With the world of children’s furniture and homewares an ever-expanding one, it takes a bit to catch our eye these days but Little French’s gorgeous children’s beds certainly did. The creation of Josephine Hendricks, the company source their adorable range of antique and vintage beds through auctions and secondhand stores, before restoring them in a most beautiful and understated way.
A demographer and retail analyst by trade, Josephine hatched her business plan upon the birth of her third child. “Since having my first child I have been playing with various escapes from my corporate role, but it wasn’t until having my third that I resigned and I guess, truly allowed myself the time to consider an alternative career,” says Josephine, who has very fond memories of her first bed as a child. “My bed, growing up, was what I considered to be ‘my’ first piece of furniture and it was always special to me so I always thought I would find special beds for my children.” It was this search that resulted in the creation of the company.
Josephine with one of her gorgeous Little French beds
“I have always wanted to run my own business and do it properly, so I have taken it slowly and indeed, finding the right beds takes time. Up until now, I have only shown my beds through Instagram, however, I have sold a few beds to people within my target market,” says Josephine, who is planning a European buying trip later this year. “My husband and I are going on an extended holiday with a view to sourcing more beds.”
“Perfectly imperfect is the way that I would describe the patina that old, antique or vintage things acquire over time. It is the quality of the craftsmanship in each bed that I love. They are all made by hand, not by machine, so in that way are not perfect. While some have been repainted, they are not new and shiny, and they have the odd bump or scratch,” says Josephine, who takes a whimsical, romantic approach with the beds she lovingly restores. “I like to wonder about the history of every item and who has slept in them but, in saying that, I also love that they are more solid and the timber more beautiful than any new bed, with all its screws and bolts and pages of instructions.”
Fabulous as props too, Little French offer a hire service also. “This is designed for stylists looking for something to add to a space to make it really special! I haven’t marketed this side of the business as yet and it’s something that would be considered on a case by case basis. Megan Morton, for example, borrowed one of my beds last year for a Belle magazine shoot. It didn’t end up being used but the exposure would have been fabulous for the business.”