Are you doing up your baby’s nursery or putting together their big boy/girl room and looking for something different and unique? Then Squiggle and Squeak is the answer you have been looking for it is a super fun and original children’s linen and accessories range which is designed and made by mama Kim, she hand screen prints onto 100% cotton fabric and sews it all up in the beautiful mother city of Cape Town.
When Kim was a child she loved to climb trees and steal her brother’s he-man! (I can so relate – I used to do the same with my brothers action figures). You can really tell that this mamas entrepreneur spirit started young – to make some pocket money Kim picked flowers from her moms garden and sold them to neighbors for pocket money! There was also a softer side to this mama who loved her care bear teddy and her mom recently reminded her of her love for her Barbies (but also ken) and dressing them up.
We asked Kim some questions to give us some insight into her business and life.
When did you start?
I struggled to find good quality cotton bedding for my son, and one that didnt have embroidery or the latest tv cartoon on it. So i decided to hand paint a set as a little project and when friend’s saw it, suggested I try sell them. I laughed it off for a couple months, but was keen to find a way to work from home so I could spend more time with my 2 young boys…. so I signed up for the Lilliput market in May 2015. I kept wondering whether I should even go, and in the week leading up to the market, I decided to go for it and frantically hand painted (with a paint brush) for nights on end to make a few samples to test the market! From there, orders trickled in but took forever to hand paint. I then attended a screen printing workshop earlier this year with Zana, and through YouTube tutorials, turned the garage into a studio and taught myself to print! Much quicker, more accurate and professional, and way more fun!
Vision behind the name?
Squiggle and Squeak are the nicknames of my 2 young sons as babies…. Squiggle, my first born Luke who is 4yrs old (the colicky, wiggly one as a baby) and Squeak, my second son Troy who’s almost 2 (who loves to chat chat chat).
Where you always an entrepreneur?
My career was in the advertising agency world… but I’ve always wanted to work for myself. I even convinced my hubby to turn his craft beer hobby into a business (VonB Breweries) which we ran for a while (learning how to brew, bottle and sell craft beer), but recently handed over to his brother in JHB.
My calling has always been for the more creative side.
You are a creative person, where do you get your inspiration from?
I just love all the talent out there, I could spend days online looking at all the beautiful things other moms and small businesses make. Pinterest and instagram are great sources for ideas! My mom and sister are also very creative so it runs in the family!
What is your preferred art form?
I love painting… I was once commissioned to do a large oil painting version of Van Gogh’s irises for my mom’s good friend, which was quite an undertaking for me at 20 yrs old!
Did you love to draw and create as a child?
I remember taking extra art classes from a very young age. I’ve redecorated my bedroom walls countless times (with or without mom’s permission) and it always comes back to painting!
Any advice for other mom-entrepreneurs?
If its a passion you love, keep at it and give it horns… as it will reward you!
I’ve had days where I’ve questioned why I started this business and whether I should continue or give it up!
It’s hard in every sense: making a perfect product, learning how to sell it, networking with people, giving yourself a crash course for business on facebook and instagram, pulling all nighters sewing and designing, so that you can try fit in time with the kids…. as that’s why you want to ‘work from home’ isnt it, to spend time with them!
It’s very tricky trying to manage your time as a mom and being a mom-entrepreneur.
But then… when you get feedback from super excited and happy customers loving your products, its makes you all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that you made it, you did it, and you brought happiness to others! That’s the reward!