Inspirational Monday – Veronica Cristovao – Diamond Kids Boutique

Meet     Veronica


From      Diamond Kids Boutique

diamond kids

Can you tell our readers a little about yourself before children….

I have studied a few different courses majored in Management, marketing and computing then i joined the work force managing, marketing & customer service in the retail industry where i worked for around 15 years.

I enjoyed to learn and study new things so i also completed a real estate course and joined the sales department in real estate and really enjoyed it.  I have always been a people person and enjoyed working with people and in my spare time my hobby was to do charity work, modelling, promotional work and loved to travel.

Your new venture – Diamond Kids – how did it come about and why?

I have always wanted to own my own shop just didn’t know what to sell, then when I was organizing my daughters 5th birthday and had to find her costume all the way in the Eastern suburbs.  I thought to myself there is nothing around where we live (Chiswick).  Last year not knowing i was going to open a store i registered for a business name “Diamond Sister” for my girls thinking one day in the future something would eventuate and it sure did.  I will use “Diamond Sisters” as my label name now.   Having three children i thought it would be perfect to have a children’s Boutique in Drummoyne.


With all my past experience and studies and the fact that i was a mother i was very positive and determined that i could open up a store. Being a mother is the most special thing you could experience and i feel very blessed but i have always tried to have a balance in life and the workforce has always been very important to me.

What product ranges do you stock and what are you finding the most sought after by parents?

Product ranges i stock are Bebe, Fox & Finch, Oobi, Sapling, Little Gems, Giggle me Pink, Top Model,

Pink Poppy, Not your average tutu, Britt Bear,Eeni meeni miini moh, Beatrix New York, Baby first, Riesling, Skeanie and all brand toys.

What parents are wanting would have to be designer clothes, costumes and accessories.

Describe your work place to us…



How do you juggle working and a family?

It is  a difficult task and you have to be organized, try to follow a routine and work as a team to make it easy for the whole family.

Having a balance with work and family has also been handy.

Do you think parenting is different from when you were raised? How?

Not really as parenting in many ways is the same the way we were raised, as a lot of things i learnt and seen have been implement to my way of parenting.

I was raised by my mother (single parent) and she has always worked hard and also been there for me and tried really hard to have a balance with it all.

What is one thing you swore you would never do as a parent …. but do?

I swore i would never be so strict on the tidiness of the house but i am and I make sure everyone does their share including the children.

Can you walk us through a typical day for you…

Make breakfast, lunch for my son and get ready.  Take my son to school, then go to work and clean shop before opening at 10am.  Receive new stock, rearrange shop, paperwork and emails during the day.  Serve customers in between my daily activities.

Clean up and pickup my son at .315pm, to take him home to have shower, homework and sometimes take him to sport.  Get back start dinner, then my husband gets home with the girls who we shower and get ready for dinner we eat around 5pm as he finishes work around 4pm.

After dinner we all sit together read books, play or watch a little tv and bed time is around 7pm,  we then separate to put one down at the time.

If we are lucky we should be done around 730pm-8pm to just relax and have some adult time together.  If too busy at the shop I sometimes attend to my emails depending on how the day goes.

What is one resource that has kept you sane and helped you on your journey of motherhood? Eg book, person, website?

It would definitely have to be my husband and mum who have kept be sane and they are my best friends.

And one tip for us all on keeping it real..

Having a balance in life and never forgetting to smile as it make you feel so good.

Find out more about Diamond Kids Boutiqe..

Inspirational Monday – Natasha from KIDsize living Sydney’s Inner City

Meet      Natasha


From     KIDsize living Sydney’s Inner City


Can you tell us a little about yourself before children.

I grew up in quiet rural Ireland but I always had itchy feet. At 19 I moved to New York and worked there for 4 years. Next was London for another few years and then back to Ireland. I thought I had exhausted my travel cravings but when the economy in Ireland took a down turn, my fiancé and I decided to move to Australia. We have since married and really settled into life in Australia. I love the outdoor, active lifestyle here and before my little man came along I enjoyed doing my workouts or swimming outside before work in the morning. Looking back now I realise how much time I spent relaxing by the pool!

