biographies

Julia Miechowicz, Co-founder of Witty Doodle

Julia Founder of Witty Doodle

Julia is a mother, businesswoman, and co-founder of Witty Doodle, a company created by two entrepreneurial mums to produce beautiful nursery art designed to aid sensory and cognitive development in babies and toddlers. The Witty Doodle product line was developed with talented artist, under the guidance of a child psychologist, to create fun and stimulating nursery art products.

Before becoming a mum herself, Julia earned a Master’s degree in Marketing and Management from University of Economics in Poznań, Poland and studied International Business at Fontys University in Eindhoven, Netherlands. She spent several years as Brand Manager at prestigious international firms like Wrigley, NIVEA and Actavis UK, building strategies for brands, launching new products and implementing multimedia communication campaigns.

At NIVEA, Julia managed the baby brand for the international cosmetic company, where she worked firsthand with mums and their little ones to understand their needs and daily challenges. With a keen interest in product development, consumer research, and consumer behaviour, she gained invaluable professional insight about the market segment of which she would soon become a member.

While expecting her first child and decorating the nursery, Julia sought out bright, cheerful, and stimulating art with bold shapes and colours. As the child of an artistic parent and a particular fan of artists Amadeo Modigliani, Paul Gauguin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, creating an enriching, artistic space for her own child was an important priority. The concept for Witty Doodle was developed in collaboration with friend and fellow parent Aggie Szpinda to fill the need for attractive, colourful nursery art products that enhance child development.

Julia lives and works in Devon, England. She is mother to young Bruno, a precocious son born in 2012, and loves working with him on arts and crafts. She manages Witty Doodle from home, which allows her to pursue her professional passions with flexible work hours and plenty of time to spend with her family.

Aggie Szpinda, Co-founder of Witty Doodle

Aggie Founder of Witty Doodle

Aggie Szpinda is a mother, teacher, and co-founder of Witty Doodle, a company created by two entrepreneurial mums to produce beautiful nursery art designed to aid sensory and cognitive development in babies and toddlers. The Witty Doodle product line was developed with talented artists, under the guidance of a child psychologist, to create fun and stimulating nursery art products.

Ms. Szpinda studied Literature, Grammar and Media at the University of Warsaw and earned a Master’s degree in Teaching. Her Master’s thesis, “The Power of Magic with Curses and Blessing in Fairy Tales Lies with Those Who Convey the Power through Thought, Word and Deed,” foreshadowed her professional interest in focusing on language, storytelling, and imagination as an important teaching and child development instrument.

Upon moving to the UK, Aggie founded the Anglo-Polish Saturday School and served as head teacher for four years. As a leader at the first institution of its kind in southwest England, she worked with bilingual children of different ages and gained insights on how the stimulation of language promotes child development and creativity. Over the past several years, Aggie has also worked as a project and programmes officer with a range of public sector initiatives, including community projects, building strategic partnerships, and training women entrepreneurs.

In her current position at Heathwatch Devon, Aggie works with children and young people to promote their voices in health and social service programme development. She is also currently a networking and business development specialist with Rural Growth Network, where she helps many business women reach their potential in the business world.

As an educator in her own right and the child of teachers and educators in the Polish Ministry of Education, Aggie identified brain, cognitive, social and emotional development cues while working with children as a teacher— a passion that would carry over to her role as a young mother. Decorating her nursery as an expectant mother and experienced teacher, she immediately noticed the need for products to promote child development, stimulation and creativity for her own child. Teaming with friend, fellow parent, and entrepreneur Julia Miechowicz, the two young parents founded Witty Doodle to fill the need for attractive, colourful nursery art products.

Aggie lives and works in Devon, England with her husband and young daughter Mela. When she’s not busy developing and managing Witty Doodle, she enjoys she enjoys running, street dancing, and making fairy tales come true with her little daughter.

Dr Amanda Gummer, Leading Child Psychologist on play and development

Dr Amanda Gummer who helped develop Witty Doodle nursery art is a Leading Child Psycholgist

Dr. Amanda Gummer is a leading authority on child development, play and parenting and holds PhD in psychology and a Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education. With nearly twenty years of experience working with families and children, and two young daughters of her own, Amanda has a detailed understanding in this area. Widely considered as THE go to expert on play, toys and child development, Amanda combines her theoretical knowledge with a refreshingly pragmatic approach to family life, that resonates both with parents and professionals.

She is a member of the British Psychological Society, the Play Research Network, the International Toy Research Association, Play England and the National Toy Council and is involved in policy through think tanks and various parliamentary groups.

Since 2004 Amanda ran the successful research consultancy Fundamentals and she launched the new Good Toy Guide in 2012. She now brings all of this together alongside a Good Toy App under the Fundamentally Children brand.

Amanda is regularly in the media, and continues to take an active role in research, presenting a paper at the International Toy Research Association’s World Congress in Portugal in July 2014. She is regularly consulted by the media for comment on issues relating to play and parenting. She has been interviewed on BBC Breakfast and often provides comment and quotes for national newspapers and radio stations.

Amanda’s previous experience includes running a family support charity in London and teaching children with special needs as well as working as an Associate Lecturer in Child Development for the Open University. She has also managed Faust Educational Service in Hong Kong where she designed educational games and schemes of work and volunteered as a childcare worker in a woman’s refuge where she raised the standard facilities for children by introducing structured play and innovative, educational games for the children who were not at school.

Anna Gensler, Artist & Children’s Book Illustrator

Anna Gensler is Artist and Children's book illustrator born in 1987. She graduated from Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in 2012. Her vibrant art, full of flowers, fairies and happy animals is truly enjoyed by a young audience.

Fun and colourful, brings smiles to little faces. She has been working for the top publishers in the country and illustrated a number of books and magazines for children, "The Bible Stories", "Counting is fun!", "I'm I", "The elephant adventure", and many more. Anna’s work can be found on her blog www.kolorowaanka.com.