Parent & Baby Awards 2022 Page 7 LUXLife Parent & Baby Awards 2022 Finding a good work/life balance, while helping to protect the planet and offering the best learning experience to little ones may sound idyllic to most – but it is exactly what two mums from Perth managed to do when they set up their own company, Mikro. We speak to the entrepreneurs about how it all began in the wake of them being recognised in the Parent and Baby Awards 2022. Mikro Australia Best Eco-Luxury Educational Play Brand 2022 – APAC Aug22189 The product of close friends, Kim and Stacey, Mikro was established in 2016 and specialises in offering non-toxic, plastic-free, biodegradable playmats for children. Having met in a local school in the remote town of Derby, Western Australia, the pair of teachers formed a close bond and kept in touch on returning to Perth. Following the births of both of their respective children, one of the new mums was concerned with the strong smell of a playmat she had recently purchased and began researching foam and its properties – with the end goal of trying to find a more natural and eco-friendly product. “We both put our careers on hold to start families of our own,” says Kim. “At this point we had already decided we would love to start a small business together, so that we could each remain at home with our kids.” Beginning very much as a garage-run business, the women initially worked from their own homes, which enabled them be the best stay at home mums they could be. “By doing this we were still filling our own ‘selfworth cup’ and sustaining an income,” Kim elaborates. “And we have grown into what we can barely handle on our own... yet we still do most of it. We have moved our stock from garages into a warehouse, and our laptops from on the couch to an office.” Mikro, which means ‘little one’ in Greek, initially began as one of only two PU playmat companies in Australia. However, the company grew swiftly and, along with it, so did the competition. This led to the dynamic duo looking to evolve their product offering and pivot their business strategy somewhat, resulting in them producing a range of beautifully bespoke and eco-friendly items, such as wooden early learning toys, to complement their existing playmat business. Stacey tells us that their teaching backgrounds were invaluable at this point of change. “Finding our niche in the market has led us to draw from our educational backgrounds and embark on growing our retail store,” she elaborates. “We have a range of toys which complement our modern playmats and enable us to offer more than just a playmat to our customers.” The firm now has a line of owndesigned and manufactured toys, including an early learning toy bar, a tummy time mirror, and the all-new sensory tray – as well as the most modern and aesthetically pleasing PU playmats on the market. All of which have child development right at the forefront, which the couple firmly believe is what makes them unique and stand out in the market. “We still find standing out from our competitors a challenge and a continual growing point,” adds Kim. “The competition is so strong and still growing, but our knowledge of early learning and development definitely makes our business special.” Recently, the company was recognised in the Parent and Baby Awards 2022 and bestowed with the prestigious accolade of Best EcoLuxury Educational Play Brand 2022 in the APAC region, something that the two ladies are most definitely proud of. “We have defied the old saying ‘Never mix business with friends’,” laughs Kim. “But we have, we do, and we have a whole lot of fun while doing it.” Looking to the future, Kim and Stacey share with us that they are about to unveil an entirely new collection of playmats, with a focus on rug-look designs, as well as expanding the education store by introducing wooden puzzles, construction blocks, and similar toys. “We are a family orientated business and we want to reflect that. We proudly offer eco luxury playmats that don’t cost the earth, and that are child-safe, enhance your home décor, and stay true to our ethos of sustainability, plastic-free products that enhance early learning development.” It seems that the future is looking very bright indeed. Contact: Kim & Stacey Company: Mikro Australia Web Address: