Designer of the Week - Hudson & Miller

I have the very pleasant task today of introducing you to Jackie Fowler from West Australian handmade label, Hudson & Miller. Jackie is a mum of two who loves to sew. Her current range includes tops, pants, skirts, and accessories for the little folk, and today we’re reviewing her Navy Aztec leggings.

Hudson & Miller Handmade Kids Clothing

The Product Review

The Hudson & Miller Navy Aztec leggings are made from soft jersey cotton knit with a funky teal and white pattern. The silhouette and super soft stretchy fabric not only looks cool, but is also practical for play. We’ve worn and washed these leggings several times and they’ve held up well with minimal fade and a good shape. I especially like the cuffed hem, which adds durability and also sits nicely above shoes on my little poppet, who is a shorty.

There’s lots to love about the Hudson & Miller range, but one of the key selling points is Jackie’s commitment to helping mums style their kids in the latest fashion trends and fabrics, without the hefty price tag. Jackie works with lovely jersey cottons and organic knit fabrics, in modern prints and colourways. Her craftsmanship and finishing is top rate, and her prices are an affordable $6 for bibs, $12 – $16 for skirts and shorts, and $15 – $25 for tees, leggings, and harems.

You can snap up a pair of Navy Aztec leggings for $16, stocked in sizes 00 – 3, with smaller or larger sizes (up to 5) available by custom order.

The verdict… a thrifty, yet super funky, winter style injection!

Hudson & Miller Handmade Kids Clothing

The Indie Label

Jackie originally launched her label under the name Milson Moo when she was 7 months pregnant with her son Miller, combining both of her boys names and adding ‘Moo’ to honour her own childhood growing up on a dairy farm in Victoria. Jackie explains, “We weren’t 100% sure if Miller would be a Miller or Milla… doctors can be wrong after all! However, after a few months at home after Miller was born we relaunched as Hudson & Miller, making pants, leggings, shorts, jumpers, and bibs, with a plan to add blankets, burp cloths, and tees to our coming line”.

Hudson & Miller Handmade Kids Clothing

The Creative Mind

Jackie draws her inspiration from her two boys, Hudson (2.75 years) and Miller (7 months), and her love for beautiful fabrics. She says, “I love finding a fabulous print and have an idea just come to life. I’m also a stay at home mum so it gives me the creative outlet I’d been craving since Hudson was born. I’m really excited about all the new pieces we have coming up”.

Jackie enjoys working with both bright fun patterns and a bit of monochrome. Living in Pilbara with 2 young boys, she appreciates anything different to the mainstream and has an eye for practical garments that hide the stains and stand up to rough housing and general hijinks and shenanigans.

Hudson & Miller Handmade Kids Clothing

The Whimsical Spirit

Here’s three fun facts about Jackie, in her own words:

  1. I’m addicted to buying fabric – I can’t help myself! As soon as I see something really cool, I just have to buy it!

  2. I worked in Real Estate in Melbourne before moving to WA, getting married and having kids.

  3. My Mum, Aunty, and Grandma all sew, so I guess it’s in my blood!

shop the collection

You can shop for Hudson & Miller goodies online via Etsy, or follow Jackie on Facebook or Instagram for happy snaps of her new releases.

Hudson & Miller Handmade Kids Clothing

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Designer of the Week - Charlie Loves Pearl

It’s Designer of the Week day! Hooray! This week I’d like to introduce you to Aasta from Charlie Loves Pearl. Aasta is a mum of one (her 2.5 year old daughter), with another one on the way, who creates a range of beautiful paper goods including children’s storybook bunting and garlands. Today we’re reviewing her Robots, Robots Everywhere design (we loooooove robots).

Charlie Loves Pearl Children's Vintage Storybook Bunting

The Product Review

The Robots bunting was created using a reclaimed book that Aasta discovered at her local Op Shop. She explains, “My daughter added this to my pile for her own reading pleasure. When I read it to her that night I was drawn to the colours in the illustrations. The story didn’t take me anywhere though and I asked my daughter if I could create a bunting from the book. She kindly said yes in exchange for a vintage Peter Pan book she’d been eyeing off for weeks!”

