Meet the fabulous Lera Nicoletti and the even more fabulous toys she makes. Lera was born and raised in Kazakhstan and she moved to Saint Petersburg for her studies when she was 18 years old. She studied International Relations at the St. Petersburg State University and worked as freelanced journalist and photographer besides that. In Piter, she fell in love with a German and together they decided to move all the way to Tomsk in Siberia and then to Berlin. “When I came to Berlin, I was totally in love with the city,” Lera remembers and tells me that she worked for a production company she founded together with her boyfriend. They produced video showreels for actors and actresses. In 2012, their daughter Numi was born and Lera’s life changed completely. “After Numi was born, my parents gave me a sewing machine as a Christmas present and since I couldn’t find any toys I liked at the big department stores, I started to make my own toys for her.” The toys became very popular among her friends and Lera started producing it professionally. In march this year, she founded her own label called EeniMini – Little Forest Friends, where she produces handmade minimalist toys from organic materials. It is already very successful. Lera is still very happy about living in Berlin. She enjoys the nature as well as the safety in the city, especially with kids. “Berlin is a very relaxed and free-minded city,” Lera says. “It is a great place to live at and a great base to come back to.” Because sooner or later she wants to show Numi the world.
For more information about Lera’s work go to www.eenimini.com or follow her on Instagram and Facebook. You can find her lovely stuffed animals at www.etsy.com/shop/eeniminishop or at selected stores in Berlin.