‘How did you come up with the idea’?
Well, it all started in Spring 2016 with a looong lunch. I (Hannah – that’s me, your Chief Apostrophe Wrangler) was in Sydney for a writing course, so Flicka and I locked in time to sip a little cool rosé, over the warm sands of Bondi. We started sharing our struggles as new mums – our feelings of isolation, overwhelm and inadequacy in the face of the most important job of our lives.
As the tide went out on our bottle of rosé, we threw around ideas about how to use our professional talents as a writer and designer to make the tricky job of parenting just a little bit easier. After all, there could be millions of other parents out there feeling exactly the same way we were. In that moment, something magic happened. A rough diamond of an idea emerged from our combined creative consciousness. We talked about creating personalised children’s books with the help of child development experts to help kids get through milestones and events in their early life. There was something about it that felt really special, and it wasn’t just the rosé talking.
Four months later
“Right,” said Flicka, “I’ve started work on the project.”
“Oh!” I said, “So, we’re doing this thing, then?”
“Yes,” she said. “We are doing this thing.”
Over the following three years, that rough diamond of an idea was cut and polished with the help of a team of amazing people to become My Big Moments. There have been tears of laughter, tears of frustration, times of utter befuddlement, whoops of exhilaration, frowns of consternation, in-person high fives and FaceTime high fives.
It's been a journey of epic proportions, working around earthquake tragedies, morning sickness, new babies, illnesses, moving houses, separation, and the general turbulence of balancing the commitment to My Big Moments with family life. But here we are, working with a team of experts in child psychology, play therapy and neuroscience education, having published five books for children aged 2 – 7 proven to help little people through big moments. And we’re absolutely loving it!
Meet the village
When we started the My Big Moments journey, there was one prerequisite ... we would only work with people who are as passionate and excited about the project as we are.
We actually all live in completely different cities and countries! Flicka Williams is in Sydney, Hannah Davison in Christchurch, Marco Palmieri in Melbourne and Jo Roca in California. So, when COVID hit, we were way ahead of the curve when it came to working remotely.
Meet MBM's co-founder, chief designer and master cat wrangler, Flicka Williams. She’s a Kiwi living in Sydney, Australia with her husband and three children, GeeGee, Oscar and Harry.
Flicka’s background is in branding and graphic design. She’s all about innovation, adaptability and managing our logistics and complex projects while skillfully keeping her cool. She is both our grease and our glue! Her goal is to give parents and caregivers the right words to use in the right moments, through beautiful, innovative and impactful storytelling. Although we are more than a little biased, we think she’s nailed it.
This is Marco Palmieri, our illustrator, he’s kind of a genius. There was an awful lot of thought, a few lunches and many long video chats that went into coming up with the style for the My Big Moments personalised picture books. Our children’s book libraries bulged with editions of our most admired picture books as we researched what would work and what wouldn’t. There were pages of options for the main character, Perry, to choose from and then the lingering question, does Perry’s mum look a little bit like Flicka? Marco remains tight-lipped on this one.
Marco is an award-winning illustrator/animator with a knack for creating loveable, engaging characters. He's also a dedicated husband and a dad to two boys. Marco and his family live in Melbourne, Australia.
It’s always fun to introduce yourself …! I’m MBM’s other co-founder and the author of our books. A Scottish-born, New Zealand-grown writer, freelance journalist and general content factory. You’re welcome to call up ‘Hannah’s Dial-up & Type-away’, but I’m probably on the other line to Flicka … I’m also a mum to two children, Alex and Frankie, an overindulged dog, and two demanding cats.
In 2016, my family fled our home during the 7.8 magnitude Kaikōura earthquake. Seeing how the experience affected my young children and guiding them through their trauma recovery helped to develop the concept that became My Big Moments.
I have a burning passion for arming kids (and grown-ups) with language, tools and strategies to cope with whatever life throws at them. We live in Chistchurch, NZ.
Meet Jo Roca, designer, creative weapon, ringmaster of sensibility and strategy, as well as the unofficial, self-proclaimed champion of Settlers of Catan (we know what’s first on the agenda for our next face-to-face meet-up). When it comes to MBM’s creative direction, Jojo definitely puts some pop in our candy. While the words talent and passion get bandied about with all too much frivolity, there’s really no other way to describe Jo Roca.
Jo is a specialist in creative strategy, ideation and concept development. She came on board to keep herself out of trouble when she was on maternity leave with her daughter, Eva, and has been part of our MBM village ever since. Jo and her family live in California, USA.
That’s us! Come on over and see what we’re up to on Instagram and don’t forget to say hi!