INTERVIEWS

5 Questions with Teresa from Hedgehog

The collection of timeless treasures at Hedgehog is an absolute Babyccino favourite. We first wrote about this shop all the way back in 2012! You really can’t go wrong in this boutique filled with creative, imaginative, and practical goodies from all around the world. With something for all budgets, it’s a veritable haven for goodies for every season and occasion. Activities for sunny days in the garden, camping essentials, crafts and role play toys for rainy days, and of course stocking stuffers and gifts!

Hedgehog’s collection is full of originals finds and brimming with nostalgia and beautiful simplicity. All that is down to founder, Teresa. Loving all that Teresa does, we were thrilled to have the chance to get to know her that bit better. Here are Teresa’s answers to our 5 Questions.

teresa roviras photographer philipp ebeling

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live and your family

I was brought up in the countryside near Barcelona. Our converted farmhouse was outside a small village and on the edge of a protected natural park area. My parents were very creative, and we were surrounded by nature, which I loved. I had a happy childhood, the eldest of five children growing up in Catalonia, in a time before mobile phones, laptops and connectivity. We dressed up for parties, helped our parents in the kitchen and garden. We had a huge fancy dress chest which we dipped into to fire up our imaginations. My parents resisted cheap plastic toys, preferring wooden ones – just as I found myself doing with my own children a generation later.

Somehow, my parents had a supply of fashion and interior magazines from London, Paris and New York, These give us a taste of a life beyond our experiences and reading these made me crave urban life.  In time, I embarked on an adventure to London, and here I am thirty years later!

bedroom goodies shelves

at home teresa roviras

baking set apron hearts

My husband, Spencer Fung, is an architect from Hong Kong. We met in London, set up home in a leafy area near Hampstead and had our two children – Aurelia now 15 and Lawrence 13. Spencer and I share a studio and we love to do creative things together with the children. Baking at home, making things, drawing, painting or experimenting with crafts, you name it.  We travel a lot as a family. In the summer we like to get close to nature; we hike in the Pyrenees, wild swim in lakes, explore rocks, forage for wild berries and mushrooms and search for rivers for pebbles to paint.

teresa children explore nature stream

watercolour stream craft

clever rock painting idea

painting found pebbles

sunography creation plant paper

sunography paper exposed

2. Tell us about your shop and how you came to create your store.

When my children were born I began to build them a treasure trove of classic simple, well-made toys from natural materials.  I was inspired by the toys my parents had played with when they were children. These were child-sized, authentic versions of real ‘things’ such as china tea sets, shops and garages. My mother kept many of these in a miniature wooden wardrobe.

I also wanted to introduce ethnic toys, accessories and outfits and stories from other parts of the world.  As my children have a mixed-race heritage, it felt important to represent that heritage through play.  So, I gathered stories and music from around the world to spark their imagination and set out to find them dolls of every skin colour: Russian babushkas, Chinese cheongsam dresses, flamenco outfits and African masks.

creative wooden toys iron clothes

imaginary play wooden vegetables

enamel checks party table plates crackers

classic cracker content paper hat wooden

3. What is important to you when choosing your brands

I like to choose well-made, traditional things that last.  I look for toys that children can learn from, that have a heritage and history.  I’m drawn to natural materials, and like simple, unfussy things.  Something that is handmade by crafts people using traditional methods is always a winner for me. Hedgehog has very few well-known brands, but I do stock some branded practical products that I admire, such as Sigg water bottles and moleskin notebooks.

constellations glow in dark

4. What is your current favourite product in your collection?

Oh gosh that is so hard! I only have things that I like; things that I would want in my own house or would want my children to play with. Right now, I love our new round moon glow-in-the-dark poster. It’s detailed and textured and inspires children to dream of travelling to the moon. I’m about to commission a round frame for it – watch this space! We also have a new glow-in–the-dark planisphere that we take on our summer holidays to identify stars with, astronaut kits and a telescope – I love all these space related things.

Our dressing up clothes are also a favourite, they are so well made – from cotton and linen, mainly by a family business in Germany. Plus, we have brilliant accessories that children love – helmets, and wooden shields and swords. And, of course, I am proud of the things we make ourselves like our Christmas crackers, party bags, baking sets, art smocks and kit bags.

cotton dress up

wooden sword shield

dressed party home teresa rovers

folding paper craft

classic red car

5. How do you juggle motherhood and your career?

Children come first, and between us we make sure one of us is always there to welcome our children back from school, even if it does mean working late after they’ve gone to bed.  Our children consider our studio as their second home, there are comfy sofas for resting on after a hard day at school, and desks where they can do homework or crafts projects.

In the holidays my daughter likes to be involved in the office, so I find tasks that she can help with – it’s good work experience for her and helpful for me.  My son loves playing football, and afterwards he’ll come to the studio, we’ll cook something, and he’ll settle down to work on a project.  Our work lives and home lives are hard to separate, and we include the children as much as possible.  They both have strong design sensibilities, so we listen to what they say and value their opinions. My son even designed his own bed, in steel. It was so good that his father had it made for him!

Image of Teresa and family courtesy of Philipp Ebeling.

Hedgehog is a beloved, long-term member of our shopping portal. This shop is even trusted toy supplier to Santa for his London Christmas ShopUp visits!


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