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In Conversation with: Mi Cielo x Donald Robertson on the Giving Tree Collection

Mi Cielo‘s Kayo Master, our favorite felt genius, has outdone herself once again! Her collaboration with with Donald Robertson is quite the collection.  Read below for a glimpse into their Giving Tree collection.

What inspired you to work on this Giving Tree’s collection?

I became a partner with ONE TREE PLANTED two years ago and we’ve been working together on reforestation. I decided to reach out to Donald (@drawberston) and asked for help. California’s wildfires were raging at that time.

He generously agreed to do collaboration designs on a tree theme to spread a word about our reforestation efforts. Donald came up with 2 designs, The Poison Apple and The Giving Tree, which are both super fun! That’s how this collection came to life!

Both you and Donald are creatives – how do you collaborate together to create new designs?

This time I suggested the theme and he gave me his fun sketches. I cut out felt pieces to create the designs and send him the artworks. Donald gives me tweaks to make them better, I adjust them, back and forth, and we come to THE final versions!

What is the story behind each of the different designs?

Donald says…

“The designs I did exclusively for lunch mom are based on the first ideas that popped into my head.  Tree stream of consciousness! Poison apples from Wizard of Oz and Snow White seem like a cool idea. Apples as Skull and crossbones. And then the saddest illustration of all. From my fave book, the giving tree.  That’s what hit me when she called with her idea.”

What inspired you to start Mi Cielo?

My son! I was a new mom who worked at a law firm as a paralegal and court translator. One of my biggest dilemmas as a new mom was that I couldn’t find any unique, original, and cool boy clothing. They were all same-old stereotyped designs such as baseball, football, trucks, etc.

So I decided to create appliques of my own using felts and cover up pre-exiting onesie designs, just for my son. Then random people on the street would stop me and ask me where to get these outfits. One of my friends suggested opening up a shop on Etsy, which was a very small handmade market back then, and that’s how mi cielo was born! I never ever thought I would be designing and making clothing full time. Life is so very interesting. Thank you, Tristan!

What is something you want to share that we haven’t asked you yet?

We plant 5 trees for every item sold from this collection! Our goal is to plant 1,000 trees by the end of the year. Let’s own a cool handmade design item AND help our planet earth get greener!