Coconut Grove – Summer 17

Coconut Grove, the secluded beach under the shade of the palms.

A getaway far from the frenetic energy that comes with the closing of another the year.

It isn’t always possible to escape the mayhem, but your kiddo will be giving off some seriously laid back and chill vibes in our Coconut Grove collection.

With fresh, bright colours and simple graphics that keep things easy and breezy, Coconut Grove celebrates the unique relaxed feel of an Australian summer.


One of the very first holidays I remember was to Airlie Beach. I remember the pool (seemed enormous), the palm trees (they touched the sky), and the bright green bamboo shoot print on the cushions of the wicker lounge suite. There were long pathways through lush, tropical gardens that wound around trees and led from your room to the pool. It felt as though we were all alone on a deserted island. It was exciting, adventurous and magical. And the start of a very long love affair with palm trees.

I was 4. Looking back, the pathways were probably only long to little 4 year old legs, the lush gardens were probably a bunch of shrubs that seemed amazing and tall to a tiny kiddo, and the secluded feeling I had was probably more to do with 4 year olds being so very focused on their own experiences.


Coconut Grove has all the feelings of freedom and magic of that holiday, and more. I can’t wait to pass them on to you and your tiny humans.

kids summer clothes Coconut Grove by Inkling

girls tee dress Minty Blocks Coconut Grove by Inkling

toddler boy tshirts

cool clothes for kids

girls tshirt dress

toddler graphic tee

t shirt dress kids

graphic tees for boys

organic cotton kids clothes

organic cotton kids clothes

organic cotton kids clothes

cool shirts for kids

organic cotton clothes for kids

ethically made organic cotton kids clothes

graphic tee for boys and girls

graphic tees for boys

Photography: Maria Nguyen of Zen Photography.

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Meet Inkling


For the love of childhood.

The delight you feel as you witness their awe and admiration of something you’ve long taken for granted; a handful of trees that becomes an enchanted forest harbouring mystical creatures, a swing that turns them into one of the birds flying overhead, a playground that becomes their ship, defended against enemies at all costs.

The feeling of joy you have when you watch your tiny kiddo accomplish a new task or acquire a new skill.

The knowledge you have on the longest of days with your toddler that one day you’ll long for the days they begged to be carried everywhere.


The Smallest Tribe started by accident. I had no plan, no business experience, no background in retail, fashion or design. All I had was an overwhelming belief that childhood was magical. That, and an incredible frustration at the ‘fashion’ that was available for my tiny kiddo. No baby needs denim cargo shorts with 11 pockets.

Fast forward a few years, armed with optimism, persistence and blind faith that it would all work out, now we’re here, about to launch into the next chapter.

A lot has changed since The Smallest Tribe started.

Once, I drew the patterns, designed the artwork, printed the fabric, cut out the pieces and sewed the garments. Now, there’s a whole crew of people who work on producing each collection.

A lot has changed, yes, but somethings will never change. Inkling will always be manufactured fairly, ethically and transparently. Your kiddo’s comfort will always be front and centre in everything we do. A comfy kid, one who is free to move, climb, run, jump, skip and play, always has been, and always will be our goal.

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The Smallest Tribe

The Smallest Tribe started by accident. When I taught myself how to sew and then how to make patterns so I could make comfy, age and developmentally appropriate clothes for my tiny kiddo, I never imagined I’d end up here. No longer a teacher but somehow the owner of a kids clothing brand. I have no training for any of this. I have never even worked in retail!

But over the years, armed with optimism, persistence and blind faith that it would all work out, I’ve taught myself how to sew, how to make patterns, learned how to screen print, worked out how to manage production with factories here in Australia, and now also offshore. I learned what COGS, P & Ls, GST, BAS, MOQ and RFD mean. I’ve faked it till I made it almost always. I’ve Googled the SH!T out things. I’ve had phone calls with manufacturers and suppliers and pretended I had trouble hearing them and asked them to repeat themselves so I could buy myself 5 seconds to google what they just said.

When I decided on the name The Smallest Tribe, it fit and made sense. It was for the small kiddos and their grown ups who realised there was more to clothes than just the price tag.

But for a while now, the name that had served so well initially, started to feel limiting. There were things I wanted to do with The Smallest Tribe that I found challenging because they didn’t feel like things that fit with the name.

Yes, The Smallest Tribe is a brand for tiny kiddos, but I’ve always seen it as more than that; it’s a brand for families. It was never just about clothes for me, I want to help you enjoy you tiny person’s childhood, give you more time with them, making things easier for you and them.

The clothes are easy to wear, easy to put on and take off, easy to care for. They’re designed so that your kiddo can begin dressing themselves independently as soon as possible. When designing tees, shorts, pants, dresses or skirts, I think about how your kiddo will wear them and what they’ll do in their day.

“Can they run, jump and climb in this?”

“Will they be able to get these off by themselves when they’re toilet training?”

“Are their legs going to be free to move when they climb on the playground?”

