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Little Luv

Little Luv While most people would overlook a discarded sewing machine by the side of the road, one entrepreneurial mother, Mardi Zeunert, saw it as an opportunity to unleash her creative passion and as a result, bespoke toys, little luv was born.

Little Luv - bird wall hanging

(click image to see a larger version)

A year ago, the thrifty mother-of-one, sought an activity to occupy her time while daughter, Poppy, then aged one, napped.

It was a no brainer that the former Adelaide Festival media ticketing officer embarked on a creative venture, demonstrating an artistic flair producing a book, Vintage Colour in 2005, with London photographer, Steven Morris, showcasing the Australian Wine Industry.

"The catalyst for little luv was when I bought a mobile over the Internet and was disappointed with its quality," Mardi said.

"Following a sewing lesson from a friend, I planned to borrow my mum's machine to get things started, but after finding the machine, I no longer needed mum's," she said.

Now 12 months on, little luv is a mainstay at local markets including the hugely popular Mathilda's market, Mardi often selling out of the popular handmade toys such as the Birdy Mobiles, Do Not Disturb Birdies and Nonite Owls.

"I adore the market atmosphere, particularly the face-to-face contact with customers and get a real kick out of seeing the joy on their faces," Mardi said.

"It's really heartening to know that the products can bring so much happiness to both the purchaser and the receiver – just as much of a buzz as I get from making them."

Little Luv - bird wall hanging

(click image to see a larger version)

Mardi said while her little luv creations were designed for expectant mums and young children, the products were proving to be very popular with adults too.

"The Birdy Mobiles have taken off with adults. Several women have purchased the Mobiles to hang in their offices and homes. Some of the items have even been bought and sent across to England and the United States as one-of-a-kind presents for homesick Australian expats and their children," Mardi said.

Not only does Mardi adore trawling through unique vintage fabrics at opportunity shops, but also her hand crafted toys deliver a message with names such as 'Save the Whaley'.

She also loves incorporating some 'vintage Australiana fabrics' into her creations, depicting Australian wildflowers and Aboriginal motifs.

She is also thrilled to have started using an eco-friendly corn fibre filling in all her creations, manufactured in Australia.

"I'm all for instilling some positive messaging in 'little luvs' about nurturing the environment, animals and human beings.

There's a wonderful synergy between education and play, so I was keen to incorporate the two." said Mardi.


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