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Shop Small Saturday: Bon Tot

Take a virtual trip to the Edinburgh coast to spend a Saturday with Bon Tot, the rainbow-hued hub of indie kids brands.

Welcome to Shop Small Saturday, a weekly feature where we celebrate our community of independent boutiques, from Bath to Berlin.

Tucked away on an industrial estate near the beach in the Portobello area of Edinburgh is unexpectedly, where you’ll find independent kids boutique Bon Tot. An explosion of joyful colour, Bon Tot has been voted as 'Edinburgh's Best Kids Shop' and describes itself as a modern kids' store for modern families. We spoke to owners Kris and Cara about what makes their small slice of Scotland so unique.

Inspired by their own kids and the experience they had becoming first-time mothers, the pair pride themselves on always thinking one step ahead of their customers. “We try to think about what we, as parents, want and can’t find, what our kids are asking for or what we wished we had growing up. We know if we can’t find what we’re looking for as first-time mums, then other people must be in the same boat.”

Originally setting up shop 7 years ago, Bon Tot recently moved from a traditional boutique space, into the warehouse which is much more representative of their brand and ethos. There’s spray paint on the walls, there’s hip hop playing and it’s the perfect place for kids to have fun and explore.

Read on to find out what a  typical Saturday on their shop floor looks like…

Kris: “For me the morning is lying in until the last minute then making coffee on my beloved Moccamaster, going for a walk with my daughter and both of us getting our outfits sorted. I prefer a quick routine because I’m a night owl and I LOVE sleep, so it’s just coffee and get dressed, slap some eye liner on and I’m ready.”

Cara: “I’m an early riser, plus I’ve got two kids, so I use my morning to get out early to the beach either for a sea swim or a class at the Victorian Baths on the promenade, which overlooks the sea. Either way I’m getting my hit of fresh sea air and my workout in. When I get home it’s kids’ breakfast, getting my daughter sorted for ballet, then swapping over with my husband so I can get ready to go into the warehouse with Kris. We usually meet up halfway and go in together and get there about 9:45 to make more coffee before opening at 10.”

Kris: “We are in an industrial estate now, super different but we wanted to make a big change. We have spray painted walls, a sofa and some chairs. It’s a bit rough and ready, but you can’t mess anything up in there so it’s awesome for kids. We are a ten minute walk to the beach too so it’s still really easy to combine shopping with us with a bunch of other fun stuff, like great food and drink, swimming, park hangs for the kids and meeting up with friends.

“We are constantly looking for that balance of craftsmanship, what’s cute and what’s going to be affordable.”

We love a good brand story so we are always looking to connect with the brands we stock, or the people behind them. We like quality, we like a modern take on a staple, we like fun colours, but we also really value price points. We are constantly looking for that balance of craftsmanship, what’s cute and what’s going to be affordable.”

Kris: “At the moment, we are loving NAC NAC, a brand focused on British manufacturing, fun colour ways and a variety of products for the family. We love Nailmatic too, a French brand making the best bath salts and bath bombs for kids (especially kids with sensitive skin!) and Scrunch Bucket which uses silicone instead of plastic to make great beach toys that also travel well.

“We love talking through our products and being hands on with everyone, it’s a very friendly atmosphere.”

Since we moved out to the warehouse we worry less about perfection and more about accessibility. We love talking through our products and being hands on with everyone. It’s a very friendly atmosphere, not at all pushy. Just enthusiastic and empowering.”

Kris: “We run Tie Dye workshops for kids, and for adults. We’re actually just about to host our first Drink & Dye adults-only tie dying event, and we’ve hosted sustainable crafting events for kids as well. Lots of plans in this area so keep an eye and ear out on our Instagram.

Once the madness is over for the day, we either end the day with a glass of wine with friends who like to hang at the warehouse or our kids come over and we head to the beach for a bonfire.   The adults drink fizz or frozen margaritas until sunset then we all walk home. It’s a great little community out here in Portobello and we all live so close together. It’s a vibe.”

Shop Bon Tot now on Trouva or follow them on Instagram.

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