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Angelique turned her passion for health into a small business creating natural reusable cloth pads, paper towels, makeup removers and more.

28 February 2019

Designer Spotlight: Bird in Milk

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Pragmatist with eco and health ideals, Angelique: ‘I am passionate about health, minimising our exposure to unnecessary chemicals and plastics and reducing waste in the home’

Hello, my name is Angelique and I am the maker behind Bird in Milk.

Bird in Milk specialises in making beautiful handmade reusable cloth pads for women and teens. Our cloth pads are made from 100% cotton, organic cotton and hemp fabrics, making them super absorbent, naturally hypoallergenic, ultra-breathable and so darn comfy!

 Angelique turned her passion for health into a small business creating natural reusable cloth pads, paper towels, makeup removers and more.

Bird in Milk also makes a range of 100% cotton reusable products for the home including “unpaper” towels, reusable wet wipes, makeup remover rounds and nursing pads.

Laura Blythman print Reusable postpartum pad and breast pads from the Bird in Milk range: ‘Our range targets everyday single-use home items that can easily be replaced with functional, attractive, and durable reusable options’

I am passionate about health, minimising our exposure to unnecessary chemicals and plastics and reducing waste in the home. Everything I make for Bird in Milk taps in to that. Our range targets everyday single-use home items that can easily be replaced with functional, attractive and durable reusable options.

Bird in Milk ‘unpaper towels’ and other products ready for market day.

I would love to say that I am organised enough to be a completely solo maker but that just wouldn’t be true. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the help of my beautiful husband, children, mum and all the wonderful women that have helped me test my products to make them market-ready.

Bird in Milk ‘unpaper towel’ reusable paper towel substitute

Though I’m the one who actually designs and sews your products together, my mum has been roped into helping me cut out fabric and prep materials when my workload has gotten more than I can manage on my own and is a huge help with keeping my kids happy while mummy gets some work done.

Floral print fabric pads in Bird in Milk home made labels

My husband helps me with all aspects of my online business; making my tags and stickers and helping me package everything up for market day.

My kids love choosing fabric with me and it was my eldest daughter who came up with the name Bird in Milk when I was struggling to find a name for my small growing business. My family is incredibly supportive of all my creative endeavours and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

Angelique’s home workspace; ‘Everything Bird in Milk happens here, from designing and making our range… to making our own labels and packaging’

I have a small workspace in my home, in the stunning Blue Mountains just outside of Sydney, Australia. Everything Bird in Milk happens here, from designing and making our range of beautiful reusable personal and home care products to making our own labels and packaging.

I began sewing as a teenager with the help of my mum. I instantly loved sewing and have been sewing and making ever since. I really enjoy being able to take a piece of fabric and turn it into something that is beautiful to look at and that is also functional.

Bird in Milk getting ready for market day; folding and packaging our own labels and packaging

If I had to use one word to describe myself I suppose it would be practical and I think this shows in all my creative projects. Everything that I make and all the things that I’ve made in the past are practical or useful items.

I’ve tried my hand at other small handmade hobby business ideas in the past; making clothing, clothing alterations, reupholstering office furniture for small businesses and custom covers for chairs. All of these ideas have revolved around reducing waste or extending the life of something we already own, but none of these ideas have captured my heart like making cloth pads for my fellow women.

A friend approached me in late 2017 and asked me to make some cloth pads for her and her daughter. I have been using cloth pads for nearly 20 years but I had never even thought about making one for someone else until that time.

Bird in Milk reusable cloth pad construction process

Making those pads led to conversations with other women who also asked me to make a couple of cloth pads for them to try and, through word of mouth, interest in my cloth pads began to grow. Though I didn’t know it at the time, this was the start of Bird in Milk.

There are many reasons why women choose to make the switch to using re-useable cloth menstrual products; comfort, caring for the environment, economics and health being primary factors for most.

Bird in Milk reusable cloth pad set with drying strap and reusable pad wrapper; ‘on average, each woman will use around 10,000 to 12,000 disposable menstrual products over their lifetime’

On average, each woman will use around 10 000 to 12 000 disposable menstrual products over their lifetime and all of these end up in landfill, taking around 500 years to breakdown. Disposable menstrual products expose women to many undisclosed synthetic fibres, chemicals, fragrances and dyes.

Chaffing, sweating, painful rashes and recurrent infection are regular issues that many women suffer with each month when using disposable products. Switching to cloth pads can have a very real and positive impact on our health, perception of menstrual flow and the environment.

Wonder Woman print, fabric reusable pad by Bird in Milk; ‘switching to cloth pads can have a very real and positive impact on our health, perception of menstrual flow and the environment’

Bird in Milk cloth pads use no synthetic fibres, polyurethane laminate, micro plastics or chemicals in the production of our cloth pads and that is something that I am really proud of. Our pads are made with 100% natural fabrics and all our pads are totally customisable in shape and absorbency and range in size from 4.5” to 17”.

Towards the end of 2018 I felt that I was ready to move my business from local only to online. This led me to find Madeit and I immediately loved what the platform stands for. I am proud to be part of an all Australian platform that is supporting Aussie makers and I get a real kick out of seeing my products side by side with so many other amazing handmade Aussie products and to be surrounded by other talented artisans.

I opened my Madeit shop in December 2018 and in the short time I have been with Madeit it has already provided me with several opportunities to help me grow my business and reach a greater audience.

Angelique at work, sewing, in her home studio; ‘I made the decision to leave nursing so that I could find work that didn’t make me feel that I was compromising my values’

I’m super pleased that I chose to support Madeit as they have certainly been supportive of me. Madeit has provided an easy to use platform, awesome tips for making a successful online store and multiple opportunities to promote my business.

Before having children I was a registered nurse and I had been nursing for around 15 years. With the growing pressures on our health care system it was getting harder for me to be the kind of nurse that I really wanted to be.

Bird in milk reusable makeup removal pads in black

Having children made me re-evaluate my life and I made the decision to leave nursing so that I could find work that didn’t make me feel that I was compromising my values. Creating and growing Bird in Milk has allowed me to work towards this goal.

I love being part of my local handmade community. I sell my goods locally at makers markets and am I am lucky to have my products stocked in a local eco-friendly store. It’s amazing to see all the talented people we live side by side with and meet the amazing members of the community that are willing to support small Aussie handmade businesses. Though I’m very grateful for the support of my local community, Madeit has allowed me to reach many more people than I can in my local area and make connections in the online handmade community.

Premium eco friendly ‘unpaper towel’ reusable paper towel replacement with snaps

Making cloth pads and sharing them with other women gives me great satisfaction and is something that I really love doing. I know that for the majority of women who try cloth they really do feel better for it and never return (if possible) to disposables. I love attending my local markets and getting cloth pads and other reusable home items out there for people to see and talk about. I want to reach as many people as possible and just let them know that these wonderful products exist, that women aren’t stuck with disposables and that they won’t regret making the switch to cloth pads.



Visit Bird in Milk to find eco-friendly, health-friendly reusable products: BirdinMilk

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