Whether it’s a litter-picking badger dressed in pink, or a dinosaur in the attic, the characters and motifs featured in MiNiBEAU’s work aims to ignite children’s (and adults!) imaginations as well as encouraging self-belief and resilience. As founder Jennie Rivers says: “It’s a joy to see children interact with MiNiBEAU designs on their walls. They’re no longer just static pieces of pretty decoration but art that comes to life with just a little playful imagination; beds become castles, ships or rockets; floors are stormy seas, wild jungles and entire galaxies.”
Children and creativity are at the heart of this newly launched business, and Jennie is well placed to lead it with three children of her own, plus her 15 years of experience running her other brand – Paper & Cloth. The established design studio creates print, pattern and illustrations for retailers and manufacturers to use on their products, and it’s Jennie’s excellent team of artists who have earned Paper & Cloth a first-rate reputation in the industry.
It was Paper & Cloth’s success that has driven Jennie to act on her aspirations of launching their own collection of products. “I have dreamt about launching our own brand for a long time, but never found the right moment. When the pandemic happened, I wondered if we would ever get another opportunity, so decided to just go for it. It still took a long time to develop and refine what that looked like and how it felt.” MiNiBEAU finally became a reality in June 2023, with a range of illustrated wallpaper and wall art.
The team have started with a core range of art prints, wall hangings and wallpapers which they’ve split into key themes, inspired by the aspects of children’s development they wanted to focus on, such as creative thinking and imaginative play. For them, it’s not just about making beautiful art to display, but about the benefit they will have on the small people who are viewing them. This is why they have gone a step further and added an education consultant to their team. Vicky Satchell has worked in childcare from over 14 years and brings expert advice to the process with her experience in child development and learning.
Jennie is passionate about this element of what they do and how they are create the art: “I really want to promote the importance of creative thinking and shine a light on how vital it is to encourage this in both ourselves and our children. They are such essential skills we can gently encourage in our children in such effortless ways. Children naturally create worlds and stories and are huge bundles of unrestricted creative energy.” Their designs are a fun, yet subtle way to inspire curiosity in kids, for example their key product – the House print, illustrated by Hannah Tolson – is like a world within a world, which Jennie say has a nod the work of artist Richard Scarry.
She explains they chose a house for its familiarity, then added in lots of detail to draw the viewer in and allow imaginative stories to emerge, “we have used multi-generational figures and some fantasy elements to challenge convention and act as a springboard for them to make up stories or explore possibilities,” says Jennie. A dog doing the ironing and granny in the attic with a dinosaur certainly provides conversation starters between children and adults alike. Other prints deliver messages to uplift moods, inspire bravery, or promote environmental issues, such as ‘Less plastic more love’, ‘Get up and go again’ and ‘Forever fearless’ subtly conveying ideas to little ones that parents hope to instil from an early age.
Equally as important, Jennie and her team are conscious of their impact on the planet, and honesty and integrity are key when they are developing their products and sourcing materials and suppliers. Most of their range is made to order in the UK, using sustainably sourced paper and water-based inks, and they also plant a tree for every order placed. Longevity is central too, so creating work that feels timeless is their aim, with the hope that their products can be enjoyed beyond childhood or passed through the family.
Despite being a business in its infancy, MiNiBEAU clearly has a strong vision, and a team of artists who genuinely enjoy what they do helps to set them apart from bigger competitors. Jennie hopes to see their prints stocked in small stores and boutiques soon and perhaps even having her own retail space and dedicated studio in the future, but for now the MiNiBEAU artists will continue to inspire our little folk, nurturing their creativity and rousing their imaginations with make believe and magic.
Pictured is a selection of items from MiNiBEAU’s range of art, wallpaper and wall hangings. Below are the details and links to each piece:
Less plastic more love art print – from £9.95
Floral wall hanging – £65
House art print – from £44.95
Glasshouse wall hanging – £65
Boho floral wallpaper – £140 per roll
Alphabet art prints – from £9.95
Animals of the World art print – from £17.95
Forever Fearless art print – from £17.95
To view their full range visit www.minibeau.com
Follow MiNiBEAU on Instagram for a peek inside their creative world: @minibeau_official