When Tanya Tutin’s daughter was young, she was unable to settle because of a milk protein intolerance.
Desperate to comfort her child while providing a calming bonding experience, Tanya stumbled upon the babywearing community.
Babywearing involves using a piece of fabric or a carrier to hold a baby snugly against the body and has a cult following across Australia.
Tanya said the practice changed her life, so much so that two years ago she ventured into a new career path of creating hand-woven baby wraps.
The Hazelwood South mother-of-two has since commissioned more than 80 woven wraps in an assortment of colours inspired by the country.
One such wrap, titled Shoo Fly, resulted in Tanya tying for first place in the inaugural Australian and New Zealand Weaving Competition.
Woven in traditional crackle – a technical weave involving two types of weft yarn individually woven into the cloth – the winning piece was Tanya’s first hand-painted wrap and aimed to capture the beauty of the common fly.
She was not expecting to win but “knew it had a wow factor” and would be a unique entry.
“Let’s be honest, there’s nothing beautiful about a fly,” Tanya said.
“They’re annoying and grotty but if you can see past their bad attributes, you can see the magical beauty they possess.”
Along with her recent award, Tanya’s business has gained quite a following and also includes the sale of jewellery, wallets, bags and key fobs created from left over wrap ends.
Despite her success, Tanya says it’s never been about the money.
“I was a mum struggling to settle (my child) and babywearing helped me,” Tanya said.
“If I can help one child be comfortable by warmth, by the sound of their mother’s heartbeat, if I can do something (that’s what it’s about).”