Meet Rachael and Ishak, the sweet couple behind Milk & Masuki. We chatted with them about their handprinted baby wares, the benefits of organic cotton, and Princess Smartypants...
|Rachael in the Milk & Masuki studio|
Can you tell us the story of Milk & Masuki? How did you start out?
Milk and Masuki came into being when our little man came into the world almost two years ago. We were looking for some cool organic baby bits for him and alas found not a lot. We had also been looking for a way to use our visual arts background as a means of supporting our new family so we thought we’d throw caution to the wind, quit our jobs and start up our own baby label.
What inspires your designs?
We are quite eclectic when it comes to inspiration, we love looking at art and interior design and so take a lot of cues from design which is very un-baby related, which I think (I hope) gives us an edge.
|Handprinting gorgeous Milk & Masuki dribble bibs|
And all of the designs are hand printed by you? Can you take us through the process?
Yes! We have a lovely print studio next to our house where we design all of our textiles, and print most of them too. The process is quite straight forward, the designing usually takes months of agonizing and refining, we then get our printing screen burnt with our designs, mix up our colours, and off we go.
We love how family oriented Milk + Masuki is, how do you juggle family life and work life with your cute little boy in tow?
Ah, well truthfully, it’s a huge struggle with a little one as we’re constantly going to markets and traveling around on top of design and production deadlines. In the end we have made it work for us (lots of very late nights!). We usually take turns caring for him, but I still think the best thing about our business is that we have every meal- breakfast, lunch and dinner- together as a family. I’m sure not many people can say that theses days, so we feel extraordinarily lucky.
|Ishak screenprinting in the studio|
Using organic cotton is a huge part of your brand's ethos, is it something you're very passionate about? Why is that?
For us using organic cotton for Milk and Masuki was an easy decision to make. I think the greatest thing is that we have become more passionate about it the more we understand its benefits. In the beginning we knew its environmental and personal benefits but as we researched, we discovered that we’re supporting an industry which benefits the workers and farmers in developing nations too, which is important to us. The W.H.O. released some scary statistics about the health risks of cotton farmers so its hard not to be passionate about an alternative product which helps so many people and our planet too, not to mention that it feels so luxurious on our skin.
And now for one silly question - when you were a child, who was your hero and why? It could be a fictional or real person...
Ooh, that’s a good one. When I was little I read theses picture books called ‘Princess Smarty Pants’ (it sounds awful but they were truly gold.) The little Princess was a real rebel and went motorbike riding and got up to all sorts of mischief, I thought she was fabulous, what a role model!