Playtime, mealtime, tummy time, anytime with jnr.life!
As you may know, tummy time is important for neck control which is one of the key indicators of readiness to start solids! Which is why we’re so excited to speak with the founders Nikki Davis and Ashleigh Pyke about jnr.life in the lead up to our holiday giveaway — live December 6th on Instagram!
What is your background before starting jnr.life / What was the motivation to start your business?
jnr.life was born in Melbourne, Australia in 2018 from a desire for thoughtful, family-friendly products that complement grown-up
In a market saturated by clutter, founders Nikki Davis and Ashleigh Pyke felt there was an opportunity to enter the baby and children’s interiors space with a more sophisticated and considered design approach. Nikki Davis, with a career in design, trend and sourcing at global trend authority WGSN and Ashleigh Pyke, formerly of l’oréal and a-esque, with international brand, marketing and retail management felt their skills combined (and own experiences as mothers of two children each) would enable them to develop an offering which filled this void.
Have you been impacted by covid in a positive or negative way?
We have been very lucky having an online business and existing in a space where people are still having babies and investing in pieces for their homes (and children). Having said that – we live in Melbourne, and both have school and kinder age children and have spent most of the year on roller-skates between our kitchen “offices” and “classrooms” down the hall. And certainly having our normal support systems removed for an (extended) period has been the ultimate challenge. But we have to stand up and say we’re superwomen! Neither of us take no for an answer, and when we have an idea… we are very good at pushing each other (and those around us) to bring it to life. jnr.life is our shared baby.
We have also just launched jnr.play! A series of minimalist soft-décor ‘play shapes,’ handcrafted in Melbourne (during a pandemic!) by a third-generation furniture maker. jnr.play is a culmination of our dream to give play dimension to our cult boom boom playmats, but just as significantly – to manufacture part of our collection locally in Australia.
Our early conversations with the local maker started in January. And within only a few weeks we found ourselves (like most other businesses) with a compromised supply-chain from offshore and a local economy in strife. The stars aligned and we knew it was time to really mobilise. We had the opportunity to bring our brand-extension to life and also support local manufacturing and jobs. Now, we find ourselves close to the end of this crazy year and exceptionally proud and humbled to launch, jnr.play.
jnr.play is a collection of three geometric pieces plus a flat mattress. Each piece is crafted to exacting standards by hand – and made with love. Oversized and lightly padded, they are perfect for rolling, climbing and gentle flip flops. At multiple sizes, the multi-purpose 3D modular system is ripe for open-ended, imaginative fun. Pushing the bounds of creativity, the collection is joyful recreationally but with its clean-lined architectural forms, is just as beautiful sitting still in an adult environment.
At jnr.life, the Australian lifestyle concept has also always been paramount – it was (and is) really important for us to create products that can live families indoors and outdoors. The fabrics for jnr.play are also sourced from a premium local fabric supplier who has been in the business for over 50 years. They are textured for an added sensory-experience for children, oeko-tex certified and robust enough to withstand to sticky fingers, spills and UV. The launch palette is bold, summery and complementary to our boom boom playmats. Our collections are designed to work back together. Function is just as important as form. At the end of the day, they can simply be spot- cleaned, or thrown in the machine. We know how to make family-life easy!
What are your favourite and most recommended tummy time toys to go with your mat?
jnr.play (see above!)
A family can also never have too many books, whether gifted, bought or borrowed. We truly believe in the benefits of reading to and with children from a young age- for their language, literacy and social development are enormous. And best of all, it can be done together, right from birth. For tummy time, you can’t go past the extensive and delightful “That’s not my…” collection by Usborne.
You also can’t go past a (baby-safe) mirror and wooden toys, in bright colours and shapes, for open-ended play. We are fans of Grimms (and have used them in a few of our shoots).
It was purposeful that we created our playmats in bold colours with a small geometric quilting profile for ultimate comfort. We wanted to minimise the distraction when any toy (even the garish, loud ones) were placed on the mat for babies to explore.
You can check out the jnr.life range on their website here!
Make sure to follow both accounts on Instagram for the launch of our giveaway going live on December 6th. Good luck!
For more blog posts like this head to our Baby & Toddler Category