Our Story

Welcome to Misery Guts, the inner child of Tanja McMillan, AKA Misery and The Alchemist, Shelly Robinson. 

We proudly produce a range of unique products including our popular Botanical Calm Balm, wall hangings, Discovery Charts, Height Charts, ABC Charts, Club Flags, Rugs, Garlands, Drink Bottles, Journals, Tush Cush (cushions) phew and so much more... for little humans (and big ones too). We have our products manfactured all around the world, yet we're most proud of our Fair Trade made products from Nepal and Sri Lanka and those made right here in New Zealand.

Tanja’s work, under the name Misery, graces streets and galleries around the world. With a childhood dream of fighting crime with Astro Boy, and a number of little humans in her life these days (including her own little lady and Shelly’s two little monsters), its no surprise that in 2013 Tanja and Shelly started work on developing Misery Guts, for little humans.

Misery Guts, allows Tanja to explore her inner child. To escape beyond Miseryland where Misery lives, to a land where vampires dance with Bananas, where kids can live their dreams and where all the things that make New Zealand unique, come to life. In a way that only Tanja can bring them to life. 

In 2014, Misery Guts launched its first two themes of art based products for little humans, New Zealand & in true Misery fashion, Monster Madness. 

2015 saw the introduction of our Fair Trade Nepal manufactured products, made from NZ felted wool which included our first ever charitable product the 'Nepal Club Flag'. The Nepal Club Flag was sold through The Body Shop NZ and online here, raising funds for Sir Ed's Himalayan Trust and other victims of the 2015 Nepal quakes.

2016, we proudly introduced our Fartrade made wooden range from Sri Lanka... not just fairtrade made but from sustainable wood too! This stuff grows meters in a single year!

In 2017, we launched the popular Misery Guts Bontanical Calm Balm. 100% Natural and made in New Zealand, the Calm Balm features a number of local ingredients, including Native kawakawa and native Koromiko, Manuka Honey, Beewax and features the emotionally calming and delicious scent of Mandarin. Inspired by the home made nappy cream Shelly made for her babies and then Tanja's, we then worked with an accomplished NZ skincare developer to create something quite extraordinary. 

 We have some of the toughest critics critique our art and products (the little humans in our lives) to ensure we’re providing you with, well, with what they say they love, and stuff that stylish big humans can relate to too.

Our NZ designed products are produced here and around the world, using quality materials from amazingly cool people and more recently Fair Trade Nepal & Sri Lanka made products, ethically made for ethically good humans. Our products feature our unique Misery Guts characters, our art is finished ready to hang or display, adorning the bedrooms of the little humans (and big humans) in your life, and our other products, well we think they speak for themselves.

So go on - TRY THEM!

If you’ve got a little princess, fairy, little explorer, adventurer, little monster or any little human in your life, we’re sure there’s something here that will captivate their imagination or make them feel, well, just lovely.



   Tanja in rural Thailand at a school supported by SpinningTop     Shelly in rural Thailand at a school supported by SpinningTop


A friendship built on a SpinningTop

In 2010 Shelly was managing the charity SpinningTop; who work to give balance to vulnerable children. Shelly approached Tanja to be part of a fund raising exhibition, inspired by the concept, Tanja then founded the Little Lotus Project for SpinningTop. This has since seen multiple artists from all corners of globe, travel to Thailand to facilitate art workshops with vulnerable children who SpinningTop support.

Tanja and Shelly have remained friends working on multiple projects, culminating in the launch of Misery Guts. 

Tanja and Shelly remain passionate about SpinningTop and other causes to better the lives of others. Shelly continues her work for SpinningTop as a member of their board.

In 2017 amazing Amber joined the team as the Manager of Magical stuff. Amber has been a loyal friend and follower of Misery and Misery Guts for many years, and when we discussed what sort of person we needed, she became the benchmark. So you can imagine how excited we were to have her actually join the team. Amber works her magic taking care of our customers needs, PR and Marketing as well as product development. She's a bunch of positive energy who is incredibly passionate about Misery Guts.

We’d like to thank you for stopping by, and we look forward to gracing the walls of your little monsters lair.

Tanja & Shelly