And so another season - our 11th actually ! How time flies when you’re having (a lot) of fun.

I can never decide which season I prefer designing. But loading the site and getting it ready with all the lovely photos from the photoshoot last June brings a smile to my face. Who doesn’t like a Spring Summer photoshoot. The beach. The sunshine. The heat. The smiling kiddies.

That’s never quite how it goes of course and this collection - as lovely as it is - was painfully difficult to get shot IN the sunshine. And why? Really… why? We flew to California where it’s wall to wall sunshine right? Noooooooo

The team all came together in Laguna Beach. Two  very lovely friends and business partners who shall remain nameless (Jenn and Michele!) said ‘oh it’s always sunnier and warmer than San Diego with less marine layer in June’. So we booked two large houses. Organised a mass of lovely models (thank you Californian parents who are always amazing at turning up) and prepped over 1200 pieces of clothes.

Now that lovely word ‘prep’ covers a multitude of dreary tasks. Unpacking every item. Steaming it and then putting it into colour groups according to how it was designed for us to then decide what should be shot with what. It sounds simple but it is a mammoth event.

 

Thanks to my sister Tracey who yet again became steamer-extraordinaire along with Daisy, Cameron, Madigan and Jen Madigan.

Once the mass of clothes was out into some sort of order it was location scouting. We had specific things in mind. A marina. A boardwalk. Dunes. Beautiful beaches. Rock pools. . Easy surely. No. Not easy. Even to find a stretch of beach that has good parking, doesn’t have a million people on with shelter for the families and not too far from bathrooms - not easy.

    

 

But with all that sorted. The easy thing should then to be to take the pics. And there are 3 of us (myself, Josh and Madigan) with an extra  person this time (Daisy) doing just videos. After one day we also decided to throw my sister Tracey into the fun and she became the 4th photographer in charge of babies (who adore her!!).

 Me (Mark - the owner)

 

Tracey (Marks sister and Admin Manager)

 

Josh (Mark's nephew and Sales and Marketing Manager for Me & Henry and Tickety-Boo)
 Madigan (Sales and Marketing Manager at Vignette and Tiny Victories)

 

Daisy (Sales and Marketing Manager at our other lines ettie+h and Poppet & Fox)

 

So we have it all ready. All the team. Locations sorted.

And every single morning we woke up to June Gloom. The dreaded marine layer that seems to plague every single visit I make to California, has followed me here to Laguna Beach. So not so ‘sunnier and warmer than San Diego’ at ALL.

 So we turned the day on its head and used the mornings to steam and organise the clothes and also start to build our amazing lookbooks we use for selling. And hopefully by 1pm our first shoot will be in blissful sunshine. Well that was the plan. And it kind of worked but I’d say at least half the days didn’t quite clear. In fact one day it rained and was so cold we all shivered having NOT brought any warm clothing.

We even actually drove all the way back up to San Diego one day to La Jolla because it said it was going to be sunny only to get there with the biggest group of parents EVER … and it was so dark and dreary it almost rained. lol.

 

 

 

But let’s focus on the good days. And we didn’t course have them. Some glorious days. When the sun shines California always delivers and after having been to San Diego so many times it’s lovely to see another little chunk of this incredible coastline. We fell in love with Victoria Beach and its rock pools and cute little fairytale castle, the dunes of West Newport and the incredible pier at Newport Beach. And we got wet. A lot. Either by kids deliberately splashing us, waves catching us by surprise or us willingly getting wet to get a smile.

We actually managed to get out and eat in some fab restaurants, as we favourited photos and kept up with the shipping and tracking we sat in the garden round the fire pit laughing and singing to 80s hits, and as a final hoorah from Cameron (who leaves us for college) , we had an amazing steak meal expertly cooked by him. We even managed a day off and drive to LA for shopping time in Venice Beach and play time on the rollercoasters of Santa Monica.

