Packing for a holiday with children can be as exhausting as the journeying itself. Today’s plethora of online shops are a swamp to wade through, and the faff or returning items that aren’t right is an additional burden. With this conundrum in mind, Anja Stavnsberg set up a childrenswear delivery service called Muddy Creatures designed to make life easier for discerning parents. Put simply, Anja selects a range of beautifully designed clothing based on your requirements and pops it over in the post. With summer holidays on the horizon, it’s reassuring to see a company that will help parents to make travel packing a whole lot more exciting so met with Anja Stavnsberg, to find out more.
TELL US THE STORY OF MUDDY CREATURES…WHAT BROUGHT ABOUT ITS CREATION?
Becoming a mum and not knowing where to start in the massive jungle of childrenswear played a huge part in the creation of Muddy Creatures. I particularly dreaded trawling the shops with an energetic toddler and, a lot of the time, had a basket full of items loaded on many online stores but didn’t have the time to complete the order and actually have them delivered. Muddy Creatures was the answer to that.
HOW DOES THE SERVICE WORK?
In fact it’s pretty simple. The customer creates a profile online where they can add as many children as they wish including individual preferences on styles, colours and sizing. We ask for a £1 refundable deposit at checkout followed by an initial phone call to make sure everything is fine and dandy. We then build a box and send it to your preferred address, allowing up to 10 days for your little one to try it all on in the comfort of their home. Sending back the no-goes is a breeze with two simple return options (collection from address or drop off at Collect+) and you then just pay for what you keep. Shipping, of course, is complimentary both ways.
WHY DO YOU THINK SCANDINAVIAN DESIGN HAS BECOME SO POPULAR IN RECENT YEARS?
I think a lot of people have come to appreciate simple design, ethically-produced products and muted hues that Scandinavian design is known for. I believe that a simplified and calm wardrobe allows for personality and character to shine through in its own right.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE MUDDY CREATURES’ PRODUCTS?
Marmar Copenhagen basics play a huge part in the creation of Muddy Creatures boxes across all age groups. Since first starting out, we have also added Spanish brands Bobo Choses and Tinycottons and will be introducing Dutch brand Maed for Mini soon as well as many more. Classic shoes from Angulus are my all-time favourite, made from beautiful leathers with crepe rubber soles allowing little feet to move with ease. They can be passed down from sibling to sibling, making them great value for money.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR COMPANIES TO UNDERSTAND THE NEEDS OF BUSY FAMILIES?
I think it is very important to acknowledge that all families – whether they have childcare help or not – appreciate that any chance that they get to spend time together is precious. As a consumer myself I highly rely on companies that make my family life easier, whether it is food shopping to my door, easy returns or apps that offer services such as dry cleaning.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PASTIME AS A FAMILY?
Going out with our oldest, KV, on his balance bike, my partner Bjørn frantically running after him and Bille (3 months) in the buggy. Just heading out no matter the destination, purpose or timespan that is the moment in time I wish I could pause and always hold on to.
HOW HAS THE RESPONSE TO MUDDY CREATURES BEEN?
The greatest achievement is the growing number of returning customers who come back to us time and time again to replenish their child’s wardrobe as they grow. I think what people like about Muddy Creatures is that my aim is to establish a personal relationship with the customer which is becoming more and more unusual in today’s tech world. Most people appreciate the big selection they receive in the boxes and how over time it gets easier to see their taste reflected by previous purchases as well as always getting introduced to new brands.
WHERE DO YOU HOPE MUDDY CREATURES WILL BE IN THE FUTURE?
I have got all sorts of plans for Muddy Creatures, but the most important thing is to stay focused on our current customer base – looking after them and always being a step ahead of their needs. As the company grows, my aim is to improve the user experience making it easier to order a box on the go, receiving notifications ahead of your child’s next growth spurt, reminding the parent that a birthday outfit needs prepping well in advance and continue to just take the stress out of shopping.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TRAVEL PACKING TIPS FOR PARENTS?
Be prepared for surprises, do not necessarily pack for them to happen – but be adaptable. I don’t tend to overload our suitcase but instead bring travel detergent so that we always have the option to wash if we are out of clean clothes. We also generally try not to bring too many toys, books etc and instead use what we find on our way. This calls for us as parents to be creative and explore our surroundings to keep the children entertained. Last summer, we ventured out to a huge national park when KV was three – he obviously wasn’t able to do lots of hiking but we agreed that we would see what he could manage by foot (and the occasional piggy back). The trip turned out to be a huge success. We turned it into an adventure – encouraging him to spend as long as he wanted making sandcastles by a lake we discovered.
Anja lives in West London with her partner Bjorn and their two children – Karl Vito and Bille.
If you would like to spruce up your child’s holiday wardrobe, sign up for Muddy Creatures here.
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