Who is behind the Ilvie Little stories? - Who makes the pullovers and dresses? …this is the team working behind the scenes - photographing things, inventing stories, organizing stuff, sewing clothes, etc., etc., etc.…:
This is Ilvie Little & Friends Publishing.
This is Susanne, our captain - she writes and illustrates Ilvie Little’s adventures.
Susanne has been traveling most of her life. She spent several months in Ghana working on a school project; went to Australia to see the Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock and to learn about the telepathic abilities of the Aborigines; she sailed around the world as a ship’s photographer; dived deep into most of the world’s oceans; and explored parts of China on a side car motorbike. After all that, she moved to Vienna and opened her own photo studio, photographed, and directed lots of international campaigns, specialized in underwater visuals (people, not fish:)), exhibited her photography and video installations in lots of different parts of the world, moved to Paris for a few years - moved back to Vienna for now (…just FOR NOW, she says). -
One day, Susanne read a study about gender roles in kids’ books and movies - and this really touched her. “Could this be possible?” she thought.
Boys go on adventures, they are curious, strong, and brave – they are allowed to be stupid sometimes as well - while girls are beautifully dressed, they look nice, behave well, take care of the people and animals around them… and mostly spend their time in their familiar surroundings.
“Are they serious? – This is like… the middle of the 18th century…?” - Susanne started researching and reading more about gender roles in kids’ books. - …and found out: ok, ok, things are improving slowly… - BUT THERE’S STILL TOO LITTLE! This needs to change.
A year - and some real-life adventures - later, the first book of the series was on the market.
Sonja is our producer and consultant for publishing business matters. She's been in the book business for decades, she's a skilled book dealer, has worked in big publishing houses.... - Sonja really does know all the little obstacles and stumbling blocks in the industry (and she knows how to get around them).
Without her knowledge and power, Ilvie Little would still be a manuscript in a box.
Together with two other power girls, Sonja runs her own company: www.vielseitig.co.at
...lovely, passionate, and with the eyes of an eagle: ...this is Pia, our editor.
Pia examines every word, every letter, every punctuation mark... a little change here, a little twist there...nightshifts and tight deadlines can't stop our power-Pia - she maintains her good mood and unfailing precision... - no matter what...
Pia has been in the business for over two decades. After her studies in Vienna, Paris, and Montpellier, she's worked as an editor at big publishing companies in Hamburg and Vienna - specializing in children's books, of course. Pia now runs her own company based in Vienna, editing and translating books, magazines - and basically everything that she likes...
...an adventurer herself: no mountain too high, no valley too low... - this is Linda, our translator.
...for us, it's still so amazing to see how Linda took up Ilvie's story, absorbed it - and then re-told it in her own beautiful language.
...she was born in Washington, DC spent some time living with the Seneca Indians in NY state, and studied in Berkeley, California, where she wrote a Ph.D. dissertation about strong, independent women in early modern German literature. And she too has been bitten by the travel bug: she’s been all over the US, Europe, and Central America – and translated many books about all kinds of topics ... - and she teaches German to kids in the US so she can “share the love.”
... what Linda loves most, she says, is when she can give a character her own voice - and bring this character to life in a new language.
...and we think this is exactly what Linda has done - Ilvie and her crew have not just been translated into English - they are alive in this new language...
...and a fact that we really do love: Linda now lives in VIENNA! BUT, as she puts it: in the 'wrong' Vienna... - Vienna, Virginia, USA. - So amazing... - both versions of the book were written in Vienna - just a few thousand kilometers apart - and with a big ocean in between.
...always searching for new writings, cool design, and nice things: that’s Tine, our art director.
For more than 20 years, Tine has been designing books, magazines, and posters for many different publishing companies and customers. Born in the Black Forest, she studied communications design in Schwäbisch-Gmünd, then set out for Vienna when she was done. Very quickly, she became a partner in a big communications agency… - And then one day, she thought there must be something else to life. Tine established her own firm and moved to Zurich. From there, she served international customers at her small company and did exactly what she loves most: she designs books.