How did you become involved with KIDsize Living Sydneys Inner City?

I went back to work (4 days a week) when my son was 5 months old. I really wasn’t ready, nor did I feel my son was ready for day care. I struggled through the first month or so with my son picking up every cold and virus that was going. I had to take so many days off work and I was already finding it extremely difficult to cram 5 long days of work into 4 shorter days. My little fella wouldn’t look at me when I picked him up from daycare in the evenings which was the worst feeling ever!

I spent a lot of time hurting my brain trying to come up with an amazing business idea that would provide the work life balance I needed. One particularly stressful day, I remember thinking, ‘just stop and sit down on the sofa!!

So I did and started looking through my Facebook feed and noticed the post about KIDsize Living expanding. All of a sudden I got really excited and my heart was racing. Before I even looked into it I just got a really strong feeling that this was what I needed to do. I’m not exaggerating in any way, i just knew!

I had heard about KIDsize Living from another mum when I was pregnant and she raved about how much it helped her. When my bub was 6 weeks old we moved to Rosebery and with no family in Australia, and none of my friends having kids, it was a bit daunting. I found it very difficult to find information kid friendly places I could meet my friends nearby.  I spent so many hours trawling through websites,searching for local playgroups and activities, only to find the information sparse and out of date in a lot of cases. Once I armed myself with information I felt much more comfortable leaving the house with a newborn. I wanted to help other parents by having all the local information parents need to know in one spot and empower parents to take on Sydney with kids!

Fast forward 5 months and I now run KIDsize living Sydney’s Inner City! I work from home and my son goes to daycare a few days so I can get some work done. He’s just turned 1 and loves going to daycare now. I’m in a great position that I can drop everything and pick up my son if he’s not well without feeling guilty that I’m letting someone down. I love that I can pick him up early if I’m having one of those days where I miss him terribly. He’s my mini business partner and we travel all around Sydney checking out fun places with him. He’s a lucky kid!

There is an amazing group of parents running various KIDsizeLiving  websites ( for different areas around Sydney. It’s a fantastic support network and Katherine and Eileen who founded the original KIDsize Living have a wealth of information about how to keep it local and relevant for parents.



or on Instagram:

KIDsize Living Sydney City Poster SMALL

What is your role?

KIDsize Living Sydney’s Inner City is a free local online guide for parents to keep up with everything fun, useful and exciting for kids in our gorgeous city and its close surrounds. We’re talking local kids activities, events, classes, playgrounds, kid friendly cafes, local businesses, local services, giveaways and much more! We also have a free weekly newsletter so our parents are the first to know about upcoming events and activities.

It’s just me behind the scenes so there is lots to do! Most of my time is spent investigating and researching all the exciting things to do for kids and parents in my area. My days are spent talking to organisers of events, meeting parents, lots of editing, website publishing and social media posting to keep parents in the know. We live in the area I cover so that makes it so much easier to know what’s happening.

My main man and  I (my husband wont like that!) visit and review activities, parks and kid friendly places to eat out so we can experience them first hand before I add them to the website. For example, it’s really important I know the vibe of a cafe and if it has a high chair, access for prams, a change table, a play area, kids menu and most importantly good coffee! I want to provide parents accurate and honest information. Little Lochlann does his part and tests out everything we visit; playgrounds, highchairs and exposes all possible escape routes now that he’s walking.

I do work hard in order to keep the website up to date and relevant for parents. There is just so much happening in Sydney’s Inner City that I have got to be on the ball! Honestly, though it doesn’t feel like hard work, I love it.

Out and about

What are the most common things that parents are looking for on your site?

Christmas Events

School Holidays Activities

Our Top 10 Playgrounds

Enclosed Playgrounds

Eat Out with Kids


Popular Searches

Describe your work place to us…

Most of the time I work from my mac at our living room table. I don’t have much paperwork so my workspace can disappear very quickly for dinner and when we have visitors. Sometimes for a change of scenery I work from my local Black Gold Espresso at the end of my street. They have everything I need – wifi and great coffee. Our rooftop terrace is a great place for typing or planning, if its not too hot.


