Sophie Dauvois, Okido Magazine
Tell us a little about yourself?
I am Sophie Dauvois and I am Editor and Founder of Okido Magazine. The magazine was initially set up in Brixton, where we lived and worked. I now live in West Dulwich with my partner - who is the Creative Director at Okido - and my son who is now 14. Our studio is now based above the Doodle Bar in Battersea.
What is Okido and why did you set it up?
Okido is an arts and science magazine for children aged 3-8. I initially set up the business as a reaction against the standard of periodical publishing available for children in the UK. I was keen to offer something to young children and their families that not only contained high quality content but that was presented at the highest possible level of design. As a scientist myself I believe that art and science can be learned and enjoyed simultaneously and in harmony with each other. I don't believe in the notion that you are either prone towards one or the other. We initially set up the magazine with a Small Art Grant from the Wellcome Foundation. We are now self-financed, publish every two months and have just launched a 52-part, animated TV series on CBeebies called Messy goes to Okido. A lot has happened in the 7 years since we first started!
How do you balance running a business with motherhood?
It's much easier now but of course I had the same issues as everyone else when my son was very young. Anxiety of putting him into a nursery and getting reports back that he was unhappy all day were very traumatic. However, we switched to another nursery and things got much better. I'm lucky that I've mainly worked for myself since he was born, so I've never had to pretend that he didn't exist...in fact the business was developed because of and not in spite of him. It's nonsense that mothers are made to feel bad about working and looking after their young kids in whatever style they do. Just do what you're doing and life will roll on regardless. There's no one that has the right answer to it all - just try and enjoy yourself along the way and some pretty great humans will come out at the end of it all - both yourself and your children.
What do you love about SE London and particularly being a mother here?
There's so much green space and so many creative people to share your neighbourhood with. SE London is very rich in both of these areas! I cycle and love to zip from West Dulwich to Herne Hill to Brixton, West Norwood and Peckham. So easy and green. I also cycle to Battersea to the studio and take most of the route through parks and green spaces, often stopping for a chat along the way.
Can you share one secret tip for other mothers in this area?
Can I say all the micro breweries that are around SE London? You can cycle from one of these to another. Pure joy! Sydenham Woods I suppose is my sensible answer. These are my local woods and I spend a lot of time walking and thinking here. At certain times of the year the light is so magical it looks like a scene from a Studio Ghibli film. Oh and of course Okido magazine is my biggest tip ; )
You can find out more about the wonderful Okido including subscriptions and stockists on their site / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
And best of all, to celebrate the launch of the new Messy goes to Okido series for CBeebies (4.20pm every week day), Okido are hosting the BIGGEST, BADDEST OKIDO PARTY EVER! And you are invited. Details below:
SUNDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER
Okido Magazine is delighted to invite you to a wonderful afternoon of fun and games in Battersea! There will be show screenings at 3, 4 and 5pm. Throughout the afternoon there will be food, drinks, live music, and LOADS of creative and fun activities for children and their families: screen printing, chalking, a monster arcade, bunting making, mask making, a red carpet, dressing up, a photo booth...lots and lots to fill an afternoon with fun and inspiration. This is a free event but for some of the creative partners that we're inviting, there may be a few activities that incur a nominal fee.
Book your free tickets here.
Hope you see some of you there! x