Leaving behind a teaching career, Veeann James took a leap of faith and opened Coastal Kids on North Berwick’s high street last year. The result is, a shop which both children and their parents love, coupled with a dedication to sourcing quality sustainable designers and ethical toys.
We seem to be in period where more and more small shops are appearing and thriving despite gloomy outlooks for the bigger high street stores. Independent retailers and artisans are on the rise as today’s shopper looks for a more sustainable and personalised experience. North Berwick’s high street has always been home to a large number of unique and independent retailers and a recent addition to the high street is Coastal Kids.
Owner Veeann James is great supporter of the small independent and buying locally, and also believes in slow, sustainable clothing and toys – prioritising quality over quantity. Together with her husband and two young sons, Veeann moved back to the UK a couple of years ago after nine years living and teaching in the Middle East. Having enjoyed working in retail in the past, Veeann created a business plan for a childrenswear shop and opened Coastal Kids in September 2018.
The store stocks gorgeous clothes, shoes and accessories and with the staff having recently undertaken shoe fitting training with Start-Rite, you’ll find everything to dress your youngster from head to toe. Along, with Veeann, most of the staff in the shop are mums, so they understand what parents are looking for and the importance of buying long-lasting, robust clothes for children, with the potential to be handed down to future siblings. For Veeann, sustainability is important, she explains “Children’s clothing is seeing a shift towards sustainability and I am keen to buy from brands where ethical guidelines are in place when it comes to safe working practices in factories, a fair wage and so on. I like to know the story behind the brand so I can pass this on to the customer.” You’ll find brands such as Frugi, Kite, Mayoral, Geox and Lily Kelly stocked alongside lesser known names; The Kindness Co-op and St Berts. In fact St Berts has been so popular, Veeann has started to stock adult sizes too!
With ethics a top priority for Veeann, Coastal Kids also stocks fair trade and sustainable toys. There is a good balance from old fashioned wooden toys to the newer educational toy. Brands include Plan Toys and Lanka Kade. There is a gorgeous array of costumes and dressing up items from Mimi and Lula and A is for Alice. And, with a delightful play area for children whilst their parents shop, Coastal Kids really is every parent’s dream – a one-stop shop for anything from the perfect present to getting the children kitted out and looking sharp.
open: Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm | Sat 9am-5pm | Sun 10.30am-5pm
40 High Street, North Berwick | www.coastalkidsnb.com