Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

We didn’t just want a pink (or blue) one…by Melanie Sramek-Bennett

Lucie Carr

Posted on April 21 2015

I must hear this every week from one of our customers.

And that is exactly how Pimp My Stroller was born.

As my daughter approached the ‘pushing her toys round’ phase I went on the hunt for a brightly coloured and stylish toy buggy.

Nothing.

There was pastel pink, pastel blue and at a push some generic polka dot varieties but they were all classic boy or girl stereotypes. Yuck.

As a Graphic Designer and 1960’s geek, I have a love of bright blocks of colour (from the whole spectrum!) and big, fat, bold pattern and print. I absolutely love it. I’m drawn to it, it makes me smile and it makes me happy.

My home is full of stuff from brilliant brands like Orla Kiely, Culture Label and Marimekko, but also home-made creations from charity shop finds and flea market bargains.

So, after digging out an old piece of Ikea fabric I pimped up a charity shop toy buggy and voila. Happy Daughter, happy Mumma.

So many people asked me where I got it from I decided to make a few more and the rest is a whirlwind of branding, website design and business plans!

Our ethos is very much in line with the Let Toys Be Toys and Pinkstinks campaigns that are doing a great job of changing the big brands way of selling toys.

The small, individual independents are busy making glorious things in abundance without any nod to girls or boys, Tootsa Macginty and Beau Loves do this especially well with kids fashion.

Alongside the more established brands like Polarn O. Pyret and the brilliant kids magazine Anorak. And thats where I spend my cash. But I think we should all be encouraging the big brands of the world to change.

Why should there be girls and boys aisles in toy departments and supermarkets? I want my son to feel comfortable playing with dolls as much as my daughter with a tool kit. And they do just that.

But as they get older I can’t help but feel that the messages around them tell them otherwise.

I don’t believe kids are naturally drawn to certain toys without any influence.

They are influenced from everything around them, from our behaviour, to the things they see on TV and at familiar settings like nursery and school.

Of course girls and boys are different – and like to play with different things – but we shouldn’t be dictating to them from the start. Let them lead the way!

Toca Boca is another brand I am a big fan of.

Their Apps are fun, engaging and gender free, and I love that. They feel forward thinking but at the same time very natural and all inclusive.

So, back all the campaigns, get following the movers and shakers on Twitter and lets get the message out there, our kids don’t need their toys limited to pink and blue thanks very much. Its suffocating!

Melanie Sramek-Bennett is Co Founder of Pimp My Stroller, making hip handmade toy strollers for kids with style.

Buy online at www.pimpmystroller.co.uk

 

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