BELIEF – “Creative children become brilliant adults”
I think about creativity like a complex sense. It could be cultivated, enriched to achieve harmony, balance, intelligence, joy. Creativity makes us aware of who we are and the things that surround us provides us with freedom and attitude in life.
In raising and educating children, the space that surrounds them is of great importance. The comfort of the environment and the harmony is a result of a well-planned design: the color of the walls, the bed where they sleep, the desk where they do their homework, the toys and all the decorations, the playhouse from the garden and so on.
Every child is unique, with his/her own personality. Respecting them, feeling their interior resort, and putting all the effort to conceive the world where they find themselves, is the key to a happy, comfortable childhood, a safe place to grow and create a life that makes them happy.
My educational background supported my professional career along the way: a 5-year pedagogical high school that offered me a kindergarten and primary school teacher diploma in 1996, followed by 5 years of design university with specialization in fashion, graphic, product, and interior design, and a post-university pedagogical module for preparation as an art teacher in secondary school and college. You can see how the combination worked perfectly and brought me here, close to the kids.
Until MINY WORLD was born, my professional experience was a lot in fashion, product, and interior design aside from 4 years as an art teacher at primary school and college level. A lot of fancy clothes, created and sewed by me for friends, clients, dancers, and a lot of interior décor and design from kitchen, bathrooms, living rooms, and whole houses even inns shaped me along the way. Having the chance to do interior design for kids’ playrooms and bedrooms, creating all the details, making custom furniture and toys opened my heart for this road.
A very related activity was a creativity classes program that I designed especially for kids and that I have started to offer to kindergartens, libraries, and private places since 2009. Developing such a project came so naturally to me because of my professional background. Understanding the kids’ psychological and pedagogical needs, being able to design art and craft ready to make projects for their specific ages set very quickly the program to success. I had the opportunity to show my research to a professor from Exeter University, that was at that time a vice president in the creativity commission for the whole of England. She encouraged me to continue the work with the kids, finding my creativity program for kids fascinating.
Creating themed setups for kids’ parties the last came in the business. I remember a summer camp in 2010, in a beautiful inn situated in Carpathians Mountains, Romania. Kindergarten kids from Bucharest spent three days together with their teachers in the middle of nature away from the city. I was invited to teach a creativity class each day. For one of them, I prepared teepees with tree branches used for poles. On the fabric, I draw with a pencil character from Winnie the Pooh, and I gave children brushes and acrylic colors to paint directly on the tepees. They had the time of their life. The kindergarten kept the tepees, and they were happy to tell me that they used them for a long time to organize picnics in the classrooms. It was my first experience with the tepees, too and I enjoy it the same. I always kept in my mind the idea to continue this project. In 2019, here in Canada, I found the time and place to go on with it. Now we offer a large palette of themes with tepees and tents, also we expanded to a drive-in cinema, spa theme, indoor and outdoor picnics, and tea parties.
HOW IS MADE
I start every creation with a sketch, an idea, and a purpose that solves a kid’s need. I try to put myself in their place, and I want to cite here a saying from Ursula K. Le Guin that helps me to remain on track: “The creative adult is the child who survived”. Many times, when is about wooden toys and furniture the ideas pass through my computer where are prepared to become a clean layout that follows to be cut to a CNC router. There it comes almost reality. Just a few steps before finish: some sending, some handmade engraving, and painting. I like to work the details myself in my workshop that many times happens to be in my garage or in my backyard shed. When I need to sew, I’ll go to my basement. I kind of occupied my entire house so I think moving the workshop to a different location will become soon a necessity and a dream that hopefully will quickly happen.
A FAMILY BUSINESS
I consider myself lucky because I had my daughter, who inspired me all the way since I began my journey along with the kids. She was 5 years old when she became my first student in my creativity classes and now at 17, she is my assistant since 2017. She also had the first MINY WORLD tepee party experience and now she is helping me with the setups.
MINY WORLD became a family business. Gabriel, my husband supports my ideas, he takes care of our website and helps me anytime I ask for a hand.
We are so proud that all MINY WORLD projects are designed and produced here, in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Grand Montreal, Quebec. Handmade work is 90% in our workshop. We hope to grow the 10% with local company collaboration since we want to sustain our local economy. We also want that our beautiful handmade projects to reach as many kids from our communities as well as from the whole of Canada.
We are also proud to maintain collaborations with a few local companies which also become our friends and we hope to grow together.
WE THINK GREEN
We are thinking of kid’s safety, the reason for what the materials we use mostly are form soft, durable, and renewable natural fibers. We use a GREEN process of production, with a lot of respect for the environment and people. We are not buying materials from sources that use kids for labor. We try as much as possible to find sources that conduct sustainable farming practices. This means the reduced use of fertilizers, pesticides, and water, improved working conditions and earnings for farmers, and benefit ecosystem health and biodiversity conservation.
Every time we had the chance to replace the use of wood with alternative sources, we do it, the reason for which birch plywood is our first choice when we produce furniture and toys. It is a suitable material, the birch being reputable for its fast growth, thereby making replacement much easier. Plywood is a very strong material that will last for generations and is also recyclable.
My family and I as well as our collaborators want to warmly thank all our grown-up and little clients. Thank you for trusting us and supporting our small businesses. We will do anything in our power to serve you at the greatest standards as we did until now. We will use every experience to learn more about you and about our mother nature so we can coexist in a peaceful, respectful world.