Meet Lisa Frendo, owner of toy shop Three Little Pigs and mum to Maia (3) and Izzy (6 months). With a previous career in Marketing, a passion for creativity and being “in the zone” as a new mother, Lisa was driven to start up something of her own and Three Little Pigs came to be in 2014.
For Lisa, Three Little Pigs is more than just a toy shop “It is a space where like-minded individuals are invited to share their creativity, as well as new concepts and ideas, a place that makes collaboration possible with the aim of supporting one another.”
It is this line of thinking that made me want to feature Lisa in the first place, so after having chatted briefly in the waiting room of our daughter’s ballet class, I arranged to pop over to her delightful shop in Sliema to find out more …..
Lisa, what is the concept behind Three Little Pigs and how did it come about?
I have always enjoyed searching for unique gifts which sometimes might even border on “quirky” and as a new mother, I found myself searching for the best items for my child, as all mothers do. What I learnt is that toys are more than just a moment of fun and games for kids. They provide an opportunity to learn and discover their senses, spark their imaginations and interact. I found that there was a whole new world out there of wonderfully designed and crafted baby and kids related items – brands which put a lot of focus on design and quality.
In fact, we do our best to source the very best in wooden and eco friendly toys. We want to allow children to rediscover the art of playing by going back to basics. It’s all about the classics. A teddy bear, a tea set and a train set without the need of blinking lights and strident sounds.
For me, Three Little Pigs is a space which allows me to really be my own creative person from choosing the brands we represent, staging the products in store and working on my own brands’ marketing plans. Networking is also key and is also a part of the job which I truly enjoy.
It really is a lovely store, well done. Do you cater for a specific age group?
Our main market I would say is 0 – 6. However we do have a range of arts and crafts box sets for the more creative minds, as well as some great games which kids 7 years + can brave alone or with the family.
You were mentioning to me earlier that each of your brands have their own unique story, can you tell us more about this ….
Yes. Each of our brands have a story to tell. Bigjigs Toys, a family operated business started with Liz and Peter who were both teachers in their previous careers. They wanted to develop a company which made learning fun with the use of traditional wooden toys. Originally working in his garden shed, Peter began by crafting toys for the neighborhood kids and now grew into the company we know today. Omy created by two Parisian graphic designers who after become mothers wanted to change their approach to deisgn. Lilgadgets – same – a young family with two small children on the hunt to try and find good quality products and so designed a pair of headphones which were safe, age appropriate and kid inspired. And so the list goes on. Aden & Anias, Lilliputiens, Djeco, Skip Hop, Jupiduu and Wingreen all carry similar stories.
I know you have some interesting ideas that go beyond the selling of toys, can you elaborate …..
We wanted to be more than just about selling toys. We wanted to create a community were mums and dads alike can gather and share experiences. Each parent and child is unique and we could learn so much from each of them. Their stories and experiences, their mistakes and discoveries are vital in our search for such brands.
We also enjoy supporting local talent. Giving people an outlet to show off their creative side. Cards and wall art designed by Maria Ekholm, a Swedish mother of two and a teacher by trade now stand at Three Little Pigs. Collaborations with locals such as Miss Ellens Travelling Treats, Baker Street, Majda Toumi Photography are just a few.
And this year we are planning a lineup of pop up events collaborating with different trades and talents. Our aim is to educate, to bring people together and to support each other. We want Three Little Pigs to feel like a safe space that allows people to grow and to come together.
How wonderful, so what’s first on the calendar? What are your plans for the first pop up event?
We are so excited. Our first pop up event this year is with Sarah Lennon, a pre/post natal and Ashtanga Yoga teacher who will be hosting a MUM AND BABY YOGA WORKSHOP at Three Little Pigs on the 24th February at 10.30am. It will be a chance for new mums to get together and learn some effective exercises together with their child. Exercise tends to be a bit daunting after having a new baby and most of us only really consider it 6 months down the line. However, I have learnt that it doesn’t have to be that way and to be honest if I knew these classes were around I would have definitely joined. As what I found most difficult when Izzy, my second child, was born was having to leave her behind.. only because she was so little. But with such classes available none of this is a worry.
“Our children are actually our best yoga teachers; inspiring us to be calm, present and centered. Via this workshop I can teach you some exercises to incorporate into your own home yoga practice. You and your baby can benefit from your exercise time together on so many levels; from a healthier, stronger body to better sleep and state of mind … plus you are guaranteed to share a few giggles along the way – a one-of-a-kind bonding experience with your baby” Sarah Lennon – Pre and Postnatal Yoga Malta
For any mums that may be interested in joining, how do they go about signing up?