Pink NouNou the ethical baby toy brand…meet the delightful handmade extravangaza for little ones

The best way to describe Pink Nounou? Modern and playful designs for both kids and those young at heart! The gorgeous brand offers a range of textile and paper products designed for little ones but to be admired and appreciated by the kind of parents who appreciate practical and unique pieces. Pink Nounou’s cheery little softie characters in particular present a visual delight, ones easy to become attached to! There are also a ton of eco products to discover! Designer and CEO Ana Carriço creates one-of-a-kind dolls and soft toysbibs with fairy talesbaby rattles, pillows (mini or square), art prints and so much more. I caught up with Ana, the dynamic creative genius, to discuss some of the coolest toys in our play box and find out more about this exciting brand.

PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BRAND?

My name is Ana, I’m 42 years old. I LOVE to draw and travel (although I’m really afraid of flying), also I love chocolate, ice-cream & my beautiful daughter (not necessarily in this order!).

I was born in Mozambique lived in Portugal since I was 4 years old. I am currently based in Lisboa with my 10 year old daughter and my husband. I always lived by the sea which is also something I love and feel very connected to! I have a degree in Graphic Design and in these past few years I’ve been fully dedicated to my brand – PinkNounou.

My work is the result of my passion about kids design, illustration, children storybooks and fabrics. I want to create toys and other designs that children can play + cuddle + love and will mean something special in their childhood. My brand – PinkNounou – has a range of textile and paper products designed for the little ones and also for their parents who appreciate creative, modern and unique pieces.

As a designer, creator and mom, it’s super important for me to design (or illustrate) pieces that parents can easely incorporate in their kids rooms, which will be cherished for a long time. I want these pieces to  play a big role in playing & learning moments, assuring the perfect childhood memories! I know it’s a big aspiration but it’s what drives me 🙂

In 2012, some of my soft toys were featured in Jenny Doh book “We Make Dolls!”. I’ve also been lucky to see my work featured in other lovely sites and magazines. My dream is to grow my brand and live a simple, healthy, happy life with my family!

HOW DO YOU APPROACH SUSTAINABILITY/TRANSPARENCY WITHIN PINK NOUNOU?

I have a business which focuses on handmade products, but some are produced using digital technology to print my own illustrations into fabric in a safe way and with a final high quality. This kind of technique allows me to have fresh, new and very diversified collections (always made in small batches). I’m able to satisfy larger audiences and deliver reasonable prices without having to mass produce my products, I put a little love in each piece, with each one being hand cut & hand sew finished.

The collections with my illustrations are digitally printed onto a 100% cotton fabric using water based dyes. Digital printing is an environmentally friendly printing technique – it’s cleaner, safer, and usually less wasteful, and less environmentally hazardous than other methods.

Almost all my materials are sourced locally and everything is designed, hand cut, hand stuffed, hand sewn. I use a regular sewing machine (especially with an old Singer – which are the best!), and packaged and send them from my home studio in Lisbon, Portugal.

My watercolors are made with cold pressed acid free papers and I dedicate a lot of time and love to them! I value authenticity, trust, quality on the details of how things are made and supplies quality are also of the most importance to me.

WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU FACED WHEN TRYING TO GROW THE BRAND?

Being a creative kind of person, one of my greatest difficulties is finding that balance between the need to create and the business side of my work. I face it by trying to learn something new and useful everyday.
Marketing my brand in a effective and consistent way in order to grow – since there’s only one of me doing it all…it can be a tricky thing!

I haven’t had major setbacks but I deal everyday with the fact that this isn’t a hobby and I have to monetize what I do. On the long term this can be wearing. Which leads me to my “stay-positive-equation”: – You have to really, really love what you do and believe in it!

It is also important to have a clear plan to help go through the hard times, especially being honest and realistic about your goals.

Find out more about the incredible brand Pink NouNou here.