With inspiration from her first born daughter Airlie, Sarah McEwan used her creative flair to design ‘The Little Me Collection’. Sarah’s unique collection is practical yet adorable, with must-have products for all expectant mums to be.
What gave you the inspiration to start your business ‘The Little Me Collection’?
My daughter, Airlie. Throughout my pregnancy with Airlie, I was constantly making things for her room. I started with cushions/canvases and floor mats. My favourite project, the one I enjoyed doing the most, was her rocking chair. It was in need of a bit of love, and after a new seat and a few coats of paint, it was better than ever.
I was eager to find out the sex of my baby, as I feel you can only have so much white and yellow. I have always loved bright and vibrant things; I was finding it hard to find gifts for friends and family expecting babies. I know babies need a lot of the same thing, but there is so much doubling up; it’s nice to find something different, as well as useful, for a gift. My friends really liked what I was creating and were asking me if I could make stuff for their children. So I thought maybe I could set up a stall at the market, and see how it would go.
In August 2010, I sat down with my sister-in law Tennille. We were throwing around a few business name ideas, and The Little Me Collection was born. Tennille then designed our logo, along with her talented team at Hot Graphics – they designed our rollup banner for us, which we get asked to take to every market we are invited to attend.
In November, my mother-in-law, Jenny, joined The Little Me Collection, bringing her passion for interior design with her. We have worked great together ever since and have taken The Little Me Collection to where it is today.
Tell us about some of the practical products that are incorporated into your artistic pieces?
All our products don’t just look great, but they all have alternate uses.
Our most popular product is our original ‘My First Sushi’ pack, which includes a face washer, bib and singlet in proper sushi packaging with a pair of chopsticks. Our newest arrival is our ‘Hatched Ducks’; they are adorable. It’s a duck made from a face washer inside a baby bowl nest with a little rubber ducky.
We also have our face washer sundaes, which come with two face washers, a baby bowl/lid and a baby spoon. we have so many more great gifts on offer and are always coming up with fresh ideas. If our customers come to us with ideas, we do our best to create it for them.
Jen’s bunting flags are a big hit. They aren’t your typically large bunting flags; they are just big enough to add that little bit of colour sometimes needed in your baby’s nursery. She has also crafted her own range of embroidered cushions, which are available in packs with matching buntings or canvasses; they make a wonderful gift idea.
What do you enjoy most about designing and making for The Little Me Collection?
I love seeing people’s reactions when they see our products for the first time. It’s so rewarding to see that people really are after that unique gift, just as I was, and we are making it available to them. We are continually being told that there are no other products quite like the ones we offer.
Describe some of your designs. What makes them different and unique?
All our designs we feel are fresh. We try to stick clear of your typical children’s themes and lean towards a more modern approach to children’s gifts and décor.
Where do you get your artistic background?
Before The Little Me Collection came along, I ran my own mobile hairdressing business, as well as working in a local salon a few days a week. I find satisfaction in creating something different from the original and love working in diverse atmospheres.
I think having such a wonderful supportive husband helps me a lot; he, along with my parents, have been so encouraging.
My dad is continually saying, “Isn’t she clever?”
Jen has always been told by her friends that she should endeavour more with her interior design skills, and this has given her confidence to explore her hidden talent. Her husband/my father-in-law is her biggest fan and loves that she has found a new interest she really enjoys.
What age group does The Little Me Collection design for?
We have gifts available from newborn – 12 month olds and of course, we have gifts for the most important people – our expectant mums to be.
A lot of our cushions and canvases can also suit children up to 10 years.
Tell us about behind the scenes; where do you source many of your materials? Do you make your pieces at home?
All our novelty gifts are made at home in my sewing room. I get all my stock from local stores and suppliers. Jen gets her fabric from an Australian supplier, and she does all the crafting in her sewing room.
All our printing needs, business cards etc. are done by Donna Cook from Snap Printing. Our packaging and woven tags are done by Jardine Wright from Riotchild Custom, and all our product photos are taken by our good friend, Dion Carle.
What do you enjoy about attending the wonderful Foreshore Market each month?
The Foreshore Market is the favourite market we attend. We look forward to it every month. It’s great that Jen and I do it together, as we both like to have a look at all the amazing stalls on offer and we can take turns having a little shop – we usually come home with lots of great things.
If you’re heading down to the markets this month, please stop by and say hello!