Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Baby Friendly Jewelry by Monkey and Mum

By on Tuesday, September 08, 2015 6 Comments

When Australian Tess Freund became a mother, she missed her beloved jewelry a great deal.  The reason she couldn't wear them was "due to small parts and unknown material; those that did pass the test were victim to ten surprisingly strong baby fingers". So rather than give up  wearing jewelry altogether she came up with Monkey and Mum (also on Etsy), a handmade line of slip on baby friendly jewelry.

Her fabric necklaces and yarn adorned wood bangles are made from natural materials so that they will be safe for baby to enjoy especially during breast feeding and to chomp on while in the teething stage. I particularly liked the way she incorporated tactile elements into her designs. The slip on jewelry pieces are light weight, comfortable and fashionable for mothers to wear They are easily handwashable.

There are three collections - custom, designer and fair trade.  Tess creates the custom and designer pieces in her lovely Brisbane studio shown below :

She outsources the fair trade collection to help a group of disadvantaged and impoverished women in India.  In her blog post, she explained how she spent months looking for an ethical way of growing her business and meeting increasing demand for her designs.

She eventually partnered with Shari from the Mehera Shaw Foundation. The two women then worked with a development group in Jaipur, India to provide these women with a long term source of income for them. The program also funds the training needed to improve the lives of other struggling women. The necklaces in this line utilize the organic cotton and silk off cuts from the Mehera Shaw manufacturing line.

Who knew there would be a wonderful story to the jewelry "Worn by Mums, Enjoyed by Monkeys"!

Before You Go:

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. I love it when people come up with wonderful solutions to problems. I can't see why this jewelry isn't for everyone. It's cute and looks like fun to wear!
    I am especially impressed with her desire to help others while she helps herself - in all respects.

  2. I agree. I think the fabric jewelry will be easy to wash and wear!

  3. Thank you all so much, & thank you Pearl for featuring me.

    My pieces can certainly be worn by anyone - with or without kids. I market them mainly towards mothers, as I think new mums are often in desperate need of celebrating themselves. It can be a very trying time in which mums can be a bit forgotten.

    Anyway, thank you again. You're all very kind.

    Tess (aka Monkey & Mum)

  4. A truly clever mum. Babies do tend to put everything into their mouths and many times we have no idea as to what a piece of jewelry is made from . . . or how easily it may come apart under the tugging of those inquisitive, but adorable little fingers.

  5. Light and bright pieces, moreover, baby friendly, indeed! Great business idea, especially the fair trade involvement! Congratulations to Tess!