I’m a huge lover of toys that are a little bit different to the norm – toys that have a classic appeal but with a modern twist. Instagram is a great place to browse for inspiration, and that’s where I first discovered Daisy Belle Dreams – an online boutique which stocks a beautiful range of toys, baby products, and gifts for stylish mums. I was thrilled to be chosen as a brand enthusiast recently so I wanted to introduce you all to Daisy Belle Dreams, their range of products, and let you get to know Julie, the lovely face behind the products.
I was first drawn to Daisy Belle Dreams as they stock Maileg, the Danish toy brand, whose signature bunnies and mice can be found in some of the most beautiful nurseries I’ve seen. Every toy I’ve seen from the brand has a simple charm and whimsical feel to it, with mice who live in matchboxes, and woodland animals including bunnies, deer, and foxes, whose distinctive designs feel like characters from a storybook.
Ben now has a little collection of Maileg deer. They’re perfect for tiny hands, as they have quite a flat profile, which means he can grab hold of them really easily.
Another of Daisy Belle Dreams beautiful product lines is Olli and Ella, whose iconic baskets are perfect for toy storage or for play. I love the luggy and I’m eyeing one up in yellow – the perfect way to encourage your child to tidy up, as they can pull it around the house with them – and Max loves his Pikki basket to take with us on all our outdoor adventures, or to use for a little pretend picnic in the living room.
Meet Julie, the face behind Daisy Belle Dreams…
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to set up Daisy Belle Dreams?
Of course! My name is Julie Robinson, I am 37, married to the long- suffering Marc, I am Mum to Daisy (12) and Alfie (10), we share our crazy house with 2 miniature Schnauzers called Heidi and Stella, a tortoise called Herbert and a fish called Malcolm. I trained as a Paediatric Nurse but after a career break when my children were little, I returned to work as a Special Needs Classroom Assistant which I still do part-time and adore. I daydreamed about setting up my own business for a long time and this time last year decided it was time to take the plunge – Daisy Belle Dreams was born!
Being self employed as well as a mum is a tough balancing act. What’s your best piece of advice for balancing motherhood and family life?
I am a big writer of lists – I find I need to get things down on paper otherwise my brain just feels too busy and it can all become a bit overwhelming! There is also the wonderful satisfaction of being able to tick things off the list (I’ve been known to write things I’ve already done just so I can tick them off!)
What does a typical working day look like for you?
I work in school Monday to Thursday, my day usually starts at around 6.30 with a quick check of my e-mails and prepare any orders that have come in over night, then the mad scramble to get us all out of the house and to work for 8.30 until 3pm. I will then pay my daily visit to the Post Office and pick up children from school/after school clubs. My Daisy Belle Dreams work starts after dinner when I will check/send e-mails, wrap orders and try to keep up to date on accounts (snore!) Friday is my day dedicated to My Daisy Belle Dreams. I usually start with a long walk with the dogs to clear my head, then I start into the lists I’ve been compiling on random scraps of paper all week! My New Years resolution is to try and carve a bit more time out for some ‘me time’ but I find that a bit tricky!
I love the brands you stock and have discovered some great new finds from Daisy Belle Dreams. Do you have a secret favourite product?
Each and every product has a special place in my heart but I think my favourite has to be the Olli Ella Luggy. I think there is nothing cuter then seeing a little one lugging all their special treasures along behind them! I love the ethos of the brand – each piece is made ethically and sustainably using natural materials. I love bright colours so the vivid blue and yellow Luggys are my favourite!
Childhood toys have such vivid memories attached to them – I can remember some of my own so clearly – the Fisher Price house and my Sylvanian Families collections will always hold a special place in my heart. Do you have a toy from your own childhood which you still have, or still remember?
This is a tricky one! I absolutely loved dolls and imaginative play when i was little. I had a baby doll and a little wooden cot that I always made sure she was safely tucked up in before I went to bed. I think this is where my love of the more traditional toys comes from – in a day and age where a lot of time is spent staring at screens (which absolutely have their place!) I think using imagination is to be encouraged – whether it’s having a tea party with dolls or even a sneaky game of cops and robbers!Another toy I adored was my Fisher Price My First Tape Recorder, it was brown and cream (it was the 80’s) and it went everywhere with me. I had lots of different tapes but my favourite were Beatrix Potter stories – I could fully immerse myself and imagine I was right there with Peter Rabbit or Jemima Puddle-Duck.
I love Instagram for discovering ideas for nursery decor and cute toys my boys might like. Who are your favourite Instagram accounts for inspiration?
Instagram is such a great community for finding like minded people or getting inspiration. A few accounts I love for nursery inspo are louisewiberg, misskyreeloves and baileyandthebump. I adore feathering_the_empty_nest, mother_pukka and susiejverrill for stories and giggles.
Thank you so much Julie, it’s been an absolute pleasure!
Disclosure: As a brand enthusiast, I receive a discount on purchases made through Daisy Belle Dreams.