Is it weird that I am humming Candy Shop by 50 Cent as I write this?
Every full-time mom needs a break from mommy-hood every now and then. How else would you know that there’s more to life than changing diapers and picking up after the little ones? For the longest time all I wanted to do was ‘sit’ in the house and play the perfect mom. I now find that as my girl becomes more and more independent, I’m constantly looking for sneaky reasons to get out of the house and into the world.
So when the amazing Simi from Essentials invited me to take a tour in her store, I immediately said yes! What, a chance to dress up and step out? Count me in! And that’s how Friday found me in Westlands, finding my way to The Oval. Even the biting cold could not stop me.
I initially thought that the store was located in Parklands. I therefore came early and mentally prepared to take a long walk. Not that I needed a lot of mental convincing as I love walking and it would keep the cold away, anyway. To my surprise though, I arrived there barely 7 minutes after alighting from the bus at the Westlands Bus Stop. Along Ring Road and directly opposite Nakumatt Ukay, stands The Oval; an intimidating building in an intimidating location.
Essentials greets you as you enter. Though on the first floor, it is the first thing that draws your eyes as you walk in. There’s something about kids’ stuff that just whispers to you; especially when you are a parent. Without the pressure of shopping and a baby tagging at my skirt telling me that she wants this or that, I felt like I was in a candy store. And I sort of was.
The first stop was the shoes section. As you can see in the image below, they stock ladies’ shoes as well. The heeled ankle-boots are to die for.
|Boots for the bigger kids above, cute little girls shoes to the left and ladies’ shoes to the right. My girl got shoes as cute as a button from this section; the pink ones that are third from left on the topmost row and some boots I’ll posts images for in a later post.
Though I normally gravitate towards toddler items because my daughter is at that stage, I could not help but notice that I could fit into most of the older kid’s items. I can still rock size 15-16yrs. How about that? 🙂
|This is from the Candy Jeans collection. Though the size states 15-16 yrs, the Jeans fit me perfectly. I love that they have an adjustable waist for when the weight fluctuates in my case or when the girls grow bigger. The fabric is 100% cotton and therefore very comfortable.
I had a very hard time taking these selfies. My baby girl is a terrible camera girl 😉
I had the pleasure of being hosted by none other than the brains behind the brands, the designer herself. Beautiful Simi is very passionate about her brands and putting smiles on moms’ faces. I could tell shat she’s poured her heart into each of her designs. “Sometimes a mom will come into the store, hug me and tell me ‘Thank you’,” she told me. I smiled inwardly, remembering that the first thing I did when I met her was go in a hug. She makes you feel like you’ve known her for years. And she is good at what she does! From suitcases to shoes, clothes to stuffed animals; you name it, she’s designed. She has several brands under her belt. Take a look below:
|Among the brands is the most popular one the Candy for kids clothing such as dresses, tops, trousers and socks, All About Home for bedding and stuff, Saints for shoes and travel accessories, and Little Angels for strollers, wet and baby wipes among others.
The Sections I Visited Included But were not Limited to;
- Clothing Sections: All items for boys and girls in different sizes
- Shoes Sections: Casual as well as school shoes for girls and boys
- Party supplies
- Cots, High Chairs, Car Seats
- Baby wipes
- Home products
- Stuffed animals
- Hair and other accessories
- Stationary Section
|At the top is the toy’s section, girls’ accessories to the left and party supplies to the right
What I loved the best about the Store
I normally shy away from new stuff (well, most of the time). I like second hand (Camera) because you get to find unique items.
Having their own brands ensures that essentials get to stock items that you cannot find anywhere else apart from their stores and the supermarkets they are collaborating with. You will find the Candy Brand in select Tuskys supermarkets. See the list in this post
Another reason why Kenyans love second hand cloths is because of the quality. I got a few items and the attention to detail is insane. From the fabrics to the detailing, you can tell that someone took their time with the item. Most of their delicates like the socks are made of combed cotton. This makes them absorbent, comfortable and durable.
I’ll be the first one to admit the The Oval would not be my first shopping stop. The location alone would make most people to shy away. Just yesterday, I asked a friend of mine who happens to work in Westlands whether she knows where Essentials is. ‘Yes, I do, but it looks expensive. I’ve never gone in,’ was her reply. Do not let the grand building and the fancy fountains intimidate you though, I was surprised to learn that you will get better deals here than you would at Biashara Street.
The Catalogue is Great Help
It is often hard to visualize how an outfit will come together once you actually put it on. While with grown-ups you can just try out the items while you shop, it is not always so easy to do the same with cranky kids. This is where the visual aids come in.
They have a catalogue with different looks for all their clothing items and this makes shopping very easy especially for the dads.
The store is located a short walk/drive from the Westlands stage. This makes it easily accessible from town and even easier for those coming from Waiyaki Way.
|She loved her OMG ‘toto’ from the Gosh! Designs. She would not let me take her photo without her new friend. I love the boots while she adores her pink shoes. She now calls them ‘smart’. And that dress… she’s totally Candy’d up! 🙂
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