We turn out of the station into the shadow of the giant that is Westfield shopping centre. We walk in the opposite direction towards a cluster of bright orange plants pots teaming with colour. Weave through a little park passing a handful of eateries stylishly displaying their wares. We spy a huge confetti balloon tied to a vintage style pram housing a disco ball.
We're at the right place.
It's the launch of 'The Art Of Motherhood' adult colouring book by Mère Soeur.
We are met by the gorgeous sound of children's laughter and little hands busy colouring in the large sheets of illustrations in the sunshine. Meanwhile mama's bustle, giggle, make introductions and offer Carrie Anne congratulations on the launch. The vibe is relaxed, with everyone enjoying a drink and the prettiest meringues by Meringue Girls and the coolest biscuits by Lady Bakewell Park inside the beautifully curated space of Ashlyn's that is Olive Loves Alfie East.
Before long, buggies are double parked 4 deep! To see this event bringing Mama's together from all over in support of this project was pretty empowering and to meet some of the amazing creative people that helped bring this book to life was truly inspiring. Plus watching Carrie Anne's little boy running around and enjoying the confetti was adorable.
"The launch was unbelievable! So many amazing women came out to help us celebrate. The best part of the day for me was knowing that almost all of our girl gang were in one sunny, vibrant, inspiring space and had come together for such a great cause. Definitely feeling the sisterhood vibes and mama love at every turn. Money was raised, friendships were formed and hopefully some future collabs are now in their baby stages!" Carrie Anne Roberts, Mère Soeur
The launch was held in the children's concept store, Olive Loves Alfie East which is fast becoming the go-to venue in london for parent/mama focused events. Olive Loves Alfie East is the only London stockist of Mère Soeur t-shirts and you can also buy The Art of Motherhood book in store.
"My vision for Olive Loves Alfie East has always been to create a space that inspires friendship and conversation. Having such an exciting launch on Tuesday was the icing on the cake and the proof of the pudding - you can mix business with pleasure! I have no doubt that everyone who came is feeling the afterglow of so much positivity that surrounds Mère Soeur. It was a total inspiration." Ashlyn Gibson, Olive Loves Alfie
The Art of Motherhood book is amazing. Such a diverse style of illustrations from the fun to the thought provoking all with Motherhood as the common thread. Here some of the contributors tell us what getting involved with this exciting project meant to them...
"Being part of the Mère Soeur Art of Motherhood book has been a massive deal! I absolutely love Carrie Anne's Insta feed and when she announced her idea to get an adult colouring book going with all proceeds going to charity I was straight in there! After a long day at the office I picked up my pens and found myself sketching up a portrait of Carrie herself after some serious stalking on her feed! I sent it over to Carrie as a gift and she messaged back suggesting it for the front cover! Never in a million years did I think she would go for it but there it is with a beautiful pink background and on the front cover! Amazing! In my opinion, Carrie Anne is the face of Motherhood, showing everyone that it is possible to be a mama and a seriously strong lady!" Rhian Healy, Oh Young Fierce One
"I was thrilled when Carrie asked me to be involved in the project. She has created a beautiful book and it's for a really good cause. I decided to go with the motherhood prompt, and wanted to depict the protective strength that mothers have when it comes to their children. I very rarely draw people so it just had to be a mama bear!" Julia Staite, designer & Illustrator
"I wanted to take part in the book as I liked the idea of something fun and creative which also represented all that it is to be a woman, whether that's in motherhood or in sisterhood. I grew up in a dominantly male family and I now have three wonderful sons, so I know what it means to have to actively reach out and maintain relationships with other women who can support and understand me. And that was the inspiration behind my illustration; find that support and hold on to it!" Emma Montague, Illustrator
"It was a pleasure to be involved in the colouring book, I have huge admiration for Carrie, her drive and determination to make things happen is inspirational. I know I struggled with becoming a 'mum' with my first son feeling like I didn't quite fit in, so I love the whole motherhood movement and how it's really boosting and supporting women. The charity aspect is so important too, I'm confident the sales will give 'Home start' a great amount to make a difference. I feel very lucky to be amongst such talent! My inspiration for the drawing came from obviously my sons. I love holding their hands, leading them on new adventures and it's so true what they say, a mother's love is eternal. I will always protect them and try to look after their hearts....however I'm sure some gorgeous girls will come along one day and break them!!" Cheryl Rawlings, Illustrator
"Carrie is so awesome and genuinely inspiring. I love the way others talk about doing stuff and she does the stuff. The book was another great idea of hers and doing it for such a rewarding charity made it even better. I was delighted to be involved! For my illustration I was trying to think of something visual that captured a bit of my childhood and I thought of my mum's antique jewellery box. I was always rifling through it and there were so many cool things in there like Egyptian scarab beetle beads, old charms, massive stone rings. It was like a ritual and I'd look at it over and over again. The initials around the box are those belonging to a load of mamas I love who have inspired me, been top mates and made my life full of happiness." Claire Spake, Illustrator
Contributors and Carrie Anne we applaud you.
The book is now available through the Mère Soeur online shop for £10.00. All profits go to Home-Start helping vulnerable families. So get your colouring pens out and go and order a copy!
If you are planning any workshops, pop up shops, launch parties or a fundraising event give Ashlyn at Olive Loves Alfie a call on 07944 325778 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Donna Tweedale & Anna Cascarina
Photos by Donna Tweedale