Picture this familiar scene: you’re out and about with a bunch of toddlers (yours, someone else’s, whomever’s..) and everyone plonks the water beakers here there and everywhere before realising you’ve all got exactly the same blue or pink Tommee Tippee one. You wouldn’t mind except toddler Tom has been producing enough snot to power a car factory over the past few weeks and toddler Tilda is just getting over chicken pox.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with Tommee Tippee whatsoever but it’s rather nice to treat the mini people to some really original and unique tableware, especially, if you’re like me, and do love a posh dinner plate or pudding bowl for the grown-up section of the household.
Enter Buddy and Bear – a divine collection of quirky and bespoke foodie tools and prints for children. Buddy and Bear is the creation of Sarah and Jon Weston, who are parents to one year old Sam, the inspiration behind this new adventure. As is the way when you bring a little person into the world, your perspective and priorities in life usually take a seismic shift- Sarah had been designing products for Notonthehighstreet and Etsy under a different name for several years until Sam arrived and the decision was then made to expand the designing to a more serious level - and Buddy and Bear was born.
I stumbled upon Buddy and Bear after Mr B, who worked at the same graphic design agency as Jon, told me of Sarah’s new full-time venture. There are a fair few competitors floating about when it comes to children’s kit and caboodles but rather than bombard you with 400 items on sale in which quality and value start to wane, Buddy and Bear focus on a select few British-made, affordable items.
What I love about products such as their sell-out bunny egg cups and ‘Eat Play Love’ typeface plates is how simplistic yet striking they are – just a few strokes of ink in the right place or a dash of colour playfully set and the effect is classic and fun all at once.
The mindset of the styling derives from Sarah and Jon’s own childhood memories and in turn, their wish to see the world through their little boy’s eyes. Sarah previously worked at Paul Smith and cites him as a big influence due to his, “wonderful balance of classic design and down-to-earth wit. He finds inspiration in the ordinary and adds to it a smile.”
There’s such a wonderful hint of nostalgia in the designs and I’m certainly reminded of my favourite Peter Rabbit china bowl which still lives at my mum’s house as my trusty Weetabix server.
At least I can now impress Mini B’s play date pals when they pop on over to the house and who knows, maybe he’ll remember his bunny plate too in years to come...