Welcome to everyone reading my very first blog post! How exciting, especially for me😊 I have decided to dedicate the first post to the topic that is very close to my heart and is closely linked to our little online shop but before a little about us. Hope you will enjoy this!
Before I was a mum, I was a teacher, early years teacher to be precise. That was my first job in the UK. I originally trained as an ESL teacher (English as a Second Language) back in my home country, Czech Republic and this job wasn’t too far from my training so I went for it. It was the best job I have had so far and if it wasn’t for Covid-19 I wouldn’t be here writing this post and I would probably be back in the classroom in some form. But change is not necessarily a bad thing and I am so glad I decided to go for it and open Quinn’s Little Things, named after my daughter, Quinn.
So, I am a teacher, and a mum and a linguist and I have a huge passion for kids’ fashion thanks to my experience working with hundreds of them. Quinn’s is a blend of everything I love and everything I am and through my posts and social media exchanges I am hoping to build not only a business for us as a family but mostly a community for parents to come along, ask me or my partner anything about kids’ shoes, even if it means that you buy elsewhere because we want to help you to choose the right pair to ensure your little ones’ healthy development. My posts will be about things I know well; kids’ activities, their development and general parenting struggles (and there are always plenty 😊).
All we sell in our shop has a list of requirements to meet so we make sure our little things are the best products we can provide. Simply, if we wouldn’t put it on our Quinn, we wouldn’t sell it to you! One of these requirements is that it has to come from Czech Republic or our long-lost sibling, Slovakia (and UK in the future). These two countries have been tied together through history and our languages are so similar that we rarely misunderstand each other. Why do we choose things from these two countries? That is where my linguistic side comes to life!
During my MA years I focused heavily on Bilingual language development in children under 5 not only because we live in London and I worked with so many bilingual or even multilingual families but also because I would, one day, have this kind of a bilingual family; I am Czech and Magnus, my partner is British. Bringing up a bilingual child is much harder job than it is generally believed. You might have heard the following advice: “Just talk to them in your language, they will be fine.” But the reality is far more complicated than that and as a result many children often reject the minority language. From my MA dissertation there were a few conditions which were crucial in succeeding and I won’t bore you with that for now. That is for another post. However, one of them was culture! Language goes hand in hand with culture. Language comes with cultural references or cultural representations such as food, toys and many more. The child can see the value in their language when it is part of some culture and social experience. And there we go! We bring little things such as shoes or our amazing tights with braces from Czech Republic and Slovakia not only because they are such a high quality and we love them so much but also because they represent our culture. So, when my little Quinn is a little older and walks around in her Czech (or Slovakian) shoes and hopefully sees others wearing the same, then she will feel a little closer to her mummy’s background and the meaning of a Czech word “boty” (shoes) will become a whole lot stronger.