Many of us only dream of running a successful and popular kids' clothing/homewares business, but Angelique Woodburn of The Midnight Gang has done it, sold it and is onto it again. This is a lady who knows what she's doing. I was super honoured that she asked me to design her new Midnight Gang range (which launched this week) and had to ask her where she draws her inspiration and passion from!
What started your journey, creatively? When did your first dream up Howi and then The Midnight Gang?
I started Howi in 2013 when my son was born and I found a major gap in the market for cool kids clothes. I decided to move on from the fashion industry as my passion was dwindling and if it's one thing I have learnt, it's that the key to success is passion. Since completing our home renovations my interest had turned to homewares. But when decorating my kids rooms, again I found a gap. I wasn't able to find quality blankets that were fun, interesting and still looked beautiful and stylish in a child's room. I also have a passion for responsible and sustainable choices so I found it difficult to find blankets that were made from Organic Cotton. So, in 2016, I decided I would combine everything that was important to me and start my very own organic bedding label!
What kind of designs do you feel most nostalgic about?
I have such fond memories of my childhood and I remember my bedroom being my sanctuary where I would play for hours on end, immersed in my own imaginary games. I used to have a big white wicker chair and a vintage floral bedspread and I still love that style today. This has been a big inspiration for our second collection coming in SS17/18.
Do you wear pattern?!
I don't tend to wear a lot of pattern, I am more of a jeans and white tshirt kind of girl! However I express my love of colour and pattern in our home decor. Our floor rug, throw cushions, fruit bowl, wall prints etc all have beautiful pattern and colour and surrounding myself with beautiful colours makes me feel so happy and uplifted. I also have a lot of indoor plants so I am constantly surrounded by the natural patterns their leaves and flowers create.
Where do you go for inspiration?
My children and nature are two things that I always get so much inspiration from. I design with my children in mind and what I know they would love, and I also think back to when I was a child and what I would have loved. I only have to step outside into my garden to be inspired by the flowers, stars, wildlife and creatures and every new season brings new inspiration and ideas.
What are the current trends you're loving and hating?
I am absolutely loving the floral trends at the moment and I always love anything with a vintage twist. I never hate a trend, as I think there is something beautiful and inspirational in everything. However I am not personally a fan of the monochrome trend. I think children are so full of creativity and imagination and I think they need colour in their spaces to inspire them!
If there was one artist you wish you could collaborate with, dead or alive, who would it be?
I would have to say one of my favourite artists of all time is Claude Monet. I absolutely love his paintings of the french countryside and all the beautiful ponds and parks. Every one of his paintings makes me wish I could transport into it and just sit and be. They have such a sense of peace and tranquility about them and his appreciation for nature is truly evident. Something I wish to imprint on my own children.
How do you take a break from business?
I only work on my business when my children are napping are when they are with my mum, one day a week. I have a very strict rule in my house where I am not to do business while my children around awake. They come first and I want to be present in their lives. That's the beauty of an online business, the hours are totally flexible and work really well with a young family.
What are your wildest dreams for The Midnight Gang?
My wildest dreams are that The Midnight Gang becomes a household name and a 'go to' place for beautiful bedding and children's homewares. I would love to see our blankets stocked in my favourite stores and it would be an absolute dream to open the pages of Real Living magazine and see my very own products featured on their gorgeous glossy pages!