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Introducing... Olwen McAuliffe, founder of children’s nightwear and loungewear brand Mimi & Bowe


Olwen McAuliffe

Olwen McAuliffe

Olwen McAuliffe

Age: 42.

Born: Sandymount, Dublin.

Brainwave from bedtime: Olwen came up with the idea for organic-cotton kids’ pyjamas when she had her twin girls. Their bedtime had become the stuff of nightmares. “They didn’t sleep for longer than two hours at a stretch,” she says. She tried dimmed lighting, baths and books that promised to hypnotise them into slumber. Nothing worked and she was beyond weary. So many parents will relate to the desire for a full night’s sleep for all and the desperation to get there.

Cotton on: When someone gave her girls a present of synthetic pyjamas with their favourite cartoon characters on them, it was the last straw. “They were highly flammable and the girls were sweating buckets,” she says. So the search for organic-cotton pyjamas began, but she couldn’t find what she wanted.

Doing it herself: Having worked as a designer for a major Irish retail store, she decided to create her own sustainable kids’ pyjamas. In September 2020, she founded and designed the online company Mimi & Bowe. Olwen designs the PJs and they are made in a small, family-run factory in Portugal. Made from organic cotton, they are Global Organic Textile Standard certified (GOTS). “I didn’t want to contribute to fast fashion,” she says.

Growth spurts: This practical mother knows how fast kids grow, so advises buying a size up. The kids can turn up the cleverly designed long cuffs and grow into them. Business is growing too. They have won an award in the UK and are now also available there and in the Netherlands via online platforms. And she has huge Irish sales, with people keen to support an Irish business. l

See mimiandbowe.ie;
Instagram @mimiandbowepjs

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