By Melissa Meehan
When Tribly Dsouza lost her job during the Covid-19 pandemic she decided it was time to do something for herself.
So the Bentleigh East mum, who follows the Montessori philosophy for her two daughters Ezme and Ife, started Nino Mondo.
“I just love the philosophy of supporting independence in children, which is why we send our daughters to a Montessori school,” Ms Dsouza told Kids Today.
“But not everyone can access a Montessori school due to cost or location – so I wanted to create toys for those who can’t access it.”
Ms Dsouza said Montessori education was first started for underprivileged children, but is sadly only available to people who can afford it.
It’s something she doesn’t like, but can’t change.
“I came from India, so education is very important to me – so I thought this is a space that I can do something in,” she said.
She began the business with another parent, who was a qualified Montessori teacher, but her friend has since returned to teaching and is no longer a part of the business.
It’s a lot of work, especially because Ms Dsouza holds a full time job too.
Nino Mondo is her side hustle, she often works on the business from 5am and then once she’s home from work and the kids are asleep.
“I’m very passionate about it, and my boxes and toys are nothing like you can get from a large department store,” she said.
“They are made for each developmental stage and don’t have instructions or the right way to use it. It allows the children to learn and explore on their own.”
She said it was very clear that kids barely play with plastic, noisy and flashy toys – because put simply, they are overstimulating.
The business went live in May 2021 and is going from strength to strength – the toys, for now, are only available on her website.