Yuen Li decided she couldn’t go back to the Corporate world in London after having her daughter Allegra. After searching for individual clothes to suit her daughter and finding them not so freely available she started House of Allegra to offer a small but alternative collection of brands to offer an individual approach for children. Meeting Yuen in her home was an inspiration. The daily balance of the working mum.
Yuen: House of Allegra is ever evolving. Keeping the website current is a full time job in itself and I often have items that are not available on the website which people contact me direct for. It was hard in the beginning. I had to do lots of research. It was basically a year of learning – taking photos, learning about all the legal stuff, copyright, photoshop, everything. I wanted to find premium brands but not too high end. I want to see items on trend, but not so much that it goes out of fashion easily. I started small but looked for the details that made a difference. It is what I see when I look for clothes. The little tiny something that makes an item special.
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Yuen: I love the brand Fluke. The details on their items are surprising and exquisite. I like items with beautiful lining, buttons, stitching. For me these are important and make such a difference. We now stock a range of brands including Animal Tails, Fluke, No Added Sugar, Bebe by Minihaha and 4funkyflavours. Everything I have hand picked. I often source brands at Bubble London and always look for something with a twist. I want to find trendy details that make an outfit stand out.
Yuen: We also stock some toys and gifts. These are a sure favourite at the moment in my house!
Lola fell in love with the Happy Hopperz when I went to meet Yuen. So much we ended up coming home with our own little Zebra version thanks to the lovely Yuen! A cheap alternative to a pet dog…that you can ride…or bounce on! They are basically like the ‘old school’ orange hoppers we all loved but made easier for the little ones with ears to hold onto and a more stable seated area. Great for balance and co ordination.
Yuen: I love that my dining room is my office come stock room. It means I don’t have to go off site to work and I’m always contactable if something happens in school. I like being a Stay at home mum. It’s a slower pace to the crazy corporate world in London. It’s a different type of life. I don’t have the same anxiety I had before but it does take a bit of getting used to. I do miss the people contact face to face but being my own boss gives me a greater balance.
My day generally looks a little something like this.
5am I’m awake. My mind is always ticking. I get up dressed and sort myself out for the day. Do the school run, check emails and the website. Get my orders packaged and take a trip to the post office. When I pick my daughter up from school I always stop working to play with her or go on play dates but generally always work again into the evening. I do get lots of orders late due to the time difference in other countries.
It takes hard work to keep everything running but I don’t think you get anywhere without hard work.
Check out Yuen’s current items at House of Allegra.