We are very excited to be the first stockist of the debut collection, ‘The Great Outdoors’ by STAY & BIRD. Based in London/Whitstable, Stay & Bird have drawn inspiration from the nature on their doorsteps.
STAY & BIRD was set up by illustrator and actress Naomi Stay & Laura Bird.
Oh my goodness! How much do we just love these sweats?!
Naomi and Laura have created a stunningly beautiful collection; enchanting, dear and sweet illustrations that appeal equally to the kids who will wear them and the adults who will pay, wash, dry and iron them! Five sweats in all with a warm and pleasing collection of colour which has clearly taken huge consideration and deliberation.
The sweatshirts are dyed using a palette of seasonal shades. The front and back of each are brought to life by beautiful, detailed illustrations, using digital water-based ink printing. As the ink is ‘bonded’ inside the fabric, the finished garment feels soft against children’s skin. The unisex sweatshirts feature wooden buttons at the neck and ‘scratch free’ blanket stitched labels, for easy dressing.
Their 100% organic cotton designs are produced by a small friendly team in ethical and GOTS certified European factories.
To find out a little more about Naomi and Laura we sent them some sensible and some silly questions, here’s what they said…
How did you two come together?
We met many years ago at a party. It was love at first sight! We realised very quickly we found exactly the same things funny, so we hid in the corner and forged a firm friendship.
We’ve been friends through long weekends and weddings, babies and boys.
A few years ago when Laura was pregnant and struggling to find unisex, colourful, playful and sustainable kids clothes, she called Naomi and said ‘let’s make our own!’
What filled your days before ‘Stay & Bird’ was born?
Naomi is a freelance illustrator and Laura an actress. We plan to continue with our careers as long as Stay and Bird allows. This is the first time either of us has designed children’s wear.
So, who’s in charge of what?
L: Naomi is in charge of everything. EVERYTHING. No, seriously, she’s the boss. She’s like Paul Daniels, and I am the ever lovely Debbie McGee. Together we make magic.
N: I would say Laura is a great decision maker. When I’ve spent hours and hours fiddling around with a design, she has the ability to just say “NO” to it in one second flat. Which is really valuable when you’re getting bogged down in your own designs. You need someone to make an objective decision for you.
Is there a ‘good cop’/‘bad cop’?
We feel we both have elements of good cop, bad cop. Naomi is incredibly thorough and a (slight) perfectionist. Laura is more impatient and slap dash. However, we talk everything through together and while we rarely disagree, we do have to gently persuade the other sometimes that their idea isn’t necessarily right. Naomi finds the passive aggressive approach works… Laura just shouts if she doesn’t like something.
Is working together everything you thought it would be? Best bit/worst bit?
Working together has improved our friendship in so many ways. We chat and share things every day, and we have faced challenges that have definitely brought us closer. But it is difficult sometimes. There are times when running a business gets extremely stressful and you ultimately end up taking it out on one another. It’s like a marriage. There are highs and lows but you weather them and emerge stronger. We laugh about everything, so that helps.
Any plans for expanding the collection, trousers, t shirts etc?
So many plans! We are working on our next collection at the moment and have several ideas up our sleeves for the future. Its very exciting!
You obviously have a love of nature, but with the whole animal kingdom to choose from how do you choose what to print?
Our first collection was inspired by the landscapes we call home, by things that were familiar to us and that we loved as children. We both grew up in rural places and spent a lot of time poking at bugs and running in fields.
For our next collection we are going on a worldwide adventure to faraway lands!
What sort of kid loves a Stay and Bird sweatshirt?
We really hope all children love Stay and Bird. We designed the clothes with kids in mind as we felt children’s wear had become very adult and fashion led. The children who have seen and worn our sweaters have loved them and talked about them, which makes us so happy! We love the idea that they’re ‘favourite sweaters’ for little people.
Describe your ‘look’ aged 6ish!? Any truly memorable outfits?
Laura – I used to live in horse riding clothes. My mum has a photo of me asleep in my pyjamas and a riding hat.
Naomi – I wore hand-me-downs (3rd of 4 kids). Think felt beret, 1980s body warmer, leg warmers and clogs. Anything to keep me warm, as I had poor circulation as a child…!!
Tunnock’s Teacake or Caramel Wafer?
Laura – Tunnock’s tea cakes win for me. When I was pregnant with my first son I got a box of 36 of them for Christmas. I made my husband hide them on the top bookshelf but I still managed to eat all of them in about 4 (3) days.
Naomi – Tea cake too. I’m afraid I’d chomp off the mallow and leave the biscuit bases.
Laura - I’d eat those for you.
Available now in store and online. Go take a look at the collection; hedgehogs and mittens, crabs and sandals, snails and leaves, ladybirds and dandelion clocks, fungi and sparrows. Lovely stuff!!
Congratulations Naomi and Laura on a beautifully strong, simple and enchanting debut collection, we so look forward to seeing what’s next.