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Last September when we were in Melbourne lockdown and planning the photoshoot for our new print 'Curious Leopard', I was scrolling through Instagram and a photo of the most adorable baby boy popped up in my feed!
I noticed that it was a photo taken by our wonderful Brisbane-based photographer Bianca, and I asked her "Bianca! This photo is absolutely adorable. Do you think this little boy's mum would be open to me reaching out and seeing if he could model in the Curious Leopard campaign?"
With Bianca's well wishes, I reached out to Josephine @magic_of_mikaere and asked her the question. On one of my "iso-walks", I felt a ping and read her positive reply - I was absolutely ecstatic.
Fast-forward a few months later when we were ready to shoot, it just so happened that Jo's stunning nursery she had been styling for her little boy Mikaere (Kai) was complete. The room was filled with gorgeous lush greens, stunning small Australian businesses and so much love - it truly was serendipitous that we not only had the most adorable model but also a special location to shoot in that truly complemented our new print!
To celebrate the launch of our new print and the reveal of Mikaere's nursery, we are excited to share on the blog an interview with Jo and all of the info on the brands included so you can shop the look. Enjoy!
Jo, we are so excited to be part of your incredible nursery reveal. It is such a wonderful celebration of mum-run Australian small businesses. Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourself so that we can introduce you to the OiOi community!
Thank you Isabella, and hello OiOi Community! I’m a first time mama to Mikaere, originally from NZ and have called Brisbane home for nearly 13 years. I have a commerce (BCOM) background and in becoming a mum myself have found a new love for supporting mompreneurs / mamas doing it for themselves.
Styling your little one’s nursery can be overwhelming! What is your advice to mums in the early stages of planning & prepping for their little one’s arrival?
Haha I’m not the best to give out any advice as I was so ill prepared for the journey of motherhood. What would have taken 3-4 weeks took 8 months to complete as little Kai was born #momlife.
Motherhood is a journey of learning and unlearning. You can do everything but you’re not supposed to! In terms of planning, there are lots of resources and so much to choose from. It’s more a case of using your values as a shopping compass. Gender neutral, durability/sustainability and timelessness are important values of mine, so it was fairly easy. Finding the time to do all the things, not so easy.
We adore the theme of Kai’s nursery! How did you come up with it?
Along with the gender neutral theme is my love for the land, earth, nature, the trees. It was all fairly organic — I found a brand called Banabae and fell in love with their organic Autraliana themed sheets and swaddles. Next came the beautiful forest green Henry Cot from Incy Interiors. These two hero pieces anchored the room and the theme, so everything naturally fell into place.
What was your very first purchase for the nursery?
We moved into our house a few weeks before Kai was born. Everything was a blur and happened very quickly. While not the nursery, our first purchase was a pram from facebook marketplace. We were also gifted many things and so very fortunate and grateful.
What items do you recommend to spend or save on?
My advice is to wait until your baby shower and then decide from there what you need. Always accept preloved items/hand me downs to get your started. Spend money on all things breastfeeding. Nipple shields, nipple creams, syringes, natural suction pumps, electric pumps, lactation biscuits, whatever you need to support your milk supply. Sorry I know it's not nursery related, but this is a priority.
Whereas for the nursery itself, I really wish there was a gift registry baby app of preloaded small businesses and like’ recommendations prior to becoming a mum. People want to gift’ you what you need and appreciate guidance. There’s such a need here and to save on unnecessary goods or double ups including quality over quantity.
How long did it take to source all of the special treasures to create what the room looks like now?
The room prior to Kai’s arrival is very different to what it is now. It was very rushed. Now, when you enter the room you automatically feel calm, relaxed and tranquil. It’s a soft room to be in. The duration of the room is a reflection of my journey #becoming a mother. Good things take time. 😂
We were so thrilled to have Kai model in our Curious Leopard campaign! You have always been a fan of bamboo baby clothing; can you share why?
We were excited to be a part of it! Bamboo is amongst one of the fastest growing plants in the world, so it's incredibly sustainable and gentle on the environment. As clothing it's soft, stretchy and breathable — perfect qualities for a growing baby. Your little ones will also gain a lot more wear out of them too.
What is your favourite print in the OiOi bamboo clothing collection?
Of course the Curious Leopard print. There’s nothing quite like it. It’s so special.
You also own our nappy backpack! Why did you opt for this style and what are your favourite features since using it?
Yes! Well I haven’t owned a backpack since school and granted you’ll have a baby in either arm and juggling many, many things at once it made absolute sense to go with a backpack style. The padding on the shoulder straps are soft and supportive. The colour, again gender neutral for my partner to wear. Side pockets for bottles of any size. But my most favourite feature that I wasn’t able to ascertain from your website is how soft, durable and lovely the faux leather is. It’s super lush and easy to keep clean.
And to finish, we admire your unwavering support for small businesses so much. Is there anything about this passion that you would like to share with our community?
Mindfulness, when thought of as a currency, has the ability to elevate, support and empower others. Behind every small business is another human just like you or I doing their very best to navigate this crazy and wonderful experience we have the privilege of living in. Be mindful or where and how you spend your energy. Share your joy, make that recommendation. Introduce a referral, secure that purchase. Make time to leave a review. Don’t just comment, be genuine and generous with your time. Shine the spotlight and be the light. A check-in takes less than a minute, it's free and could be the catalyst for positive change. When you start acting with authenticity, you’ll find your tribe, both as a mama and an entrepreneur.
We hope that you enjoyed reading this blog article. Special thanks to the wonderful Josephine for all of your support for OiOi and many other small Australian businesses. OiOi is a family run Melbourne business who have built a strong reputation over 23 years for designing Australia's best nappy bags, stroller organisers & pram liners. We also now have a beautiful range of bamboo baby clothing in unique textiles. Follow us on Instagram @oioi_global for daily inspiration or subscribe to our newsletter for beautiful fortnightly emails.