My name is Shanti, I’m a mother of 2 and together with my husband Paul, we co-founded Little Wiwa. It is our small family owned business based in Melbourne, Australia - one of the most liveable cities in the world!
It all began in 2016, when 4.5-month-old Vinnie showed signs of crawling and before we knew it, he was a little active commando crawler. Within a short time, he developed calluses on his elbows and putting him anywhere besides the hardwood floor or carpet wasn’t an option. It wasn’t practical nor comfortable and I knew I had to find a safe, plush mat to support his newfound motor development.
After much research, not only could I not find any that suited my minimalist taste, I also learnt the dangers of PVC toy products and the risks it could impose on our (kids’) health. Being a Food Scientist in my earlier career, I understood the biological toxicity this imposes. In particular, the stabiliser additives that are widely used in PVC products are harmful - causing toxic effects primarily on the developing immune system. Since then, there was no turning back - there was absolutely no compromise in my baby’s safety. This was the seed of aspirations for Little Wiwa and the rest was history.
Little Wiwa play mats are made using 100% sustainable and non-toxic Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) foam and I’m proud to note that they are free from PVC, BPA and any toxic chemicals, making them a safe choice for our little ones. All our mats are waterproof, thickly padded (15mm) and reversible with minimalist, Scandi-inspired patterns. Not only are they safe and perfect for our little tumblers to play, learn and explore, our play mats are also biodegradable and thus safe for the environment at the end of its lifecycle.
In those early days, we operated out of our garage. I would work during the day when Vinnie was having his naps and after his bedtime till late in the night answering emails. Paul and I would tip-toe out to the garage (taking our baby monitor with us) fulfilling orders ready for pick up next business day. It was hectic and crazy. We were blessed and fell pregnant again during this time, though difficult we persevered even more because we knew our other baby, Little Wiwa, was growing exponentially and there was no stopping.
Today we are now a team of 12 people operating out of 3 countries - Australia, Singapore and Indonesia, where our mini me(s) and future CEO(s) Vinnie and Louis are known to fill our days with joy, mess, love and laughter, reminding us each day that they were the reason for this journey.
All I wanted was to provide a solution by creating something simple, minimalist and safe, designed with whole family in mind. And today we hold a great quality product that splashes joy and accompanies the family for many years to come.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!
Shanti, Paul, Vincent and Louis.