Shan and Toad
When we discovered Shan and Toad, a Southern Californian based e-commerce, we fell in love with the unique selection created by founder Shana Laub, which says: “I get giddy over embellished shoes, outlandish prints, over-the-top silhouettes, and even fine workmanship“. She put together established brands like MSGM Kids, Stella McCartney Kids and Dououd, Caramel, beside cool and fashion-forwarded labels as Aristocrat Kids, Carbon Soldier, Caroline Bosmans, Cavalier Vault, Efvva, Tambere, Wolf and Rita… no wonder that Shan and Toad is becoming the go-to for stylish parents!
“Our clothes are refined and unusual. We take pride in providing our customers with unique pieces that are classical yet contemporary at the same time” explains Shana, which opened the children’s boutique after her third daughter was born and shopping for children had become quite her hobby.
Pay a visit at Shan and Toad and experience the joy of transforming your little toad into a charming prince or princess!
1. How do you found the name for your shop? Is there an anecdote to tell?
As you might have guessed, the fairy-tale name references a very romantic and literal interpretation of the Princess and the Frog. We thought it fitting to add a bit of dreaming and fairy-tale thought to our boutique. We invite our clients to dream and become enchanted, and to transform into a prince (or princess) charming.
2. How fashion-oriented are your children?
Shan and Toad was born following the birth of my third daughter. Five years and two additional daughters later, here we are: a little multi-brand e-shop, with a most darling selection of kids fashion. The girls are all incredibly creative, with the humorous quirks and matchless characteristics that make them unique and exceptional. Naturally, having me as mother, they are all fashion-oriented. They are often staging fashion shows in the house and I love seeing the girls’ point-of-view and perspective. What I love most about seeing them dressed in Shan and Toad fashion, and fashion in general, is the unique and individual interpretation that each and every one brings.
3. Do you have a hint for parents when shopping for their kids?
Shopping has always come naturally to me. Put me in any retail outlet, flea market, department store… I will find something to buy. I think it is a blessing, but my husband might tell you otherwise. Accompanying me on a shopping trip is always fun, as I delight in the littlest nuances and details. I get giddy over embellished shoes, outlandish prints, over-the-top silhouettes, and even fine workmanship. We put a lot of thought into curating the shop, and we try to do the shopping for you. We try to offer enough of a selection so that you can put together a stellar wardrobe, while at the same time, making sure that the selection does not get too large and overwhelming to sift through. Most of the brands that we stock are fashion forward, but very wearable and practical. Many pieces are classic pieces, infused with some modernity or contemporary style. In this way, the children look youthful and sweet, but still updated and current. I might choose comfortable and practical, but like to make sure that there is something special about each piece so that it is fun and exciting to wear.
4. Do you remember one special item you had been wearing almost day and night when you were a child?
On the contrary, I always liked to switch it up, and never liked wearing the same thing again and again. I remember throwing fits and tantrums over having “not enough to wear” and never wanting to wear the same thing twice. My second daughter went through a tutu phase, (naturally). I’d try to convince her out of it, but on our way to school, I’d sometimes see the tutu peeking through her dresses and skirts!
5. What was your favorite toy?
I loved artsy and crafty things, and was forever creating. At the same time, I was a bit tomboyish and I loved playing ball and being outdoors. It’s funny how things have a way of coming full circle, in my own home now, I never seem to stop cleaning up paper scraps, crafts, pencil shavings, mural/wall-drawings, and the likes.
6. Are you realizing mood images for your website? If yes do you think that these images could influence the shopping experience of the customer? And how do you promote your website?
Being that we are online only, and we don’t have a brick-and-mortar, good imagery is of primary importance. Flat images never do the clothing justice. You can never see how the fabric falls, or the shape and style. On the other hand, lookbook and styled images could be inspirational and are instrumental in making the clothing come to life. This winter, the clothing and photography seems very cozy and warm. Colors are rich, deep, and hearted. I think this resonates in the photography. We are launching our AW16 collection this week, and the pictures are fun, light-hearted, modern, and so chic! Can’t wait to share!
7. Kids an Internet… what do you think about it?
Children are curious, inquisitive, and have a natural drive to learn. The internet can be a great tool in educating and entertaining. The girls are always asking questions, and I treat the internet the same way that we used to use the World Book Encyclopedias. We are always googling things, from science to recipes and everything in between. The vast information and knowledge that is at our fingertips is incredible. On the other hand, I personally try to limit the girls time on the computer, as I think it is crucial to disconnect and not be so attached to it all. I think it is crucial in today’s day in age, to make sure that they do not become too attached to all of this and to be able to live in the moment, without a phone/ tablet/ social media… I also think that is healthier and more important for them to spend time playing and exploring outdoors.
8. What is your favorite website? And could you share with us your favorite Instagram account?
Ironically, there is very little spare time to surf the web. I do my own shopping in the wee hours of the night, when I am bleary eyed and can barely see straight. I like to visit net-a-porter and modaoperandi to get a comprehensive view on RTW fashion. Epicurious is my go-to for recipes; I am a bit of a foodie and love to try new things. My favorite Instagram account is luisa fere. We adore Luisa and Alonso Mateo, and their ever-evolving sense of fashion and style. In terms of women’s and kid’s fashion, they are the ultimate.
9. What do you think about social media influencer? Do you follow someone of them?
There are so many inspiring influencers and taste-makers, I could go on forever. I love manrepeller and theblondesalad. This new era of fashion blogging/social media influencers/tastemakers is amazing, in that this group has earned celebrity status, and I think it is well-deserved and hard-earned.
10. Please complete this sentence: Kids are amazing because they make me…
… test myself, work harder, question my-everything. With children, we suddenly need to have answers to anything and everything. Nothing is simple, yet children bring a raw honesty and added element of simplicity to life. The girls are so matter-of-fact, yet so deep. Things sometimes become black and white and easier to navigate when the girls share their point-of-view and idealistic opinions, and I am forever grateful for that.
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Text by Enrico Fragale Esposito