Where Minimello came from
The idea for Minimello came about one Tuesday morning, significant, because Tuesday mornings were the day of the week I worked from home when I was still based in an office. I could drop Little L off at nursery at 8, and be out surrounded by fields and big skies by 8.10. A walk of 45 minutes, through the green and blue would calm me and set me up for a busy day back at the desk at home from 9.
After a few weeks, I realised that I craved this time on a Tuesday. I even bought myself some new walking boots. And I couldn't work out why it had become so important to me. I love the fresh air, and the fact that I have this beautiful countryside around me, but I realised the only way I was keeping on top of my anxiety was making sure I did my walk.
And it was around about this time I was reading up on kids and sleep and discovered more about how many children struggle to relax before bedtime. Little L was taking longer to calm down after a busy day at nursery, and the transition to her moving from a grow-bag to duvet got me thinking about how her bedroom could help her get to sleep more easily. I had picked out a neutral pale green for her walls when we moved in, but now I was at the point of buying her new bedding, all the options seemed to clash, or mask the shade, nothing went any more unless it was grey or white. The sickly pinks seemed to be the only choice...
So, enjoying a challenge, I thought why not just design one for her myself? I got the Adobe Illustrator cranked up, and did some sketches of things she likes, which happened to be elephants, rabbits, and hot air balloons.
Having read up on colours and sleep a little more, I was pretty sure that the colour green was still a good choice for a bedroom. it uses less energy by the eyes and brain to process, and it's all around us in nature, and I knew it made me feel good too. I also learnt that blues are calming, we associate them with the sky, and sea, and purple is another calming alternative, in the right shades. Read more about the science behind the colours here.
I started to tell people about the idea, and show them some of the designs I had come up with. First I told, my husband, with trepidation, as he is known for his honesty... and then some friends. And the positive thing was that they were all interested to hear more. And when I told them more, they all said something along the lines of " what a good idea", "That totally makes sense", or "You'll make a fortune if it works!"
Well, all kids are different, and I don't want to claim that replacing a duvet cover or lampshade will solve sleep issues for all children who struggle. But on speaking to sleep experts, and colour experts, and reading up on many case studies where colour has been used to encourage behavioural change, there is plenty of evidence that a relaxing, non over-stimulating environment does help children, and adults to relax and calm down, ready for sleep.
As well documented, screens are one of the barriers to a good night's sleep for kids and adults, due to the blue light generated by the screen, which impacts melatonin production. I can report, having spoken to a colour scientist, that blue light and blue colour have very different effects on the brain. So I very much support the message that screens should be avoided an hour before bedtime if possible.
So, the concept has grown from one duvet cover for one little girl to a whole range of complementary products that can be used to create a relaxing bedroom environment for kids.