Playful. Chic. Worldly. Handmade. Magical. We could go on for days describing one of our favorite handmade brands for children. They have just launched a brand new online shop and we couldn't be happier.
Meet the creative forces behind Zid Zid, take a trip to Marrakech, and shop away on their new site.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE ZID ZID?
On one hand, it was born out of the desire to really create something unique, handmade, sustainable, unforgettable and, first and foremost, something which talked directly to children.
It was also a culmination of all the things I'm passionate about: my world travels, my many years teaching art to children combined with being a visual artist, then becoming a mother. These factors matched with the ideals and talents of my partner/husband Moulay and were all crucial factors that lead to the birth of Zid Zid.
It is also my true love of a sense of adventure!
WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND THE NAME?
It means "Let's go!" in Arabic. I heard this word while in the mountains of Fez. There was a very old man passing by and pushing his donkey along, trying to get his very slow donkey to move. He kept repeating 'Zid Zid, Zid Zid' and I loved the musical sound of these words together and its meaning.
WE LOVE YOUR ENTIRE COLLECTION, BUT WE HAVE A SOFT SPOT FOR THE METALLIC BOOKENDS AND POUFS. DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE?
I personally love our Airplane Backpack, our Animal Masks and it's hard not to love our sparkly Marrakech Babouches too!
WHAT SHOULD OUR READERS KNOW ABOUT ZID ZID THAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
I find many factors that set Zid Zid apart.
Eco Local: We are based where we work and work directly with our artisans and staff, all materials are sourced locally by me and we try to make each product as sustainable as possible.
Giving Back: We are also super-committed to giving back as much as we can to the Marrakech community through donations of time, product and proceedes, all benefiting children/children's programs in and around Marrakech.
Heartfilled: And, every Zid Zid item is made from the heart with always the child in mind!
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
We live in a 'Riad' (a traditional house with an open air courtyard inside the house) in the Daoudiate neighborhood of Marrakech, Morocco.
IF WE WERE VISITING YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, WHAT WOULD BE ON YOUR LIST FOR US TO SEE/DO/EAT/SHOP?
We live in a very different place in the world, nothing expected in the least bit!
See: Drop by the neighboring Palmerie (palm oasis) to say hello, feed the camels and draw the palm trees.
Do: Get fresh squeezed orange juice and browse the Bab Doukala book flea market.
Eat: I always love our fruit and veggie seller, the local olive and harissa (homemade Moroccan spicy sauce). In a pinch, I'll pick up local handmade bread and assemble an amazing sandwich with hardboiled eggs, fresh veggies, olives and harissa.
Shop: The big flea market of Bab Khamis, so many crazy treasures!
WHAT IS THE BEST BUSINESS ADVICE YOU RECEIVED?
To always know your margins and always be yourself when designing.
WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE YOU STARTED ZID ZID?
Julie - I am a painter, illustrator and art teacher with over 15 years of teaching experience in schools and museums in the USA. One illustrated book, 8-time award winner: 'The Butter Man' by Elizabeth and Ali Alalou, published by Charlesbridge.
Moulay - RISD grad and one very talented graphic designer who worked for top companies in the Boston area such as PBS, WGBH Boston, Harvard and the Interactive Factory, to name a few.
WHO/WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SOURCE OF INSPIRATION?
This is a tough question as I'm so inspired all the time!
It can be anything from the crazy color combos in the medina, to my time hanging out with my kids and the local camels, to the ever changing wild landscapes of Morocco.
A big visual inspiration for me is the beauty of children's book illustration; from contemporary illustrators such as Maira Kalman, Karen Barbour and Frane Lessac to classics such as M. Sasek, Ed Emberly, Ezra Jack Keats to Polish paper cutting and Chinese Farmer paintings.
And favorite artist friends are always such a drive; Jeannie Weissglass, Yto Barrada, Aurelia Tazi and Watara Ouatts.
FIVE THINGS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT.
Always: My kids and my husband! We're a constant team.
Must: A fan to keep cool on hot Marrakech days.
Eat: Always fresh fruits, dried dates and figs on hand.
See: As many trips to the different varied regions of Morocco - ocean, mountains, deserts, oasis.
Do: My camera and my journal which I write and draw in daily.
Thanks Julie & Moulay!
Three Kisses Chelsea, Rachel and Diana
Visit Zid Zid.