About Chalk n Cheese Clothing Design
"$1.42 in your account," said the lady in the bank. "How would you like it?"
"Just a dollar and coins is fine thanks," I said!
Well we all have dreams to do something we love and at times the money just isn't there!
For me it was in 1995, when Chalk n Cheese was a thought, a dream I had whilst living in the UK designing for the high street brands. Whilst I knew I had to come home and do something with my degree the thought of travelling was far better.
After returning to Australia I started working full time for a well-known Australian brand and it was at this time I started Chalk n Cheese. I began working at night and on weekends to build the range and working in the store on weekends. Wholesale started to grow along with our brand, and life was pretty busy trying to do everything. Having never had my own business, and with very little money, all I knew was I wanted to have an all Australian made and owned children's' clothing business. I wanted my label to be different and not follow other people's trends and direction, but rather a brand I would want to wear, colourful, beautiful quality, but most importantly something I wanted to enjoy doing!
Then I don't know how it happened but baby number one was on the way. Nothing in life has taken my breath away as much as becoming a mum. Life really had meaning. I decided to stop working full time for someone else and follow my dreams. With my little family of three, happy and all so in love we could take on anything!!
Four years later business was going well then baby number 2 came along with many headaches and the thought of stopping everything did pop into my head (often)! But after 12 years now and I can honestly say I have no idea where they went! And a lot of sweat and tears we're still are here today.
Would I change anything! No! But I do want to take this opportunity to thank all of our wonderful customers for your constant encouraging feedback, the great pics we receive of happy little customers, the chats in store when I am in on Saturdays and the appreciation of Australian made. You are our loyal customers, real people who appreciate quality and a small business and without your support we would not be here.
Both purchased items fits so perfectly beautiful! I am excited for my next order! Amazing material and design! Thank you so much.
- Juliet Valdez-Dalton
I just love your clothing… my two daughters have both shared two of your Keepsake coats. We always get comments whenever she wears it. Many thanks,
I've recommended Chalk n Cheese to my family and friends because your products are comfortable, fabulous and fit perfectly, Thank you. Your before and after customer service is fantastic.
- Libby Douglas
Beautiful clothing, combinations and such style! The twirling pink dress is better than a toy and has been spun and spun and spun and .... it's almost a sleeping aid inadvertently!
Thank you for your creativity!
- Belinda Ward
Big thank you for your extraordinary help with the dresses.
- Julia Daboub
I adore the Chalk 'n' Cheese I have purchased for me, and regularly receive comments when wearing. My granddaughter adores being able to twirl in her dresses. Loves the linen dresses. She is only 3. Thank you for these beautiful creations. It is fabulous to be able to purchase amazing Australian products. Take care, stay safe. Wishing you all a beautiful Festive Season.
- Wendy Bowen
Hi Tracy, thought you might to look at your lovely dresses getting a lot of use 😊 -Jane Bullen
Tracy, received the dress, it’s beautiful and I believe it will become my favourite. The weight of the linen is fantastic.
- Alison Stewart
I’m very tall, so finding suitable dresses was hard until I discovered yours.
- Dr Meredith Kaesehagen
She adores your clothes and gets SO excited when a packaged addressed to her arrives.
Wore the blush pink Anna dress that I bought a few months, and it's gorgeous - thank you again! Great fit and cut! Still sad that my girls are too old for your children's clothing now. Keep going and don't give up - your clothing is special! -Lots of love
- Mette, Millie and Pia
Divine coat, Annabel loves it. Thanks!
- S Colahan
Hi I bought a tutu dress for my granddaughter, I gave it to her today, her second birthday. She loves it and worked out the swirl for herself. I loved seeing that! Thanks. I have subscribed to your notifications. Thank you for your understanding of little girls!
- Virginia Rutledge
No worries- we absolutely love everything we get from you guys and they are the only clothes that last years and stand the test of time- great quality!
The coat arrived today and it's absolutely gorgeous. It looks so beautiful on Esme. I'm rather jealous. It's hard to find a coat like that for myself. Let me know if you do a women's version. Thank you. Cheers
I love your new women's range, especially the oversized jacket I am falling for. Only I have to save a bit for a family holiday and have to stop treating myself with your gorgeous clothes. (But only for a while ;-) Thank you again.
Coat arrived today, absolutely beautiful as always!
If my husband hadn't of tightened the rains on my shopping I would have bought your whole collection! lol
Just a few more of girls in a spin.
They are such beautifully made dresses. Thank you for giving the girls such fun enjoyable dresses to wear. When they are not in the wash they have them on.
Thank you. A very happy mummy
- Leah Rees
Chalk and Cheese clothing brings out the playfulness and adventure in children with designs that are textured, colourful and full of delight. This is a local business that I have always loved to explore since my first child was born, and their friendliness is part of this high quality and rare boutique experience. Purchasing online is easy and images of the clothing is always beautifully presented with creative and natural photo shoots.
Thank you for your amazing clothing - and I hope the change in direction works out well for you.
- Caroline Heinze
I can't believe how special she feels in the dress. What a find!
