Sticky Tiki is a team of two: Kim, the artist, who hand paints gorgeous images inspired by nature and her love of all things retro; and Si, the tech, who turns the art into re-positionable fabric wall decals. Together they work from home where they both enjoy the privilege of seeing their three kids grow.
As we were treated to a tour of the studio it struck me how the couple were so committed to their business, so excited about the future and so relaxed about combining family life and work.
Kim and her family live in Hawkes Bay, NZ ... wine country ... I had fantasies about a leisurely lunch in a vineyard but my kids soon pulled my head out of that cloud. It was decided that coffee at Kim's place would be better and I am so glad.
We had never met in person but it was like walking into a home I had been to a thousand times before and yet I wanted to explore every nook and cranny for all the wonder and intrigue it held. I was in awe and truly envious of Kim's knack for creating such a cool and energetic home.
Sticky Tiki art everywhere (of course), the mid-century modern furniture, the Chinese Calendar Girl poster, 1970s black velvet artwork just like my childhood neighbours had. I could go on and on.
My aunty and I spent the rest of the weekend chattering about Kim and her little paradise. We wanted to move in!
Biggie loved the kids' rooms. He discovered a wardrobe full of Ben10 t shirts (yes, we both have normal television loving kids!).
Little Guy was rather taken by their dog, a funny round and stocky thing called ... Steve? no Silver!!!
There was also an old caravan in the garden, a trampoline, a huge walnut tree and an apricot tree so laden with fruit its branches were touching the ground. How much fun does that sound? Oh and Kim had made date scones, yum!
Here's my Little Guy and Kim's younger ones sorting out the walnuts that we got to take. Aren't they cute? Her eldest boy Zav, was off skateboarding with his friends. Biggie was disappointed.
We came home to the dead of winter. Cold and grey Osaka. It was a bit depressing. We put up our new Sticky Tiki, a gift from Kim and Si, ever generous and so kind to give us a piece of home (we got Beach Baby). Kim and Si live not more than ten paces from the ocean!
I asked Kim about working in close proximity with husband Si. She said they make a great team. Working together has made them closer but in some ways is very hard. I can appreciate that. They are very disciplined with a clear work day and defined tasks for each partner.
As their business has grown they've both been surprised by the amount of time needed for the day-to-day duties. Kim has worked as an artist for the past decade but has had to learn the business side of things. Si worked in the film industry and is largely self-taught in graphic design and computer work.
A lot of people want to know their "trade secret". Kim laughs and says there has been a lot of trial and error. There is no substitute for hard work and resilience.
Are you happy?
Kim replied "As you know it is wonderful having a home business but you do also end up working very long hours. We can be out here most nights printing and packaging till 11pm .. [we] could be working longer than that but then have to be up early with the kids. But I do love the way with an online business that we can make money while we are asleep...how cool is that?"
She also said "I LOVE my house...it is the bomb, which is great since I spend a lot of time here!"
"For the kids this time has been wonderful as their Dad has been around a lot for them...my eldest son's Dad lives in Australia so that is very hard for him."
Thank you Kim and Si for sharing your home with us. It's magic. And we are most definitely stuck on you Sticky Tiki.