How do you juggle working and a family?

This is definitely a work in progress. I get to spend more time with my family now that I am running KIDsize Living Sydney’s Inner City. Having said that, because it’s my business and I’m the only one responsible, I find it hard to stop working and relax. I have my son in daycare 3 days a week. I was planning on cutting it down to 2 days once I had established my website but I’m hesitating. My wee man loves people and the stimulation day care provides. I think days with me are a little boring for him in comparison! Like lots of parents, I really appreciate that I have daycare and my son enjoys it, so I’m afraid to drop a day and not be able to get it back if I need it later.

On Wednesdays and Fridays, when he is at home, I plan as if I’m not going to get any work done. In doing so I’m not constantly thinking what I should be doing, instead I’m enjoying my time with him and being present. Napping is not always a reliable event or one that sticks to any type of schedule. When it does happen, its an opportune time for a shower, laundry, food etc etc.

Do you think parenting is different from when you were raised? Why? 

Absolutely, and in so many ways! I grew up in rural Ireland and everything about parenting was passed down from previous generations. Problems weren’t really discussed and there wasn’t anywhere to turn for advice or help like there is now. Parents couldn’t use the internet to search for answers or support, they just got through it somehow.

The other major difference is that people from my neck of the woods had large families and got married and started having kids very early. My dad was one of 15 kids and he and my mum were only 20 when they had my older brother!

When we were kids we had chores from an early age and worked pretty hard on our farm. My first job outside our home was when I was 13 and I cycled about 5 miles to it.

Dads weren’t as hands on as they are now. I don’t think my dad ever changed a nappy and he had 4 kids. He still has old fashioned ideas about men and woman’s roles in life!

My older brother and I

Have your own self expectations changed since having children? How?

My priorities have totally changed. I’m now so driven to always do the best I can for my son and family as a whole, from making enough money, having enough time to making super healthy meals for him. Spending quality time with my son and husband and having a job that I enjoy that fits around this is what I aim for.

I have gained a whole new respect for what I can achieve after having my son and not having any family in the country. I have more courage and the confidence to try new things, take risks to achieve a better life for my family that I would have never normally taken.

Spending time eating (healthy), cleaning the house and exercising come much further down the list now, somewhere after feeding bub, consoling bub and watching with amazement when he figures out something new. I have become a lot better at dealing putting off the things I really want to do. I know this sounds terrible but I value those extra moments I spend with him more and it’s what gets me through the tough days. Having clothes, new shoes and planning daily outfits and earrings don’t get much of a look in these days!

What is one thing you swore you would never do as a parent …. but now do/did?

Too funny! I always said I would never bring my kids to a restaurant until they were 10 (exaggerating a bit)! This was probably after witnessing kids in the restaurant having a tantrum and parents were looking very stressed. I just thought why would you stress yourself out because kids moods and behaviours are too unpredictable to bring them to a restaurant. Now all I do is bring my mini business partner to cafes and restaurants! Mostly to review them but sometimes just for some attempt at normality. Before having a baby I really had no idea! I didn’t think about parents who have no immediate family or support to just take the kids so they can go out for a bite to eat.  It would never have occurred to me that parents might be attempting to have a civilised family meal as a treat and were sick of cooking and eating in all the time.

I’m hoping my son will be so used eating out that he will have amazing restaurant etiquette (yeah right)! I’m also hoping because he has watched so many barista’s making me coffee that he’ll be a dab hand at it and can hook his mum up!

Lochlann in High chairs

Can you walk us through a typical day for you

Step one – coffee, haha joking (but not really!)

