Mandy Meyer is one of those people that you just instantly like! Creative and friendly – she just radiates creativity! We caught up with her to chat about her family, her lovely brand FOX AND MOON and what her 2016 trend obsession is.
∇ Tell us about your family
In one word … CRAZY! My family consists of my incredibly supportive husband Jarrod, my 5 year old daughter Willow who is a little flower child and definitely the wild artist kind like her mommy, and my 3 year old firecracker Summer. Willow has a HUGE personality and anyone who meets her is immediately drawn in, and Summer is such an animal lover – cats, dogs, birds, seashells, she loves them all! She has a big heart and will go out of her way to defend anyone she holds dear. Did I mention she’s feisty? Then there are the two crazy cats, two dogs (one of them so big he could pass as a horse), and 4 goldfish! Perfect mix for a perfectly crazy family!
∇ What do you do for a living and how did you get there?
I am the founder and designer at Fox and Moon. I started off my career in the field studying fashion design, but after a year of study I quickly realised it just wasn’t for me. I have always been a creative person, though, and so I knew I wanted to do something in design. So I studied illustration, and from there I began to offer my services as a freelance illustrator and things just took off. I think what really spearheaded me into creating the brand Fox and Moon was that, while I was pregnant with my daughter Willow, I battled to find companies in South Africa that were offering trendy upmarket nursery décor. It was then that I realised this was a gap in the design industry. I embarked on creating this brand for the modern mommy! Since then my sister has joined forces as a co-owner and designer, and she is just incredible! She has lifted our company to a whole new level. Fox and Moon has really fulfilled any dreams I thought it could achieve, but most importantly it has allowed me to work from home and still have that special time with my kids.
∇ How has your life changed since becoming a mother?
Becoming a mother has definitely changed me in so many ways. My daughter Willow alone has taught me so much. I watch how she has so much unconditional love to give. How beautifully her mind thinks and works, has really inspired me to be a better person, to be more like her, to feel emotions at the intensity that she does. My youngest daughter Summer has taught me so much too. Being the youngest child – and my last – I feel like I have learnt to treasure the little moments more. To really be switched on when I’m around them. I don’t want to miss anything! Yes of course everything isn’t always sunshine and roses! I have had to stop and regroup mentally a few times. I think the worst is, as a parent, that you learn you don’t have all the answers, and that even trying to look for any such answers via channels like the Internet can drive a person mental. There is just no black and white when it comes to raising children. Each one is so unique and comes with their own set of vices that no one rule applies. I think for me that was the hardest part – sifting through so much advice, even questioning myself at times. In the end, though, I have learned that they will do just fine! Follow your internal mommy instinct, because 99% of the time you do know what’s best!
∇ Your kids have interesting names… what inspired you?
Whilst pregnant with my oldest daughter I had PPROM at 27 weeks. I remember the day so clearly! Our doctor wasn’t sure when exactly she was going to come, but they were quite certain labour was imminent. And so, in order to prepare us for a premature delivery, they took us on a tour of their NICU ward. Here we got to see these tiny babies from 25 weeks old, fighting for their lives! It was the most heart wrenching day. I was immediately put on strict bed rest to try and keep my baby in for as long as possible. With nothing else to do and loads of time to kill, my husband and I started looking for names. We wanted something that was a strong name, because if she was born early she would need to be strong to pull through! It was then we saw the name Willow and I immediately knew it was the one. To me, a Willow tree represents strength and beauty – and I wanted that for my child. A few weeks on bedrest and I managed to carry to term and our gorgeous Willow was born! Both our girls names have come from nature, and with Summer I had a beautiful pregnancy. On all the scans she looked like she had a smile on her face. The name Summer was perfect for her, it represented happiness and fun! Something I felt throughout my pregnancy!
∇ If I need to reset and get inspired I …
… put on my favourite beats and pump it loud! I have always been moved through music. There is a song for every emotion I’m feeling, :)! My husband always knows what mood I am in by what song I am listening to! So when I need some creative juices flowing I put the music on and let loose.
∇ Motherhood sometimes …
… can be most rewarding and satisfying, yet extremely taxing at the same time. There is always something new to learn about yourself, about your kids, about the way you handle situations. The absolute beauty of it is watching these tiny people you created grow into their own little personalities (ok, in my family …. BIG personalities!) I am always in awe at how polar opposite my kids are. Their personalities are like fire and ice – and I suppose that’s part of what motherhood is all about: learning to nurture each individual’s personality.
∇ My home is …
… my creative hub. Everyone who knows me knows to expect something new and outrageous each time they visit. From changing colour schemes to giant paintings on the wall, my home is in constant change. I love it that way! I love being able to change up and refresh as I please (Yes, hubby is finally getting used to it). It’s funny because many friends who visit my home rush straight to my kids room expecting it to be decked out in all my shops designs with nothing other than a monochromatic colour scheme, but alas my home is also my family’s home, especially my girl’s room – they chose what they wanted. So it was bright pink and turquoise, with floral bedding, and one random (GASP!) Barbie pillow! I do have a print or two in their room, which is better than nothing I suppose. But I am happy that they LOVE their room and that’s all that counts when you trying to get them to sleep in their own beds at night!
∇ My 2016 trend obsession is …
Green! And nature prints! I am loving the use of the delicious monster and banana leaves in designs. I think its fresh and something that is always on trend. We normally only see these prints for adults, and so we are bringing them into our nursery décor! Life is too short to be boring!
(Check out their awesome muslin burp cloths coming soon!)
∇ My kids would describe me as …
Ok so I did ask my girls this question and they honestly thought I was going more mad the more I tried to explain it to them. They both insisted every time I asked the question that I’m “MOM”. Willow – eventually exasperated after I was trying to explain what the question really meant – said “OK, then …Mandy’”. Either it completely went over their heads, or they genuinely think of me as having mommy qualities!
∇ If I had a do-over…
I would do it all exactly the same! Ok I lie … maybe I would have asked for the epidurals sooner! Lol. But really, I am exactly where I want to be in life right now. I am content and happy. I have learned so much through this journey of mine. I feel that all the negative trials have helped me to be a stronger person and all the conquests have allowed me to be more confident and shamelessly proud of myself. So, no, I wouldn’t do anything over.
∇ On a Saturday morning we
… dream of sleeping in, really we do. But we get woken up at 6am on the dot, come rain, come shine, come weekend! So we usually are up and about and done with breakfast all before 7am. Then we can take the rest of the morning really slow!