I love meeting the beautiful artists behind the brands we work with, and Amee of Amee’s Atelier is no exception! This talented mum is the creator of a gorgeous range of handmade felt plushies, who whilst pregnant had a dream to make a zoo of plushies for her unborn son! From there, her business has grown to include cushions, bunting, and her super popular collection of play food.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I was born in Seoul, South Korea and came to live in Sydney, Australia when I was ten. I was such a stubborn one and gave my mum a hard time because I wanted to go back home! Eventually, I came to love living here and I can’t imagine living anywhere else now.
I always loved visual arts in high school and my teachers would always find me in the art studio working on my body of work instead of going to my classes! My love of art led me to do Jewellery and Object Design at the University of Sydney.
I always loved and wanted to work kids and after working at a childcare for a year, I decided to open my own Art School for kids and help them explore their creative side which I have been doing for the past decade. After taking maternity leave, I am slowly getting back into the routine of teaching kids art again.
I am now a mother to healthy, happy baby boy, Jonathan who is growing way too fast and each milestone he reaches, my heart swells with pride and joy.
How did you get started with your biz?
In Korean culture, we have a concept called”Taegyo”, which is a mindset that if the mother is happy and thinking positively during pregnancy, then the baby will be happy and have a positive/bright personality. Essentially, it is all about creating a positive environment for your baby to grow whilst in your tummy.
With this mindset, I decided that instead of buying toys for my bub, I would personally make them for him. So I started making felt plushies for him. I was going make him a zoo of felt plushies! Then I started thinking of educational toys or interactive toys that Jonathan could play with and thought of the felt veggie garden that he could play with and that’s how my food series was started.
Even though my body was getting heavier and heavier and morning sickness would come and go, I would be happiest when I was sitting there sewing away and thinking of what else to make for my bub. I have so many ideas in my head!
After making some felt cushions and toys for some of my friends, I thought to myself that this could be a good business idea. After some encouragement from my husband, I decided to actively market and sell my products under my Amee’s Atelier brand. My Art school had always been about unleashing your child’s creative side and I thought that my handcrafted felt plushies and educational toys would be just what your child needs during their most inquisitive years. I would say that this side of my business is in its infancy and I want to grow it with a personalised touch. I don’t create my products in bulk, I am passionate about my products and personally make each one.
What (or who) are your biggest influences?
I would say both my husband and my mum. My husband is my best friend and the foundation of our house, sturdy and dependable; Jonathan and I can always rely on him to encourage us and make us think positively. My mum and I are more like best friends than mother and daughter. We’ve experienced so much together and she helped me so much during the first two months of being a mum.
Do you experience mum guilt and how do you tackle that?
I would say it’s 50/50. Being a first-time mother, you have no idea what you’re doing most of the time and it breaks your heart when your bub throws up because you didn’t burp him enough, or if you’re giving him too little tummy time (or too much) or if he’s tired and sleepy but you can’t settle him down. On the other hand, I think it’s important for your well being to take time for yourself and your own projects. It’s where I have gotten a lot of encouragement from my husband to work on my passions. I think a lot of mothers can relate to this; it’s nice to be known as Amee again and not just as Jonathan’s mum
If you could sum up your day in three words what would those words be?
I always need my cup of coffee, as there are endless nappies to be changed but everyday I feel fulfilled.
What does your workstation look like? Share a photo if you’re brave enough!
What are your big goals for the next 12 months?
In terms of my business, I would like more people to be aware of Amees Atelier and what I am passionate about. I would also like to be involved in showcasing my products at Art Design & Fashion/Handmade markets as there are quite a few around in Sydney.
In terms of my personal life, experiencing the next milestones of my bub with my husband and continuing on this journey of parenthood
Exclusive reader offer
Amee is offering Nestling Collective readers 10% off your order at Amee’s Atelier, from now until the end of September 2017 – just mention Nestling Collective when placing your order! Order via DM or PM: