Welcome to Charley's Wild World: A luxury 'Animal Themed' children's clothing and accessory range. We are an animal loving husband and wife team Melissa & Joe (I say team because without the support of my husband, none of this would have been possible). It is in fact just me behind the scenes.
In February 2020 I discovered I was pregnant with our daughter 'Charley' and in March 2020, as you will all relate there was global pandemic and the whole world went into lockdown.
I felt like I had been robbed of all the excitement of sharing our baby news, as everyone was so worried about what was happening in the world at that time. Also the excitement of 'baby shopping' with family members wasn't something I was able to enjoy.
I have to say that decorating our nursery from my computer at home was quite stressful. We had decided to keep the gender of our baby a surprise until she was born (I mean there are no surprises in life these days ... right?!) and so finding gender neutral baby and nursery items that I loved was proving to be quite difficult.
Right there and then I swapped my handbag and shoe obsession for a baby clothing and nursery obsession. Choosing an animal themed nursery for our little one was a forgone conclusion, as both myself and Joe are very passionate about animals, we both come from animal loving families, in my previous career I worked as an RSPCA Inspector for 15 years and Joe aka 'Crocodile Joe' having his 'Wild World' Educational Reptile Roadshow for the last 20 years. .... and so I obsessively started shopping and wanted to make sure everything was absolutely perfect for our little ones impending arrival.
My online orders came from as far as Australia, her nursery mural was from Poland and her bedding came from Russia. As you can imagine the duty and custom charges were enough to make my eyes water and right there and then the seed was planted.
Fast forward to November 2020 after a small fortune had been spent shipping items from half way around the world, our beautiful bundle of joy Charley Jade was born. I spent the next couple of months getting to grips with becoming a new mum. When she slept, my obsession with buying for her was replaced with an obsession of creating, creating and researching 'How to' bring my own children's animal themed clothing range to life.
I am now 11 months down the line and what you see today is my vision. Now I am no designer, I do not consider myself creative in anyway. What I am is determined and tenacious. My husband Joe always says "Melissa you're like a dog with bone” and he is right. I absolutely love intensely researching, learning 'how to' and then ‘just doing it'. I am not from a textiles/clothing/sewing/
The journey was by no means an easy one and for every door that opened another 10 closed. This just gave me more determination and drive to make it happen. I will never look at an item of clothing in any store the same way.
From designing the logo, to finding illustrators, choosing fabrics, finding manufacturers both in the UK and Overseas, finding a product photographer, designing a website, choosing packaging, designing stationary, the whole process was very long.
Luckily I have found many amazing people along my journey who were so helpful. Every time I spoke to someone I would always start the conversation with 'I have absolutely no idea what I am talking about so can you please just give me an idiots guide to………..” I will always be so grateful for their help, advice and guidance during this process.
The easiest decision for me was choosing the name 'Charley's Wild World’. This was just a natural fit as I wanted to create this range in the name of our daughter Charley and then we just had to have 'WILD WORLD' to run along side her Dad's business 'Crocodile Joe's Wild World'.
I have so many ideas of where I want the direction of my brand to go and I am so excited to share this with all of you and for you to be part of my journey.
I really hope you love my very first collection as much as I have creating it.