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INTERVIEW: REBECCA MEYER FROM LA DE DAH KIDS

As a mother of two, Rebecca Meyers aim was to design quirky and unusual pieces with an emphasis on quality and durability and in 2011 La de dah kids was created. La de dah kids deliver a beautiful collection of handmade decor and toys that will style and complete every gorgeous bedroom and nursery. All of their crochet toys are 100% cotton, making them hard-wearing and kid-friendly. Rebecca explains today to Who Loves That how it all came together.
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Tell us about La de dah kids. La de dah kids was born from a need for affordable, on-trend; quality kids toys and decor in Australia. We’re starting out small, but we hope to offer a vast selection of handmade and/or quality items including textiles, soft furnishings and toys. We do two ranges a year, and we aim to design quirky and unusual pieces, with an ever-present emphasis on both affordability and quality. For our niche product range, we use old school making techniques of knitting and crocheting our products from the finest 100 % cotton yarn.

Our La de dah kids products are our own unique designs and are made with love. They are tailored towards both children and the child at heart, lovers of the quirky and unusual, and anyone who reaches out to the amazing world with imagination, wonder and creativity.

Tell us a bit about yourself, your career background and what inspired you to launch La de dah kids.  I grew up in a small country town on the NSW, Victorian border. I then studied Fashion at RMIT in Melbourne which was great and where a passion for kidswear and all things kids really began. After finishing university I jumped on a plane to go to London where I found an amazing job working in the kidswear industry. I learnt a lot in this design position. The team and design director where very inspiring people, I got sponsored and stayed their 5 years. After returning to Australia I then worked at Ck clothing as Myer account manager and then a Buyer for Cotton on kids. My passion was always in the kids industry and when my second child was born I had discovered a niche, found a supplier and the timing was right so La de dah kids was launched.

Your products take you to Asia in your travels, how does this come about? We have always loved travel in Asia both before and after kids so I am always on the look out for a unique opportunity and a chance meeting on one visit lead us to a unique production set up. We are very proud of our unique and ethical production process. We hope to have this set up in other countries too.

You have two young sons, how do you balance your work and family time? To be honest it is a constant juggle but our own business is also a way of life. Our kids are always around the business, they travel with us – I think that because it is away of life our kids see it as a great adventure so it works well 80% of the time.

Having your own label/small business can come with it’s challenges as well as rewarding moments, tell us about some of them you’ve experienced since launching. So many Challenges the list grows almost daily but accepting that is part of being in business – makes it a lot easy to just roll with it. The biggest rewards are seeing our products loved and in the homes of so many people across the world.
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What’s one piece of advice you would give someone thinking about starting their own business? You need to have a real passion and love for what you do, find a niche, research the niche and be unique-make your own path.

Who designs your quirky little crochet characters? All designs are done in our studio in Victoria by myself. This is where the whole process begins.

What does your workspace look like and do you have a large or small team that works along side you? At present we have a shop/studio and storage all in the same place in Geelong which works really well. It is a beautiful old space, a bit New York Loft looking. We also have a small team that work along side us- myself, my husband, 1 part- time employee and 2 casual employees. It is a great team and the first year having staff.

Where do you turn to for inspiration? My kids, their imagination and play are all the biggest inspiration.

What does La de dah kids look like in 5 years? Hopefully still doing the things we love. More production set up in other countries to enable flexible working conditions to more women in the world and a little bit more life/work balance.

What does a typical Saturday morning look like for you? At the moment it is a juggling act of one of us is with the kids and the other is in the office for the morning. Afternoons are normally family time outside enjoying the sunshine somewhere.

5 quick questions
1. Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook? Definitely Instagram
2. Favourite coffee shop? At the moment drive through normally on the way somewhere or our local coffee shop near our office- the Coco Tree.
3. Magazines or Blogs? Both, love them both
4. Favourite La de dah kids product? Our large monkey, it was the beginning and I still have a soft spot for this product.
5. Favourite holiday destination? So many but at present the family favourite is a little island in Thailand.

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