Friday 1 February 2013

Ten Little Monkeys

It's been another busy couple of weeks since I last wrote a post, it has been 'exciting busy' though with the stand out highlight seeing Rosie doing a spot of modelling for the award winning Kids Fashion Boutique Ten Little Monkeys in Wilmslow, Cheshire. The pictures will be used on their website and possibly in-store too to help promote the new seasons range.

The whole thing came about via a Facebook comment a few months back. Emma, co-owner of Ten Little Monkey's, is an old friend of mine from school and as is so often the case these days we have kept in contact through Facebook. Emma had made a comment on a picture I posted of Bud, remarking on how beautiful she was. I returned a jokey message saying "maybe she should come and model for your shop one day :) ..." Emma responded with "yeah why not? I'm all for that!" I was taken aback a little at first and then thought about how exciting an opportunity this could really be in the promotion of inclusion and raising positive awareness. As many of you will already know this is already happening with the likes of M&S, Frugi, JoJo Maman Bebe, Boden, Next, Weird Fish, The Eden Project and Eureka Museum etc all including children with DS in their advertising and without making a big song and dance about it either which is why I take the opinion that it's genuine inclusion and not exploitation. It is a fine line granted and as a parent you ask yourself these questions over and over but I feel it is a real positive leap forward.

I was encouraged by recent conversations where I'd asked people if they had seen Seb, the little boy in the M&S Christmas advert who has Down's syndrome – many of responses were, "yes I've seen the advert but I didn't notice a boy with Down's syndrome?"... That right there is huge progress, the kind  that needs building on and I don't just mean inclusion of people with Down's syndrome I'm talking every aspect of disABILITY, we need to continue the fabulous work already being done by the likes of beautiful Natty G and the fantastic exposure and legacy left by the London Paralympics to stand a chance of permanently changing the way we as a society view disABILITY.

The shoot itself went really well, Emma made us feel instantly at ease and was so good with Rosie throughout the session, which lasted about an hour. We received the first pics a couple of days ago for us to approve and we couldn't be happier. In a couple of the shots I noticed Rosie's tongue sticking out and for a moment was foolishly concerned that this wouldn't be ideal for promoting inclusion, a little flashback to my own pre-Rosie ignorance raising its head perhaps...Anyway I mentioned it to Emma and this was her response:

"I didn't mind her tongue being out as I like that it captures her. I like all of the images and am happy to use any as it is who she is. I'm about people looking like they actually do look. For me the DS is part of what makes her her and I don't see any negative connotations to this. That said I won't use them if you don't like them but I think she looks lovely in all of them. totally your call."

I still get a bit emotional when people see Rosie for who she is and not a diagnosis and Emma's response above was no exception.

I have included the shortlist of shots below with the kind permission of Ten Little Monkeys. Please do take the time to visit their website to see their wonderful collections, Rosie's pictures will be making an appearance in the next week or so.


  1. What a beautiful daughter you have! Love the frilly dress photo and think my daughter would love it to! x

  2. Lovely pictures and lovely clothes

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  4. These pictures are so beautiful and really do "capture" your darling girl. I'll bet the clothes will sell out so fast your friend will be begging you to let Rosie model for next season too! Well done Rosie your are very cute :) and your Daddys blog about you cheers me right up!


  5. She is gorgeous! Really made me smile

  6. She is just gorgeous!You must be so proud.I have a little girl with down syndrome called Roisin-it means little rose in Irish.She is 22 months old and is full of love and life.I couldn't imagine her any other way.

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  8. Rosie is a truly beautiful little girl :) those pictures are fab!! Have a great weekend xx

  9. BEAUTIFUL!!!! My two year old has DS, and I am sure just as my little angel she is just as beautiful inside as out. My babies middle name is Rose! I wish I could get her into modeling too!

  10. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! My two year old daughter has DS also, and I'm sure that just as my little angel; your Rosie is as beautiful inside as out! My daughter's middle name is Rose! I wish I could get her into modeling too!

  11. Hi Tom, Rosie....beautiful as always. Eileen is in love with the second picture, where as, if I have to pick a favorite, the last picture.....beautiful!

  12. These photos are just gorgeous and will brighten the day of anyone who sees them. Rosie is also a perfect Model as the clothes look just great on her

  13. Mary Gleeson Connolly3 February 2013 at 17:17

    Beautiful pictures of a beautiful little girl-you must feel so proud-x

  14. Oh my you have a beautiful little girl. Love this post, a very powerful message. All these shots are great xx

  15. She has stolen my heart!! Sending big hugs xxx

  16. Dear Tom,

    My name is Daiane Goulart. I Study BA (hons) Design in Products and Interaction at Ravensbourne College of Design and Comunication. I am writing to you to speak about Rosie. I am designing an Interactive Toy (sort of 'Radio Drum' with interactive music and games) as my final project for this term at University.
    My User group is Special Children. A lot of research has been already done about Down Syndrome. The product is been developed and a few changes need to be added, such as colours, set of bottons and handle.
    I am mostly interested about her motore coordination, in how Rosie reacts to music and colours.
    Therefore, I am looking for ways to expand my vision about how I could make this product better. I would like to kindly ask if we could have a chat via e-mail or Skype.
    The outcome of this short experience could be beneficial for both of us. I will also have to provide feedback to my University group about my progress, a process which would expand our knowledge; becoming better students, better interns and ultimately better designers.

    My University website:

    Thank you for your time, I look forward to your reply.

    Kind Regards,

    1. Hi Daiane,

      Sounds like an exciting project. I will email you later, you can then send me a list of questions which I'll endeavour to answer to the best of my ability :)

      Thank you for contacting me and I look forward to helping with your research.