2013 Australian Craft Awards

Secret Hideaway Teepee Range [DRAFT]

Photo Credit : Studio photography © Heidi Adnum www.heidiadnum.com Home photography © Joyjoie www.joyjoie.com.au




Joyjoie aspires to capture the joy of childhood dreams in tepees. Lovingly designed and crafted the bespoke secret hideaway teepee range is stylish, functional and innovative. The teepees could be a wonderful play space in a living room nursery or play room of homes around the world.

The secret hideaway teepee range is decorated on all the internal walls with nature; a rainbow or trees / cacti with animals. An invitation to pretend...children step into a secret woodland, forest, rainbow or desert where they can let their imaginations roam the possibilities of nature and the games that can be played there.




Suzy Naidoo - Joyjoie is my creation, I am a Geographic Information Scientist who took the opportunity presented by being a mum to leave corporate cartography behind. The honorary team members are my daughter (who is the model and tests the teepees), my husband (who never complains about fabric shopping or weekends lost in creating and markets) and my mum (who taught me the practical skills I need to make the teepees I imagine a reality and who supports me in my teepee dream).


Realising early on that my daughters enjoyment of playing under a sheet draped over the dining room chairs…and occupying the whole living room…was likely to continue for years, I created the first Joyjoie teepee.

The secret hideaway teepee range was a natural evolution to the idea of creating an imaginative space in an urban, apartment filled world where children have less access to forests or even gardens than I did as a child. So I decided to bring the forest/woodland/desert/rainbows inside the home & inside the teepee, after all that is where the child plays.

The teepees are handmade in my home studio from soft yet durable cotton drill. From the first teepee I created my own patterns, methods & processes. My computer is the place where I design the range and my sewing machine, iron, layout table and rotary cutter my constant companions.

As demand has increased I have incorporated efficiencies into different parts of the process to enable me to work smarter while maintaining the quality and finish I expect of myself & my handmade teepees. Each teepee belongs to a child, they are foremost in my mind as I create.

Design Challenge

The design challenge of the secret hideaway teepees was twofold; to reinvent the aesthetic of traditional teepee for modern living and to resolve the physical construction and stability of the space.

It had to appeal to parents and children both aesthetically and practically. To achieve this I needed designs that appeal to a child’s view of the world while maintaining an aesthetic that parents can tie-in to their home or nursery décor. It also needed to create a space inspired by nature, the nature of children and natural fibers so that the tepees can be a haven for rest and play in a modern world. Finally it needed to be practical for parents to setup and store away in moments.

The core factor that influenced the structural design related to eliminating the need for horizontal poles at the base of the teepee while maintaining the integrity of the space during play. The solution I designed is elegant in its simplicity.

This award celebrates creative and innovative craftsmanship for kid's toys including educational and learning products. Consideration given to materials, concept, originality, function and aesthetic. 

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