This bunting is well constructed using a cotton bias that is perfectly sewn over the paper allowing for durability and a quality that glue or hole punching won’t allow. The quirk factor is big with this book, and it adds a wonderful finishing touch to a child’s room. I love the idea of ordering a bunting of your child’s favourite book or character as a special piece to hang atop their reading nook. Aasta packages her bunting with the cover of the book used in the bunting, which makes for a lovely gift presentation (or for framing or use in other crafts).

The verdict… Literary loveliness for little ones

Charlie Loves Pearl Children's Vintage Storybook Bunting

The Indie Label

Aasta stumbled into her label Charlie Loves Pearl, as many stay at home mums do. She explains, “I was an at home, new mum, wanting to still create but working around a newborn. It was 2012 and although I was extremely busy learning about our amazing new ‘Little Squirrel’ I also felt quite lost as an adult and needed to throw myself back into creating as I had done since I was a child”.

“I’m addicted to finding books at curiosity shops and have far too many lining my shelves. The trouble is I will even buy books which are damaged and finally my husband put his foot down. No more books unless you actually need them! So…. I began creating with them and now I can continue to support my habit!”

Charlie Loves Pearl Paper Party Garlands

The Creative Mind

Aasta loves to work with vintage books, particularly those with damage that wouldn’t generally be kept. She says, “This certainly doesn’t prevent me from seeking books requested by customers. Many people order custom made bunting that they have memories of from their own childhood or have a significant link to a time in their childhood. I prefer to sew my bunting rather than hole punch and thread. I believe this adds to the quality and design. I also love a good party and have happily decorated my friends parties/ celebrations with handmade paper products”.

Charlie Loves Pearl Children's Vintage Storybook Bunting

The Whimsical Spirit

Here’s three fun facts about Aasta, in her own words:

  1. I love sewing fabric but never seem to find the time and therefore buy huge amounts of gorgeous fabrics which it seems I will never use.

  2. I love doodling and have begun designing my own paper for use in my party garlands range.

  3. I spend a lot of time setting up inspiring play areas for my daughter. As a teacher I understand the importance of play and how it can help shape and inspire.

shop the collection

Visit Charlie Loves Pearl on Madeit, or follow on Facebook or Instagram for the latest news.

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Designer of the Week - Adam from Tiger Tribe

Hey folks! We’re big fans of the Tiger Tribe collection here in the KID household and it’s with great pleasure today that we treat you to a little peek inside the creative mind of Design Manager, Adam Carruthers. Adam has recently illustrated Tiger Tribe’s ‘Magnificent World of ABC’ and today we have four sets to giveaway! Woohoo!

Tiger Tribe Magnificent World of ABC

Animals design by Adam Carruthers | My World design by Makoto Koji

The Product Review

The Magnificent World of ABC is a super fun and interactive way for early learners (pre-schoolers) to discover the alphabet, recognise words, and form connections between letters and sounds.

One of things I love most about Tiger Tribe is the way they package their sets in lovely cases that keep all your pieces together and can be picked up by little hands and carted off to their favourite learning spot. This set includes 80 letter magnets (upper & lowercase), 48 picture magnets, and 8 grouping cards. To use the set, you simply choose a group card, find the picture magnets that match the card, and spell out the words on the card using the magnetic letters.

As your child develops their confidence, they can practice spelling out any word they choose with their magnets. Once open, the case acts as a display easel, which assists with playtime and can also be popped up on a shelf to display your ‘words of the day’. The illustrations in this set are all kinds of cool (we dig Adam’s retro flair) and the learning experience is top rate too! Tiger Tribe are true experts at creating educational toys that entertain (no boring ‘homework’ in sight).

The verdict… A superbly stylish & fabulously fun way to learn your ABCs!

