Coco 6 Made By Mosey
Made by Mosey
Made by Mosey’s range of design pieces for the nursery and home, are created with love and care by Madeleine Sargent. Being entirely hand-made, no two pieces are identical, meaning each is uniquely special.
Madeleine, or Mads to those who know her, is one busy lady. You may know of Mads’ work – her beautiful mobiles, participation in the annual Design Files Open House , her Pineapples for Megan Morton’s Pop-Up, or perhaps you follow her on instagram. Either way, one thing is for certain – I feel honoured to have been able to spend some time with Mads recently to learn more about her life as a creative, mother and wife – she is one in a million!
Today, Madeleine launched her latest collection ‘ALL IN’ which I am told has been a long time coming and the result is a mix of decorative fabric products in strong punchy brights and bold black and white contrast. Cushions, garlands, diamonds and blankets all united by a common geometric aesthetic. I know I will soon be adding one of these timeless pieces to our growing Made by Mosey collection.
When I met with Mads, in her Hawthorn studio she was still fine-tuning the range and I am so pleased to share it with you today along with our studio visit. A big thank you to Otto and Coco, who are seriously the sweetest children – how lucky they are to have Mads as their mother!
How did Made by Mosey come to be?
On the surface it was a ubiquitous case of creative woman finds herself wanting to start a business that fits in around the baby she’s just given birth to. However in reality it was a little more complicated. I had a tricky time after the birth of my first son and sewing was very therapeutic. With a newly found interest in all things baby, I started to make things for children on a very small scale. Soft toys, costumes, and cushions, with strong patchwork elements in everything I made. It wasn’t until the subsequent birth of my daughter five years later that I really decided to get operation MbM off the ground and it began with a small range of mobiles. The cloud mobile I started making almost 4 years ago is still one of my most popular products.
What is your career background?
I studied photography at the Queensland College of Art and then went on to study interior design. A chance encounter with the kids across the hall at RMIT doing visual merchandising led me down that avenue and I worked for a number of years (between children) for a large furniture company doing all their instore VM. As I mentioned, after Coco was born I slowly built my business on the dining room table until she started school last year and I moved into my very own studio.
Who makes up Made by Mosey team? Management, number of staff?
I run this mutha along with my sidekick Amber whose competency levels are ninja-like with next-level ability to handle any job I throw her way. She is currently on ‘maternity leave’ but the day she’s back in the studio is the day I feel all is right in the world. My mother-in-law is a whiz on the Janome and has come on board and in the background is my long-suffering husband headng up the IT department. With this new collection, ALL IN, I will also outsource some of my sewing and stuffing to two local ladies and I had the pleasure of printing some of my patchwork designs with digital printers Frankie and Swiss. It’s the first time ever that I won’t be sewing every single item myself and that’s quite exciting.
What inspires you creatively and personally?
I’m inspired by colour. Good solid, blocks of bright colour. Geometry, graphic and clean lines. My husband Andy is quite extraordinary. He is incredibly motivated and his energy alone often sweeps us all along! As a graphic designer he has crazy vision and as a husband and friend he continually inspires me to be better. My kids inspire me personally with their way of being and also in the sense that I realise that I have a great deal of influence in their lives right now so I need to step up. My other mother friends who run their own businesses, stay at home, work full-time or casually also inspire me. I have a lot of time for mothers in general, the sisterhood is important and the less time we spend judging the more time we have to lift each other up. Naïve and unsophisticated sentiments? Possibly, but they’re my sentiments and I’m sticking to them! Other creatives include Pene Durston, Doug Johnston, Erykah Badu, Nicholas Ghesquière, Jim Naughten, Maryann Talia Pau Muiccia Prada, Lauryn Hill, The Mast Brothers…an eclectic, varied and miles long list of people who are inimitable, passionate, exceptionally talented and work hard.
What has been the best thing about being your own boss both before and after children?
I’ve only ever been my own boss after children so I can only speak to that. I love that I am very available to the children. For Andy and myself, it was a joint decision to make sure wherever possible, that in the early years, the kids had more of us than anyone else. For us that initially meant me staying at home whilst Andy worked and then eventually went onto mean being self-employed. Once the kids started school, fate took that one step further and I chanced upon a studio virtually on the grounds of the school my children attend! Sometimes I can hear Otto during recess and no, I didn’t necessarily want to be that involved in his every day life but I’m grateful that I can whip down for icy-pole duty and whip back to the studio in 20 minutes flat.
How do you balance (juggle) family time and work time?
I realised quite early on that it’s near impossible to achieve total work life balance and the sooner you take the pressure of that expectation off your shoulders, the better. Some days you win and some days you lose, but that’s life. Besides my idea of work life balance might not look like your idea of work life balance so I’m a big believer in doing what feels right to you. I’m extraordinarily lucky that I have a husband who has always supported (emotionally and financially), my dream of having a job that looks and feels just like MbM and works around the children in a very real way. I do not take this support lightly and am very aware that for many it is not always possible to choose what you do, so I throw myself into both roles with as much vigour as I can. Work time and family time lines do get blurred occasionally, but the kids are old enough now to understand that whilst Andy and I might have to work late or on the weekend, there are benefits to our flexible work schedules and when we go through parallel busy periods, we have wonderful friends and a little of our family here in Melbourne for support.
How are your days structure around your children and family and the shop?