It looked fabulous on you and Leah loved your assessment that it is so comfortable that it is like wearing tracksuit pants but you look stylish. I will go ahead and order the olive. It's a great line so well done! Thanks again,
- Sarah Murray
Very proud of Tracy Merrifield and her beautiful, creative business. Anyone with kiddy winks will want to clothe them in these gorgeous designs xx
– M Howard
My girls have loved wearing their Chalk n Cheese dresses, but their favourite piece would have to be the Keepsake Coat. After 3 seasons, my eldest daughter is now passing on her coat to her little sister who has been waiting for this moment with much anticipation. The fact that the coat is now in its 4th season is testimony to the quality of the workmanship and fabric, and its timeless design. It has survived many a trip to the park, playing with pets and rough-and-tumble games. The girls get complimented on the coat whenever they wear it. In addition to all these things, my favourite feature of this coat is that is washable!!! Thank you Chalk n Cheese.
I just love the long sleeved dress with the tie and buttons all the way down, I already wore it yesterday. My new favourite dress! And I love that it is slightly different to my other long sleeved collectors linen dress, thank you so much once again for making such lovely garments
- Amanda Hills
Girls of all ages love any dress that twirls and we always know that yours will twirl the best ;)
I absolutely love your things. My boys wear little else! I just wish I had a girl as the dresses are gorgeous. So glad you are trading - you are a fabulous designer and I love that the clothes are all Australian made.
– J Cordeiro
My order arrived today :) Thank you so much for the fast delivery, all of the dresses are beautiful! :)
– L Fazackerley
We went to Daylesford for the weekend, we had out coats on and had comments galore on how stylish & smart the girls looked.
- Zoyee Kartalis
I just wanted to thank you for the beautiful boys clothes that arrived yesterday. The red cardigan, the striped grandpa long sleeve t-shirt, and the cream wool shirt exceeded my expectations - especially the cream shirt which the gorgeous textured detail. It will become a coveted family heirloom (I will make sure I take good care for it!) along with the red cardigan/jacket. Reuben will look wonderful in his outfit for his portrait photo shoot in Scotland next month!
– N Reynolds
Has Chalk n Cheese thought of designing clothes past 8 years ? My daughter is 9 next year and there is limited just 'nice' girl outfits for the 9-12 yrs that isn't too old. Just a thought as I would love to see more designs like this esp up to age 10.
– A Mayne
The best kids clothes you can buy.
– Joe Villanti
...And kitty wearing her lovely chalk n cheese skirt... Tracy you need to get your amazing stuff over here in the UK !!! Melbourne is a bit far to go to get amazing clothes!!
– B Ivins
Awesome clothes for kids, super cute and a little different from all the other gear out there. Quality second to none. I only wish the range continued for older kids!!
– J Roach
Lovely quality. Spot on sizes. A little trouble with my online order but staff went above and beyond to make things more than right. Will definitely be buying chalk n cheese again.
– E Martin
WOW!! I'm speechless!! I LOVE this new range!! I am honestly in love!! Xx
– Tina Coves
I received my order today and absolutely love it all!! Thank you! Also wanted to order a couple of extra pieces for my little ones if possible :) !
– Tina Coves
Just wanted to share this photo because Amelie got sooo many compliments at her little friends 3rd birthday. Thank you for making such gorgeous little dresses.– C Condon
I received the wondershorts - I love them, I love your clothes, they are the best kid's clothes I have seen. I will definitely be buying more from you.
– G Soosay
PLEASE expand your range to sizes 9 and 10!!!! Yani is very sad...– E Liolios
It is great people like yourself are putting in the effort and making Australian made clothing. So thank you. I would buy even more clothes from you but I only have one little boy! Once he grows out of them I keep all the chalk n cheese clothing for his and my stepson's future children.
– V Sierink
I received the two new linen dresses, a green and a grey. Thank you very much, love them both, and now I'm able to give the mauve one a rest!! Thank you for your excellent customer service too.
I can understand why you would run out of stock as your clothes are absolutely lovely. Glad I made the discovery. Mint Polo in a 6 is perfect. Looking forward to receiving the order.
– M Lottering
Just wanted to let you know my daughter wore one of the dresses to a christening in Melbourne on the weekend and a lady stopped us at the airport and asked me where I had got it so I pointed her your way.
– S Law
I do love all of your dresses and my daughter gets so many comments with her black jacket we bought last winter.
– R Diver
Hi Tracy, Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I must say though that service is one thing that has gone from many business but not yours! Thank you for your wonderful designs. It is so nice to find some stylish, fun and different clothes for my mini me :)– C Condon
We were gifted this gorgeous dress for my daughter Scarlett's birthday last week and just love it so much! The yellow is amazing and looks divine on my girl... I just hope that we can have a long Summer here in Melbourne so to get more wear out of it! ;)– C Murdoch
Just a little note to say the lucky dip was so much more than I had expected.
- Belinda Ward
I will be your brand ambassador every time we wear your clothes, we - I mean the girls I get comments and stopped in the street. Clearly I am living vicariously through my girls as I was dressed by Forges of Footscray & Vic Market and don't I remember that!
- Zoyee Kartalis
Hi Tracy, Thank you so much for your hospitable wonderful service and inspiring my daughters. They could not stop talking about you. They were fantasizing how cool it would be to design and have a store like yours. You have a unique store that we hope will be around for a long time for us to enjoy and release that occasional retail therapy we all need! Our boys look cool thanks to you! All the clothes fit well, Thank you.
– T Horvat