When Lochlan is at home, its a more relaxed schedule. We say hello to the trees and birds from our front door and say goodbye to Dad. I sort out breakfast, do a general tidy and put on some laundry. By 8am my son is ready to rock – to get outside, see the world, flirt with every lady he see’s (also, our washing machine is about to die and sounds like a jumbo jet so it’s a perfect excuse to leave). We head to the park via one of my favourite coffee spots (we have so many great ones!) for a take away. My sons’ just started walking and can finally enjoy the playground. We head home for nap (we are transitioning from 2 to 1 so there is no routine at the moment) and I get some work done when he sleeps. In the afternoon I try and go somewhere I can review for the website but this isn’t always possible. I have our car one day a week so we will venture a little further afield that day. Lochlann’s so mobile already, and doesn’t have a lot of patience for sitting in a car seat or pram, so I have to come up with different solutions all he time.

When my husband gets home I try and answer a few emails and once bub has had his bath,  dinner and is in bed I tidy up and get ready for the next day, eat and do some more work!

On a work day I walk bub to day care by 8am, fit in a quick workout at home (if I haven’t been up all night) and grab a coffee. I’m ready to rock n roll at 9am and I work like a Trojan until I realise its almost 3:15 and most of the cafes close by close at 3:30 so I leg it out to grab one. My husband usually collects bub about 4:30pm and then we spend a ridiculous amount of time laughing and playing until bed time. I usually squeeze in another couple of hours of planning and I’m done.

Weekends are swimming lessons, checking out kid friendly events and preparing all the new and exciting content for my newsletter the following week. We also spend a huge amount of time following my son up and down the stairs and walking around our local area looking for birds (both kinds) and dogs (his favourite thing after banana!).

What is one resource that has kept you sane and helped you on your journey of motherhood? Eg book, person, website

My husband. He is an an amazing support, a brilliant dad and fills in for all the family we don’t have here. He totally gets the oxytocin, crazy hormones and breastfeeding roller coaster…but is not available for purchase!

I have to mention my baby carrier, our best buy yet! For a while (seemed like forever) it was the only place my son would sleep more than 20 mins during the day. It was a lifesaver on my trip to Ireland on my own with 3 month old bub, with my flights delayed twice and the whole trip taking over 3 days! I still use it and he’s 11kg and I still can’t believe my busy bub is totally chilled out in it.

And one tip for us all on keeping it real

You can eat a burger (plain, no patty, cooked yesterday) no problem while walking pushing a pram on the way to day care and it doesn’t matter who stares as I’ve probably been up since 5am and haven’t had food or a coffee. Survival 101!

Seriously though if I’m struggling with juggling everything, having doubts or feeling like there’s not enough time, thats when I find someone to call or meet for a coffee. I don’t necessarily tell them all of that otherwise they would stop answering the phone to me! I just know that doing this helps take my mind off everything. Also, if its a parent I’m talking to, i’ll soon realise that I’m not the only one who feels like this and I’ll snap out of it. They will probably have a very interesting poo story that will make me laugh.


Inspirational Monday – Kate Inglish – Kate Inglish Designs

Meet            Kate Inglish

Kate Inglish Designs

From               Kate Inglish Designs


How did Kate Inglish Designs come about and why?

Kate Inglish Designs came about 4 years ago when my eldest daughter celebrated her 1st Birthday. Being winter babies all my friends in my mother’s group all had their babies at the same time and I wanted to make something different for each of them. I was currently working in printing at the time and made up some personalised designs in my spare time and printed onto each shirt for their birthdays including the year they were born, name and an image of something they enjoyed at this time in their life. They were a huge hit and other friends and my husband’s work colleagues started to order some and then I began to make up some baby gift packs. I knew exactly the type of baby cases I wanted and then my search started to find suppliers. I then started a few local markets and a fb page and 4 years later it has grown into the business it is today. It all begun with an idea.

Can you tell our readers a little about your business and what your aims and goals are.

Kate Inglish Designs is an online and market based business run by me – Kate. I design and make up the personalised onesies and mini suitcase gift sets for babies. I also stock a wide range of quality and affordable wooden toys (which started from my daughters diagnosis with Epilepsy at 5 months) from Kaper Kids, Le Toy Van and many more, Little Bonbon baby blankets, Bunnykins range from Royal Doulton, mini retro suitcases, Children’s books, Maud ‘n’ Lil softies and much more. I started out with wanting a successful website and now that I have that my dream and future goals are to open affordable babies and children’s gift shop either on the NSW south coast or interstate.