Tiger Tribe Magnificent World of ABC

The Indie Label

Tiger Tribe came to life in August 2007, driven by husband and wife team Anthony and Naomi Green. Their catalyst for starting the business was simple; They wanted to create engaging, fun and imaginative toys and activity sets that they would be happy to include in their own children’s toy box. Adam says, “This was an equally attractive proposition to me, when I came on board as Design Manager, in 2013″.

The name Tiger Tribe is a nod to director Anthony’s affectionate use of the term ‘Tiger’ when referring to children. Adam explains, “Anthony and Naomi considered the concept behind the brand and the basic premise of the products was/is to bring kids together to play – creating a tribe of tigers! It was only later that someone pointed out that tigers are solitary creatures, and don’t roam in packs….all the better! Let the brand bring these tigers together!”

The Creative Mind

Adam’s role as Tiger Tribe’s Design Manager involves overseeing artwork, co-ordinating projects with other designers, implementing branding, creating product specifications, managing production and illustrating, and designing products (phew!).

Tiger Tribe create a diverse range of products including activity sets, wooden toys, rag dolls, and magnetics (to name just a few). Adam explains, “We like to work with materials that will open up creative, independent play and imagination. Different materials work for different products. But mostly we use the same materials that have been used by generations of toy designers and makers — paper, wood, tin, fabrics and magnets. I personally enjoy designing and illustrating in a vintage style where our products reference or evoke another era”.

Adam is a dad to three little Tiger Tribe testers, Eden (6), Rylan (4) and Tessa (1); and he draws much of his inspiration from watching them play and draw. Adam says, “I really love the free-flowing spontaneity in kids drawings at an early age and try to emulate that in my own work. If I try to re-work a design it often tightens up too much and is never as good as the original”.

Tiger Tribe Design Manager Adam Curruthers

The Design Process

We asked Adam to walk us through the design process… here’s what he had to say!

First we come up with a product idea based on lots of research and what gets us excited. There is so much we want to make that we are never short of ideas — it’s more about what we have time for!

Once we have our product idea, we work closely with our manufacturer to get the right contents and materials. For instance, if it’s an activity set, should it include coloured pencils or markers? If it is a magnetic set — like Magnificent ABC – should the magnets be lightweight rubber magnets or thicker pieces on EVA foam? At this stage we are kind of reverse engineering – imagining WHAT the product will look like BEFORE it exists!

Tiger Tribe Magnificent World of ABC

Next step comes from Naomi (Tiger Tribe director). She will generally create a mood board to flesh out ideas and to use as a guide to the general feel of the products. Sometimes she will create one of her famous 50 page briefs as well! Even though we have a design team, both Anthony and Naomi (our directors) are very hands on in the product concept and design process – it’s their favourite part of the business!

For Magnificent ABC, we felt it should have a slightly educational feel with photos of old school desks and classrooms as inspiration. This inspired the integration of an ‘old school’ blackboard into the design (the magnetic display panel). And to complement this vintage feel the illustrations were to have a retro look, evoking mid century school readers and educational collateral.

For the ANIMALS design, I was also the illustrator. Initially I sketched out my ideas with a pencil, then scanned the image and trialled a few styles. I started with the crocodile design and tried it with a painterly feel and also with a flat vector feel. I decided flat graphics were giving us a stronger retro vibe, so we went with that. We then enlisted the help of Hannah (a member of our sales team, but also a qualified primary school teacher!) to create a list of possible and appropriate animals and animal groupings to illustrate from and then it was a matter of sitting down and drawing them all. The MY WORLD design was done by another one of our illustrators, Makoto Koji.

Lastly, I scanned the artwork, traced it in Adobe Illustrator and added colour and texture. We worked with another graphic designer to create the cover artwork and then sent the artwork off to get an initial sample made. Tweaks and improvements on these samples brought us to the point of production.

The Whimsical Spirit

Here’s three fun facts about Adam, in his own words:

  1. I illustrate children’s books after hours which is a real passion of mine. It’s nice to be able to work with an existing narrative.

