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Meet the Maker: Via Tendon, Chief Play Mama at Metta Play

Team Buy Aussie Now

This story was written by several Buy Aussie Now team members.

Metta translates to loving kindness and is the ongoing practice of compassion. Metta Play was created to help empower tiny humans to become more compassionate, aware and fierce. The product is bilingual yoga cards, helping kids learn yoga and another language through play. Think flashcards with yoga.

How did you start your homegrown business? With a dream! Then lots of late nights and long weekends researching, finding suppliers, working with our talented illustrator, and testing the product. An army of tiny humans and their guardians tested the product at every stage. My wonderful friend and illustrator, Vanessa Bong, worked tirelessly on the beautiful visuals. It took almost a year to finally launch it into the world. Metta Play is the result of my childhood growing up as an American-born Indonesian mixed with my years of teaching yoga to underserved and at-risk youth.

What inspires you? Kids. Their sense of wonder, unconditional love, innocence, and resilience - they’re so inspiring! This is why everything at Metta Play is created consciously and sustainably - it’s their tomorrow after all!

What are the benefits of manufacturing locally? We’re supporting each other and creating more jobs - contributing more to the bigger picture. It also means a smoother experience because you have more visibility and accessibility across the whole process.

What makes the Australian consumer unique? Aussies really support local, homegrown businesses. The support is immense and quite amazing actually. I’ve noticed that people would rather pay a bit more if it came from someone’s backyard, than if it’s from overseas. I mean, lots of global brands don’t really make it here!

What is the best business advice you have ever received? I can’t choose between the two! Done is better than perfect. And the “no”s lead you closer to a “yes”

What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business? Other than the dreaming part, everything is a challenge because it’s all yours to carry. Though I would have to say the biggest one is being vulnerable. When it’s your business - you’re really putting yourself on the line. What you believe in, your creation, your story. It’s quite raw and exposing, it’s a difficult thing to get used to.

What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic? I consider myself very fortunate to be able to say that it’s given me more time to enjoy the slow life. Especially being a new Mama, it’s given me and my husband the opportunity to really enjoy our little one and learn each other. I understand that this may not the case for many and I am sending all my love to you.

What was your first job? I got “paid” for doing chores from a very young age, it was hard work - so that!

Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry? Don’t kill me - either. I didn’t grow up with vegemite!!!

Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke? It has got to be You’re the Voice by John Farnham (also because that’s probably the only Aussie song I know!)

Check out Metta Play for interactive card decks helping teach yoga and another language through play.

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