A little about me
I’m Jo and I’m from the UK. I worked in London as an IT Project Manager for more than 15 years and I loved the fast pace of life; the international travel, the social aspect, and the networking. While my roles varied over the years, the customer experience was at the heart of every position I held. IT was something I fell into by chance, rather than something I’d always wanted to do. Neither was it something I was particularly passionate about, but I was good at it, and so I continued. When I became a mother almost two years ago, I learned what passion was really about! I’ve loved every single minute of motherhood – every up and down, the lack of sleep, and all the learning that’s come with it. It’s been the hardest yet most rewarding job I’ve ever done and I can definitely draw some parallels between working with a baby/toddler day-to-day and working with some of my clients in the past! I always felt I was a little later to motherhood than the majority of my friends, but it has worked wonderfully for me.
What inspired the business
Having worked as a contractor for many years, I have always wanted to run my own business doing something I could really get excited about. I wanted a business that I loved and that served a purpose. At the heart of the business would be people and great customer service, and it would be a community hub that would bring people together. When my husband was offered a job opportunity in Oman, we moved here with our 10-month-old daughter for the chance of an adventure for a few years. While I knew the time I would have with her would be precious (I’m incredibly grateful for it!) and something I would never have had if we’d stayed in the UK, I also wanted to continue to work. It’s important to me that my daughter sees me working and doing something positive – and especially doing something I love. I want her to know that she can achieve anything she wants in life with determination and hard work. She’s the inspiration for the business right there.
Having a baby naturally brought new things into my life by way of products I needed to buy for her. I instantly fell in love with baby clothing and quickly noticed that I had to choose quality over quantity owing to the number of times it went through the washing machine! I liked this though – I loved her in comfortable clothing every day, but I always adored her in beautiful clothing made with good quality fabric against her delicate baby skin. I had built up a good knowledge of which brands fitted the bill… I just couldn’t find them stocked anywhere locally.
Setting up a business during COVID was a massive gamble, but it felt like 2020 was the year to jump into new things. In that spirit, and armed with the retail intel I’d gathered, The Little Wardrobe Company was born.
Why I chose the brands I chose
These brands are ones I love personally. The styles, the fabric quality, and each brand’s values and ethos are those I hold in high regard. I also wanted to stock beautiful pieces that last. As my mum always said, ‘buy cheap, buy twice!’ I knew I would find some like-minded mums who thought the same.
There are different things about each of the brands I love, Tutto Piccolo, for example, take their colors & their styles & create a look for the whole family, meaning your matching but not exactly & I love that.
Rachel Riley is an Award Winning UK Brand & very traditional in its style – making their outfits a timeless classic. It’s also carried by some other amazing stores such as Harrods which is a real treat for me being from near London.
I chose to keep my Dr. Kid collection to their younger years as I just love the simplicity of their detail.
Meia Pata’s swimwear patterns are bold, fun & perfect for the sunshine! I’m very aware that keeping children’s skin protected is very important & I keep my own daughter covered the majority of the time but sometimes having siblings & friends match for an occasion for a holiday looks & feels great!
Sophie Allport is another British designer who creates the most wonderful homeware. We love our children’s meal sets and they last forever! We hope to stock more from her next year – I may even treat our mums to some bits too!
Last but not least we have just added Old & Carol to our family; they create the most beautiful bath & teether toys made from 100% rubber with no holes in so there’s no mold or bacteria forming inside, some of the toys we stock are beautiful fruits and veggies creating a positive mindset and association of these things from a young age. The company was created by two young sisters from Barcelona & we are so excited to be able to stock them.
I wanted to keep the line of clothing lightweight & found it quite hard in the Winter to find cool enough clothes – being from the UK we don’t find the weather gets that cold so I wanted to make sure we always had cooler items. However that said, everything we have can have other accessories added to make them warmer, cardigans, tights, jumpers, etc so they work for all seasons.
Whilst carrying out my market research, I discovered some beautiful shops in Oman that stock baby clothing, children’s clothing, and many brands catering to the more practical elements of parenting. I already had in mind the brands I wanted to carry and I soon learned that none of these existed currently in Oman – so that’s what I went for. Of course, there are shops that are competing in the same industry and market, but I wanted to make sure there was no direct brand competition with a view to supporting those other shops. Building up other small businesses and boutiques that share the same values is important to me.
Offering of TLWC
Customer experience is at the heart of everything I do and therefore the heart of The Little Wardrobe Company, from the first contact to the final drop and delivery of our products. This isn’t just about the products but the feeling our service provides – putting the customer first and foremost. I want my customers to be happy with the quality of our products and return to The Little Wardrobe Company time and time again.
The Little Wardrobe Company offers global, unique, high-quality children’s clothing and accessory brands in Oman.
The Little Wardrobe Company champions small businesses. There is a huge push for small businesses succeeding in Oman and I definitely want to be a part of that. I shop small where I can and will always promote such businesses on my social pages. I really want to create a community of mums and dads and while, primarily, mothers tend to buy their children’s clothes, I want to create a hub for all parents that enjoy our brand.
What we can expect in 2021
In 2020 I have already started working with The Women’s Guild, Muscat Mums, and Smart Cells Oman to offer some great discounts to their members.
2021 is the year I grow the TLWC brand. Building a new brand online only has been incredibly tough, I’ve met some wonderful women online through the business & I have had some amazing support from people both personally & professionally & I couldn’t be more grateful but it really has been challenging & those challenges are far from over so next year I’m planning to get out and about (COVID safe) to meet my customers! I’m currently scouting locations for pop-up shops across Muscat and opportunities to work with like-minded brands and people & business owners to create even more extraordinary collaborations right here in the city! One thing that has been hard to do is get people to trust in the brands we have without seeing the products – I want to get the products out so people can see, touch & feel the beauty of them!
I am in the planning stages of starting my own branded label – watch this space! At present, I am focused on clothing and a few accessories, but as The Little Wardrobe Company grows, I plan to incorporate more educational toys & accessories into the brand line.
Instagram & Facebook @thelittlewardrobecompany
+968 9331 5017