Do you remember when life was perfect?
When the sun shone every day and the air was always fresh? When a fistful of dirt made you rich all day?
We remember clothes that were styled for children, rooms that were sanctuaries of imagination and toys that were played with, not watched.
At Hugs for Kids, we have a dream.
A dream to let kids be kids. A dream to let the beauty of life shine.
A dream to give our kids a childhood.
So we decided to bring our dream to life.
Hugs for Kids has been created for a single purpose: to bring the art, wonder and love back into the often too commercial world of children's toys, clothes and accessories.
Our own kids use the products we stock so do we care about what we put on the shelves? You better believe it.
If it's not good enough for our kids, it's not good enough for yours.
And if we stock it, it's had some pretty tough real-world testing. Usually all over our lounge-room.
That's why we're so selective about which brands we stock. We're not cool, we're not hip - we're real.
Hugs for Kids came from less than altruistic beginnings.
To be honest, we were simply sick of having to cart our kids on a two-hour "adventure" every time we had to buy for them or their friends. But there was nowhere local to shop for kids products. And even then, the nearest shops only stocked typical high-volume, commercial "stuff". Stuff we didn't want.
We wanted more. More for us. More for our kids.
So in early 2012 we rented a shop, found some suppliers we loved, bought some good "stuff", did some renos and opened up. Easy, huh?
Ok, so it might have been a bit harder than that, but sooner than we thought, we had something we were truly proud of. Something that defined what we believed in. Something that was us.
And then in mid-2017, we finally opened our second store to bring our unique style to even more families. You'd think it would have been easier than the first but...
And this is just the start.
Bek is the brains.
What you see at Hugs for Kids is her vision and style come to life. Her ability to know what customers want combined with her corporate experience in operations (or "making things happen") are the perfect ingredients for our success. She's also a great leader who's not ever bossy at all...
Adam is the brawn.
He lifts heavy boxes, drills holes, builds stuff and occasionally breaks things. He's colour-blind too which puts choosing products well above his pay-grade but his experience in management, business improvement, analysis and service have had their uses at times. And if the website is ever broken, blame him.
Thing 1 and Thing 2 are our muses.
Without them, Hugs for Kids would never have happened. They were the tiny seeds from which this family tree has grown. They are our reason for being. They inspire us every day. Everything we do is for them.
We just wish they wouldn't run around the store like the own the joint...
Hugs for Kids opened it's first store in 2012.
Located in Belgrave, Victoria, the shop is a specialist children's boutique designed to bring together the best kids products on offer and present them in a single, accessible space.
Belgrave is the gateway to Melbourne's Hills; a thriving, diverse community of wonderful people all sharing a preference for the unique, beautiful and wonderful. It was simply the perfect place to begin.
We then opened our second store in 2017.
Located in Beaconsfield, Victoria, this Hugs is a fairly close replica of Belgrave because why change a winning formula. It too is beautiful, wondrous and inviting.
Beaconsfield is a booming area; full of young families who know the importance of having the very best for their children as they develop. And being within 30 minutes of the Belgrave store (and home), it seemed a natural progression that allowed us to grow while maintaining the same experience, oversight and hands-on service that makes us who we are.
The stores themselves are an Aladdin's Cave. They are vibrant, living entities; always changing, always evolving. Places of love, wonder, excitement and imagination.
Today, that store is the main Hugs for Kids base of operations so you can rest assured that your dealings at www.hugsforkids.com.au are backed by a secure and stable real business.
If you get the opportunity, please pop in and visit. Otherwise, you can do a virtual tour here.
Soon after opening that first "bricks & mortar" store we saw an opportunity to spread the message we believed so deeply and so, being gluttons for punishment, we built a website as well.
And so it came to be that Hugs for Kids expanded to cover the entire country with it's beautiful and accessible state-of-the-art e-commerce site showcasing the best products available in the store and delivering them direct to our customers.
But in reality, the two are one. And that is part of what makes Hugs for Kids so special. Every web order is picked and packed at the Belgrave store by our shop staff so you can rest assured that your dealings at www.hugsforkids.com.au are backed by a secure and stable real business.
It also means that you are not just a web order or a faceless number, you are a customer.
And that makes you special too.
Hugs for Kids (or Bek as she prefers to be known), is incredibly proud to be the driving force behind the Belgrave Carnival. On Good Friday, Belgrave hosts an amazing family carnival complete with rides, food stalls, easter egg hunt, animal displays and of course, face painting and kids entertainment. All proceeds from the event go to the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal. This event, the first of its kind in the area has been fully endorsed by the Appeal and is designed to bring our local community together for a cause that is close to so many hearts.
Read more at www.belgravecarnival.org.
At Hugs for Kids, we love our community and want to support the local organisations that are supporting us. Community Rewards is designed to enable community organisations such as schools, kindergartens and playgroups to directly benefit from the shared relationship that exists between their clients and our customers. Hugs for Kids customers can nominate their preferred rewards recipient organisation and for every $100 they spend in store, that organisation receives a $5 voucher to spend on anything they like in store.
It's a simple program. But we're proud of it.
SelbyFest is a family friendly festival also boasts a number of sessions showcasing various meditation and exercise techniques as well as a number of fashion parades created to highlight local designers and manufacturers. This is where Hugs for Kids comes in. For the past few years, Hugs for Kids has organised a a late-afternoon fashion parade featuring a number of local children sporting local clothing. I'll let that sink in... A fashion parade. Late afternoon. Featuring children.
That's how much we love our community.