We were thrilled to interview our Echo member Michail Sionis, co-founder of The Mama Made– a contemporary and eco-friendly home decor collection using traditional handcrafting techniques, designed in East London and handmade in Greece by Michail’s Mama.
We asked Michail how using Echo has helped their business grow, how the past few months have been like and what it is like to work with his mother!
Tell us about The Mama Made… What do you do?
The Mama Made is the result of a mother-and-son collaboration. We have teamed up to create eco friendly home and lifestyle accessories that mix traditional handcrafting techniques, seen with a fresh eye.
What first attracted you to join Echo?
I was developing another brand idea, Flaskee, handcrafting lampshades out of calabash fruits and needed support with structuring the business part of the idea. A friend strongly recommended Echo. I am glad I followed his tip!
How did other Echo members help you in the process of setting up your business?
Echo is a great hub. I first joined in 2018 and pretty soon came the offer to join Echo creative ++, an ultra-useful tool, as I had no clue how to run a small business. It was where I met the brand strategist Laura Santamaria. I still remember how she managed to give really key solutions to all course participants, with a short conversation. A few months later I went back to her asking for her input to our new brand The Mama Made.
Also, Stuart Duncan who I call our brand’s guardian angel makes sure he checks up on our progress regularly. I feel he has this problem-solving gift, that makes everything sound like a piece of cake! When I shared that I have run out of budget and I wouldn’t have been able to put together an ad campaign for our first collection launch, he introduced Karen Partridge who offered her gorgeous home for our 1st campaign photo shooting. High-end location shooting effortlessly done!
How have the last few months been for you? How have you adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic?
Clearly a challenge as we mainly operate as a B2B company and most of our stockists had to shut the stores for at least 2 months. However, the lockdown did give us valuable time to reorganise and chase new opportunities. By the end of it, we managed to add two new locations on our stockists’ list.
Photography by Ellie Tsatsou
What’s it like running a business with your mum!?
It’s fun and frustrating at the same time. Hard to explain! The lines between personal and professional arguments are rather blurred but there is also a great familiarity that made us super effective and productive from day one.
What advice would you give to Echo members who are starting or running a small business at the moment?
Stay focused and avoid negativity at all costs! The best is yet to come.
What do the next few months hold for you and your businesses?
We love collaborations! Last winter we teamed with Toni & Guy hair salons to create massive Xmas wreaths made out of crocheted baubles. This year we are developing a lifestyle collection for a small chain retailer. We will be super excited to share more soon! Hopefully, there will be more exciting collaboration in the future.
Do you have anything new coming up? / Are you working on something new or exciting behind the scenes?
We are currently finalising a handbag collection for A/W ’20, experimenting on new materials and techniques.
Photography by Panos PerantakosP-