Well interestingly the name Palava is new for us as up until last year our customers knew our brand as Poppy England! My parents originally started the business Poppy England in 1980 but after lying dormant for a number of years, I decided to breathe some life back into it. I started doing the designs myself about eights years ago, and wrote our signature storybooks, which come with all of our designs.
Where do you take inspiration from for your designs?
I grew up in the Yorkshire countryside and was surrounded by animals and nature so a lot of my designs are centered around this theme. The styles of our dresses are inspired by the more traditional party dresses of my childhood but they are all designed to be worn anywhere from a family party to outside climbing trees!
Tell us about your favourite items from the current Autumn/Winter collection
The theme of the current collection is a trip to the farmers market so food features a lot in the designs. I think my favorite is our sardine dress in red as its fun, vibrant and completely unique. We also do a range of dresses covered in white bunnies, which the whole Bryony team love. It’ll be a great piece for Easter!
What can we expect from the Spring/Summer collection
As with all our collections, the designs are focused on the adventures of our little characters, Poppy and Fred the dog. For Spring Summer they go on a trip to the zoo where they meet a whole host of exotic animals from elephants to flamingos and they will all feature across our pieces.
Tell us about why sustainability is an important part of your business?
Our ethos centers around the ability for our customers to pass on clothes from one child to another, as we don’t believe that growing out of clothes is a good enough reason to send good clothes to landfill. When I was young I remember wearing dresses from my older sister and cousins and we encourage our customers to do the same. I think the timeless nature of our designs definitely helps with this.
I also believe that in a world where fashion is produced faster and faster, it is vital for brands like us to invest in the future of our planet. We produce all of our dresses in 100% organic cotton so that the Earth’s bees are happy and free to buzz and pollinate without worry of nasty pesticides, and we manufacture our ranges in Europe so that we can visit our factories regularly to ensure that everyone working for us is happy and healthy.
What have been the biggest challenges of running your own business?
Running a business is a balancing act and being able to prioritize our focus to different areas of the company without letting the ball drop in other parts is always difficult.
What do you find the most rewarding about running your own business?
I love being able to give life to my ideas and seeing the reaction of our customers. We’re very lucky to have really enthusiastic fans of the brand and seeing pictures of children in my designs is fantastic.
Where do you see the business in 5 years time?
I think in the years to come I’d love to use our prints for new ranges. Bedding especially is something I want to develop as I think the whole concept of our books works perfectly with bedtime and storytelling.
You can view the full collection at https://palava.co/