In case you missed it, in October we launched our exciting new product curation Bazaar. Your destination for beautiful, design-led pieces from inspiring makers, big and small. We searched high and low to curate this edit of exquisite homewares and fashion finds. It’s bursting with original, eclectic and covetable products, each one with a unique approach to their craft and a fascinating story to tell. So, for this month’s Meet The Maker spotlight, we’re excited to introduce you to the Co-Founder of children’s brand Trotters: Sophie Mirman.
Sophie founded Trotters in 1990 with her husband Richard Ross after realising there was a lack of brands on the market that met the needs of both parents and children. The pair went on to create a space where high-quality products could be discovered in a friendly and familiar way. Fast forward 32 years and they’re still a family-run business. Sophie is the Creative Director, husband Richard the Chairman and daughter Natasha is the Chief Operating Officer – and they work with family-run workshops in Europe too. It’s through and through a family business, built on the values of kindness, respect and quality.
Keep reading to discover Sophie’s musings on the world through the eyes of children, how the clothes we wear shape our fondest memories – and more…
You founded Trotters in 1990 with your husband, Richard. Can you tell us a bit about how the idea was born?
The idea behind Trotters was to create a shop geared towards children, making the environment fun for them and therefore a relatively relaxing shopping experience for the whole family. At the time, Richard and I had two young children, Natasha and William. Taking them to buy new shoes or to get their haircut was always a stressful experience and I wanted Trotters to be welcoming to all, with elements of fun such as a fish tank in our hairdressing department and a train in our shoe department.
I also used to find it very difficult to find classic, well-designed and good quality clothes for my children. I wanted classic with a twist of fashion, so my team and I have great fun designing our ranges every season!
What values did you build the business on?
Mutual respect throughout the business. Creating the best possible designed and quality clothing and shoes at the best possible price and making childhood memories.
Your mission is to ‘make childhood memories for all.’ What’s one of your favourite childhood memories? How did your clothes feed into this?
I remember my mother buying what must have one of my first Christmas dresses. It was red tartan with some smocking and a white collar…very similar to our Charlotte Smocked dresses. In fact, somewhere at the back of my mind, this is probably where the inspiration came from!
Kids can look at the world so simply, or with so much imagination. What’s the best thing a child has taught you?
Exactly that! To keep things simple wherever possible but to use loads of imagination and to try to see things through the eyes of children.
Building a sustainable business has always been important to you. Can you tell us a bit about how you make sure your products are kind to the planet?
Virtually all our products are made in family-run factories in Spain and Portugal, with whom we work very closely, and share the same values. Very early on, we took the decision to keep our manufacturing in Europe rather than China or the Far East. We visit the factories a couple of times a year. Wherever possible, we use organic materials to make our clothing.
If you could spread one message to make a change for the better in the world, what would it be?
Always be kind and considerate and treat everyone the way you would want to be treated, with the same level of respect.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give the children of today?
Shoot for the moon! Be passionate about what you do, whatever that might be, and always try to keep a positive attitude.
Fancy supporting Sophie and her family-run business? You can now shop Trotters dresses and shoes on Monsoon Bazaar.