Since its launch in 2016, Scandibørn has built a reputation for curating only the most aesthetically pleasing and beautifully crated toys, nursery accessories and clothes for families.
The store is devoted to all things Scandi but is also dedicated to championing independent designers who share their passion for the planet and pieces that last a lifetime. Brands you will find on their website include Sleepyhead, OYOY, Kids Concept and Nor-Folk.
We caught up with Grace Tindall, who founded the online store with her husband James and runs it from their home on the edge of the Peak District…
How did the idea come about for Scandibørn?
We love the whole ethos that surrounds Scandinavian living and interiors, it places value on buying products that will last years and fulfill different needs as our lives change. We’d spent a long time getting our home just perfect and having children seemed to open the door into a whole range of eye sores that I didn’t want lying round our living room. Don’t get me wrong – our son Harry still has a whole lot of plastic toys, they are just stowed away in stylish storage bags!
We felt there was a gap in the market for people like us who wanted to be able to create beautiful, playful and stylish spaces for their children that fitted with their contemporary homes.
Maternity leave from my job as a management consultant with a US-based IT firm gave me some much-needed headspace to think about my career and the life we wanted to build post-kids. It also allowed me to formulate the business plan that I had thought so much about when I was pregnant.
Simultaneously my husband got made redundant and we decided (against the advice of pretty much everyone!) to invest the very small pay out, take a leap of faith and go for it.
How do you choose which pieces to stock? What’s your ‘Scandibørn suitable’ criteria?
The first thing I wrote in my notebook when I started to build the idea of Scandibørn was ‘who are we?’ I often go back to that page and take a look at those key words when I’m undecided about a product or brand.
Everything we sell has to knit together with that clean, Scandi aesthetic that we adore. We’ve had a clear focus and ethos from the beginning, we think very carefully about every product we bring into our store.
We always ask two questions: 1.would we buy it? and 2. does it fit the Scandi brief? If either of those are ‘no’ it’s not coming in. We want people to feel inspired when shopping with us and that starts with knowing who we are and staying true to that.
What have you enjoyed the most since starting the company?
It has to be choosing the products and styling the site. There is nothing better for me than discovering a new brand or wonderful new collection that ticks all our boxes.
What are your favourite pieces from the shop?
That’s a hard one! I do have particular soft spots for several of our Danish brands. Cam Cam Copenhagen was the first brand we signed up – their style is classic Scandinavian with a Japanese influence which makes them and their prints stand out from the crowd. Liewood Design is another favourite – they are a relatively new brand who are all about simplicity with a playful twist.
Describe your own home
We live in a 1930’s Semi and we’ve spent years doing it up. It’s almost finished! It’s definitely a mix of styles. We have a lot of Scandi elements – light wood, clean lines, string shelving, pastel tones – combined with a love of retro furniture and pops of colour in the right places. We recently bought a Ligne Roset Togo Sofa in bright orange which looks perfect in our bay windowed lounge.
When you’re not running the business, how do you like to spend your time?
I’m in a house full of boys so the first point of call is to get outside and blow off steam and energy! We’re lucky enough to live a stone’s throw from some gorgeous woods and a couple of miles from the beautiful Peak District, so we have plenty of lovely walks at our disposal as well as some nice pubs for Sunday lunch!