Interview Contact Name and Job Title: Toks Aruoture Founder of The Baby Cot Shop
Website URL: http://www.thebabycotshop.com
Social Media Links:
Number of outlets: online and physical location Location(s): 408 Kings Road, Chelsea London (opening December 2016)
Market(s): (eg. Homeware, fashion etc): Nursery Furniture, Children’s Furniture, Linens
Other relevant info:
The company is a luxury furniture company specialising in the supply of bespoke baby & children furnishings. Our aim is to enhance rooms by using products & designs that foster relaxation, creativity & an ambiance of tranquillity for children & their parents.
Modern Retail talks to Toks Aruture, Founder of online baby and children’s furniture site “ The Baby Cot Shop ”, where beautiful furniture for babies and children are found.
MR: How do you aim to stand out as a brand?
Toks: The Baby Cot Shop produces and sells furniture and room accessories for babies and children. Our designs are inspired by heritage buildings and historically popular designs. They are made to order, using traditional craftsmanship that meet or exceed today’s safety standards. The process gives our clients the flexibility in the finished design. We view ourselves as partners with our suppliers and the environment and only work with craftsmen with good labour ethics and respect for the environment.
MR: How would you sum up your target customer?
Toks: Our ideal customer is the first or second time parent that wants the very best for their child. Safety is at the forefront of their mind yet they don’t want to compromise on style and design. They want unique, heritage pieces that can be passed on for years to come. Functionality is also key, choosing furniture that will suit their lifestyle. In addition, these parents are house proud and live in homes that reflect the high standard that we produce our furniture to. Grandparents are often involved in the buying process as it is an emotional and special time of their lives.
MR: What do you want to do differently to your competitors?
Toks: Our company has its roots in Atlanta, Georgia, which is in the southern part of the United States. It was there that we became infused with the qualities of Southern hospitality. Southern charm means hospitable, warm and friendly. It is against this backdrop that we create our products and serve our clients. The Baby Cot Shop is known for its personable customer service and word of mouth referral has been a great factor in the growth of the business. We work with high end interior designers like Kelly Hoppen, as well as concierge companies who source exquisite items for their own clients.
MR: What do you love about your work/business/brand?
Toks: I love to see my creations come to life. I enjoy the process of curating items for our store. Working with mums during the most magical journey of their life is a privilege and an honour. As a nursery designer, creating a nursery, playroom or child’s room is always a delightful process, not without bumps of course but to be involved with the creating of memories for children is quite simply, priceless. Our interior design service means that we can create pieces that suit the design of the space, as opposed to trying to force high street furniture to fit in with the style of the home.
MR: What advantages/disadvantages does your location bring?
Toks: Currently, online means we have clients who shop with us as far out as The Middle East and Australia. Our new location will open in December 2016 in Chelsea, London which is not only a fashionable shopping district, but a central London location too. This will open us up to even more clients in and out of London.
MR: What advice would you give to a new retail start-up based on your experience?
Toks: Understand your clients. When I first started out in the UK I thought the southern American taste would also appeal to the UK market. I was wrong. Trust your instincts and allow your creativity to express itself; don’t feel you have to do what others are doing.