As a young designer and commercial dressmaker, I was always drawn to colour and contrasts, style, and simple functional design. On the flip side I was a quiet homebody with a glaring aversion to glitz and glamour, noise and hype, and ALL things catwalk. To this day, 20 (or so) years later, I shudder at the terror filled days showing off my final submissions at the races. Lady’s day at the Oakes. Fashions on the field made my blood run cold, and I’m still haunted with the memory of having to actually WEAR my creations on a cat walk. To be in front of crowds was one huge stumbling block for me, but the real issue…the one that very nearly took me out….was simply having to walk rhythmically, in time to music. MAJOR stress, haha!! Truth be known I never really developed that skill but thankfully with age (plenty) and a whole lot more life experience (also plenty) I can actually look back and laugh with a decent dose of eye rolling. If only I knew then what actual hardship and stress felt like. I would have definitely savoured that moment :)
It wasn’t until much later that I actually set my mind to creating Minimuds, after I had three boys of my own (which is a whole different story, but one that you’ll see glimpses of often in my musings), and a yearning to get back to a much simpler existence. I was studying early childhood education and working in a brand new integrated preschool/long daycare centre in Alpine Victoria, Australia. We were struggling with the combination of our High country climate, a muddy outdoor play space which was yet to be properly established, and kids who were desperate to explore it.
I found myself gravitating towards, (and feeling really excited about) the idea of bush playgroups, ‘play based’ learning, and the benefits of the outdoor classroom. I loved the Scandinavian notion that ‘there is no such as thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing’, and I firmly latched on to it. It dissolved all the mama guilt around my own boys wanting to play outside in all (often extreme) weather, and opened up a much broader world for them to explore. It also made parenting a whole lot easier, and the anxiety levels in our household dropped a few hundred notches. Which had to happen…but that’s for another blog.
So you can imagine where this is going. Minimuds became our uniform of choice, although it wasn’t called Minimuds back then. But it was a complete game changer for me, in a topsy turvy world of massive piles of laundry (created undoubtedly through deliciously rascally antics), and the energiser battery-type stamina of my three boys, I could at least harness their drive for adventure and teach them how to unleash the power of their own imagination. To play, and invent games, and ride fast, and skid to a halt in a plume of dust, and to stop and breathe long enough to marvel at how magnificent the stars are in the night sky.
The soothing balm of nature. It’s free, it’s magnificent, and it works the kind of magic our kids need more of.