I love hearing about new start-ups by mums who’ve been inspired by their experiences of motherhood to create something new or unique. As well all know, becoming a mum does give you a new perspective on life, and how many times have you thought ‘I wish I could buy…’ or ‘I wish someone made…’.
One such mother is Danielle Horner, mama to 2.5 year old Vinnie Rae and creator of childrenswear brand Mini Madam & Mini Gent. MM&MG is currently sold through the brand’s Facebook shop where you’ll find quirky pieces for your little ones from wool coats, to printed shirts and embellished dresses and tops.
I asked founder, Danielle a few questions about her inspiration, her style and her favourite pieces…
What inspired you to start MM and MG?
MM&MG was conceived around 18 months after the birth of my daughter; and from 18 months of becoming increasingly riled by the unimaginative offering on the high street for young toddlers. I found that I simply could not find clothing which did not feature some form of fluffy bunny motif, or venture far from the oh so cliché shades of baby pink and lilac. I figured I couldn’t be the only mum out there struggling to clothe their child in a befitting way to their own personality and tastes, and I for one see my daughter as an extension of myself, if she doesn’t look her best I haven’t done her justice and thus I don’t look my best. She is after all my very significant smaller half.
How would you describe MM&MG?
Mini Madam & Mini Gent is a very apt title; the brand is an ethical, stylish and elegant designer of clothing, offering simple yet evocative occasion-wear for the style savvy mum wishing to find equal expression for their child. Our ethics are crucial to us and inform on every step in the process; ethics to stitches as we say.
What’s your favourite piece from the current collection?
I have two favourite pieces from the autumn/winter collection; one girls item & one from boys. I absolutely adore the Brushed Wool Beaded Coat for girls. It really does make a statement; being refined, yet cosy and flattering on all ages from 3months upward.
The second item is the Boys patchwork Jacket, I draw a great deal of inspiration when designing my collections from vintage clothing and this piece reflects a whole sweep of influences taken in and ‘retro-fitted’! Made from a mix of cord and faux suede it goes with just about anything.
Has becoming a mother changed your own style?
Not at all. I must admit there are days when I grab the most readily available items of which can be pulled on with minimal effort before running out the door with toddler in tow. However I did not throw out my wardrobe of vintage finds and hats for every occasion simply because I became a mum.
I am still a person in my own right and my personality and tastes remain intact when not overpowered by changing bags, curious stains on the shoulder and the most prominent ‘accessory’ of every outfit; a child on my hip!
Describe your signature style.
My signature style is simple, I live in jeans and alternate between vintage patterned shirts, slouchy oversized jumpers and simple jersey tops. You can almost always expect to see me in some form of hat or headscarf – mainly because bad hair days seem to be the norm for me! – but I feel these items are also reflective of my personality and style.
Rather than blending into the crowd I feel far more comfortable being slightly different, which stems in part from my time at University studying fashion design, and has also spurred me onto creating MM&MG.
What one item in your wardrobe could you not live without?
It works perfectly as a head piece, belt, umbrella when caught out in the rain or as it was intended quite simply as a scarf. However simple an outfit a patterned scarf will jazz it up giving immediate personality!
(Printed scarf, H&M)
What piece of advice would you give to new mums on building a wardrobe for their little one?
What’s next for MM and MG?
MM&MG may have a mission but it doesn’t have a masterplan, so that is a tricky one. Personally, my aim over the coming years is to reach as many new mums, across as diverse a field as our expanding collections, and be held in regard for our striving to be an alternative to the high street. We will do this whilst keeping each piece limited and special to the small number of owners, not aiming at numbers but rather bettering the offering for a dedicated and welcoming fanbase.
MM&MG is set firmly to remain a handmade UK based brand, supporting other small British businesses through procurement of materials needed, and so on to the customer from our studio.