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Top trends for tiny tots

Cool dude: baby Akheel models the range

ASK ANY fashionista and they’ll tell you it’s never too early to step out in style. Well, Alicia Mullings’ clients, might not all be stepping just yet, but even so, they can still be at the height of fashion with her line.

A baby and children’s clothing range, Afro Babyz began trading last year and has since started retailing in several stores around London, as well as online. Having exhibited at the national Baby Show in both 2010 and 2011, the line has been extremely well received, much to the delight of company founder Mullings. She explains her reasons for launching her baby business.

“My cousin had a baby boy and I went out to buy a gift for him, however I just couldn't find anything that caught my eye or that I liked,” she recalls. “I wanted to give him something with a little bit more individuality and a sense of identity. That inspired me to start my business because I identified a gap in the market. I’m the type of person who doesn't wait for somebody else to execute an idea, so I decided to initiate it myself.”

Supplying body suits, bibs, hats, t-shirts and much more, Afro Babyz describes its products as ‘stylish urban babywear,’ with some items featuring babies with cute afro hairdos. Did Mullings have any concerns that the afro branding might alienate customers who could assume the company is tailored for black/ethnic minority babies?


Entrepreneur: Alicia Mullings

“No, not really. I decided on the name Afro Babyz initially because of the logo image. I grew to love it because it was catchy, memorable and had an obvious sense of identity. I have observed many surprises within my journey with this business. For example, when I first launched the brand last year at the Baby Show, I was surprised to find just how many people from European and Asian backgrounds, as well as white Americans who were absolutely delighted by the whole idea of Afro Babyz.

“Many of them ran over to my stand squealing and jumping around with excitement. They then hung around and spoke to me about the idea, its originality and how much it is needed.

“However, at that same show, I found that some black people where a bit more cautious and a bit more uncomfortable about the concept. This was an interesting eye opener for me to say the least.”

Still, undeterred, Mullings pushed ahead with her business and has continued to receive positive responses from impressed customers, as well as earning praise from TV broadcaster Trish Adudu who said of the company “Afro Babyz is a wonderful, refreshing difference to what is already out there in terms of clothing for babies and children. It has been a long time coming.”


Pretty in pink: a young fashionista

Considering her long-term hopes for Afro babyz, Mullings says: “I already have interest from a few businesses that would like to stock the Afro Babyz Brand in various countries overseas.

“I hope that this interest continues, allowing my business to continue to grow and become globally recognised and respected. It’s all been going well so far and I would just like to thank everybody who has supported me and my business thus far. I’m truly grateful and humbled.”

And is it safe to assume that her cousin’s son Akheel is now a proud wearer of Afro Babyz items?
“Yes he is! He has to be as he is the ambassador and my mini muse for inspiration!”


Trendy tot: looking cool in a white t-shirt and hat

For more information, visit www.afrobabyz.com

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