The Messy Bags, while not just for mums (they can be used by anyone and for anything), they were certainly designed with mums of babes and toddlers in mind. If having a Messy Bag with a wet washer in your bag means it’s easier to say yes to that impromptu ice cream at the beach this Summer, then it’s served it’s purpose. If always having a spare set of clothes in one on hand, either in your bag or in your glove box, means you can turn a blind eye to the muddy hill your toddler is intent on climbing, I’ll consider that a job done. Kiddos are wired to explore and investigate. They need to get grubby and use their whole bodies to do that. My wish is every mum had a Messy Bag or two to make your day that little bit easier to manage while your kiddo does what they do best – get grubby and messy. 

But there is more I want to do to truly make this brand one that serves its purpose. Your tiny kiddo’s childhood is such a short, fleeting time, I want to do as much as I possibly can to make it as easy as possible for you to enjoy and for your kiddo to flourish.

And so it’s time to say goodbye to The Smallest Tribe. This July, The Smallest Tribe will be getting a new name.


The essence, core, ethics and beliefs of this tiny brand, my third baby, isn’t changing one little bit. Our new name will let me do all the things I’ve been dreaming about, the things that didn’t quite fit or make sense when they came from a brand called The Smallest Tribe.



To celebrate everything The Smallest Tribe, we’re having a Farewell Sale starting THIS SUNDAY.

All clothes will be between $5 – $20.

Mystery Messy Bags will be $20 for small and $40 for large. They have never been on sale before and they never will be again. What are Mystery Messy Bags? They’re the bags that missed photo day. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with them, they’ve simply never been listed for sale and are mostly the last of their collection.

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I have news for you!

It’s a little lengthy, but worth reading through, even if you’ve been a member of the Tribe for a while.

The Smallest Tribe was born out of a need to dress my own tiny kiddo in age appropriate, comfy clothes that let him move and play. My experience as an early childhood teacher had taught me that kiddos don’t need fancy, expensive toys, apps, devices to learn. They just need to explore and play, investigate and think, watch and observe, experience and participate as much and as often as possible. The clothes available limited and hindered him while playing. He got stuck in shorts trying to crawl up a step and couldn’t get a leg over his wheelie bug or trike. And does a 7 month old baby really need denim cargo shorts with 11 pockets?

Because I WAS an early childhood teacher with no experience in fashion, design, retail or manufacturing, I chose to start manufacturing locally, where I could ring the factory and ask questions or go in in person. I chose to use GOTS certified organic cotton, even though it was harder to source and more expensive, so I knew that the people who grew, picked and processed the cotton were doing so in fair and safe working conditions. Transparency and ethical production have always been key components of The Smallest Tribe.

About 6 months after I decided to start The Smallest Tribe, I sat in horror and watched the news reports about the Rana Plaza collapse. 1129 garment and textiles workers died and more than 2500 were injured that day when the factory they were in collapsed. I was already using GOTS certified organic cotton and realised that there was opportunity for The Smallest Tribe to do more than just support the farmers in India who grew the cotton, The Smallest Tribe could support garment and textiles workers in India too. From that point, getting The Smallest Tribe offshore to an ethical, GOTS certified factory became end goal, my own personal measure of success.

Today marks 4 years since the collapse of Rana plaza and is the start of Fashion Revolution week. While mindful that today is a day that marks a great tragedy, I’m so thrilled to announce that our upcoming Summer 17 collection will be manufactured in part by a GOTS certified factory in India. Mohit and his tiny team have been working away at making the screens, dyeing and printing the fabric, and the sewing and finishing of garments is underway this week.

I never meant for The Smallest Tribe to be an Australian made label, I just wanted it to be ethically and sustainably made, and Australian made is how I managed to achieve those goals. I am so proud that Australian manufacturing is something I was able to support and utilise. So proud in fact that THAT part isn’t changing. The Smallest Tribe will continue to be manufactured here in Australia also with special limited edition pieces planned for each season.

Got questions? Email me and ask away! I’m happy to answer them. Transparency has always been an integral part of The Smallest Tribe and that will never change.

Thank YOU for being a member of the Tribe. The Smallest Tribe and I wouldn’t be where we are today without your support.

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New Messy Bags!

Moulded Plastic Zippers are being added to Messy Bag line up!

The Messy Bags have always featured heavy duty, super luxe, YKK metal zippers. They last, they’re sturdy, they’re way fancy pants. But late last year, a long story involving missing zippers, car rides from Sydney to Melbourne, many phone calls and YKK not having the zippers I needed, led to experimenting with moulded plastic zippers intended for swimwear.

Berry Well Then Messy Bag
Sweet baby cheeses. It was love at first sight! They’re clicky (seriously, the sound they make is so satisfying!), they’re smooth, they can be opened and closed one handed and, it turns out, they’re just as sturdy and reliable as the metal ones.

Berry Well Then Messy Bag
After abusing the life out of a Messy Bag featuring the moulded plastic zipper for the last 4 months, it’s official; the moulded zippers are here to stay.

The first release of Messy Bags for 2017, Berry Well Then features the new zippers. Still a fan of the metal zippers? Never fear, they’re not going anywhere. Most collections will still feature the gold or silver heavy duty metal zippers.

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