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Cactus with sleepy eyes Succulent plant succulent plant succulent plant with a smile

Behind the Design: Succulent Love

Behind the Design: Succulent Love Behind the Design: Succulent Love

The origins of “Succulent Love”

Let’s dive into the inspiration and process behind “Succulent Love” — one of our adorable new Mother’s Day prints!

It all began back in July 2022, when our brand creative team was hard at work on our Mother’s Day Collection. We wanted to create a cute, gender-neutral print that the whole family would love. It was important for this print to capture the essence of spring — and be perfect for family matching moments. It’s a holiday ripe for “Mommy & Me” photo-ops, after all!

Our Mother’s Day Collection was already in the works — colorful floral pajamas and patterned yellow pajamas were in progress, and we loved how they were turning out! We needed a print that felt like it belonged in the collection, but wasn't too similar to the floral and sunny prints already underway. 

Midway through a brainstorming session over Zoom, one of our team members proposed an idea we all loved: a mommy-and-me concept with succulents! The idea stuck, so we began to ideate on how it would come to life. 


Off to the plant nursery for inspiration

Once the vision was set, it was time to get inspired! Our designer Maddie headed to her local plant and flower nursery, sketchbook in hand. She began with some quick drawings of all the desert plants she could find.

“My process was a little different for this print because I got my inspiration from the real world rather than the internet. I actually went to the plant nursery by my house and gathered reference material there instead of going to Google or Pinterest. It’s important to pull ideas from real life as much as you can because it’s usually more unique.” ~ Maddie

plants in a nursery

Luckily, Maddie's local nursery had loads of Bunny Ear Cacti, Aloe Vera, Barrel Cacti, and other succulents to work with. After she had pages and pages of sketches, she returned home to develop the design. Transferring her sketches to her iPad, she began infusing the drawings with color and personality.

“After sketching lots of concepts from my inspiration, I started to add personalities to each of the plants. From there, I picked my favorite plant pals, “painted” them on my iPad using a gouache brush in Procreate, then assembled the repeat in Photoshop.” ~ Maddie 

Sketches of plants


When it comes to illustrating, Maddie uses a mix of processes. She often goes from traditional techniques, to digital sketching, and back again! Depending on the project, she’ll choose the flow that will bring her vision to life.

“I often paint the designs digitally on the iPad because I like to control color as much as possible, but sometimes I will traditionally paint things in gouache or ink. Other times I will do a fun “cut paper” technique on the iPad. I like to experiment with different styles, depending on the project!” ~ Maddie


From paper to pajamas

Once the print was ready to go, our brand creative team began to mock up the pajamas. As usual, there were more decisions to be made! We got to work choosing colors for details like zippers and stretchy cuffs, and ensuring the print aligned well on every style.  

Sleepyhead Loveys were our next challenge. We had to choose which succulent would look best as a plush head on top of the soft, Lunaluxe™ bamboo blanket! A Haworthia rosette succulent was a strong contender, but we eventually decided to put a Barrel Cactus atop our Lovey. Its sleepy eyes and pink flushed cheeks added the final adorable touches to our popular sleeptime accessory!

“One of my core values as a designer is to delight others and create functional goods that people can feel an emotional connection with. I love that I get to design for kids, because I feel like my style naturally leans that way.” ~ Maddie 


Perfect for making Mother’s Day memories 

With Mother’s Day approaching, we’re so excited to release this collection of prints for you and your families to make lasting memories in. When we asked our designer Maddie one of her favorite memories with the women in her family, they just so happened to take place in the garden! 

“When I was growing up, I would help my mom each spring plant flowers in our little flower bed. I also have this core memory from my grandma’s house which had this amazing fragrant lilac bush. Gardening is one of those things, like cooking, that’s shared across generations and links us all together. I’m hoping my mom can help me plant some things this spring at the new house my husband and I moved to. A full circle moment!”

We hope you love this sweet succulent print as much as we do. Check back on the Little Sleepies blog in coming weeks for some fun ideas for Mother’s Day bonding activities. It’s the perfect time to get crafty with flowers, crayons, and cards!


  • Kelsey


    Would love if this print comeback for another round for moms that just found Little Sleepies for their first born.

  • Ashley


    Best print yet! Sold out way to quickly. This needs to be upgraded to a signature print!

  • Elizabeth Leach


    Such an amazing process by this talented designer. Love everything about it.😍

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