Posted on May 29th, 2012
A highlight to launching Luna Leggings is having the opportunity to get to know the fabulous children’s boutiques- the owners, sales associates, and customers. I’m increasingly intrigued and impressed by their beautiful stories, their hopes and dreams. Julia Mendola, founder of Chocolate Freckles, is one of them. I knew there was something special about her, and what she’s achieved, when I received her very first email.
Located in Melbourne, Australia (one of my favorite cities in the world!) Chocolate Freckles is driven by unique, one-of-a-kind, ubercool products, that collectively create a super chic, fashionable, and partially eco-friendly focused environment. She offers her customers a vast array of special, top quality apparel and accessories for their growing children. Julia searches high and low to find these special offerings, and I’m so glad she reached out to Luna Leggings. Our full line of Luna Leggings can now be found internationally at this darling store!
I wanted to really understand what makes Chocolate Freckles tick- and was truly inspired to learn what Julia had to share….
1. What inspired you to start your store, Chocolate Freckles, and what is the meaning behind the darling name?
The store began through lots of soul searching when I decided it was time for a life change. I wanted to create something that fit with my current lifestyle as a mum to 2 children, and without any corporate stress. Once the idea of starting a children’s boutique surfaced, there was no turning back.
And the name just followed suit- it had to fit the store, which I envisioned to be colorful, bright, and happy. And whats not fun about a chocolate freckle! Kids just love them, and so do I. The fun aspect fit in with the ethos of what I was trying to create. A fun, unique, bright and happy little boutique!
2. What is your favorite part of having your store?
Coming across beautiful, unique products and bringing them to my customers. I love the thrill of lovely new things coming into the store and I just love the chance to make the windows beautiful. I also love the autonomy of being my own boss!
3. What are your inspirations?
I am inspired by all things colorful! My children are always inspiring- their sense of fun and adventure. I’m actually inspired by a lot of people, especially mums! in the market creating unique products. These inspirations have guided the changes and evolution of Chocolate Freckles over the years, from the types of products we carry, to the impact behind each line.
4. Do you have a garden? An edible garden? What are your favorite foods to grow?
I have an herb garden! I must admit that I have not had much success in the past with growing things, but we are in the process of building a new place and I hope that when finished, we will give a garden a go!
5. Who are your customers? How have your customers enhanced Chocolate Freckles?
Our boutique is in Essendon, a suburb in the North West of Melbourne, so our customers are primarily local mums. Though more and more people are traveling to us which is flattering! I now have a pretty good facebook base and have sold interstate on many occasions.
6. What lines do you carry? And what do you look for in children’s apparel? Sustainability? Eco-friendly nature?
The majority of our brands our Australian designed. Some even Australian made, where possible. But I am always on the look out for products I think will add value to the shopping experience. I am moving away from mass-produced items to align my store with my original intentions. It is easy to veer off path along the way. Some of our lines are organic, some bamboo. And moving forward, we would like more and more eco-friendly products.
7. How did you learn about Luna Leggings? What intrigued you about our line?
I first noticed Luna Leggings in a blog written by Babyology.com.au here in Australia. I see so much product on a daily basis and constantly have people ringing to show me ranges. It’s not often a bell goes off that says “You MUST get these!” But it happened with Luna Leggings. Everything about them, the colours, the versatility, the eco ethos behind the brand told me they were a product my customers would love.
8. What’s in store for the future?
Lots of plans! I’m trying to get the online store up and running. We’ve been open for 3 years and it’s probably time for a bit of a revamp soon. And of course, increasing the customer base would be great! So it’s awesome I have this chance to get the word out. Oh, and “Thanks!” to Babyology for the foresight in recognizing amazing new products when they see them!
Luna Leggings is proud to now be found internationally-
please be sure to check out Chocolate Freckles and spread the word!