We caught up with Maggie Vaiopoulos from art, design and illustration company My Little Perfect. Maggie shares with us the journey to starting her own business, the importance she places on working with local suppliers, and what visitors can expect to see from My Little Perfect at One Fine Baby Fair in Melbourne.

Tell us a bit about what led you to start My Little Perfect.

I have always been creative.  My background is in Fine Arts, Art History and Archaeology which I studied at University.  From here I went into primary and secondary school art teaching up until my son, Will, now 5 was born.  Being at home with Will provided the opportunity for me to begin practising my art again and thus when ‘My Little Perfect’ Will was born so was my business.

My Little Perfect

Where do you get inspiration for your designs?

My design process always starts with colour first.  Secondly, learning. Our products are designed to encourage a learning experience between parent/s and their children  – a tool or device which can open up a discourse about colour, shape, texture, line, expression and narratives. My use of colour is vibrant and gives the viewer a sensory experience – my designs are happy.  I also get a lot of inspiration from the world around me, I love animals, I love the beach, I love collecting antiques and treasures and I feel that my work is very layered to what you see as the finished product.

My Little Perfect

My Little Perfect

How do you balance running your business with being a mum?

It’s a funny thing because it almost feels as though it’s not a business, but more who I am – an extension of my being.  Don’t get me wrong, there are the daily operations that go into running a household and making sure that I have Will’s lunch made and uniforms washed.  It was important for me to have my own space to be creative away from the home, so about two and a half years ago I moved into my studio at the Abbotsford Convent which allows me the freedom I need to create.  I also have an incredibly supportive husband who has never stood in the way of me pursuing my dreams.

We love that all your products are designed and made in Melbourne. Can you tell us about some of the local artisans and manufacturers you use?

Having our products made in Melbourne is something we are very proud of.  In my business, I see relationships as paramount.  Therefore, I found artisans that I could get to was important to build these relationships because I also had a baby in the car with me most of the time.  Having my artisans and manufacturers close by has helped me create an amazing network of incredibly talented people.  The fabric printers who print my designs are the team at Frankie & Swiss in South Yarra.  Paul and his team at W H Amad are the manufacturers based in Coburg and have been in the manchester trade for 100 years.  Olga and the Papermarc team in Hawthorn print all the greeting cards.  Pete and Cassie from Hound and Bone Fine Art printers based in Brunswick produce my archival quality art prints.

My Little Perfect

My Little Perfect

What are your favourite ways to encourage creative play with your son?

One of the best ways I encourage creative play with Will is to allow him to play independently because he then has to use his imagination.  I ask lots of open ended questions in order to develop his higher thinking skills and be able to articulate his ideas such as what, how, why questioning structures.  Reading stories and looking at the illustrations, particularly.  Lots of rhyming and making up songs about anything (I must admit I sing/rap/rhyme a lot of instructions to Will such as GO GO and use your super powers, and jump jump jump jump into the shower; So you’re clean and smelling all nice, and ready to eat your chicken and rice) Ha ha!

We also do lots of playing with cars lying on our tummies together, drawing and cooking.  The key for me whatever we are doing together is to be fully engaged.

What advice do you have to other mums who are looking to start their own business?

Do it!  Put yourself out there and back yourself.  I think as women we are very adaptable to change and this allows us to exist on many levels at the one time.  It’s about believing in yourself and negating the obstacles your mind puts in the way.  There is no priority line to success and it certainly doesn’t happen over night, so remember to enjoy the small daily wins. They add up.

My Little Perfect

What can visitors expect to see from you at One Fine Baby?

Visitors to One Fine Baby will be able to enjoy the stylish vibrancy that is the world of My Little Perfect.   We hope that visitors feel the depth and love we put into making all our products. My Little Perfect wants to bring a new aesthetic to modern children’s spaces that are steeped in colour and learning. Our range of children’s bed linen will be on display, our beautiful greeting cards that every mum should have a stock pile of, there will be original art, we have amazing giveaways and a sneaky peak at our new organic Kids Clothing range.

My Little Perfect

 

Come see Maggie and check out My Little Perfect, along with over 100 other vendors at One Fine Baby Fair in Melbourne, September 9 and 10.