Designer of the Week - Monkey & Mum

This week I joined forces with two local mums to put together our designer of the week feature. The first is the talented Tess from Monkey & Mum who creates these beautiful hand-stitched baby friendly necklaces. The second is local mum Amanda and her darling little angel Mahalia. In review we have a custom Monkey & Mum necklace with beautiful strands of vintage linen.

Nursing, Breastfeeding, Handmade, Jewellery, Necklaces

The Product Review

It’s exciting to receive a review product in the post, but it’s even more exciting to pass it on to a wonderful mum who appreciates handmade as much as I do. This months package fromĀ Monkey & Mum arrived in a personalised box, complete with our product tester’s name… so lovely!

Inside we discovered a baby friendly necklace made from a textured cotton mustard fabric (sourced from a pre-loved table cloth), with strands of hand painted linen (up-cycled from a vintage tea towel). Here’s what our reviewer had to say…

“I really love the blend of natural cream and brown with pops of orange and hints of pink and green. It’s got a nice amount of colour but is still neutral enough to be worn with most items in my wardrobe. Looking at this necklace up close I could really appreciate how much work has gone into it. It’s hand stitched across each strand with a chunky stitch that adds to the overall appeal of the necklace.

I like the fact that it has no loose parts or beads and can’t be pulled off my neck if I wear it while nursing. As it’s made from textured linen fabric which Mahalia seemed to enjoy exploring. It can also be washed, which is essential. I decided to hand wash it to test this out and it dried quite nicely. I gave it a quick iron so I could wear it to play group with a black cardi to show to all the other mums. I think I’d even wear it when I go out without bub!”

The verdict… A special piece that is brimming with handmade charm.

The Indie Label

The concept behindĀ Monkey & Mum was developed with practicality in mind, but soon blossomed into a creative enterprise. Tess explains, “At six months of age, my first little monkey had broken too many of my necklaces to remember, and his tendency to suck on my costume jewellery – made from all sorts of nasties and small parts – had me more than a little nervous. Combine this with an inability to keep him focused during breastfeeding, and you have the ingredients for Monkey & Mum”.

Tess named her business after the little man who inspired it’s creation, Harry. She says, “My babies are my little monkeys; they clamber across me, hanging from my hair, clothing, jewellery, and occasionally skin (ouch!). This behaviour was the main premise behind Monkey & Mum’s creation, so the name effortlessly stemmed from there”.

Nursing, Breastfeeding, Handmade, Jewellery, Necklaces

The Creative Mind

Tess is mum to 3.5 year old Harry and 9 month old Archie. She draws her design inspiration mainly from fabrics, hunting through op shops and rescuing vintage tea towels, curtains, t-shirts, or anything with fabulous colours and inspiring prints. All of the materials that she chooses are made from natural fibres that are safe and durable for babies, such as cotton and linen.

Tess also loves to work closely with her customers, creating one-of-a-kind pieces that perfectly match their personality and style. Tess says, “I love combining their ideas with my own, and together creating something truly unique, which neither of us could have done without the other”.

The Whimsical Spirit

Here’s three fun facts about Tess (in her own words):

  1. I have been a vegetarian for seven years.

  2. I studied to be a journalist.

  3. It drives my husband crazy, but if I see a stray dog I have to stop and rescue it!

The Handmade Collection

You can find the full collection of Monkey & Mum necklaces and bracelets online via their Etsy store or visit Tess on Facebook for all the latest news.

Nursing, Breastfeeding, Handmade, Jewellery, Necklaces


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1 comment to Designer of the Week – Monkey & Mum

  • shelley

    OMG, that’s so cute…what a cool idea…I love it! I will be making some of these for sure and what brought me here was a link to a swap I’m signing up for…..it’s to make one of these…thanks for posting it and sharing it with everyone.

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