Madeline Sargent of Made by Mosey, refers to herself as a Melbourne maker, which perfectly sums up this incredibly creative mother of two. Her repertoire is as diverse as it is impressive. She hand makes everything from fabric balloons to handkerchief blankets, feathers, mobiles for babies and wall hangings. Sargent has just released a range of hand crafted, sculptural headpieces titled Haute Heads and, just like the maker herself, theyre fun, cool, a little edgy and most importantly make you smile.
Made by Mosey came about after the birth of her first child Otto (now 12 years old). Like so many creative women before her, the dining table at home acted as her workspace before the business took off. I realised I needed to do something with a high level of flexibility. I was also diagnosed with post-natal depression and as part of my therapy I turned to sewing which proved to be an absolute savior at that point in my life, admits Sargent.
She approaches her work with a lovely organic quality. Up until this stage in her career, she has been designing products for childrens spaces. As her own children Otto and Coco mature, Sargent says she has become inspired by their style. Cocos very artistic, super creative, a curious and delightful seven year old. I took her to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition when it was in Melbourne earlier this year and we loved the Mohawks. I decided to make one for her and then the other pieces evolved from there, explains Sargent.
Sargent is pragmatic about balancing work commitments while ensuring she has time with the children. I learnt early on that its near impossible to give equally to parenthood and work ALL of the time, so I made the conscience decision to stop trying. The inevitable failure and ensuing guilt was not for me! So I balance it by being as present as possible whether Im with the kids or at work of course there is crossover, but thats been easier to manage as the children have gotten older. I truly believe there is no one way of balancing the scale because everyones idea of work/life balance is different, so I tend to look inward as to whether Im doing what I think is right for me and my gang and respectfully reserve the right for everyone else to do so, says Sargent. We were lucky enough to get a glimpse inside her world and find out more…
What led you to launch Made by Mosey?
I studied photography and then interior design. In between the two I had my first child and that led me down the path of self-employment. If I wanted to be around Otto, which I desperately did, I realised I needed to do something with a high level of flexibility. I was also diagnosed with post-natal depression and as part of my therapy I turned to sewing which proved to be an absolute savior at that point in my life.
You describe yourself as a Melbourne Maker can you elaborate?
I use that description because although I am the designer and creative brain behind MbM, I am also the primary maker. As in, I make almost all of the product that goes out (aside from a little outsourcing) and thats a heck of a lot of making! Making is also the part I enjoy the very most.
How has the brand evolved over the years?
I started off making mobiles because I couldnt find ones that I liked for my little boy. I worked from
the dining table in and around my son and subsequent daughter and it wasnt until they were both at school that I moved into a studio and began to structure MbM as more of a business than a personal hobby. It was very clear at that stage that it was much more than a hobby anyway. After its slow evolution I had somehow built a viable business that fitted in perfectly with my family life while allowing me to create and make to my hearts content.
How would you describe the Made by Mosey aesthetic?
I would like to think that its fresh, graphic, colour-focused (I spend an inordinate amount of time perfecting palette) and edgy with a spotlight on handcraft.
What influences your work?
Colour, interiors, fashion, textile design, photography.
What does a typical day at work involve?
I drop my kids to school and head to the studio, which is a lovely space, albeit a little small with not as much light as I would like, but its fits my main criteria, which is price and location. I put the kettle on and tune into ABC news radio and make a plan for the day. Priorities are getting orders out for my online customers and then my stockists. From there Im usually just sewing, sewing, sewing! I do a lot of custom orders. I love doing these. Its a break from my normal work and a chance to chat with lovely customers, helping them make colour choices and hopefully fulfilling their requests. I also try and ensure time to work on personal projects and tinker with new product.
How do you procrastinate?
Whats the hardest part about being a mother? And what do you love best?
The hardest part is often the sudden realisation that Im responsible for two human beings and that I best be on my game! And what I love best is them, just them! I have two incredibly shiny apples of my eyes and parenting them is an absolute privilege.
Which other local designers are you inspired by?
I love Skinny Wolf (aka Leila Sanderson) her rosettes are beautiful, the boys at Archier make and design incredible things and when I want to be mesmerized by colour I take time out to look at artist Melinda Harpers extraordinary work.”
Words: Georgia Macmillan