Tell us a bit about the story behind your brand; your inspiration, the meaning behind your products and designs, your brand mission, etc
I have always wanted to work for myself and having 5 kids under 6 gave me the opportunity to do so. Being able to raise our boys and bring in an income gives me the best of both worlds. I started a packaging business just after my first was born, hand crafting photography packaging, timber memory boxes and urns. We started to have timber off cuts piling up and I was wanting to find a sustainable use for them. I was discussing with my local preschool about making puzzles out of the scrap piece of wood and after extensive research, I found that there was an obvious void in the market for Australian themed educational resources.
With focusing on teaching Australian kids about their own backyard, 5 Little Bears was born. All my products are designed and skilfully handmade onsite in New South Wales and are proudly Licenced Australian Made. I have loved every minute of this journey creating 5 Little Bears, teaching kids about everything Australian. Most kids know what an elephant or a giraffe is but not a wombat or Tazzi devil. My boys have learnt so much since I have made these products I could only image how many other kids have done the same. I love designing new products, not sure who gets more excited, me or the boys when we test them out! I feel I have finally found my purpose, teaching kids about Australia! Their own country!
What sets your brand apart from similar companies?
Australia was lacking good quality Australian Made and Australian themed puzzles and sensory products. This is 100% of our range, our products are made right here in Australia, this is something that sets us apart from the rest.
What were the first steps you took to launch? And what would you say was the scariest part/your biggest fear?
When launching I was very unsure on the market I needed to target! I started with day-care and preschools showcasing the products knowing this was a market I had researched and there was not a lot of Australian themed resources, so it was a good starting platform. We have just grown from there on social media. I was not scared, I was excited; I had made products that were not in the market, I was going in full steam ahead, I did not have time to be scared!
What sparked the idea to start this business?
Just needing to do something different, I was not being appreciated for all the hard work I was putting into my other business and was just hating what I was doing! After attending a conference in Melbourne, I came home so inspired I just wanted to do something new. I am a creative person and love designing new things, this business just suites me perfectly. I do not just make our pieces, we also make a lot of custom pieces for other people. I love being their ideas to life!
Why does Australia play such an important part in your brand story, from being Australian made to your beautiful Australian themes and designs?
With having young children, I saw that they all knew what the African animals were, but having resources that are Australian themed was very important. Being Australian myself, I am able to teach kids about our amazing land; something they may not ever learn unless these products were in the market.