What is your favourite newborn item gift?

My favourite new born baby gift is my range of personalised mini suitcase gift sets. If I had to pick one I would choose the deluxe sets for boys and girls. It has what any newborn baby needs and what parents like.

boys Each deluxe mini suitcase gift set includes an extra-large pink or blue mini suitcase, a 100% cotton blanket, cotton personalised onesie, a pair of handmade and exclusive Australian wool booties and beanie, wrapped in personalised ribbon, personalised greeting card with your own best wishes typed up for you, an Alimrose striped monkey rattle and hand squeaker, wrapped in tissue paper and babies name added to the front of the case with foam lettering. The best thing about the mini suitcase are that they can be used for safe keeping of all your babies hospital keepsakes.

girls ballerina

Describe your work place to us…

I have 3 areas for my work place.

  1. My office for printing, book work, website editing and mini photo shoots
  2. Down stairs room for all storage and packaging
  3. Market stalls – I am a frequent market stall holder each week.

market stall

My office upstairs over looks my garden, mountain and beautiful purple Jacarandas at the moment. I can hear the birds chirping and my chicken when it’s laying her egg. It’s bright and colourful with a white couch, pale green walls and white desk. I have pictures of my family above my computer and positive quotes as well as certificate of appreciations on the wall too. My market stall is  totally different – still bright but outdoors, big blue tent, tables with pink and white table cloths, bunting all around, big white stands to display everything on.

How do you juggle working and having a family?

It has its moments. My husband is very good with the kids and brings them up to my markets when he can so the kids can see me and I can see them, they love to help in my ‘shop’ by taking and giving change to the customers and passing on the bags of goodies. My eldest helps to unload when all the deliveries arrive and loves to check out new stock which is great for her so she learns what mummy’s business is. Both my  daughters are in day care 2 days a week which are my business days where invoicing, website, emails, banking and all that jazz gets done. I try and have one day at home with the kids where we stay in our pj’s and read books, cuddles, cooking, picnics and then they help with putting clothes away and any other things that didn’t get done on the weekend. I also try and get dinner ready early in the day so it’s one less thing to be doing at 5-6pm if we have all had a big day and it enables us to have family time before bed. We also don’t have the TV on during dinner so we can talk about our day.

Do you think parenting is different from when you were raised? How?

I think it has but in the way life is just a lot busier. Being a mum now it has made me realise how my mum and dad were feeling whilst I growing up with the pressures of family time, jobs, money, bills.

Life in general now is more expensive and far busier form when I was a kid (35 years ago). There are so many ‘rules’ now on how you need to run your life and raise your children and I think parents need to go with their gut feeling on what works for your family as it may not work for another family, everyone  is different.

Have your own self expectations changed since having children? How?

I have had to learn to have more patience. I do not like having to wait but with children you need to let go of this pretty quick!

What is one thing you swore you would never do as a parent …. but do?

Only once I have done this but it’s playing the Wiggles cd in the car! It’s was my daughters 3rd Birthday and she got it for her present and she really wanted it in the car. I caved in.

Can you walk us through a typical day for you…

A typical ‘work day’ involves getting up a 6am, getting kids dressed for day care, seeing them off with daddy, making a hot cup of tea and actually drinking  it whilst in my pj’s until 8.00 when the dishes get done, loads of clothes, walk the dog, vacuum, washing out, jump on the computer for emails, orders, then make some calls, package up orders, make lunch, have another cup of tea and still have it hot, jump back on the computer for website work, deliveries arrive, unpack, make dinner, maybe take photos of new stock, family arrive home, dinner, bath, bed, more computer work, switch off and then bed!

What is one resource that has kept you sane and helped you on your journey of motherhood? Eg book, person, website

My mum has helped with lots, being a nurse she has a wealth of knowledge and seeing we live in different states she is always there to give me advice, listen and hear me have cry on a bad day. My mummy friends have also been a life saver, we still catch up every Friday for the last 5 years. Two books I have found helpful was Baby Love and Safe Our Sleep.

