Mother Essentials: Author & Illustrator Jo Ham
Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
An adventurous little silhouetted rabbit is the star of both Jo Ham‘s wild imagination and her many creations, spotted everywhere from the Centre Pompidou in Paris to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. The award-winning British artist and designer has placed her playful illustrations on ceramics, prints, and nursery decorations around the world—and just recently in a series of children’s books (Yippee! Rabbit, Uh-Oh! Rabbit, and the forthcoming Opps! Rabbit) with Candlewick Press. All of this creation is rooted by her family life in Shropshire, England, where she lives on a farm with her husband and two kiddos, Kit (8) and Ren (5). Below, she lets us know what Mother Essentials—from good trainers and tea to family games and snacks—are her current must-haves.
Walking. “We love woodland walks. Every weekend we get the whole family in wellies and waterproofs and head out for a muddy adventure with our two dogs—Ted, a labradoodle, and Abe, a Sproodle.”
Stripey Socks. “I have a thing about stripes. They are all over the house and in both mine and the kids’ wardrobes. These socks in blue and white from Arket are a particular fave. I have many pairs!” Striped Cotton Socks, $9, Arket.
Trainers. “I wear trainers all the time. Nike Airs are so comfy and always liven up my everyday jean and jumper combo.” Nike Air Max 90, $140, Nike.
Aesop Soap. “I’m a big fan of Aesop. Their soap smells amazingly good and the products are always beautifully packaged.” Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash, $41, Aesop.
Phone Case. “I used to be forever dropping and misplacing my phone, especially when traveling and doing shows. This crossbody lanyard case has been game-changing for me!” CAROKI Crossbody Case for iPhone 14, $13.99, Amazon.
Tea. “I drink a huge amount of herbal tea. Clipper’s Fennel infusion is my current go-to cuppa.” Clipper Organic Fennel Tea Bags, $19.95, Amazon.
Hot Water Bottle. “Hot water bottles are a staple in our house during the winter months. I was very lucky to be given this Beatrice Larkin one for Christmas last year. It’s made from merino wool and is almost too beautiful to use.” Hot Water Bottle, $60, Beatrice Larkin.
Uh-Oh Rabbit. “Rabbit’s first book was inspired by Kit and Ren and will always mean so much to me.” Uh-Oh! Rabbit, $9.30, Bookshop.
Rucksack. “I used this Tiba + Marl rucksack as a change bag when I had Ren. Five years later, it’s still going strong and carries everything from my laptop, notebooks, and spare clothes to shopping, water bottles, wet wipes, and more!” Elwood Changing Backpack, $198, Selfridges.
Games. “We love playing board games and cards with the kids. Dominoes is one of our current obsessions—it’s fast and fun to play—we always make sure it is in our bag when we go on holiday.” Dominoes Set, $8.69, Jaques.
Chocolate Cherries. “I first discovered Forest Feast after tasting their delicious chocolate almonds. I didn’t think these could be topped until I tried the chocolate-covered cherries. They are really good and are now my number one treat!” Dark Chocolate Sour Cherries, $26, Forest Feast.
Felt Tip Pens. “My kids love drawing and colouring. We keep pots of pens and pencils dotted around the house and any spare Rabbit prints are brought over from the studio for them to customise! My daughter is a particular fan of these sparkly glitter markers.” OOLY Rainbow Sparkle Glitter Markers, $17, Maisonette.
Snoopy. “My first teddy was a Snoopy and I have collected all things Peanuts ever since. My kids now have my old soft toys and it makes me so happy to see them love Snoopy as much I do.” Peanuts.com.
Baseball Cap. “I seem to collect hats and always carry a cap in my bag. This one from Cos is my new favourite—and it’s striped!” Striped Baseball Cap, $39, Cos.
For more MOTHER ESSENTIALS, peep our recent features on designer Clare Vivier, GRACE NA of Pistola, the designers behind MILK TEETH, photographer NICKI SEBASTIAN, Duster co-founder MELISSA MAGSAYSAY, Herman Miller creative director KELSEY KEITH, chef VALERIE GORDON, artist ERIN JANG, Chicago party mom KRISTEN KAZA, Hedley & Bennett founder ELLEN MARIE BENNETT, Mochi Kids founder AMANDA STEWART, chef CRISTINA KISNER, chef CAMILLA MARCUS, artist CAROLINE Z HURLEY, Just Date founder SYLVIE CHARLES, food icon AMANDA HESSER, Prickly Pear founder MONA BAHRAINI, Solace Summer founder MEGAN BRE CAMP, Wonder Valley co-founder ALISON CARROLL, OZMA designer HEIDI BAKER, author TIFFANY ROSE SMITH, HEIDI BAKER of OZMA, and PHOEBE SUNG of Cold Picnic.
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