 Josh, Daisy and Tracey on the rollercoaster

 

If you follow us on instagram (as a crazy and humbling 44,000 of you do!) you’ll see we post these fun bits and wonderful bits because we want you to see behind the scenes of our mad world but we don’t post the huge amount of work that goes into these shoots because it’s largely boring to watch and we’d lose about 40,000 of you.

 

But if you knew the days and days Jen Madigan puts in to organising the models and reaching out to the parents, the hours Josh and Madigan put into choosing just the right photo for each page of the lookbook, the evenings Daisy loses editing the thousands of videos taken hundreds of emails we all receive while doing the shoots that still need replying … you might forgive us for a little fun and have second thoughts about wanting to join us on these shoots.

 

 

 

The parents and kids make it worth every second. I am amazed at the fan base we seem to have built up in California and the willingness people have to drive hours and hours to be at these shoots. To each and every one of you thank you thank you for supporting us and joining in our record breaking huge play dates on the beach. Apologies also if some of the pics we take never get used because sadly if we can get a pic in the sun it’s always going to be used more than one in grey June gloom. 

 But 8 days and tens of thousands of photos later we got what we wanted.

 

A marina.
A boardwalk.
 Dunes.
 Beautiful beaches.
 Rock pools

 

And from all of that. . . A wonderful new lookbook which has helped us sell to more boutiques across North America than ever before.

 

Click on the image below to have a look!

 

 

We love our boutiques and support small businesses in any way we can because we are also a small business so please please do contact us for names and locations of stockists near you - but if you are in the middle of nowhere and happy to shop online with us then thank you in advance.

I really hope you love what you see. There are lots of new things and some personal faves I’ve shown below.

One of the biggest themes this season is safari - it is inspired by the new book I wrote all about safaris, where you can go on safari and what you might see. Always beautifully illustrated by the talented Carolina who things these bedtime books alive. It made me want to really go for it as a theme for prints in shirts, polos, shorts and tees.

    

our new bedtime story book you get this season

 

 

There is also a definite Hawaiian / beachy print theme too with a leaning towards that Californian surfer dude vibe. Surfboards and vintage Hawaiian prints.

 After the massive success of matching shirts and shorts last year, they are back with more options than ever - tapping into that retro Palm Springs look.

  

 

Prints aside though there is a mass of solids : so many people wanted a simple white tee so it’s here. Finally. And in the loveliest of cotton club fabrics. But I couldn’t just add white - so you’ll see a simple but stunning collection of beautiful quality solid tees in 9 colours !!

      

      

      

To complement our swim shorts which are such huge sellers you’ll see achingly cool Terry towelling polos, hoodies and zip ups and more lightweight hooded poncho tops giving ideal layering from the chilly breeze at the end of a beach day.

       

 As always there is a mass of onesies, shirts, overalls, pants and shorts that not only give you a big brother little brother matching moment but a tonne of opportunities to dress the little lads in your life to match the little ladies. So Easter pics , beach family pics have more options than ever before - in fact 40% of our collections on Me & Henry and Vignette match!

 

An absolute fave of mine is this knitted polo. Made of soft lightweight cotton so still cool for warm days but super smart and in three colours.

       

 

We also have more shorts than ever with new styles in  piqué cotton, striped woven fabrics and of course our basic but best selling twill ‘Hugo’ shorts

You will also see I’ve added cotton/linen suiting ! It’s soooo hard to find lovely quality and great priced boys suiting so you can of course buy all three pieces but just the vest with a polo or the jacket with a tee still gives him that perfect look for weddings and special events this Summer. You can pair them with matching pants or shorts.

  

Finally we have new lightweight outerwear, stunning new baseball caps and bucket hats in a multitude of colours, summer canvas pumps and of course… lots of lovely stripes.

 

I truly hope you love what you see. Flick through the book and enjoy. Go and visit your local boutique and if they don’t carry us then make your life easy by telling them to contact us ! Failing that we have everything you need right here online for 0-16yrs. And don’t forget matching daddy shirts for those family pics !

 

 

Thanks for loving Me & Henry.

With love from me. And Henry.

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