And one tip for us all on keeping it real…

Just be yourself and be a goose when your kids want you to, roll down that hill that they are having so much fun on and want you to do too, even when there are hundreds of people watching – it’s actually a lot of fun, and put the phone down, not everything has to have a photo or video taken, some magical things will just stick on our heads forever.

You can find out more about Kate Inglish Designs on facebook

or on her home page


Inspirational Monday – Melanie Warman from Inner West Mums !!

Meet          Melanie Warman


Melanie is a mother and also involved in … Inner West Mums (facebook), Boobs on the Run,  Concord Mums Unite, Warman Fuzzy  and a Mycook distributor   - (seriously I don’t know how she manages it all!!!),



warman and fuzzy

Hi Melanie, can you tell us a little about yourself before you had children..

I was a Programme Office Manager, working for myself on various different client sites. This had been my work life for the past 20 years and to be honest I loved it.

I am originally from Southampton in the UK, but moved here 4 years ago to be with my Australian husband.

You are involved in so many things as well as being a mother, an administrator for 2 face book pages, Boobs on the Run, Warman Fuzzy and an Ambassador for Ozcook!!

Can you tell us about how and why you became involved with so many things?

Being a Mum to Henry is the most important aspect to me of being a working mum. I have tried to keep a balance of looking after him and keeping the businesses moving forward (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t!


Inner West Mums came about as Anita (the co-founder) and I didn’t have any family support here in Australia. We were members of other Mums groups, but these were out of our area, so we decided to start our own. We thought we might get a couple of hundred people, but nearly 18 months on we have nearly 7500 members and it’s growing every day.

I became an admin for Concord Mums Unite once I moved to the area and to help out Raelene who started the group. It’s a fantastic little mums group as we are all locals and have catch-ups, nights out, a fruit and veg co-op and family days. Everyone seems to think Concord is so far away, but it’s only 15 mins in the car to Balmain!

Warman Fuzzy is my little cottage industry – my husband has designed some toys which are going off to be tested by Australian standards shortly. We also make scarves, cushions, bunting and blankets. We also do import some homewares, usually stuff I like….Our website launch is coming soon, but we have a facebook presence at the moment and you can usually see my stall at local fete’s and fund raising events in the Inner West.

Boobs on the Run – Aoiffe Gavin and I started this business as both of us love running and wanted to show ladies out there, that it is possible to Get Running and Stay Running (without having to continue to pay a gym fee!) all you need is a pair of running shoes. We also raise funds for various breast cancer charities.


OzCook – A best friend of mine asked me to test the MyCook Premium for them as they were thinking of becoming the distributors for Australia. I have loved the machine since day 1, and since they decided to start the business, it was a great time to get on board. It’s the only competitor to the Thermomix in Australia, and is an induction cooking appliance. It’s going to be bigger than Ben Hur! No doubt about it.

Can you describe to our readers where you manage to do all your work from …

My workplace is my kitchen bench. It’s the only place Henry cannot reach to get to the laptop! He is now up and walking, so my work time has been limited to his lunchtime sleep and evenings once my husband gets home from work.

I have a lot of light in the house and a great view out to the garden. We are in the process of building a library and study at the front of the house and hope these both to be finished at the end of January…I can then move to a proper desk and space.

How do you juggle working and a family? 

This has been a pretty tough battle. In the beginning I was trying to do everything at the same time and actually not getting anywhere.

Through Inner West Mums, I met Kate Savage Vickery from ElbowRoom. She is a career coach and offered me some sessions to see whether these could help my mind space. This was the best thing I have ever done. I have set times and days for the numerous projects I have and I actually achieve my targets (well, most of the time!)

Do you think parenting is different from when you were raised? Why? 

Yes and no.

No in that my Mum and Dad had a very strong work ethic. My Dad joined the British Army at 15 and eventually retired at 63. He rarely missed a day at work!  It also meant we moved regularly, and had to start at new schools and make new friends BUT on the plus side, we saw some amazing places.

