Today, I was invited to go to a great family day out in the heart of Preston’s city centre. Hosted in the People’s Production Lab, BabyLoved Family put together a Fun House, full of stalls, food and activities for the little ones. This was right up my street as I love supporting small businesses, and I had previously been to an Etsy event in the same location. There were lots of independent retailers to choose from, selling everything from clothes and accessories to stuff for your babies and children.
The event was co-ordinated by an astonishing lady, a teacher, education consultant and now an events planner, called Helen. She had a simple and admirable ambition: to create an event that she and her friends would attend. She wanted the event to bring together a dynamic of social time, eco-friendly choices, shopping and promoting local talent. This struck a chord with me, as I love local talent and maintaining an environment-conscious lifestyle.
As you entered, you knew it was going to be a fun day. The balloon wave (courtesy of Balloonsmith) at the entrance was really fun and impressive. Helen herself also created a fun display of balloons inside the event. There were also a number of food and drink establishments to take your pick from outside, including an appearance from the Little Vegan food market, also based in Preston city centre. Across from here, a small blue caravan was selling snacks and ice cream, called Blue Bell.
As for the stalls themselves, there were lots to choose from. I bagged myself a lovely t-shirt from Sorcha Sews Alot, a business set up by a lady called Sorcha, who after creating some wonderful gifts for her newborn nephew, set up a business sewing and admonishing textiles. There was also an illustrator who caught my eye, Lucie Cooke who had the most adorable pictures and tea towels for sale. I highly recommend checking her work out, she is very talented! I also loved the work of Turquoize Strawberry Designs, who makes “applique” clothing for “little humans”. Her designs are amazing and she is someone else definitely worth having a look into. There was even a personal stylist present at the event, in the form of Sarah Styles, who also sells a range of beautiful vintage-inspired clothing and accessories besides also being a blogger herself.
Charlie had a good old munch on a chocolate cupcake from the delightful D’Velins Cakes – I got to try some before Charlie scoffed it all down and I can honestly say it was delicious.
My only regret is not getting chance to meet Emma from Isabella and Us a beautiful human who raises awareness of mental health during motherhood.
However, the stalls were not just limited to clothes, food and art, but also services aimed at helping mothers. Connect Hypnobirthing was one such company, offering unique midwifery support to expectant women, helping them be calm and confident for when they go into labour. I certainly could have done with that six years ago and I would definitely keep it in mind for the future! There was even a company called Pure Placenta, set up by a lady called Hollie who, after suffering from post-natal depression with her first child, gave placenta encapsulation a try and now offers this service to women to help them recover from birthing.
Also for the busy mums, there were manicures and free hand and arm massages from Lucy’s Beauty & Holistics to help soothe the stress of a wild-running child in a manic Fun House. Whilst I didn’t get chance to sample some of this wonderful treatment, I did see many a happy women coming and going from that area of the event!
But aside from all of that, there was plenty to entertain the kids. A slime-making workshop, a tropical island-themed activity group, hosted by Toddler Sense and lots of balloons and toys dotted around that kept Charlie occupied whilst we explored. A session for parent-and-child yoga was offered from Embrace Birth. However, Charlie was too enthralled by other things to actually join me as I stretched and breathed my way to serenity. I also encouraged Charlie to swap some books with Reading and Beyond who offered us lots of tips and advice to aid Charlie’s reading, whilst also being absolutely great with him, bringing him out of his timid shell to confidently pick out some books he wanted. Rachel also asked Charlie to sign his name on a signing book, which, Charlie did on his own without hesitation – for the first time!!! This was a really special moment for me.
In the end, we left with a gorgeous goody-bag, brim with vitamins, discount codes and Kit & Kin natural, eco-friendly trial nappies, amongst other things. This was all housed in a beautiful, completely reusable bag made by Sorcha Sews Alot.
All-in-all, me and Charlie had an amazing time at BabyLoved Family’s Fun House. With so much to try, do and see, the hours we were there absolutely flew by and we even built some special memories. A big thanks to everyone who participated and helped organise such a great event and we would definitely come again. I’ve heard there’ll be another one in September, so keep your eyes peeled for it!
This one is Bramblegal approved for sure! Don’t forget to check out the companies I’ve mentioned in this post as they’re all excellent and you would be doing your part to support small businesses.
And also, a big shout out to Christine, who helped me grab some snaps when my camera was playing up. She’s a local photographer and a really nice person, so go show her some love. These pictures below are what she has taken and are such great quality, so if anyone is in need of a photographer, I would highly recommend her.
Oh, and the sign Charlie is holding was made by Etch.etc, check out her work and show some support for another really talented local businesswoman. You can place orders with her through her Instagram account (follow the link)!
Love Bramblegal xox