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FEATURED SELLER

Milipa

My name is Milena Paladino. I live with my husband Antonello and our two boys (Giacomo and Ryszard) in Reggio Calabria in the South part of Italy. I was born and raised in Poland. After I graduated in History of Art at University in Poznan, I took decision to move 1200 miles away from my family and friends to Italy following the voice of my heart. I left my old life to create new one in the country that I knew only through its Art. I had to start everything from the beginning and maybe it was the first thing that helped me to understand better what I really want to do in my life. I always knew that I am not made for regular office job, because I am from this rather shy kind of person. I wanted to do something creative and meaningful. When my son Giacomo was born, I started doing drawings for him, especially those with animals because it was his favorite subject. One day it came to my mind a thought that I could do more than just drawings. I decided to give a try and asked my mother in law to teach me sewing. It is strange for me now to think that at the beginning I did not even know how to use a sewing machine. Its presence however has always been in my life. Since I was a child, I watched my grandmother often bent over the sewing machine doing things that for me as a little girl were always a mystery. I could never imagine that after so many years I will find my own way of creativity through the tool that for long time I considered as “complicated”. My son showed me that everything I do has a purpose if it is done with love and passion. I started to make puppets for my little boy. He was my first inspiration to create something. This is how was born Milipa. I start usually with an idea of a toy in my head. Then, I transform this idea into a drawing. Sometimes I make many sketches before arriving at a final design. I am my own biggest critic, being an exaggerating perfectionist. At the end, the finished drawing needs only to be transformed in real object, using in this process natural fabric, sewing machine and my own hands for embroidery details. Before creating any of my toys, I try to imagine a scene that will take place when the toy is given to its new little owner. Besides the obvious question that I ask myself about how it can be played with or if it is safe for a little child. I ask myself also where it will be put - on the bed, shelf, or maybe it will hang on the wall? It helps me understand what kind of shape I want to attain. Aesthetic aspect is very important for me in my designs. I want my toys to be the source of joy for children in playtime and also an input to discovering the world of uniqueness. I truly believe that well-made toys “with a soul” can form our children, opening them to the world of beauty, values and meanings - as any art does. Sometimes a particular object can leave us in this strange state of stupor, which can be explained only by one word – magic. This is what I want my toys to be for those who receive them. I want them to be magic for your little girl and for your little boy, helping them discover the world and discover themselves. If you are an adult and you hold my toys in your hands, I would like that they bring you memories of your own childhood and of what you have dreamed off when you were a child. Because finding joy in a toy does not necessarily have to be associated with playing with them. I truly believe in that!

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