...regardless of how stressful things get and how many projects there are on her desk – she’s never seen without a big smile on her face: that’s Silvia, our graphic artist.
Books, book, books – first she was a bookseller, then she did book marketing for several large publishing companies, completed training as a designer… - books and design are Silvia’s passion (aside from climbing the highest mountains around in her spare time… - just by the by, of course…)
For nearly 20 years, Silvia has had her own company ‘buchgestaltung’ – and she’s ensured that many books have appropriately wonderful “clothing.”
...the crazier the photo shoot gets, the bigger the smile on her face - there's no way any child can get her out of her Zen zone: this is Lia!
Lia is our stylist and designer of the Ilvie Little kids’ clothing brand...
She's been in the fashion business for years; it's always been her dream to become a fashion designer - (people say that fashion flows through her veins... - and we think that's true!)
...Lia knows all the little tricks in the fashion business - where to get the best organic cotton, whom to ask for that little extra-glitter on the prints - and how to make our kids’ clothing the most beautiful and comfortable it can be ...
After studying at Institut Francais de la Mode - and working as a kids’ fashion stylist on photo and film sets - Lia now lives in Paris and works for one of the beautiful big fashion houses there... - plus, she also launched her own brand as well. (Sometimes we think that there are more than 24 hours in Lia's days...).
Lia and Susanne met years ago in Morocco, shooting for a big children's magazine...group picture all set up, everybody dressed - ready to shoot... - and the smallest one...ahem… well, he ate something bad, obviously. -
“No problem!” Lia shouts, changing his diaper while convincing the other ten kids not to destroy their styling completely - with a big smile on her face. And speaking to them in her friendly French - although most of the kids did not understand French, they did what she wanted them to do. Speaking a kid's language, no matter what their mother tongue... that's Lia.
...there’s no job too tricky, no material sourcing too hard - making clothes including that extra portion of love and passion... - this is Elena!
Elena is the captain of the Ilvie Little fashion production site. She and her wonderful troop are sewing your pullovers and clothes!
'My life is a journey!', Elena says. (One of the reasons why she fits so brilliantly into our team).
After teaching economics at a high school for a while, Elena thought that there must be more than this - and found her passion and love in the fashion industry. She went back to school herself and learned everything about fashion production. In Casablanca, Morocco - where Elena and her family lived for some years.
Coming back to Romania, where she was born, Elena worked for a big French fashion brand - and when the brand closed down production in Romania, Elena knew this is my moment! - and opened her own production site.
...we're lucky she did!
…seriously - it was really hard for Michaela. We had to dry her tears. She did not want to let him go - but we just HAD to take him with us.
“…it happens quite often that I fall in love with my characters…” says Michaela. “But with Theo, it was very special. I had the feeling that he’s, my friend!” she adds, sniffling.
Michaela is a doll-maker. For many years, she’s created all kinds of dolls and figures for theater, film, and TV. And the best thing is that Michaela is also a puppeteer in the theater – so she knows exactly how to create a character like this. -Now Michaela comes to visit regularly in order to see her friend Theo… -whom she misses a great deal, as she told us.
...no mission too difficult, no search too hard: This is Nastia, our fantastic intern. (Her full name is Anastasia, - just like the wonderful ship in 'Ilvie Little and the Fearless Sailors’).
We need a doll's bed and lots of cacti, a golden compass would be lovely - but please make sure it's one of those beautiful old ones - and could you get some sand as well, please? - Done! - Color pirate skulls gold? Nastia is the one. Get some doll's house furniture, make a hammock for Leonie, spray-paint the Tarantula in black (without painting the whole studio black at the same time) - make the marshmallows in the barbecue pic look real - that's her.
Born in Moscow, Nastia currently is currently studying filmmaking in London. Luckily, she travels to Vienna regularly - since her family lives here - and since she takes her Ilvie Little missions very seriously.
…this is the killer troop (and they are only a small part of it - there are many more!)… Our most important consultants and advisors. Curious and critical as can be, relentlessly sharing their thoughts and opinions… We grown ups think this twist in the story is cool? - Ask the killer troop, they will give their opinion straightaway, without any mercy.