Olly Polly says… Play

(Competition entry at the bottom of the page)

Genuine is the first thing that pops into my mind when wanting to describe Gen Motley, mama, friend and entrepreneur. This Durban based, family loving creative is carving out her name in the children’s decor arena in South Africa, and just when you thought you had it all figured out, and knew exactly what Olly Polly was all about, Gen decided to shake things up…

but wait…

before we jump into that, lets get to know Gen a little better, for those of you who are just hearing about Olly Polly for the first time, I encourage you to visit her website and social media (links at the bottom of the page). For all the familiar moms, and newbies to the Olly Polly fandom… lets get to know the mama behind the name…


Where did you grow up?

I’ve lived in Durban most of my life besides a stint in joburg and a bit of backpacking. I come from a very close knit family and I love that we’re all in the same city. My family call me Vieve and my great aunt calls me flea (still to this day haha).

Tell us a bit about your childhood:

My mom is one of 7 children and she is the oldest so her younger sisters were like my cousins in a way. Her sister Carryn and I are only 2 years apart and as we spent every Saturday at my grans house we have always been really close. We would play in the garden for hours every weekend, we loved pretending to be journalists with our own newspaper, did our own cooking shows with my grans plants being the ingredients and climbed trees. Our daughters are now 6 days apart (Scarlett was in the latest shoot) and it really warms my heart that they can share the bond we had growing up.


What did you do to keep yourself busy as a kid?

I loved playing outside, reading my books and creating/drawing was far more fun.

What were you obsessed with as a kid? 

When I was small I loved Strawberry Shortcake, I still remember my mom bought me one of those painted polystyrene things for my wall of strawberry shortcake and her cat.

When you were pregnant with Olive how did you dream her childhood to be?

Filled with lots of family and laughter!

 Did you have a clear vision for her nursery before she was born?

Yes! When I was pregnant the only things on the market were either pink, blue, green or yellow so it was really hard acquiring pale grey and white items. I went with mostly white with my compactum, cot, rocking chair and rug all being white and then did soft grey accents. My dad had someone he knows make me a beautiful grey and white crocheted blanket and I imported a light grey intricate tree vinyl. The space was so calming, I loved it!

You clearly have a specific type of aesthetic that is ‘scandi’ inspired and minimalist, where did you the trends for children’s rooms going?

I think things are definitely moving towards bold colours and being a bit more eclectic but I still think there will always be a space for calm serene spaces.

A natural progression from authentic hand made children’s decor, Gen has expanded the Olly Polly offering to now include toys…

Introducing – Olly Polly Play 


When did the need to add toys to your range occur?

I think most of my range is driven by being a mom and then filling the need when I cant find what I’m looking for. For example I just couldn’t find beautiful dolls houses locally so decided to do my own.


Olly Polly designs are made in SA, with clear inspiration from International trends, do you see yourself branching out internationally?

I often get requests but for now I think I’m just going to keep it local, shipping is such a nightmare!

I love your new Play range, which are your 3 must have items?

Definitely the dolls house, the pull cart (the kids literally fought over it at the shoot and we had to hide it haha) and Terence T Rex (I wish he was around when Olive was going through her dinosaur phase!).

Are the toys designed for Olly Polly, tested to be safe for children to play with (wood, paint, etc)

Absolutely, no harsh chemicals here!


Why do you believe parents should support local makers?

There is so much incredible talent in our country and what better way to help our country grow than by supporting our entrepreneurs.



Find out more about Olly Polly here:  http://ollypolly.co.za/

During the shoot the kids were dressed by: Annapatat Kids, Eurobebe, Oliver and Bean, and Flynn Jaxon.

Skylar’s shoes: Shooshoos

WIN a R1000 Online Shopping Voucher with Olly Polly

In celebration of the new Play range by Olly Polly – you can win a R1000 shopping voucher to choose whatever you want off their online store! How cool is that!!!

To qualify as an entry, you have to be following on Instagram both @choosearow and @ollypollykids

PLUS – Enter your details into the competition entry form

T&Cs /Open to SA Residents only/Competition End 21.07.2017/ Can’t be exchange for anything else/This competition is in no way associated with Instagram/You can tag as many friends as you like/The winner will be chosen via a draw. To qualify you must be following both @choosearow and @ollypollykids on Instagram, and have enter your details in the entry form.



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