With a blog ranging from kid's clothes to interiors to womenswear, Shelley Loves is your go-to site for all things style inspiration. She makes styling your kids (and yourself!) super easy by cherry picking the best bits, all while being a mum to her own little ones - it's clear that she loves what she does.
We had a quick chat with Shelley about what inspires her, why fashion is so important to her and that all important question...party out or party at home?
Tell us about Shelley Loves - how did your blog start and when did it all begin?
I was always the one that my friends would contact if they wanted advice on what shoes, bags, coats etc to buy and I loved answering them and searching for something that I knew they would love. My best friend were always telling me "you must do a blog", but I kept resisting due to fear. You know that feeling, what will people think? Will I annoy them? Will the just think I'm a show off? And so on! Once I had the kids I just loved children's clothes and loved searching out beautiful items and reasonable prices. I started my blog on 1st January 2015 and sent it out to a couple of my friends for the first couple of days to see what they thought. I didn't advertise as I was terrified. Then my oldest friend (we've known each other forever) shared it on her Facebook page a local mummy page! I was so horrified, but I suppose I was secetly happy as it meant I had to carry on. She believed in me that much. The follows and the likes started, so I set up my Instagram account and Facebook page and haven't looked back since. There are wobbles and I get very embarrassed when people say they know it and follow it and have bought items because of it, but ultimately I love doing my blog and put my heart and soul into it.
What's your background? Did you study or work in fashion before?
I worked for the clothes store Oasis for all of my student years and absolutely loved it! My favourite place to work was in the fitting room where I could help people put together outfits. I had regulars come in on Saturdays as they knew I would listen to what they wanted and try my best to get it for them. I would have loved to do a fashion degree, however I'm from a small village and this just wasn't heard of. My Mum and Dad wanted me to do a 'proper' degree and even travelling into Manchester was a 'big' deal back then. I did an English degree and then went into teaching post-16, and although I loved it, my heart is always with fashion.
Who were your fashion heroes when you were a kid?
Oh so many! I was a huge supermodel fan, especially Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen, Elle Mcpherson and Christy Turlington. I used to buy a monthly magazine which was all about them. It cost about £6 when I was 11 and I used to save my spends so I could buy it as it had a different model feature every month. I loved it and devoured every page. I also watched, about a million times, Models:The Film. I loved it! I was obsessed with Peter Lindbergh's photos. When I was a little older Kate Moss came on the scene and I loved her style and image. Other heroes would have been Molly Ringwold, Madonna, I loved Julia Roberts...an eclectic mix!
How do you fit your work around your kids?
I don't speak to anyone anymore...ha! No seriously, I don't teach on Thursday and Fridays so I do a lot on those days, however this means that I am always passing up on meeting friends for a brew. I do a lot at night, which again stops me talking to my husband - he says I have a thousand yard stare, which is me not really listening but looking up at him as I try and register what he has just said! It's hard, but I want the blog to do well and I love doing it.
Have your kids followed in your fashion footsteps? What is fashionable to them?
Bobby is fab at fashion, he can totally choose his own outfits and will look ace. Maybe that's because boys mainly have jeans, a tee or a sweater, but he also loves harem trousers and can mix colours really well. Daisy is shocking! Honestly, the more girly and accessorised the better! Sometimes she gets it right but on the whole I think it's fluke if the outfit works. I feel a little sorry for her at the minute - she stills loves dresses and tutu's but she has recently started to tell me how the girls in her class are wearing belly tops and leggings, so I think she's becoming aware of what's not cool.
Any current favourite high street stores for you and your kids?
Oh, the usuals - Topshop, Zara, Mango, Boden, quite recently Next and Marks and Spencer's have become amazing and Warehouse have some fabulous pieces. For the kids, Boden, Zara, Mango, H&M, Next, John Lewis, Gap, Marks and Spencer's, all the ones I share on the blog. Cos is ace, but both of mine are now growing out of it as it only goes up to age 8.
How about independent stores?
Chinti and Parker for their gorgeous shops, I love the stripes. If I could (both Australian so shipping costs a fortune), I love Ace and Jig and Little Tienda, very bohemian and I have my eye on a Pampelone dress. Ooh, and also a Lily and Lionel one! For the kids, there's so many. Olivier Baby and Kids, Nelliequats, Outside the Lines Kids, Question Everything Kids, La Coqueta Kids, Pepa and Company, Gray Label, The Bright Company pyjamas, The Little Creative Factory, Louis Louise...I could go on forever. There are so many fabulous people doing amazing things in children's fashion at the minute, it's very exciting - including you fabulous people.
Flats - I'm usually in my Stans! I do LOVE a heel, but barely get to wear them anymore. Anyone who knows me knows how quickly I walk everywhere and I just can't do that in heels!
Who are you loving on Instagram at the moment?
I love Courtney Adamo, I loved watching her travel and looking at her pictures now she has settled in Australia, so inspirational. The Fashion Craver, I think you have featured her recently. I have met her a few times in real life at Manchester events and she is so lovely, I love how she wants to build women up and show how strong we can be together. Wear and Where have a fabulous mix of fashion, home and inspirational women that I love to read about and their recent photos of blossoms make me smile every day. I find new ones I love all the time - Allthatisshe, meandorla, I love williamkate79's photos, chloegraceb, susiesoso - honestly there are just so many beautiful accounts.
What music do you listen to? Have your kids inherited your music taste?
Oh music is a major feature in our house. It's always playing, and yes the kids have definitely inherited some of our musical tastes. If you watch my stories I often have music playing in the background. On the playlist at the minute is Laura Marling, Father John Misty, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Morrissey, The Smiths, Otis Redding, Divine Comedy's new song, Bill Withers and The Trolls soundtrack! We are huge music fans. Bobby is obsessed with Michael Jackson, he even tried to dress like him and knows all his moves!
Party out or party at home - Discuss!
These days, definitely at home. In fact I was never really a big party animal, I went out all the time but would always prefer to be at home. Daisy is very sociable and loves finding an excuse to invite people over, so we do seem to have quite a few parties at our house.
What's next for Shelley Loves?
I hope exciting times! I am working on interviewing a few more fabulous people. I love talking to women who have set up their own businesses and finding out more about them. I will continue to share my finds and I can only hope that more people start to follow me and enjoy my account/blog.
You can keep up-to-date with Shelley Loves at the following links: