspiration for what’s in or what’s next from the world of style. Since we design most of our furniture in-house, we have the ﬂexibility of incorporating trends into each piece. Trade shows are also huge for us for getting insight and meeting new suppliers.
Do you feel we are experiencing any particular trends with regard to furnishing the nursery at present what are your customers’ dreams and desires?
Absolutely. We are seeing a lot of Boucle fabrics, and creating a cosy nursery using teddy bear-like fabrics is growing. We love this trend because it introduces warm accents to the nursery room. After the year we have had with the pandemic, we are craving comfort and reassurance, and this look guarantees precisely that. The Dulux Colour of the Year- 2020 is Tranquil Dawn which is inspired by the morning sky and thought to give rooms a human touch, and again we see how and why homeowners have embraced this. We have spent more time indoors than any other, and I can’t think of a better space to be in than one which promotes calm and creativity. We are also seeing a lot of rainbows which is the 16
Toks Aruoture is a nursery interior designer and the founder of The Baby Cot Shop based in Chelsea, London. She helps expectant parents who are struggling to design their nursery create a safe and functional space where their baby can thrive in. Toks is passionate about helping entrepreneurial women to play bigger and she keynotes at women’s conferences and corporations. Toks is the host of Living Inside Out, available on all podcast platforms. www.thebabycotshop.com | www.toksaruoture.com symbol of hope. Rainbows are all about peace, hope, joy and new beginnings, so it’s no wonder they’re a nursery decor craze. This is not going anywhere soon, so prepare to see this trend well into the next year and beyond. When it comes to creating that unique space for their child, our customers want the freedom of choice and our bespoke service gives that to them.
Do you feel we have suﬃcient innovation when it comes to nursery products?
I believe we do- but we need to be bolder in letting our ideas out. When you look at nursery trends around the world, the UK tends to follow rather than lead, and this isn’t for lack of talent or production ability. I think we allow our British conservative nature to restrict us in an area we should be leading in.
Do your customers have an idea of what they would like prior to contacting you, do you feel they are better informed and educated about nursery products that are available?
We have a mix of customers. Some know exactly what they want, they’d have done their research and have designed the perfect space often choosing our furniture before visiting us. Then they come in to ﬁnalise, select fabrics and match paint ﬁnishes. Others have no idea what a Moses Basket is, and we educate them on what’s needed. And of course, we have everyone else between both extremes. Educating our parents is an added value we oﬀer. Before the pandemic, we held in-store parenting events with experts in every area of parenting. While we continue to do so on an individual basis, we look forward to hosting classes in our event space again.
You oﬀer a nursery interior design service, how popular is this with your customers?
Our design service is popular with clients that are either time-poor or require a professional touch for their nursery. Parents from all over the world come to us to help create a bespoke nursery room that’s luxurious, stylish, functional and safe, so that’s precisely what we deliver. Often they feel frustrated
having trawled the internet for beautiful furniture that speaks to their taste, and they don’t want to settle for something that doesn’t speak to the dreamy picture they’ve imagined. Most of our clients want the nursery the nursery to have the same attention they give to the rest of their home. Customers come to us because of our ten-year-plus expertise- we also work with interior designers because there are considerations to be made in the nursery room, that you wouldn’t make in the rest of the home.
Have you altered the way in which you currently oﬀer this service?
We have amended things slightly by adding in the video consultation. That was always an option, but we rarely used it pre-COVID. We ﬁnd that we are continually tweaking our processes so that it maximises time and makes the process smoother for our clients.
At present, your focus in quality nursery furniture and decor, do you see this expanding into other nursery categories in the future?
Possibly, but not until we feel we have exhausted the possibilities of our current oﬀerings. Trends come and go, and the culture is continually evolving. It means new, sustainable materials previously unavailable now exist, and we are committed to travelling on that path. We still have a way to go.
Finally, do you have any exciting plans on the horizon you would like to share with Nursery Today readers?
Yes indeed! We are going to be unveiling a new look soon, along with the launch of our line of baby linens and furniture. We are so excited because it has been a long time coming. Often we make plans with what seems like realistic timelines, then life happens. And when you have a family, because I’m married with four sons; everything stretches and takes longer than you had imagined. Our new look will be more streamlined, and our oﬀerings will be a bona ﬁde representation of our brand, which is authentic, inspiring and exclusive.