The Jilly Jumbles Story

“While we’re sleeping, my mum sews cool stuff!”

– My nine-year-old eldest son Henry.


If only running a small business, from home, single handily, with three young children (and a husband), was as simple as that sounds!


I am a dedicated mum, and a passionate designer. Before my children crashed beautifully into my life, I worked as an Interior Designer in Sydney, and a Design Manager in London. Along the way I collected a colourful array of skills, skills that would form the solid foundation on which I would build my dream business!


The seed for my dream business was planted when someone said to me ‘you should sell these’, about a humble home sewn project. Those four words sparkled into my life just six years ago, and I’m here to tell you that true, heartfelt encouragement, heard often enough, can water the seed of a dream business, and make it grow!


I launched Jilly Jumbles by ‘Julia Illingworth Designs’ in October 2011.


I designed and stitched away earnestly, whenever my children slept, subsisting on coffee and big dreams, and within a year I released my ‘Handbag Sanity Saver range of travel toys for young children – the response to these was exhilarating!!


The concept for my ‘Sanity Savers’ was and remains simple - they stemmed originally from my own needs as a parent when out and about with young children – to provide an instant distraction for little ones in any given situation, saving parents and caregivers ‘sanity’, while also providing developmentally stimulating activities for the child at play. They were a HIT!


Uniquely table top sized, Jilly Jumbles ‘Sanity Savers’ range in design from exclusively printed car and train mats, to wallets for Lego, colourful counting rolls, travelling farmyard set, drawing folios, and more. They are designed to be fun and engaging, they can be played with independently or shared, and each comes with it’s own unique set of features to encourage learning through play. Then they all fold neatly to be stored in mum’s handbag, until next time…


My customers’ are glorious! They not only ‘get’ my products and purchase them at lightening speed, but they also share photos on social media of them being used by their beautiful children! Everywhere! (Cafes are a favourite!) Teachers have purchased them, and occupational therapists and speech pathologists have recommended them to their clients – Jilly Jumbles may be a one woman show right now, but I’m grateful for how far I’ve come, how much I’ve learned about ’business’, and excited for the future and all the new designs that I plan to develop!


And I know I wouldn’t be anywhere without your extraordinary support (yes you – the legend who’s taken the time to read my story thus far – thank you)! With the thrilling demand for products, I feel like this business journey is just beginning, stick around!


I will continue to dream big, work hard, and appreciate what I have right now.


You can follow my story on Instagram here:

and on Facebook here:


Thank you for the opportunity to pursue my ‘dream job’!


Julia Illingworth