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Words: Jean Hill

Childrensalon is something quite special, that represents ‘the best of British’. It is a global retailer that operates almost exclusively online. It is high end retail, that showcases children’s outfits from around 280 designers. The delightful original shop, dating back to the 1950s, in Royal Tunbridge Wells, is still open for business. Its history draws me in. The frontage is letter-box red, and beguilingly welcoming.

The global reach would be a daunting challenge for lesser mortals. Customer service, and next day delivery, are uppermost in their policy to deliver excellence.

Childrensalon has its own brand, with some delightful designs, including Peter Rabbit outfits. The origins of the enterprise reach back in time. Sybil Harriman was born in Dublin in 1919. Her childhood memories were family gatherings with the artists and creatives of the day discussing art, culture, and the fashion creations of Coco Chanel. Chanel can be found on the web-site today, along with Paul Smith Junior, Burberry, Kenzo, Ralph Lauren and many, many more.

Sybil’s young life was infused with her passion for designing and making clothes. She married Rene Harriman, and had six children. Eventually they moved to Royal Tunbridge Wells, where Sybil ran sewing circles. Ladies came and learnt how to create exquisite smocking and intricate hand pleating, remaking old fabrics into beautiful clothing for their own children. Soon it became a business and her house had a busy workroom. By 1952 and with her own brand, Joy Models, they rented a shop premises and The Children’s Salon was born, the name conceived by her husband Rene. The workroom quickly became filled with orders from across the country, including orders from Royalty and celebrities of the day.

They imported lovely French brands, also adding Fairisle knits and Harris tweed coats, wool kilts from Scotland and Irish Linens from Ireland. The Childrensalon website launched in 1999, to immediate success, attracting customers from all over the world. The customers loved the old-fashioned emphasis on “after sales comes service”. Today there are 13 members of the founders’ family out of a team of over 180, working in the unique business.

Located in the historic spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Childrensalon Outlet is a new destination. Designer children’s clothing from some of the leading brands can be bagged at up to 70% less than the original price.

Childrensalon is an independent. It retains its founding values, passion, knowledge and expertise. The aim is to be the best-loved children’s shop in the world. This means the very best and most beautiful brands with the largest selection of children’s wear.

His & Hers tip: If you’re looking for a fun way to enhance all your family photos and to get some snaps of your children’s favourite outfits before they outgrow them, why not get your own Instagram Seflie Frame (we have a feeling the family will be a bit happier to stay still for a photograph with this prop to pose with, too!)


Image via: Drapers Online.


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