Once upon a time there was a new-to-be auntie looking for the perfect gift to give her sister who was about to welcome her first child into the world. This auntie looked far and wide for a present that would help the growth of her future nephew. She wanted this present to be special, she wanted it to be elegant and be something that both the parents and the child enjoyed using. She wanted it to be the kind of quality that would last and be handed down to the child's future siblings, not shoved in a cupboard or disposed of when the child was grown.
After months of searching, she found nothing...all she discovered was mounds of plastic, plastic and more brightly coloured plastic products that she knew would end up in landfill.... so she stopped...and not only because she had been reminded of how much she didn't like shopping but because she was disheartened. She remembered all the beautiful children's toys that her parents had when they were young, that had been kept and cherished for decades..."why doesn't anyone make toys like that anymore?" she asked herself as she ordered her recovery glass of wine...
"I give up! I'll just go and buy her a voucher" (note: vouchers are not auntie worthy presents) Until.....
One day this auntie/ Product Design Engineer collaborated with a Behavioural Neuroscientist to develop a meaningful and beautiful product that aids in the developmental learning of newborns. The main goal that drove this team was to restore the quality back into products that had been lost.
To design a product that lasts, a product to keep.
Meet The Founder - Jacqui Savage
More than just children's products
We all love hearing the story behind how companies get started, what the motivation was for the founders and what drives them. However, for the case of Mioplay, the story is not quite the traditional one that you are used to hearing.
Founded in 2016 by award winning Designer and Biomedical Engineer, Jacqueline Savage, Mioplay is a Melbourne based baby brand encapsulating the creative fusion of developmental science and design in children’s products. The concept of Mioplay began to take form after a long and arduous shopping endeavor, where Jacqueline struggled to find the perfect gift for her expecting sister, Behavioural Neuroscientist Dr. Emilia Savage.
“There was nothing, everything was plastic, brightly coloured and made of materials that I knew were not safe and would break very quickly- not to mention ending up in landfill. I could not bring myself to buy anything, so I decided to make my own. My background is Product Design/ Biomedical Engineering and I have spent a lot of time designing products in the healthcare industry focusing on health, safety and materials. I knew that I could not only create a safer product, but something that restored quality back to children’s toys.
When I was growing up, the toys we had as children were passed down from generation to generation, they were kept and treasured. It saddens me that we don’t have this same connection with products anymore and I wanted to change that. Developing products that serve more than one function as well as being of high quality materials, not only means dollar savings for households long term but also for our environment. Reducing the amount of short life, low quality baby products used every year, means less non-recyclable waste ending up in our landfill.”
The decision to create a business was not that straight forward, as Jacqueline is the CEO and Founder of MedCorp Technologies; a digital health company developing wearable technologies and devices for the healthcare industry. She has been widely celebrated in the healthcare industry for her innovations, winning numerous awards including: 2016 Telstra Victorian Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 2016 Emerging Women in Leadership Award, BioMelbourne Network and voted Top 100 Global Engineering Innovators by NASA in 2014.
“My passion is creating products that make a difference to people’s lives. Be it medical technologies and devices or developmental learning toys for children. The goal is always the same. To create something that addresses a need, is safe, provides greater function and respects the environment. I knew that with my medical team at MedCorp, we could develop something great with Mioplay.”
With a team of designers, engineers and doctors sitting within MedCorp, Jacqueline decided to peruse Mioplay. With one little difference. All the profits of Mioplay go to supporting the development of medical innovations in the healthcare industry at MedCorp Technologies.
“The idea behind Mioplay, was to address a need in the baby product market and provide parents with a safe, quality and non-toxic solution to supporting the development of their children. In doing this, we were able to not only make a difference to parents and infant development but also simultaneously, provide support to the development of life saving medical technologies within MedCorp”.
Using materials and manufacturing processes from the medical device industry, Mioplay has developed an award winning antibacterial sensory toy range that is steriliser, dishwasher and freezer safe. The carefully designed form, textures and colours of each product has been specifically created to support the key developmental learning milestone of infants; visual stimulation, cognitive development, motor skills as well as teething relief.