I love a quirky collection of handmade toys and this menagerie from Mintchi is exactly that! Chief designer and sewing extraordinaire, Joana, specialises in owls and dinosaurs. She also makes some funky pillows and a few custom items too. Today we’re reviewing our personal favourite item in the Mintchi range… the Dino!
The Mintchi Dino is made from a fun textured aqua wool fabric with bright yellow felt spikes. He’s about 41cm long and is filled with Australian made eco stuffing made out of recycled plastic bottles. Dino has a Mintchi heart on his rump, which is printed with eco-friendly paint.
There’s much to love about Dino, but I think my favourite feature is the fact that you can pick him up by his feet, tuck him under your arm, drag him by the tail, throw him in the air, cuddle him at nighttime, hide him around the house, take him on adventures, and tell him all your secrets… He’s a cheerful old chap, and he’s just aching to find a companion! I adore toys that will be well loved and will lived… and Dino is one of those guys.
The verdict… A quintessential handmade favourite.
Joana launched Mintchi in 2013. She explains, “For a few years whilst I was still working in the fashion industry I knew I wanted to make eco friendly handmade toys and homewares. The main inspiration was when I randomly decided to make my first owl from scrap materials and loved how it turned out (this is now the brown classic Mintchi owl in my collection).
“Since then I wanted to be able to be truly creative and do what I love without contributing to the pollution which mass production was causing in the fashion industry. Finally I started actioning the idea at the end of November 2013 and it officially launched in December 2013″.
The name Mintchi is a variation of Joana’s last name which is Mintcheva.
Joana works with high quality wools and loves mixing different fabrications; layering the eyes with denim and other cotton mixes. She chooses natural fibres over man-made where possible.
Joana’s inspiration comes from her local suburb of Newtown. She says, “This is where the idea of Mintchi was born and where I hand make all of my products. There is something about the lifestyle that I find really inspirational. It’s the old buildings intertwined with the new modern lifestyle and the open mined people contributing to a nice close knit community. I don’t like to follow trends and believe that when you spend time in nature the best creativity comes out without you even planning it, so the best way to be creative is to be relaxed and appreciate the small things”.
Here’s three fun facts about Joana (in her own words):
I graduated with an Advanced Diploma of Fashion Design in 2007
I came first in art at high school with 99%
In primary school I either came 1st or 2nd in all the 100 and 200m sprints
Mintchi makes quirky, cute toys and homewares for individuals who love ‘point of difference’ products and are conscious of their environment.
Keep your eyes peeled for the Mintchi spring range, launching later this month and including some amazing fabrics that Joana bought when she was travelling through Europe. Think ombre, tassels, aqua, pastel shades, polka dots, florals and new animals…