Artist, designer and self-proclaimed “Mod Mom” Mia Viljoen was at a loss when she began to decorate her little girl’s first bedroom. After spending days scouting for amazing, colorful, funky and extraordinary kids room decor, she’d found nothing that appealed to her taste for big, impactful, and inspiring wall decals. And so she took action and created Pop & Lolli! Mia’s passion for colorful and dream-like designs is inspired by her childhood. Growing up in South Africa,the landscapes, colors and textures of her world as a child are what influence her designs and build the foundation for creativity and expression for other children. And that’s not all – for every set of Pop & Lolli fabric wall decals purchased, the company’s charity arm, (it’s) chic 2 change, provides educational materials to positively influence a South African Child in need. I invite you to meet Mia and to check out the entire Pop & Lolli collection of playful and interactive decals that will bring your nursery or child’s room to life!
How would you define the Pop & Lolli style philosophy?
P I C T U R E P O E T R Y !
Pop & Lolli. Experience. Design. Chic over-sized fabric wall decals, rich in detail will transform any blank wall into a world of imagination and play.
Pop & Lolli truly delivers BIG in every way. Pop & Lolli believes in impact. And to make an impression, size can definitely help! (B-I-G-G-E-R Is Better! Always, forever. I definitely have a passion for all things big. Everything I always do and touch and make and create tends to be on the bigger side. People experience with their senses, and I believe the only way to truly experience something is by immersing oneself in the creation — and the only way to immerse yourself is to believe it surrounds you — so size definitely helps to establish that illusion.)
Pop & Lolli chic wall murals create a complete immersive environment and provide an opportunity for expression & exploration; something every kid deserves. Pop & Lolli builds the foundation for a creative imagination. It sets the backdrop and puts your child center stage. And for everyone still kid-at-heart who enjoy the pleasures of Pop & Lolli – it will definitely color your dreams!
What inspired you to become a designer and start a business?
Born and raised proudly South African with an intuitive passion for color, design and dreaming BIG, I moved to Los Angeles to earn a very non-conventional Masters in Architecture. I then followed my dream and became a Walt Disney Imagineer. And after 4 years of dreaming much and imagining theme parks, my husband and I received the joyful news that we were expecting our very first munchkin. And so the journey began….…
Being a Mod Mom with a desire for GOOD design, highly appreciative of (multi)functional products, and a flair for laughter and fun, I was at a loss of what to do in my little girl’s very first room of her own! Scouting the world wide web for days in search of the ultimate nursery décor produced nothing awesome. Nothing extraordinary. Nothing fun. And nothing funky. It was quite the predicament! Nothing fit this mom’s dream just right. Too small. Too blah. Too nothing. Too ordinary.
I had walls – FOUR BIG ONES – staring at me. I just knew that to create the fabulous design experience I imagined, I needed: – funky and fun designs which was playful and cheery and COLO(U)RFUL – a design flexible to grow with her – and, of course, all encompassing design BIG enough to truly create an immersive environment. I like to call it my PICTURE POETRY. Experiencing design as an opportunity for expression and exploration – something every kid deserves. So, I decided to take action and imagineer the ideal dream for experience-design: Pop & Lolli oversized Fabric wall decals.
The name Pop & Lolli is in honor of our little girl named Anabelle, since she was clearly the inspiration and reason behind it. Upon birth, Anabelle was lovingly nicknamed “Poppeliensie” by her South African grandfather. I realized that using that name directly might cause for some strange confusion & pronunciation within the States! It somehow developed from “Poppeliensie” to Pop & Lolli and it somehow just all finalized when I designed the logo and accidentally discovered that a Lollipop just worked in the design of it.
Why did you choose to design children’s wall art?
I grew up in South Africa – in a super small, rural part of the country. As such, nature was a child’s best friend. I have always had an intense passion for true African art and culture — the color and the vibrancy of the designs, the unique and extreme variance in style, and the fine attention to detail are all awe-inspiring. South Africa is a gorgeous country and has tons to offer — most people have a hard time believing we have 11 official languages! It’s a true rainbow nation and a melting pot of many great things. The textures, the landscapes, the sunsets, the smells, the food, the color, the languages — one can only listen, smell, observe, taste and feel to know Africa is in your blood. And if it’s in your blood it is a part of you, and you cannot help but to always be mesmerized and affected by it.
This is probably one of the reasons why the nature, colors, sunsets, textured of the fields and crops and landscapes are so influential in my design thinking and creations. Growing up as a child was sure way different compared to today!! We were free to roam the fields and the farm, free to enjoy the pleasures and goodness of the earth ALL day long. We wanted to be outside. We had to be outside. Nature was our canvas in which to create our imaginary play. The trees, the flowers, the bugs, the animals … it all became the backdrop for every day’s activities. And what a wonderful blessing that is – infinite space & infinite beauty to allow one’s mind to run off wild!
I hope the nature of Pop & Lolli’s designs will serve as huge inspiration to kids across the world to enhance the outdoors and bring it alive inside their confined spaces. I believe our tell-your-own story-to-create-your-own-mural; mix-n-match and flexible designs will allow for such opportunities to enlarge any space and open windows (and opportunities) into a wonderful world of imagination and play!
What is your favorite part of your daily work when you reflect on the day, what is most rewarding?
I treasure having the ability and flexibility to work from home full time and arrange my schedule such to be a full time mommy to my daughter as well. It’s a tough balancing act to follow, and results in very many late nights and super early mornings wearing all kinds of hats, but the reward is priceless – I have the fulfilled blessing to be with my daughter during her formative years, whilst I truly enjoy what I do! The added bonus of the charity provides for many heartwarming and magical moments too, realizing the true difference we were able to provide in many children’s lives. The feedback and smiles we receive from those little kids –nothing can express the gratitude knowing the power we have to help this world be chic 2 change!
If you had to pick a favorite piece from your collection, what would it be?
Without a doubt definitely the Noah’s African Circus Collection. This collection was what started it all. I designed it first for my daughter’s room – and it’s now currently our best seller!
What sets Pop & Lolli apart from other designers in your industry?
We are the only life sized, mix-n-match fabric wall decals currently on the market, doing good all around!
Pop & Lolli fabric wall decals offer the following:
– Funky and fun designs that are playful and cheery and colorful.
– Flexible designs that children can interact with.
– All encompassing design and themed overlays BIG enough to truly create an immersive environment.
Pop & Lolli fabric decals are 100% safe for use with children of all ages. It is made of an ultra premium polyester fabric, uses a water based adhesive, produced of non toxic materials and lead free ink and it does not contain any of the PVC’s found in the manufacturing of vinyl decals. Pop & Lolli decals can last 7-10 years indoors, and 5-7 years outdoors. These fabric decals are very re-usable, very removable, and many times re-positionable! Pop & Lolli is proudly made in the USA and also eco-friendly.
With every set of Pop & Lolli decals purchased, (it’s) chic 2 change will provide educational materials and resources to positively influence a South African child in need.
Do you have any news that you would like to share, perhaps about upcoming designs or introductions to your line?
We will celebrate our 2nd anniversary this coming October with the (hopefully in time!) launch of an amazingly innovative, wonderfully creative, new product as well as super cool new interactive wall decals.
Now…Just for Fun
Favorite Food – Arepa’s
Favorite TV Show – Modern Family on ABC
Favorite Weekend Activity – Hanging with the family – going bike riding, enjoying beach, hiking in the Hollywood Hills……
Favorite Band/Singer – Jewel
To see these amazing decals in action, check out this demonstration video!