Mad About Mini and Mikaela of Mowgli and the Bear have known each other for a number of years. You would have seen some of Mikaela’s incredible work across our social media and have most likely seen her two cheeky boys, Kemba and Omri.
Mikaela is one inspiring lady who has found the balance between being a mum, a teacher and a creative genius. We just adore her styling of our Mad About Mini products too – make sure you check out her dreamy flatlays!
We sat down with Mikaela to find out her inspiration behind Mowgli and The Bear, the secret behind her photography skills, and why quality kid’s clothes matter… AND how she gets her boys out of the house at 7am!?
What was the inspiration behind Mowgli and The Bear?
I started Mowgli and the Bear as a creative outlet while I was home on maternity leave with Kemba (M’s first son). I really struggled adjusting to motherhood and being home after being absorbed in my job for so long. Instagram and the community of similar minded people provided me not only a place to be creative but it allowed me to make so many beautiful connections with other mothers.
How do you balance being a teacher, a creative at home AND a mum? Tell us your tips (please!)
Fake it until you make it!
Going back to full time teaching between each baby has been both challenging and rewarding. It’s definitely a balancing act that I am getting better at.
We have a pretty strict morning routine which gets us out of the house by 7am. I'm lucky that the boys attend the early learning center on the same campus as me. I really love my job as a primary teacher and still find it very rewarding! I think if I didn't love my job so much I would find the balance much harder. My husband is very active with the boys and while I do the morning school run (which can be quite the marathon) he usually picks them up in the afternoons which allows me time to get work done. I rarely bring any work home and instead use my lunch breaks and non-contact time efficiently.
As for photographing the boys, that all happens on the weekends on our way out the door to the Sunday markets or to the beach. Flatlays are done during the boy’s rest time in the middle of the day on either Saturday or Sunday and then I edit while watching TV in the evening.
What attracted you to Mad About Mini?
Funnily enough, Mad about Mini was one of the first Instagram brands I ever discovered. I had many screen shots of their items on my wish list for a long time. I loved the bold colours and prints available for boys!
What do you love most about putting your boys in Mad About Mini?
My boys literally live in Mad About Mini! Everything washes and wears so well; stains come out, the shape of each item remains and the colours do not fade! To me this is second to none.
I love the classic and bold prints and I also love the ability to coordinate my boys outfits (and mine sometimes). I also love how the sizes go up beyond many other online companies. I look forward to matching my three boys in the new year!
When it comes to picking clothes for your boys, what are your three non-negotiables? (i.e. has to be cotton, certain colour palette, Australian brand or not?)
1. Quality is really important to me! Clothes need to wash and wear well over and over again.
2. I generally prefer neutral or muted colours these days but can be swayed by fun prints.
3. I love options for matchy matchy without being exactly the same so prints in a number of styles like a tee, romper and shorts are also a draw card.
What are your suggestions on how to care for your kids clothes?
I always soak items with stains and chuck in a scoop of Napisan in every load.
You capture your boys in such candid moments. What are your photography tips?
I use to plan pics out but soon realised capturing my boys in the moment is always better. I usually have a 1 - 3 minute window and just snap away and there is always one good pic worth editing. The most important elements are natural light and an uncluttered background. Everything else can be edited.
Must have Mad About Mini item?
I am loving the simplicity of the little summer rompers! Omri (Mikaela’s youngest son) has been living in them and I just love how they hug his belly. I also love the Herringbone Check print – such a clever neutral that can be paired with anything.
Your three favourite Australian brands?
Of course, Mad About Mini! My other three favourites are:
Make sure you follow @mowgliandthebear_ on Instagram for more styling and flatlay love.