Q&A

Q&A: Katrine Camillo & Eilidh Fraser, Founders, Niddle Noddle, Crouch End

Katrine lives in Crouch End with her partner Louis and their 10-year-old daughter Emmie and naughty boy cat Mimi. Eilidh lives in Camden with her husband Martin and their 10-year-old daughter Freya.

Tell us a bit about Niddle Noddle and what you do: Niddle Noddle came about seven years ago when we met at a playgroup with our girls. We soon discovered we shared a love of children’s design and, as the girls were about to start school, decided to open an online shop full of all the lovely things we were struggling to find anywhere else. As a way of getting people to know about us we did a lot of fairs and Christmas markets and quickly realised that our selection looked best when all displayed together, so the idea of a physical shop came about. We were looking for the right premises for a while but when the premises we’re in now came up we were both absolutely sure we had to go for it – partly because of the location but also because of the big windows, which we love to dress.

What is the inspiration behind Niddle Noddle?: Our own childhoods. A lot of our products are reminiscent of our childhood toys – both in design and in the way they’re made to last.

What do you find is the highlight of running your business? We love finding new things to add to the always-growing selection in the shop, be it toys or clothes; and, of course, all our loyal customers. We pride ourselves on the friendly atmosphere we have in the shop; people are always chatting and the kids love the slide.

What’s next for Niddle Noddle? We’d love to open a second shop but are well aware of the all the extra work it would take. We love our Crouch End shop and don’t want to compromise on everything that entails, so let’s see.

What are your favourite kids’ shops/play cafes in London? We think it’s super important to support local independent shops and love Molly-Meg in Islington and eenymeeny in Tufnell Park for toys, Not So Big in Highgate for clothes, and Pickled Pepper Books here in Crouch End. Both our girls love comics so Gosh! in Soho is also a big favourite.

Now that the girls are getting older they’re not really into play cafes but something they have loved for years is the V&A. There’s so much to look at in that beautiful building and they do a fun activity backpack that relates to the different exhibitions, which is great for autumn. The courtyard with the fountain is lovely in the summer and the café there is great too.

Describe your perfect day in London with your kids: (KC) A typical Sunday in my family often goes like this: a nice relaxed morning at home and then a walk – often over the Heath and maybe to Hampstead for some lunch. We’re all really into Japanese food and there’s a new little Japanese restaurant in Flask Walk called Sushi Hana that’s excellent. Then we’ll sometimes meet with friends or family and then head home and watch a movie together.

Photo Credit: Niddle Noddle

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