Ma cabane à rêves
Amandine, mother of Rose and Louis. Based in Paris in the 19th century.
Creator of the brand MA CABANE À REVES. Amazing, go-getting, she also knew how to keep her childish soul. Amandine had the very nice idea to create flexible, superimposable magnets, with delicate and colorful graphics. The child creates his own universe and tells himself stories thanks to the different themes imagined by Amandine: the savannah, the ice floe, the woods or even the robots! Also a nice moment to share with the family! I let you discover Amandine's journey and the history of Ma cabane à rêves.
What is your background?
I studied at the École supérieure des arts appliqués Duperré in Paris. Then I worked in a trend office at Carlin, where I was a stylist in the decoration sector, developing trend notebooks. I then move to London where I work for a communication agency in creation and luxury for brands like L'Oréal (packaging designs). After a short return to France where I am freelance independent, we leave with my husband for Beijing in China for three years. I become Artistic Director for an event agency. I organize events for luxury brands, fashion, cosmetics, coorporate like Totale, Coach, Cartier. It was exciting, on the day of the event everything could change.
You're becoming a mom in China?
My eldest daughter, Rose, was born in Beijing. And our son in Seoul where we then moved for three years. In Korea it is difficult to find a job without speaking the language. I then developed a new project, Ma Cabane à Rêves, where I created my first range of products for children. My flagship product is the superimposable, colored and graphic magnet. At the same time, I am developing a child application that takes me a long time.
Where does the name My Dream Hut come from?
I like the idea of creating your own little habitat. When you are inside and you create, everything is possible, hence the dreams. I wanted a brand name that was open enough. I start the adventure with magnets and I would like to suggest other things as well. I love the decorative and playful side. I want to offer a family universe, not just for babies.
Two and a half years ago, the whole family returned to France. Where is My Dream Hut then?
Finally the app project stops. Everyone strongly advises me to relaunch My Dream Hut. I then set up the brand in June 2018.
So the adventure starts all over again. Your flagship product is "the magnet". Can you tell us why?
In Seoul, I discovered this flexible and magnetic material so brilliant. I could do a lot of things. I quickly carried out various tests. What interests me is the possibility of superimposing, you can go up to three, four superimpositions. While existing magnets are only juxtaposed and often offer coarse cutting. I wanted something more refined, at the edge of the decor.
How did you find the right material?
After several tests I found THE right thickness and the right technical process.
I selected several thicknesses of magnet, which I printed, cut out, tested with children to see how they handled the magnet, if they could detach the material. With a too thin material, the child will crumple it faster, if too thick it will not have enough strength to remove the magnet. You really have to think about all these details. I also carry out tests at laboratories to comply with EC regulations.
What are the values, the spirit of the brand?
For me, what is important is to develop the child's creativity, to learn things in the game without realizing it. Magnets offer children the opportunity to develop their creativity and imagination. It is also an opportunity to share a friendly moment with the family.
How do you work to design the different universes?
The first themes, that of Africa, the forest, the alphabet or the geometric theme, I thought of them and drew them myself.
For the one about the ice pack and the robot, I called on a friend and illustrator Loraine Duval. I don't want to lock myself in my graphic palette. I want to go to other styles, stay open. But that doesn't stop me from keeping this minimalist and sober lineage with a colourful universe. Other themes are currently under consideration.
Today where are the magnets of My Dream Hut made?
They are manufactured in the Paris region. These are rolls of flexible magnetic material that are then printed and cut.
Crédit photo: @perles_de_chine
It's not just about small magnets, can you tell us more about them?
When the order arrives, the child receives two A4 sheets on which are pre-cut about thirty magnets. Before even letting your child play with it, you can work on his fine motor skills by offering him to detach each magnet himself. Some of them are smaller and more delicate, your child will need your help depending on his age and dexterity.
When you are at this stage, do not throw away the cut boards because you can use them either as stencils or as punches if you make shortbread for example. Mothers gave me these great ideas!
Of course, with magnets your child uses his imagination. He will be able to invent stories, create universes. Their creations are also evolutionary.
Since the magnets in My Dream Hut are stackable, you can play with your child to hide some magnets under others. It's up to him to find them!
Finally, these magnets can be seen as a good alternative to wasting stickers. Magnets are durable.
What can the magnets be glued to?
A metal surface is needed as a support, so it can be metal furniture such as Ikea, an armoured door (often in Parisian apartments), a metal box, a suitcase.
There is also the famous metallic paint. Recently I discovered a new material, the magnetic coating. All it takes is one layer + one slate layer for it to work. The magnetic force is higher than a magnetic paint which requires 5 coats + color + varnish.
For the moment Ma Cabane à Rêves offers for sale "the magnetic house" as a pretty minimalist support to install in your child's room or in the rest of the house.
What are your inspirations?
I like the minimalist side. It certainly comes from my years in Asia. My eye as a graphic designer and designer. Of course travel, my children, my friends! The robot theme was inspired by parents, dads in my entourage for example.
Any desires, any projects for My Dream Hut?
I am currently researching how the magnets in The Dream Hut could help children who need support or medical help. Through the magnet game it is interesting to see the different behaviors of children. Some can spend an hour creating a lot of things and others will not be inspired at all. What I mean is that the game, the grip can reveal a lot of things. And I want to know more about it. New themes are also being developed.
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