We chat to founder, Joanna Dunn who has recently launched a beautiful new calming bedding brand for kids, Minimello. With sleep and relaxation having a fundamental effect on childrens development, health and well being the Minimello range offers a subtle colour palette  designed to help both children and adults feel more calm after a day of stimulation.


Tell us about Minimello and why you started it?

Minimello is really about helping kids to relax before bedtime by creating a calm bedroom environment, and producing products that go towards that including organic cotton personalised bedding sets, cushions, lamps and towels, all with a calm colour scheme that is proven to help both adults and kids to calm down after a day of stimulation.

I started the business because I had always had in the back of my mind that colour can affect our moods, and when I started looking for bedding for my daughter I could only find either very plain or very bright options, so I had a go at designing some for her myself. When friends saw it and heard about the concept and started asking me to buy it too, I realised that there was really a gap in the market for calming kids accessories.

What have you found the most rewarding?

Lots of little things in the early days were so rewarding, like the first time I opened up the delivery of blanket samples and my daughter immediately snuggled up in them all! And more recently, building up a great relationship with The Children’s Sleep Charity who understand what I’m doing. Knowing it fits in with their ethos that they use to train sleep consultants is so great because I know parents can really start benefiting just by making small changes that I’ve introduced.

What have you found the most challenging?

It’s been quite a learning curve understanding the textiles and manufacturing side of things to be honest, an area I had no experience of before. Especially sourcing quality bedding in organic cotton has been a challenge because there isn’t a lot of it around. But I’ve met so many helpful people who are generous with their time in explaining to me and sharing tips that it doesn’t feel quite so much of a challenge. I’ve also have some experience of web design and coding in the past but dealing with technical glitches and no IT Help desk to call has kept me awake a few nights!


What did you do prior to launching Minimello?

I studied product design at university and was a designer for some time before having a career break and spending some time teaching English in Japan. On my return, I moved to London and have been primarily in financial services sector in Marketing and design, until earlier 2019, when I started Minimello.


What is your favourite part of running the business so far?


I enjoy having the freedom to make my own decisions, and not have to go to meetings to make things happen, having come from the slow moving corporate world! However that’s not always a good thing and it took me a while to let go and have other people take on tasks I couldn’t do myself, because I’ve always done pretty much all of the various steps myself. I had a bit of an epiphany while struggling to get the lighting right when shooting product photos and decided to get a great photographer in who did an amazing job, and have now learnt that being able to choose a team of excellent people and to trust them and rely on their skills is really rewarding, and liberating too.


Where do you see Minimello in 5 years’ time?


I see Minimello as really being a game changer in the world of interiors for children, and potentially adults. We design our homes based on taste and trends usually, without really thinking how the spaces we live in might affect our emotions and behaviour. However, awareness of colour psychology and physiology seems to be on the rise, there is a lot of work being done by interior designers in the field this year in particular, so I see Minimello as being a real driver of change, with children at the forefront, where parents can make simple easy changes in the home which could have  significant positive impact on children’s behaviour.


If you could change one thing on this planet what would it be?


That’s a hard one! But I think we need to look close to home and make small changes for us to have a big impact on the planet. There are so many things that we have to do urgently to save the environment and its encouraging to see that children are becoming more aware than their parents were about the impact we have on the planet. So I would ask that parents listen to their children about the environment and that families work as a team on ways to help reduce their carbon footprint. Parents are the ones who want their kids to have the latest toy, or clothes, which kids then pick up on and grow up with that mindset but it doesn’t have to be that way. Buy well, once and spend on experiences, not things.


Do you have any events coming up?


I’m organising an event at the moment in St Albans, Nap At The Museum on Friday 27th September at the St Albans Museum and Art Gallery. It’s an event all about sleep and good bedtime routines with fun activities for kids and parents to try. There will be yoga, storytime, crafts, sleep consultants, lovely bedroom furniture and accessories to bid on in the auction and a marketplace of lovely local ethical businesses. The idea is that bedtime can be a fun part of the day, and doesn’t have to be a battle and the event is a nice opportunity for parents to feel they are supported and there are other people going through the same things. The event is all in aid of two fantastic charities The Children’s Sleep Charity and Mind. More information is available at www.minimello.com/naptime and there are still some tickets available, so sign up soon.
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