Like many of the mompreneurs I’ve been connecting with lately, Ada and I met at the Cat and Nat Show. We talked for most of the evening and our shared experiences of motherhood, full-time work and part-time passions brought us closer together. We bonded over the idea of getting little sleep, not just as a result of the obvious challenges that come along with motherhood, but because making time to pursue our passions after working a full day, feeding a family and putting little ones to bed means late night cram sessions are no longer a thing of school-days past. After meeting for the first time, we decided to meet again so we could sit down and have a face-to-face interview. We met at one of the most delicious and well-decorated ice cream places in the city; Hotel Gelato.
We chatted over tea, quiche and delicious ice cream and it felt like our conversation could have gone on for days; we had so much to share with one another! I love getting the opportunity to meet face-to-face with other creative career moms and seeing their eyes light up when they talk about their passions. Ada knows exactly what she wants for her company and her drive is not only inspiring, but contagious. When she spoke about her motivations she also took an interest in mine, passing on the knowledge she has gained during her time as an entrepreneur and lifting me up to reach my potential.
I am so excited to introduce this month’s creative career mom, Ada of Minimodel Gallery!
Minimodel Gallery is an online children’s boutique that carefully curates children’s clothing, toys and décor from around the world, bringing together a unique blend of products that are classic with a monochromatic twist.
For someone like me who loves to keep colour schemes simple and muted when it comes to home décor and dressing my little one; the Nununu Circle Patch T-shirt and matching Nununu Patch Baggy pants from Ada’s well curated collection are the perfect fit. Not only are the colours easy to mix and match, the light-weight and soft fabric is perfect for our 15-month-old who is on the move all day and taking naps in the afternoons as well. I love dressing our little man in light-weight and cozy clothes so he is comfortable running around and during his nap.
During nap and bedtime, especially with some of the varying weather we’ve been having,the Fine Little Day Gran Blanket fits perfectly into our son’s woodland themed room. He just started using a blanket instead of a sleep-sack and this one is made of a soft, lightweight eco cotton that is perfect for any season.
Finally, I’m sharing the Oeuf Soccer ball. This toy is great for an active toddler who has just discovered the joy of throwing things! He is able to toss this around the house and it’s pillow-like lightness won’t harm him, our dog Charlie or break things. He loves tossing this ball around, even though kicking a soccer ball might be the expected choice. He hasn’t figured out that kicking a ball is something that can be done just yet.
- Every entrepreneurial story is a unique one and I am so thrilled to hear yours! Can you tell us a bit about the story behind Minimodel Gallery? What made you decide to open the shop and what inspired you?
I was always into fashion, but I never thought I would be into kids’ fashion until I had my son. When I started shopping for my son and wasn’t satisfied with what was available for children’s clothing and began looking overseas. I didn’t begin the process of actually starting the company though until I had my daughter years later. On my mat-leave with my daughter, three and half years after the birth of my son, I began the process of creating Minimodel Gallery. I would say the idea began with my son and by the time my daughter was born I started to put my ideas into action. I wanted to give myself time to be sure, to put on a customer hat and build my website with a personal perspective. The website development was hard, I forced myself to learn it.
- Minimodel Gallery is a children’s boutique that offers carefully selected clothing from designers around the world for newborns up to nine-years of age, what is the creative aesthetic behind your brand? How do you decide what items to choose for your shop?
Minimodel comes from the idea that every kid is a “mini model” for their parents and we’ve tried to develop a brand that highlights the unique personality of every child. In this way, wearing a specific outfit would be like a gallery of who they are. We love modern, practical and good quality pieces that really display the personality of each child. I like simple and classic looks, especially for the girls. Minimodel Gallery strives to select brands that are high fashion as well as good quality. It is important that every collection captures the magical personalities of the children. I believe real style is a matter of taste; and taste is a matter of experiences gathered over the years, something that begins to developed at a very young age. I hope the fun and modern design of our garments, toys, and décor will open a world of ideas and possibilities in children’s imaginations as well as celebrating modern lifestyle with like-minded parents.
- When you started Mini Model Gallery what were your initial goals? What were your plans for the shop?
When I first started Minimodel Gallery, I wanted to bring in brands that I selected for my children so that other like-minded parents and their minis could also enjoy the quality and unique design. I wanted Minimodel Gallery to be a one-stop-shop for parents to buy something that is slightly different from more traditional stores and online shops. The garment collections are a mix of monochrome and bohemian designs, which often include; funky graphics, and minimalistic styles that pop. A year after launching, I started our décor and toy section includes quality décor and toys that are both fun and aesthetically pleasing for a kid’s space.
- As a working mama of two it’s always a challenge to find the time and the energy to pursue a dream like owning a business. What keeps you motivated and what are some of your strategies for keeping up with work, family and owning a business?
The only thing that motivates me is the passion. I also want to be a role-model for my kids and I think that as long as you have you a passion for what you are doing; age, motherhood or time in your life are not going to stop you. For me Minimodel Gallery is a creative outlet that I am very passionate about. I am also motivated by customer satisfaction, I love hearing when someone finds exactly what they were looking for.
- On your journey as a mompreneur has there been anyone who inspired or encouraged you along the way?
Two and a half years. There have been so many people that have motivated and inspired me along the way. My husband, in particular, has provided endless support when I need it. Having my husband as a support system is huge for me.
- If you could offer some advice to working or stay-at-home mamas starting a business what would you tell them?
To me this is simple; you need to expect to give more than 100%. You just need to go for it, give it everything you’ve got. This works for me because I love seeing the results that come out of putting in my all.
- Mini Model Gallery is a small shop that is growing fast! What are your hopes for the future of Mini Model Gallery?
Since our launch in 2014, I have built confidence and knowledge on what our customers like from my store and what they like to see my store carrying. I hope to continue to explore more new brands and great services including faster local and international delivery. I am very thankful for the support we’ve had along the way, that we’ve grown with our customers and continue to get to know them more. I hope to meet with my local customers through pop-up events in the future. In fact, there is one coming up on June 12nd at The Richmond hosted by Hello Happy Market and I am so excited to meet with some of our customers face-to-face!
Minimodel Gallery will be at the Hello Happy Market this Sunday, June 12; so be sure to stop by and say Hello!
Disclosure: Companies featured in this series often sponsor my posts and, or send products for review. If I love the company and their products, I am more than happy to share them with you!