  2. I play basketball every week and try to avoid shooting as much as possible.

  3. I think I enjoy animated movies more than my kids!

shop the collection

You view the full Tiger Tribe collection online, or find your local stockist here.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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Tiger Tribe Magnificent World of ABC

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Designer of the Week - The Dutch Hospital

Hello friends! Regular readers of KID independent will be familiar with our love for all things wild. So it’s with great pleasure today that we introduce you to Anji and her handmade label The Dutch Hospital. Anji creates these amazing ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ crown letters and we’re all kinds of excited to share them with you today.

The Dutch Hospital, Where the Wild Things Are

The Product Review

The Dutch Hospital wood wall letters are laser cut from 6mm FSC certified natural Baltic birch wood and are hand printed with beautiful imagery from classic storybooks. Anji’s printing / transfer process is truly unique and results in a finish that has a distinctly vintage appeal, harnessing the magic of the story. Anji finishes off her letters with a professional matte varnish, which is completely smooth while still retaining the rustic burn mark from cutting on the back of the letters.

I’m so fond of my ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ letter set that arrived in the mail this week that it took me over a week to decide where it should reside. I finally settled on a special space in our reading nook, right above Maurice Sendak’s masterpiece. My favourite feature of these letters is, of course, the charming imagery. However, I’m also super impressed with the high quality finish and the fact that Anji’s uses environmentally friendly sustainable materials and natural dyes in creating her works of art.

The verdict… A little bit of storybook magic for your living space!

The Dutch Hospital, Where the Wild Things Are

The Indie Label

The Dutch Hospital came to life in December 2014 with two hand painted alphabet sets and one map decoupage letter set which was originally created for Anji’s daughter and her friend’s son for Christmas presents. Anji explains, “My daughter is a very clever girl who enjoys reading and singing both the English and Sinhalese Alphabets at the age of two. Her favourite song is the ABC sonG and her favourite books are Eric Carle’s ABC book and one of the old classic Sinhalese Alphabet books… So, I couldn’t think of a better gift than an alphabet set for Christmas”.

The Dutch Hospital Wooden Wall Names, Letters, Nursery Decor

The Creative Mind

Anji was born and raised in Sri Lanka and studied fashion design at university. She says, “I was a very creative child, and had a wonderful imagination and freedom to create. My mother knew enough to get me started and then stand back and not interfere. My grandmother was my greatest inspiration in love, life, and the creative side of my brain. She was someone who always puts others first and who never loses hope with me. So, what else does a child need to become a creative person, other than encourage and support from their own family?”

Anji spent a lot of her childhood reading and drawing classic children’s books from around the world. She says, “I still have more than 20 books that I loved as a child and still enjoy reading them. As a child, I used to read beautifully illustrated books translated from Russian to Singhalese (Sri Lankan language). One of my most loved books of all time is ‘The Flower with Seven Colours by Cvetik-Semicvetik’. When I was pregnant with my daughter Amelia, I start searching for books I remembered reading as a child. My passion and love for old children’s books became reality. I found lots of books selling online and from markets and car boots sales. I spend quite a lot buying vintage children story books and atlas books!”

Anji graduated in 2005 as a designer with the London College of Fashion. She spent several years working in the mass apparel production industry as a designer for several global sportswear and intimates brands. Five years ago, she migrated to UK with her husband to complete postgraduate studies in fashion management. Since then she has enjoyed living and working in the UK, enjoying life in multicultural and multiethnic Britain.

The Dutch Hospital Wooden Wall Names, Letters, Nursery Decor

The Whimsical Spirit

Here are some fun facts about Anji, in her own words:

  1. I love to spend time with my daughter (2.5 year old Amelia). She is full of joy and happiness; an adorable girl who loves to cuddle with her daddy and always have her own story to read with her mummy.

  2. I love photography and travelling.

  3. I love reading academic papers and publications (you might think what? Yes, although I am more pragmatic than academic, I love it).

The Handmade Collection

At The Dutch Hospital you’ll find a range of home décor, nursery & wall décor, wooden wall mounted letters, vintage map letters, free-standing letters, and educational toys.

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Visit The Dutch Hospital…

Wooden Decor Shop | Art and Print Shop | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

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