Bon Tot Meets . . . Ruby Diamonds

The next in our Bon Tot Meets . . . series, we get to know Ruby Diamonds a bit better. You might know Ruby from Instagram (@rubydiamonds), or perhaps you follow her gorgeous blog - www.saltandsand.co.uk

We love Ruby's photos and wanted to know a bit more about her beach side lifestyle, and what brands she likes to buy to keep up with her adventurous kids! Ruby talks sand, sea AND gives us her best picks for outdoor living from our AW16 ranges... Thanks Ruby!

Hi! My name is Ruby, I live with my husband and four children. 3 boys and 1 girl, aged 12, 10, 8 and 5 oh and two dogs!!

We live in Suffolk, not far from the coast which is perfect for us!

I try and keep life simple - with four children it can easily get messy and complicated! But I have to constantly stay focused on it and I'm always thinking about the next project or idea! Whether it's their rooms, clothes or adventures we might go on.

Anybody that knows me will say I'm an organised person, I don't always feel it but this is definitely something that helps when you have a larger family!

We have quite an active outdoors lifestyle therefore choosing good quality clothes for this is important. I would rather pay a little more for something that I know will last and then can pass down. 

Kid and Kind "I have a lot of feelings" T-Shirt

Kid and Kind "I have a lot of feelings" T-Shirt

I try and find something fun that I can pair with plain-ish items which makes mixing and matching outfits really easy and also good for all year round seasons!

Soft, stretchy clothes seem to work for mine really well. If it's a pair of leggings or joggers then they're happy. Soft tees I can layer up with a long sleeved top or jumper is a must when your outside a lot. We don't go big for accessories, I like keeping things simple. I think my youngest was 4 when he got his first pair of jeans so Comfort is the biggest win!!

Mingo Kids long sleeved top and striped leggings

Nor-Folk Play Hard T-Shirt

We asked Ruby to pick out her fave Bon Tot AW16 pieces that would best fit with her family's adventurous, outdoor lifestyle, and here's what she picked!

There are so many gorgeous pieces that fit this brief so makes outfit choices easy for me and they love being a little different from everyone else which you definitely get with brands such as Gosoaky, Kid + Kind, Nor-folk and loads more!

Top Row:

GOSOAKY lined raincoat, Kid & Kind Sweatshirt, Forever a Freckle Trawler Hat, Mingo Kids Skirt

Outfits from left:

Fig + Honey Tokyo Sweatshirt with Mingo Leggings. Tiny Cottons poncho and faces leggings. Gray Label striped top with Jax & Hedley Cracked ice leggings.

A huge thanks to Ruby for speaking to us and an even bigger thanks for picking out such AWESOME outfits! All available on our website; just click "shop by brand" to browse!

Bon Tot Meets . . . Samantha Baker

This week, Bon Tot Meets . . . Samantha Baker (IG: @samantha_baker2). Sam has developed a particular expertise in the world of "twinning" and we love to see what she picks for her 2 little blonde bombshells! We asked Sam to give us some tips on shopping for boys, and asked what she has her eye on from our AW ranges... 

Hi, I'm Samantha, living in Bedfordshire with my husband Nathan and our littles, Harrison just turning five and Rowan who's two. Life is beautiful filled with everyday chaos of raising two boys.

When I had Harrison I always recall people commenting on how much easier and more fun it was shopping for girls. I completely disagree. I have so much fun dressing them. Naturally my style has changed over the years, this has been encouraged by amazing shops I have found via Instagram such as BonTot. When shopping I always look at the material. It has to be soft and of a material that will wash well without fading. Especially in the winter I love to know that the clothing is going to keep them warm on the coldest of days. Fleece lined is a big win for us.

Cost is essential too. I would rather pay more out initially and know I'm getting my moneys' worth. I like items to last which I can then hand down and style in a different way.

.. On whether her personal style is reflected in her boys wardrobes?

My personal style is sadly no where near as cool as the boys. You will usually catch me in a pair of jeans and a tee. I'm a huge fan of an oversized knit, so Autumn is my favourite season. I love the earthy colours that it brings and the variety of being able to mix summer with winter.

We love the Scandinavian style of leggings and jumpers for the boys which is why we have fallen in love with Mingo. The perfect combination of style and practicality for two active boys.

.. On her love of Mingo Kids..

I first came across Mingo through Bon Tot. The casual coolness grabbed my attention. Both, Harrison and Rowan are of a slim build and I have always found anything other than tight jeans or leggings look funny on them. So seeing that Mingo offered unisex leggings was fantastic. I love the softness and thickness of the material. The colours are an obvious choice for us and the waistband is brilliant. I have often found that bottoms fall down on the boys due to their petite waist but the elasticated waist on the Mingo leggings surprised me. They held well and kept their shape after washing. Rowan in particular will always choose Mingo leggings over any other bottoms in his wardrobe.

