Joanna Dunn, Founder of Minimello

Offering an exclusive range of children’s bedding and bedroom accessories to help kids relax and sleep better 

Up until December 2018, I’d spent more than a decade in London working in financial services as a designer and in marketing roles – having left my home of chilly Aberdeen several years ago. From once being based on the 46th floor in Canary Wharf to running training and events for a charity investment team, I had a great career in The City and worked with some fantastic people too.

It’s a big change when you have a child and, as parents, we want to make them strong and resilient. When it comes to bedtime, we do all we can to keep them calm and establish good routines so they relax and sleep well.

When my daughter was six months old, I was decorating her bedroom and wanted to paint it a colour she could grow into. I went for a calming shade of green and, inspired by the makeover, began to research how colours, mood and behaviour are connected.

I was happy with her room but then couldn’t find a calming duvet cover to match, so I designed one for her myself! After having it made, I started telling people about it and they became interested – as I had – in the science behind how the brain reacts to certain colours (some being more calming than others).

Having achieved all I wanted to in London, I left and, since founding Minimello in the New Year, have been busy working on bringing the business to life – sourcing manufacturers, finalising designs, building a website and enjoying using my marketing skills again.

Currently in ‘phase one’, my business model allows me to tweak the designs if necessary and then have them produced by UK-based manufacturers. It’s a little more expensive for me, but it’s worth it for the extra freedom and flexibility in the short term.

I’m really looking forward to the end of September, when I’ll be running my first ‘Nap at the Museum’ event in St Albans. Sleep experts will share tips with parents and teach them fun, relaxing activities to help make bedtime more restful for children, and proceeds raised from the day will be donated to two wonderful causes: The Children’s Sleep Charity and Mind.