After graduating with a fashion and textiles design degree, Donna Powell took buying roles for high street retailers before moving on to work with smaller, independent stores and brands. Opening her own store, Trapeze Kids in Sheffield, was the natural next step and one she achieved last November.
Powell is now putting her 15 years of retail experience – the last 12 of which were in childrenswear – into her business, offering clothing and accessories for 0-6 years alongside toys, books, gifts, homeware and ethically and environmentally responsible skincare. Clothing brands include Fresh Dinosaurs, Monty & Co., Indikidual, Darlo, Monkind, Papu and Zeds, with toys, books and gift items from Grimms, Design Letters, Sootie Limetree, Wee Gallery, Flying Eye Books and Big Picture Press.
The store itself is bright, open and modern, with upcycled vintage elements creating a playful environment for kids and parents to mutually enjoy. Children are met with old suitcases filled with toys and a vintage desk for colouring in and reading. Powell has created a boutique aesthetic, with the predominantly unisex brands and products displayed minimally. This flows through into the store’s merchandising, with capsule brand selections, curated and displayed in a way that ensures customers can mix and match across labels and complementary accessories and gifts.
Offering a true independent service, Powell hosts a loyalty scheme that gives customers discounts on future purchases, as well as giftwrapping all items. The website offers a click and collect option, and the store works with a local mums’ network to host shopping evenings.
The short-term focus for the business is to grow a local, loyal customer base, all whilst introducing adding value to the store by expanding on events and enriching local customer loyalty.