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Mums in the Hood: Colleen Joseph, Acton

 As part of our ongoing Mums in the ’Hood series, this month we’re putting the spotlight on Colleen Joseph, co-director of KIDD-IN London and KIDD-IN Play. Born and bred in Acton, she lives not far from where she grew up, with her partner Keith and their two young girls. We asked her what she likes best about this corner of West London.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Before becoming a mum, I worked as a professional dancer. I was sponsored by Nike as a dance athlete and appeared on TV shows like the X Factor, GMTV and Jonathan Ross, dancing alongside One Direction, JLS, Leona Lewis and The Sugar Babes.

Since then I’ve been a choreographer/artistic director for youth dance companies working with dance charities including Greenwich Dance, East London Dance and Hoxton Hall. I also ran a dance workout, hip hop in heels, for mums at Arch 197.

My latest project is KIDD-IN London, a contemporary unisex and sustainable British street fashion brand for children, which I’m launching in February 2017 with my sister, and founder Siobhan, who’s worked in the fashion industry for more than seven years.

KIDD-IN London clothes are all manufactured in London and made using only the finest fabrics all sourced in an honest and responsible way. As a mum, I know you need key staples no matter the season—whether it’s a long-sleeved black t-shirt or a rain mac. That is why we are a trans-seasonal brand. We release our core pack once a year and drop two seasonal edits for those seasons’ must-haves.

Alongside the brand, we have KIDD-IN Play. The scheme was created as part of our KIDD-IN Conscious Quest—we’re teaming up with local parents, businesses and charities to host fun and creative events for children covering fashion and dance, music and photography—all inspired by street culture. We believe by providing a platform for young budding artists we unlock the key to maintaining sustainable creativity. I was never all that academic at school, and I feel it’s really important to give children the same creative opportunities and encouragement I had.

 Which area do you live in, and what do you love about it?

I’m a true Acton girl! My mum lives in Poets Corner, and I went to Derwentwater Primary and Acton High. I then trained at Urdang Academy and moved away but ended up back in the area I grew up in.

I love the sense of community, the street parties and, most importantly, the inclusiveness. We had a fantastic street party in the summer. More recently, we sponsored a Halloween block party to launch KIDD-IN Play, where over 100 people filled the alley behind our house, playing games and smashing the pumpkin piñata. We’re lucky we live on a street where we talk to each other and if someone has a good idea they go ahead and do it.

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Where’s your favourite neighbourhood place to hang out as a family?

The Station House in Acton Central is owned by family friends. It’s very family orientated—lots of families go there. They have delicious tapas, a great menu and kid-friendly meals like fish and chips but all homemade. I hired the space upstairs for my baby shower and had our first event for KIDD-IN Play there. Another favourite is The Thatched House near Ravenscourt Park; it does the best lamb shank you’ve ever tasted.

Where’s your favourite place to escape in your area for a little ‘me’ time?

I like going to Detour Café on Askew Road. Kelly is so lovely—she actually takes the time to talk to people, getting to know her customers. She was more than happy to support our Halloween event, offering free cakes. When I get time alone I like to read a good book and enjoy a glass of wine. It’s definitely not hitting up the gym as I’m constantly active in my work!

What local activities do you and your family take part in?

Everything! In summer, we follow the Big Dance tour, which includes spots in West London like Dukes Meadows and Ealing Carnival. We’re members of Kew Gardens, which does great workshops like chocolate making, and the Hive in the summer was amazing. I love, LOVE museums—the Science Museum, all the South Kensington museums, the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green and the Tate.

Is there a little hidden gem in your area you’d like to share?

Annie’s at Strand on the Green is like walking into somebody’s front room. It’s tiny and gorgeous. It’s family run and has amazing food. There are just a few tables, upstairs and downstairs, and it’s great for sneaky date night. We also stumbled upon another hidden gem in Holland Park this summer—the Kyoto Garden. It’s the most magical garden you’ve ever seen and Taiyah loved it; we got lost in there one day, just her and mama.

To find out more about KIDD-IN and get exclusive invites to their events, follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and be part of their KIDD-IN London community.

Facebook: Kiddin London
Instagram: @kiddinlondon
Twitter: @kiddinlondon

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