I have no idea where I stumbled across Ménagerie’s designer cushions the first time, but I was smitten from the start. I had to have a little one of the Schnauzer cushions and finally purchased one at the end of last year. I started following creative behind this successful brand Cecile on Instagram and again fell in love with one of her PJ bunnies. I literally stalked her until she made another batch of these beauties so that I could lay my hands on one!
Being bunny crazy is something that I have admitted to you lovilees before, but I am sure that I am not the only one who is totally head over heels for them! Cecile started Ménagerie with her line of Animal Friend cushions. Lately she has become obsessed with making dolls and softies and added a mermaid and PJ bunny collection with have also been hugely popular. I interviewed her about her totally lovilee brand and get to share this ladies’ passion with you. (There is still time to enter the #bigbunnygiveaway that includes one of these PJ bunnies today here.)
‘Ménagerie’ is a word of French origin used to describe collections of odd animals that ancient explorers would bring back from distant lands in the age of seafaring exploration. It was an early version of a zoo if you like, but now it is used to describe any odd collection of beings, which makes it the perfect name for my cushions, dolls and softies.
Tell us a bit more about yourself and what inspires you
I have a BA in Fine Art specialising in Graphic Design, and worked for many years in various capacities in the Design, Animation and Film Industries. The arrival of my baby girl changed all of that of course. Now I am the proud mom of a 7 year old daughter and a 5 year old son, and children in general are the main inspiration behind everything I do.
I love Instagram for the way that it has given me so much insight into the process of such incredible makers around the world, but I also limit my own interaction with social media as otherwise there is too much looking and not enough doing! My favourite artists and makers are people who strive for authenticity always, and this is also something that drives me. I want to make things that have a simple design, with honest, good quality materials and bring some whimsy, humour and warmth into the lives of people who interact with them.
Can you share some juicy facts about yourself>
- I use too many exclamation marks! I just can’t stop!
- My children are way more talented and creative than I am.
- As a child I won debating competitions. (Now I can’t win an argument about bath time with my 5 year old.)
- I like maths.
- I love the chemistry of baking, I am always daydreaming about what I will bake next.
- I once had a job making the actor costumes for the International production of ‘Bananas in Pyjamas’.
What products / services do you provide?
- An Animal Friends line of cushions consist of carefully designed screen printed dogs and cats.
- A Woodlands range consist of a squirrel, fox and owl cushion set for nurseries, and were illustrated by me.
- My doll range consist of my Mermaid mama and merbaby set, my Amelie doll and DIY kit and my Pyjama Bunnies.
I have also been asked to work on an interesting commission, which will be revealed later this year, and of course I have so many other designs always in the pipeline!
Where can lovilees purchase your goods?
My products can be bought Internationally through my Etsy store, locally though my Hello Pretty store or straight from me. In Cape Town I am stocked by Vamp, Nap Living, Fabricate and Present Space and then there are loads of little stores dotted throughout the country that keep stock of my goods, and I always endeavor to keep an up-to-date list on my website!