In my fourth instalment of Meet the Maker, I've interviewed one of the Maria's behind Tinta Crayons.
You see, Tinta is the product of two friends - both Marias - who split the roles and responsibilities in their business in order to ensure it hums. Tinta Crayons are hand made, and all natural. They are created in Melbourne, for artists of all ages. The sweet little collections are themed and come beautifully presented in boxes, all ready to gift! Read on for my Meet the Maker i/v featuring Tinta Crayons. Discover how Tinta was born, and how the Maria's juggle their own children while bringing smiles to artistic kids big and small. What is your name and the name of your business: We are Maria F and Maria P and our business is Tinta Crayons.
How long have you been operating your business: Tinta Crayons started in late 2015, so just over 2 and a half years.
What is the mission statement of your business: We’re passionate about creating safe, natural crayons that encourage kids to play. Our crayons are handmade in Melbourne from Australian beeswax, organic plant waxes and no nasties! We don’t use paraffin, soy or palm waxes and our crayons are free from heavy metals and asbestos.
What do products do you produce and who are your customers: We produce crayons that are safe and natural. Our crayons are shaped into fun things such as dinosaurs, fairies, astronauts, pirates, unicorns, koalas, etc. We want our crayons to be fun to play with as well as encourage kids to draw. In addition to our crayons, we also sell a washable, reusable travel colouring mat. Each colouring mat is themed and the crayons match the characters in the drawing. Our customers are those with children or those looking to gift crayons to the children in their lives.
What are your favourite aspect of running your business: Our absolute favourite aspect of running Tinta Crayons is seeing kids smile and enjoy the crayons. We also love the flexibility of being able to work around our own children and being able to set the direction of the business to suit what else is happening in our lives. We’re also very proud of the example we’re setting for our children. Showing them that we can take an idea and turn it into a profitable business is really powerful, especially when we balance that with being mothers as well.
Where do you find inspiration for your creations: Between us, we have four children - three girls and a boy, so we find a lot of inspiration from them as well as other children we know.
Why do you do what you do: In September 2015, the ACCC did a media campaign about asbestos in crayons on sale in Australia. Maria F was horrified that something so ubiquitous in family homes contained such a toxic substance and so she set out to try to make a natural crayon. Maria F gave the first set of crayons to Maria P’s eldest daughter for her birthday, and the business just sort of went from there. We didn’t start out intending to build a business, it was just more trying to make something safe and natural for our kids.
What exciting things have you got in the pipeline for 2018: This year we are working on updating our packaging. We also have a wholesale trade show and lots of large retail markets locally and interstate that we will be attending.
What is something about you that not many people know: Maria F – I have two left feet and can’t clap in time with a rhythm ? Maria P – I love shoes because my dad was a cobbler and I grew up surrounded by leather.
What do you do in your spare time? Maria F - I love to get out into nature, have a walk and enjoy the fresh air. I especially like walking amongst trees. Maria P - Shopping and catching up with friends for coffee!
What is your favourite song atm (I’m always looking to add some new music gold to the Creative Finds Spotify playlist!) Maria P – I love Sia and am loving her new song flames with David Guetta. Maria F – Desert Rose by Sting