I remember checking out Wee Gallery’s children wall prints a while back and I was daydreaming of my own baby’s room to have a large zebra print on the wall. Snapping back to reality, I had the pleasure of snagging a quick phone chat with co-owner of Wee Gallery, Surya. Based in Florida, Surya and her husband Dave have been operating Wee Gallery for some time now, and business is going very well for the Pinto family. Wee Gallery is a family run business with the couple even doing their day to day tasks alongside their growing business. Funny story, I called Surya and she was just about to head into the grocery store. Her bubbly voice made me laugh and I definitely did not mind that this lady was multi-tasking. Surya is what I call a Super Mom owning a business and a family.
BEGINNINGS OF WEE GALLERY
Before starting Wee Gallery, Surya was a graphic designer at an online fax company in Los Angeles, CA. She became pregnant with her first child, Siddartha and decided to become a full-time mom. That is when her inspiration of Wee Gallery was born. “When I was pregnant with Siddartha, I wanted to paint a mural in the baby room. I read somewhere that newborns can only see black and white images. I then decided to paint a huge black and white Zebra on the wall. That way, my child could see the image right away.” With such a simple and intelligent concept to this black and white zebra, Surya impressed many of her friends who saw the mural.” she says. They would tell me that my mural was very well done and unique. So I ended up making six more animals and printed it out on cards. It started off in all black and white.” And from there, Wee Gallery took off. After having her second child, Anya, Wee Gallery was growing steadily. It was time for Dave and Surya to make Wee Gallery a full-time business and a move to a new location.
BACKGROUND OF SURYA
Having been influenced between both the American culture and her Indian culture, Surya experiences the nostalgic feeling of both worlds in her pieces at Wee Gallery. Surya spent her entire childhood in India. It wasn’t until the 2000’s when she moved to the United States with her husband. She remembers fondly all of her toys and trinkets that she owned while she was a child. She says, “I loved my toys in India. I had a playful childhood and I love to incorporate a little bit of home in every piece at Wee Gallery.” Her original painting of the animals is based on the Indian Folk style that she grew up with. “I raise my children in a different way, but I still love to teach them what I remember from my own childhood.” In every piece catch a glimpse of Surya’s childhood and the mix of traditional and contemporary styles.
ECO-FRIENDLY AND FAMILY OWNED
When it comes to product manufacturing, Surya and Dave makes sure that everything is in good place and the least harmful. “Dave has made a trip to every factory where Wee Gallery’s products are manufactured. We just want to make sure that there is no pain for anyone along the way of production.” Wee Gallery’s newest products, handmade soft books, are all handmade in a factory in India. Surya says, “We chose this factory in India, because their philosophy on production is amazing. They manufacture their own fabric, is GOTS certified, and they also work with local farmers.”
FUTURE OF WEE GALLERY
Besides partnering with Blick’s on their wall graphics, Surya and Dave plan on finding good partners and continue with more new products. “We like to keep our business small. We like to find other businesses that support other small businesses.” The handmade soft books are quite tasty, and I think I’ll be buying one for my future children. For those of you with little kids, or even parents to-be; Wee gallery has a wonderful array of wall décor, books, cards, and toys all focusing on the baby’s first learning phase. And the best part of having your own children’s toy company? Well Surya says it best, “I get to be a child all over again!”
For more information, please visit: www.weegallery.com