The jumper’s sleeves were too short and its body was too long… And that, in a nutshell, formed the beginning of Maiike.
Pronounced a little like Mickha, the name Maiike is common in the Netherlands but a little more mysterious in its Melbourne hometown.
But back to the beginning… Owner Aly Peel had bought a couple of woollen jumpers and they just weren’t quite right. So what does a creative mind do? Easy – cut them up and turn them into something… Like the most charismatic and quirky toys, or the cosiest and charming quilts. It didn’t take long at all before Aly’s ‘mistake’ turned into a wholesale business, with retailers keen to stock her lovingly hand-made goods. Aly would scour second hand shops looking for woollen jumpers to inspire her. They’d be washed to avoid shrinkage before being transformed into personality-plus delights.
It was no surprise therefore, when in 2010 Aly decided to open her first Maiike retail store in Hawthorn (followed by her latest opening in May last year in North Melbourne). Passers-by are instantly drawn in from the remarkable window display – a series of these incredibly quirky and gorgeous toys sits in rows, waiting to be loved by someone who’s connected with whatever individual feature Aly has made for it.
Maiike now leaves its mark in other equally creative ways, such as hand-made Melbourne tee-shirts for kids, which Aly then embellishes with a talented eye – maybe an applique for this one, or screen printing for that one…
One visit to Maiike and we know you’ll fall under its beautiful spell – these are the special touches in early life that are loved and loved until they are almost thread bare; the ultimate compliment for Aly and Maiike, really.