COMMON PEOPLE Jasmine Ward - Tiny Wild Collective director, graphic designer and small business innovator By Liz Rogers

Are you ready to experience cuteness beyond cuteness? Adoring mum and full-time creative entrepreneur Jasmine Ward creates small things that are big on ideas, beauty and brilliant functionality. Jasmine’s Tiny Wild Collective custom-designed products for babies and tiny tots are made right here in our own backyard and are brimming with fresh bouncing baby goodness. Mornington Peninsula Magazine chats to Jasmine about swaddles, blankets and being environmentally conscious. 

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How do you get so much ‘adorable’ into such little items?
I am and always have been a very visual person obviously to do the job I do. I’ve been working in print and media for 10 years now. I have always had a love of art, design, colour and typography, which led me down the path of design and media. It’s a mixture of creativity and bringing something different to the market; going a bit wild and stepping outside the lines of the usual. 

When did you start the business and why?
It’s funny, actually - I started when my little boy went into a bed and I couldn’t find anything I liked for his sheets. I took myself down to Spotlight, bought some fabrics I liked and tried my hand at sewing again. It really was like riding a bike. 

How did the name Tiny Wild Collective come about?
We nicknamed our son “baby tiny” when he was a newborn because, although he wasn’t small in terms of a newborn, he seemed so small to us. It kind of stuck. I wanted to incorporate Collective into our name because I hope to continue to bring out new products and didn’t want to be tied to one specific description. 

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Tell us about the Tiny Wild Collective range. What can ‘on the hunt for cuteness’ clients find when they go to your online store?
I try to be versatile and have something for everyone. I don’t think I have a particular ‘style’ and I can be really flexible in bringing ideas to life and seeing what other people envision. My personal favourites are florals and monochrome designs, but I’m always open to suggestions and seeing what we can create. Some of my favourite orders have been completely custom and some I’ve added permanently.

Your range has expanded quickly. How does the order process work and what’s the turnover time?
It’s all done online via my website. Once an order is placed I receive a notification and I send everything to print of a night time when I get home from work. Because everything is printed in Australia my turnaround is quite quick. Two weeks from order placement to shipping is our guideline, although I can have orders filled within a week depending on where I’m up to with my print run and delivery dates. I usually get a delivery once a week of 20-30m; I bring it home, cut it all up, separate it into orders, and get to work.

Why go hand-made?
I’m very hands-on and I love creating everything from concept to sewing to shipping. I would love to have a second pair of hands one day to help with the incoming orders. But I set reasonable expectations, and to me this entire idea was an exercise in creativity.  It’s all a marathon and not a sprint. 

What’s your favourite thing to create for babies and tiny tots?
My favourite are the swaddle sets. I get so excited when people tag me in their baby’s photos.

Your products are made from organic cotton. Please explain what you mean by ethical and sustainable and why that matters.
To be succinct, our printers are very environmentally conscious and that’s another reason I love them and love working with them. Everything they print is eco-friendly. They have minimum impact on the environment and minimal waste. Our inks are water-based and non-toxic, the cotton is all ethically grown and farmed and rotated, and no matter if I have a busy week of 30m to print or a quieter week of seven, there is no minimum requirement so therefore no waste. Ethical to me also means to be supportive of other brands and individuals, so some of our designs I create from pen and paper to computer, and some I purchase commercial licences for to support other artists too. 

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Any new designs for 2018 you’d like to give our readers a sneak peek at?
I have so many ideas for 2018! I’m actually having some quiet time when this will be published as my printers will be taking a much-deserved break, so I’m working on my website as well as some new designs and products. 

You work as a graphic designer at Mornington Peninsula Magazine, are owner/operator of Tiny Wild Collective and a mum. What do you do in your downtime if you have any?
It sounds crazy but Tiny Wild Collective is my downtime. I have such a love for creating. When I’m up to date with orders you can usually find me at the beach or at a park with my fiancé, our son and our dog or at home.

Any other local baby and children’s clothing/accessory makers you admire?
Piccolo & Mi - I adore their line and we have similar visions and ethics. Their products are incredible! I also absolutely love Something for Squirt. We have a great friendship too. I don’t see anybody as “competition” in all honesty. We can all learn from one another and love each other’s work. 

Do you ever collaborate with any of them?
I have a couple of collaborations coming up in the New Year so stay tuned. 

And finally, if you could give one piece of advice to all those newborns sleeping soundly in a Tiny Wild Collective swaddle, what would it be?
I think it’s more for the parents: be kind to yourselves and don’t blink. They aren’t tiny for ever. 

FB: tinywildcollective
INSTA: @tinywildcollective

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