The countdown to Christmas has started and this year we wanted to bring you four interviews that we will share every Sunday of Advent until Christmas Day. With them we wanted you to know a little more about four Lauvely families that inspire us with their day to day through their Instagram accounts.
We start with Maria, from Tellkiddo. From the beginning Maria has supported our small brand and we can not be happier to see her little ones with our dolls. We hope her beautiful family will inspire you!
Hi, Maria! First of all, thank you so much for letting us to get into your house and for this little interview. There are a lot of fans of Tellkiddo, but for those who don´t know you, please, introduce your family (how many kids you have, how old are they, where do you live…).
Thank you Laura, its so much fun to do this with you, I’ve been a big fan of your products for so long and Micha, our youngest, has your doll the Space Princess with him everyday. So who am I? I’m Maria, I started Tellkiddo on my maternity leave 2014. I live in Sweden on a little Island called Gotland together with my husband and our two kids, Sam 4,5 years old and Micha 2,5 years old. And we also have a cat. We moved here 2,5 years ago to a house close to the beach and nature.
What did you do for a living before creating Tellkiddo? Why did you decide to create a brand for kids?
I studied packaging design, and after that I started to work with marketing, ended up as a project leader at a media agency, planing marketing activities for international brands, it was so much fun but very stressful. So when our first son was born we questioned our whole world, Sam was born with a heart condition, all is well today, but during his first months in life me and my husband decided that we could not go back to our normal jobs. So the thought had grown on us to start our own company but nothing was set until I was going to solve our paper recycling. Haha, yes a very unique and weird start on our journey, cleaning up old news papers. At this time Sam was about 6 months old and during that time babies sees contrasts better, so I painted a smiling bear face for him to help him develop his eyesight. And instead of putting old new papers in the bags I got, I started to paint that bear face on them. I put all of Sams toys in the bags and uploaded a picture on Instagram. The picture got viral and people wanted to buy the bag, and so our journey began. My husband is a business developer so he was helping me to develop the business as we had an aggressive start with high demand. Then I was painting all the bags by myself, I painted approximately 2000 bags by hand.
Where do you look for inspiration for your brand? What are your benchmarks?
My inspiration comes from our kids, for me they are the most inspiring creatures on this planet. For example, the small fabric bags was born one day when we were going to the airport and fly to see some friends and Sam wanted to pack the big toy sack with toys to bring on the plane. That was so cute but not possible as the bags are quite big, so I created a small bag for him to use. Now both our kids pack one small bag each to have with them when we travel or go to the beach.
How do you combine motherhood with your facet as an entrepreneur? There is time for everything? Personally I find it super complicated and more with two children so small …
I hear you, its really tricky to fit everything in. It was easier when they were babies because then they could come with me on events or easy to entertain when I packed orders.. Now both our kids are in kindergarden, we pick them up around 3 in the afternoon and hang out with them until they go to bed and we start working again. For us its a blast to have so much time with them now when they are so small. But I do say no to a lot of things, events or things I wanted to go to but I just don’t have time, of course its sad but I will have more time for that when the boys are bigger and they think that we are not so interesting to hang out with anymore. They are only small one time in life, I don’t want to miss out on that.
Your house is wonderful, what do you like the most of living in there? How is to live in a place like that with children?
Our house is a dream, to open the door in the summer time and the kids can run outside to play and in the winter we have a fire place we light up. It’s really cosy, but it’s also a lot of responsibility to have a house. But we let the kids help us with everything as much as they can, paint walls and cut grass. It’s fun to do those things together.
What is your favorite plan to do outside with the kids?
This summer we made a swing out of an old pallet. We love to hang out on that swing, read books or just look up at the tree.
And if it’s raining and you have to stay at home, what’s your favorite activity to do in family?
Upstairs we have windows with ocean view, we love to just stand their and look at the sky and listen to the rain drops. Our boys are now so old that they like to play bord games so that is what we normally do on a rainy day in Sweden. Then again, the kids don’t care if it’s raining, that just means they can dress and jump in all the puddles!
Tell us, how is your children’s room? What do you like the most of it? What should be a must-have in a kids’ room?
We have two rooms for the boys, one where they sleep with very calm colors and things. And then we have the messy rom with all their toys, I plan to structure it better but right now that room is a mess. We built two beds for the boys as we could not find any in the sizes we needed on the market. And for us to have this calm environment, good storage solutions is the key.
What’s your children’s favorite storybook? And yours?
We have one book that we actually got from a happy meal at McDonalds. It’s called ”when everyone is sleeping” its about a friendly monster that destroys everything in the city at night and then his monster friend comes and repairs everything, it’s not a known story and I think thats why the boys like it so much, it’s not something they later can see on their iPad or read more about. It’s another small world they can enjoy there and then. I like it very much myself. Or the one called ”I want my hat back” by Jon Klassen.
What are their favorite toys?
Now it will sound like I’m flirting with you, haha, but since Micha got his Space Princess doll its been with him all the time. And those who follow us on instagram know that. She is always sleeping in his bed and she is always with us on our trips. We have a small vintage stroller home where he puts her and walks around. And Sam is all into cars, big construction machines and I don’t know how many hours we have just stood and watched construction machines on our way home from kindergarten.
What are your favorite brands for kids (clothes/ toys)?
This list will be sooooo loooong, I have so many lovely independent favorites on the market, but to name a few: @mainsauvage, @main_story_uk, @madeformini @merrileeliddiarshop.
And to end, what do you like the most of Lauvely? Who is your favorite Lauvely Friend?
I love that its handmade, I love that you are such a lovely person, your products are flawless, and I think you won Michas heart with the Space Princess.
And to end this lauvely interview we bring you a Christmas wishlist inspired in Maria and her family! Thank you so much Maria!
1. Paper Bag TOYS from Tellkiddo. 2. The Space Princess from Lauvely. 3. Large loris from Mainsauvage. 4. Misty Rose Abstract Hearts Oversized Tee from Main Story. 5. “I want my hay back” From Jon Kassen. 6. Mini set of retro cars from Pinch Toys.
I hope you have enjoyed and have being inspired!