Entrepreneur Mom Rebecca Peragine Uses Art To Inspire — And Hone In On Her Humanitarian Work

With absolutely no background in art, entrepreneur mom Rebecca Peragine created Children Inspire Design. Her art is a mix of vintage modern but with an eco-friendly focus — and a platform that she uses to hone in on her humanitarian work as well. We talked to Rebecca about inspiring art, women’s empowerment, and helping women internationally find both work and purpose.


Let’s talk about Children Inspire Design. Do you have a background in art?

I have no background in art at all! [laughs] I graduated college, and moved to an island in Mexico where I met my husband and then opened a coffee shop. I worked with local artists, and did a fundraiser. I came to the idea that working with art and fundraising can go hand in hand. That was the impetus for Children Inspired Design.

And how did it come to be?

When son was 2, we moved back to the US. It grew slowly. I do a lot of my work from my closet!  I have a studio in downtown Phoenix, but for the most part I’m home. I started creating art for my family. There are three spoken languages in my family and I wanted something culturally rich for my  kids. I couldn’t find anything that had an environmentally friendly message. People started asking for custom orders, and then I started selling on Etsy. I did my own website; I didn’t have a team. It really grew organically. Now at the end of my second year, I signed with a distribution company in Australia.  It’s surreal still, but it’s great. It’s growing to the point where I have my own marketing and design team. I’ve moved from my tabletop to my closet.

At least it has a door, right?

The kids find me here, too. No matter where I am. I have two boys,  7 and 4. They don’t care about me throughout day, but the second I sneak away, there are emergencies and fires and crazy things. My husband works from home, too, so it’s an interesting dynamic. We’re always there, which is a great blessing for us, but if you have to go away or talk to adults, it’s more challenging.

I know what you mean. Now, how would you describe your art?

I would call it, a vintage modern design with a global eco message. It’s all about inclusion for young children.

And let’s talk about the humanitarian aspect of your business.

That came before the art came. We taught a local women’s co-op in Mexico how to make artwork, which is then sent to the US. We just launched our mobiles artwork. They mobiles are made out of recycled materials; the birds are made out of cardboard and magazines, and are then stuffed with plastic grocery bags.

That is so cool!

We add one product every six months. The criteria is that it has to be stylish and fit under the Children Inspired Design aesthetic. We were just down there filming a documentary about the lives of the women. It’s amazing to see how the co-op has changed the lives of these women. They are able to run their own business in a way and also recycle. It’s also interesting to recognize what the mobile birds signify for these women. To see how happy the women are is the driving force for what I want to do; I want to create the idea for the design, and let other people make it and then take it to market so I can see the customers enjoy it. It is amazing.

What are some future products that are coming up?

I’m working on paper garland that you can string over a baby’s bed or as a Christmas decoration.

Why paper?

It’s a readily available resource. The women collect the paper and it’s eco-friendly. The shipping is very light, so it helps to keep the costs down. Plus, all of our products are paper related. All of my art is cut out from recycled paper. It’s how they make their art and how I make mine. It’s our niche. We’re also working on kids poster wall cards in different languages. And then we’re going to launch a second brand that would feature artwork for both children and adults. We’ll run it as a social enterprise, with a large chunk of money going back into organizations that support women and children. We will reinvest in initiatives so that that women can start businesses of their own, which is so important to me and the reason why I do what I do.


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