The Little Acorn products standout because they are built on positive messages and learning. Designer, Bridget Kelly, strives to create beautiful children’s products that also teach children core values and have special meaning. Each piece includes either words and/or images that make a child smile while teaching them colors, social awareness, tolerance, appreciation of nature, and love of all things. These meaningful products are colorful and whimsical and sure to help your little ones “grow up happy!” After having the pleasure of meeting Bridget at the 2011 ABC Kids Expo and getting to see her creations in person, I realized the detail and the inspiration behind each piece is what makes them so great. They all have a story making it that much more meaningful to include in your home. Keep reading to get an exclusive look into Bridget’s designs and a peek at her newest collections for 2012 too!
How would you define The Little Acorn style philosophy?
I think style has to have deeper meaning. I adore individuals who are true to who they are, those who don’t try too hard to fit into “fashion.” I love to see a home that has history in it, with the heart and soul of the people who live there. For example: Art created by those who live there, or collections of wondrous things found on their own travels, old family photos, or keeping certain furniture that was in the family past- that has real Heart- so find a place for it in the home and that is STYLE! I can’t bear to see someone buy a collection of things that look good but don’t have any soul to the persons in the home. I call that “pretend style”; you know what I mean; buying an entire style for the home at corporate mall stores- that makes me sad. “Genuine” is the soul word for style. “Functionality” is necessary in good design; a product that is useful and innovative plus looks wonderful at the same time is the ultimate in style.
What inspired you to become a designer and start a business?
I was a fashion designer for many years- specifically for children, but it became limiting & less rewarding. Then I was hired to help start a large children’s store, and something clicked- it was like I found the perfect category for my creativity: and that was HOME products- but being a design director was limiting after a while. I want to learn as much as I can about making a business successful, and design is only one part of it- I believe the only way to really learn it- is to DO it, so the risk is there when you start a business, but so is the learning!
Why did you choose to design children’s bedding and décor?
There are SO many things I want to create; I create stories & characters, I have computer game ideas, painting ideas, animated film & TV show ideas, bedding & toy ideas- but at the heart of it, I want to deliver core value messages to children. If you think about it, family & home are the heart of a child’s life, I feel drawn to starting there. Surrounding a child with positive messages and beautiful things that have heart, well that is a great way to influence a child, and as a designer that is what I want to do for our future generations.
What is your favorite part of your daily work when you reflect on the day, what is most rewarding?
Hmmm, favorite part of my day, admittedly, when someone appreciates my product! I love it when a mommy likes my designs! That’s what it’s all about- she loves it enough to want it for her child- I wish I could help each customer paint the nursery or kids room and sort out where to put their family heirlooms- that’s fun. I love to play with my nieces because it reminds me to be a child and think like a child- that is my favorite part of the day!
If you had to pick a favorite piece from your collection, what would it be?
My new painting; Alphabet Adventure- it coordinates with ANYTHING in my collections; all of my pillows, rugs & bedding work with this painting, there is something for everyone in it- but most important, the alphabet is the foundation for learning so it fits all of my core values for a product: useful, nice to look at, educational, meaningful & multipurpose- and the Alphabet Adventure book comes out soon!
What sets The Little Acorn apart from other designers in your industry?
I try not to compare my designs to anyone else’s. Instead I just try to be true to myself. What I aim to do is be consistent in my creative process and ideas. I always start my designs by hand, never by computer, then I build on the old-fashioned creative process, hand paint, hand appliqué, hand embroidery, and include small details that make a difference. Customers who have a discerning eye and value special products appreciate The Little Acorn- we are not found everywhere, we want to be special- I only hope customers realize that in order to create products with so much detail and hand work that it will cost more- especially since the artisans able to create handmade products shrink with the growing technology industry.
Do you have any news that you would like to share, perhaps about upcoming designs or introductions to your line?
Well, for Spring 2012 I introduced my Natureland Fairies and Funny Friends collections- all handmade with incredibly embroidered details with paintings to coordinate. Here is a sneak peek at the new collections coming soon to RosenberryRooms.com!
Most important are my new categories; the Sleep-pod which is a safer sleep option than a blanket for baby, and 7 bibs a week- drooly bibs- you know the kind you can put over a t-shirt- cute and adorable- these are not your typical ugly plastic dinner bibs- they are hand embroidered and intended to create the Awwww response… Plus introducing my Alphabet Adventure painting of course! (Each of these new sets are coming soon to RosenberryRooms.com!)
For fall 2012, I am working on 2 books based on my paintings, and solutions to Bumper safety design- which is such a controversial issue. Check out TheLittleAcorn.com for more details!
Now…Just for Fun
Favorite Food- Those chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels from T.J.’s- those are dangerous! Oh, do those qualify as “food”?
Favorite TV Show- Madmen, it is amazing- but I’m way behind since I don’t have cable, I rely on netflix! Who has time for TV these days?
Favorite Movie- Oh gosh, probably The Shawshank Redemption, or the Green Mile, not that I have a thing for Prison life, it’s just that I love stories of hope and redemption- & there is nothing more fierce to overcome than being imprisoned.
Favorite Weekend Activity- A book, a fireplace and my man.
Favorite Band- The Beatles, I love you John Lennon!
Check out our video from the ABC Kids Expo where we caught up with Bridget as she walks us through the charming details of each of her new collections!