We step back in time to talk jelly shoes, retro bags and all things kitsch with Kelly White, the Aussie-born mastermind behind Sun Jellies. Find out how every kid’s favourite footwear has made a massive comeback, and more importantly, where you can pick up an adult-sized pair of your own.
1. How did Sun Jellies come about?
Moving to the pebbly south coast of England I looked for classic jelly shoes for me and my kids to wear on the beach. I discovered the French original jelly shoes and fell in love with the story of their creation by a Frenchman in the late 40’s during a worldwide leather shortage. I wanted to bring these shoes and their amazing story to UK shores and beyond. Introducing jelly bags seemed an obvious brand extension because of their nostalgic appeal and most importantly they are also made of plastic.
2. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people.
I love zombies.
3. Describe your perfect day.
Lie in, cup of tea in bed and cuddles with the kids, walk along the seafront in the warm sunshine, mooch in some charity or vintage shops and a roast dinner, share a bottle of wine and watch my favourite TV show.
4. Why do you think people are so drawn to kitsch? Are we all ‘big kids’ these days?
It’s cute, it’s fun, it’s colourful. There is something nice about being able to relive your enjoyment of a childhood toy or interest through reproduction items or images.
5. We’re in love the whole collection of Sun Jellies products, and sad we can’t wear our Jelly shoe’s in the cold weather! Do you think you’ll release a Winter Jellies collection?
Our jelly bags are perfect for storing craft projects, the ideal indoor activity during winter.
6. What 5 things can’t you live without?
Coffee, make up, sunshine, my kids, box sets.
7. How do you balance family life with your business?
The holy grail! This is a constant battle.
8. Who/what is inspiring you right now?
9. If you had a time machine that could take you anywhere, where would you go and what would you do?
Cocos Island where I lived in my early childhood to play mermaids in the sea, collect shells and drink fresh coconut water.
10. What’s the last thing that made you say ‘wow’?
My neighbour ironed all our bedding as a welcome home from our recent holiday.
Chloë Owens and Catherine Wells