I work between the hours of 9:00am and 3:30pm, so basically the school hours. My studio is within earshot of the school bell and whilst some days I get that bomb ticking feeling, like ‘but wait I need another hour!!’ I’m generally ready to pack up for the day when the kids come racing through the studio door. Some days they have after school activities so I carve out a bit more sewing time, other days when there is nothing on I get them to help me do a post office run or an out of studio errand that I haven’t attended to during the day. I don’t have a computer at the studio so after they’ve gone to bed, I hop on and answer emails, send invoices and do general admin. If the admin/email side of things is getting too crazy or I have shop updates to do, I spend a workday at home doing a big catch up. The computer is not my friend; believe me I wish it were. Our relationship is strained. Conversations are lost in translation and Andy often has to step in and mediate, or just fix the problem. I like it best when he does the latter.
Your new collection launches TODAY, tell us more about it what else you have planed for 2014 and beyond.
Yes, I’m so excited about my new collection ALL IN that is in the shop today! It’s a mix of decorative fabric products in strong, punchy brights and bold black and white contrasts. Cushions, garlands, diamonds and blankets all united by a common geometric aesthetic. I’m excited about doing The Big Design Market in December with my friend Madeleine Stamer! We hope to collaborate on a little something especially for Christmas too. I’m excited about a trip to New York with my husband in October (also Chicago and Portland but did I mention NEW YORK!) where I have my eye on a couple of potential stockists. And last but not least I’m very excited to have my Girl Friday back in the studio. There is a hole in my heart that can only be filled by Amber.
What are your goals for Made by Mosey in 2014, 2015 and beyond.
I’d like to work on a few large-scale projects. I have ideas that I never have time for so I feel as though this range is the beginning of me stepping back from all the sewing of each and every product and maybe carving out more time to work on one-offs, an exhibition, possible collaborations? I’d also like to get more proficient on the computer. I’d like to be able to re-size a goddamn file so that when I get an image request from a stylist I don’t have to walk sheepishly to Andy and confess that the last time he taught me how to do it, the dot points I was making earnestly on my notepad, were in fact not related to what he was showing me, but instead a list of things-to-do for my sister’s hens party in November.
Madeleine’s Petite Edit
Best place for Sunday breakfast?
My husband is training for the Chicago marathon in October and Sunday mornings are when he does his long run so I am up early with the kids whilst he’s out running. Otto makes amazing pancakes and we usually wait until Andy gets home to eat breakfast together. On Mother’s Day this year Andy was out of town for work and the kids were determined to serve me breakfast in bed. Without Andy’s help they not only managed to bring me breakfast, they organised the morning all on their own. Otto used his pocket money to buy me a present but Coco being the tricky and determined girl she is came up with a plan of her own. She and I like to watch Jamie Oliver’s cooking show, so she borrowed a dvd of the show from our local library and wrapped it up. She noted I’d have to return it but was that ok? It was so endearing and so precious that I had to blink back tears. The three of us sat in bed watching Jamie and eating our breakfast. It’s a Sunday morning breakfast that I won’t forget in a hurry!
Best place for a family getaway?
We like to go camping in Howqua National Park. Although Andy is often found perusing the Kathmandu catalogue ‘just in case’, we’ve now reached the point where we have all the kit necessary and we can be packed up and on the road before you can say ‘longdrop toilet’ Where we camp is pretty raw so the kids get to be feral and don’t have to have showers and can toast marshmallows for breakfast and skim rocks over the creek that runs through the forest. It’s quiet and idyllic and we can truly slow down.
What is your go-to resource?
Instagram I have to say. I find the fact that you can follow the journeys of so many inspiring people so closely quite amazing! A lot of my creative hero’s/crushes/people I look up to are on Instagram, so to think I can get my art, craft, fashion and music fix anytime, anywhere with the scroll of a thumb blows my mind. When my thumb needs a rest, I lose myself in my favourite book in the world. Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of The Quilt. It makes me cry and sometimes I have to put the book down because it often overwhelms me, but I never fail to read or notice something new and I always walk away thinking.
Favourite childrens fashion range
I have an unhealthy obsession with Mini Rodini . It’s bordering on the ridiculous, but they just seem to get it right season after season. It’s all such great quality, incredibly hard-wearing and most pieces are unisex which means Coco can wear all Otto’s hand me downs and they look as fresh as they did when he wore them five seasons ago. Closer to home, I adore Minti Melbourne based and so much fun.
Give a shout out to another inspiring business (ran by parents)
I love Dee Tang. She is the co-creator of Kawaiian Lion (along with Laura Liles) and someone I knew of through my sister. However, after mutually crushing on each other via Instagram I got to meet her in the flesh recently and I was seriously impressed by her relaxed manner despite the fact that she has successfully launched a beautifully curated homewares range whilst parenting a busy (absolutely gob-smacking beautiful) 7-month old daughter. She and her artist husband (who also collaborates on Kawaiian Lion) are definitely an inspiring creative couple that I will continue to stalk via social media forever more.
To coincide with the launch, Mads is offering gift enjoy free shipping (on all orders over $40) over the next 4 days! Simply enter the code ALLIN2014! upon checkout and you’re all good to go Shop the new collection, ALL IN now.
More on the Petite Edit
I must admit, I love a bricks and mortar store. I love being able to see, touch and feel what…
I mean seriously, can you think of anything cuter than tiny little feet in super colourful graphic print socks jumping…
Petite Collaborations Lucy Feagins, TDF
Lucy Feagins is an advocate for Australian design, as Editor of Australia’s most successful design blog The Design Files she…