When it's wellies weather they will always be in the leggings, my life is made so much easier by not having to force huge amounts of trousers into the wellie for them to go and get a stone in the boot and have to do it all again five minutes later.

Equally I love their jumpers, perfect for pairing with anything. Comfortable and simple which meets the demands of my playful two. I am always browsing Bon Tot's website for new goodies for the boys, they most definitely have a much better wardrobe than I do. Right now I havemy eye on more Mingo, both boys have had a growth spurt and with Autumn well and truly here I'm after warm practical clothing.

Kid and kind is also another personal favourite of mine, as is Gray Label and Tiny Cottons.

We've loved following Sam's instagram feed over the last couple of years, and if Mingo sounds like it might fit your little one's style needs, you can shop our collection here

Thanks so much Sam for taking the time to write!

Bon Tot Meets . . . Samantha Sinclair

The very first post of our brand new 'Bon Tot Meets . . .' series, where we'll get to know some of our makers, designers, but most importantly; our followers and customers. We've met so many amazingly talented and interesting people through Instagram, and through the doors of our Edinburgh store, that we thought it would be interesting to share some stories and get to know people in a little more detail.

First up, we'd like to introduce you to Samantha Sinclair (aka. @babisinc on Instagram). We've been long term admirers of Sam's deep, moody photographs, and we talked photography, style and Mingo.. Thanks so much for sharing, Sam. x

My name is Sam and my partner is Michael.  We fill our lives with the chaos and charm of parenting Stellan who's only days away from turning four and Lily who’s seventeen. 

We’re both Australian but met and fell in love in beautiful Wales.  We share an addiction for photography and whilst I only manage to take pictures on the weekend, Michael’s been lucky enough to make a full time career from it.  For this reason we recently made the move from Wales to Winchester where we’ve happily settled….for now.  Lily, also shares this love of photography and is quickly finding her own style.  As a family our look falls toward dark and muted tones - inherited from our time in the Welsh hills.

On her shopping style and whether her obvious appreciation of quality in her own wardrobe automatically translated to Stellan...

Anybody who knows me well, knows that textiles and fabrics have always played a huge part in my life.  I’ve collected (hoarded Michael would say) antique fabric and quilts in much the same way as I’ve hoarded baby wraps and clothing.  For a while Michael has fantasised about minimalism and travelling the World with just one carry one satchel each.  The idea of leaving home without a suitcase I have to sit on to close is unthinkable!  But always up for a challenge I decided we’d give this minimalist lifestyle a go.  Bags and bags of clothing, wraps, quilts and textiles have been sold, given away, or just simply thrown out.  It’s gone beyond having a capsule wardrobe and dare I say it’s been hugely satisfying. We’re by no means even half way there yet but what I’ve found is that although half my wardrobe is now gone I still reach for the same pair of jeans, shoes and top that I always did.  Nothing’s changed except I’ve got rid of the white noise that was the excess.

Which brings me to Stellan’s wardrobe.  What’s good for me is good for him right?  I’ve always believed in buying beautiful quality clothing and although this costs a little more in outlay at first, I’ve found that they wash better, wear better and last longer.   Michael and I tend to have a very simple style of dressing with a distinct lack of colour.  Grey is the new black for us. Aesthetically, it’s a colour Michael and I love and it reflected the mood of the Welsh landscape if we took photos.  When we moved to Winchester I went a bit colour mad with some Bobo Choses - maybe because the weather was brighter.   So since the downsize Michael’s happy to have the old me back and with that welcomes a few great key pieces from Bon-Tot that really fit in with the lifestyle changes we’ve made.

Our time in Wales and fondness of moody weather, means that we count the days until winter kicks in.  Call me sad but there’s hardly anything more satisfying than folding a pile of woollen jumpers ready for that first sign of frost.  So when I looked out the window this morning, it was a crisp blue sky and although there was no frost I’d convinced myself there was going to be a cool breeze so on went the long sleeves and trousers. It has to be said that Mingo Kids has won my heart again with their new season.  The constellation print is already a firm favourite with Stellan telling everyone he’s wearing ice which I think is a pretty cool description of this pattern.  It’s the perfect play gear that hides a multitude of dirt.  He was lying down in duck poo at the edge of the river at one stage pretending he had bread to try and get the duck with the bunged up eye to come up close so he could get a better look. 

So there you have it. Mingo Kids for the win on style, hiding dirt and attracting ducks.   Sadly it’s still too warm to wear the most gorgeous mustard cardigan from Bon-Tots new range of woollen hand knits but any day now…..

You can shop our Mingo Kids collection HERE, and if handmade, bespoke knitwear is your thing, you can browse our Bon Tot Knits HERE.