My Mum was amazing. She tried every job she possibly could. She test drove cars for Fiat for a time, and even drove haulage trucks! She was the person who showed me you can achieve anything. You just need to believe it. I wish she was still here to impart her wisdom on my son, but unfortunately she died from cancer 7 years ago, so never met my husband or my son. We have started a “wall of fame” in our hallway, where there are photos of family and friends and we show him every day whom everyone is.

Yes in that a lot of us are having children later in life. My Mum had had my brother and I by the time she was 21. That was deemed old in her day! Some of us just take a little more time to find “the one”.

Have your own self expectations changed since having children? How?

Yes….I don’t really care if there is a sink full of dishes at the end of the night, or a huge pile of ironing…I will get to it when I can. I have certainly mellowed out about housework :)

I do however believe we are capable of anything if we put our minds to it.

What is one thing you swore you would never do as a parent …. but now do…!!??

My son is a very laid back soul, so we have had a pretty easy ride of it, he is however only 18 months old, so we have a few more years to make those mistakes!

Can you walk us through a typical day for you…

My typical day starts at 7, where I rush into the shower after my husband, before Henry awakes…I love it when he sleeps in and I can have a hot cup of tea and cover off my email. Then onto milk and breakfast for my munchkin. We then usually head out to the park for an hour, a quick trip to the shops for supplies and back in time for lunch. Henry is loving books at the moment, and loves us reading to him, so we usually spend half an hour going over all the books he loves (which are many). I then spend 30 mins cleaning up (either from the night before and the morning). At 12 Henry goes down for his sleep. I am so lucky it’s never a drama…and I usually get at least 2.5 hours of work time in.

Each day of the week is allocated to a different business, so it depends on the day of the week what I am tackling. It’s always busy though apart from Friday afternoons where the time is mine to do what I want. Read a book, watch a film, whatever. I have found we often forget about ourselves in our aim to get everything done. I have had to turn off facebook during this time though as I often get requests from IWM for various things. We also get over 100 requests a day to join, so sometimes there is a backlog. If I finish my to do list for that day early, I tackle some ironing. I actually don’t mind ironing as long as there is something decent on the TV I can watch.

Once Henry is up, he has some milk and we usually put on shoes and head to a local park for some walking practice (he is still a bit wobbly) or we play outside in the sandpit.

I’m lucky in the fact my husband can get home at a reasonable hour most days, so he does bath time with Henry which he loves.

If it’s a Wednesday night I head out with with ladies from Boobs on the Run. Its my relaxation evening!

Then dinner, then either a movie or a little bit or sewing, or knitting, or crochet..

Then to bed…after first checking my fitbit to make sure I did my 10,000 steps! :)

Do you have any resource that has kept you sane and helped you on your journey of motherhood? Eg book, person, website

I was absolutely terrified of giving birth at the beginning. I managed to persuade my husband to go along to a weekend called Calm Birth. It’s the best thing I did to change my perception of becoming parents and everything involved in the process. In the end I had a very quick birth at just over 3 hours, so it was intense, but quick. I also met one of my best friends on that course and we have remained close. Her son Jackson is the same age as Henry.

Inner West Mums, although time consuming and sometimes emotionally draining, has been my best resource. I love the diversity of the group and the differing points of view.

And one tip for us all on keeping it real…

Just be yourself and relax. It’s something I constantly have to remind myself of.

How to get your product into a retail store – Part 2

How to get your product into a retail store part 2

This post is written as a follow up to my how to get your product into a retail store. If you haven’t already read it, click on over, as it provides the foundations you’ll need, before approaching a store.

BEFORE you even approach a store, check out their website, or if possible, visit the store in person.

Does your product fit with their range?

You’d be surprised at how many emails we get from people who try and sell us ridiculously out of sync products. We sell reusable nappies, and are an eco-based store. Funnily enough, we aren’t looking for disposable products, including disposable nappies!

By not doing this basic research, you’re wasting your time and the stores, and you’ll likely burn your bridges for next time.

Research, research, research!

 Do they stock similar products?

If they do, outline why yours is different enough for them to consider. Does it provide better value for money, are the ingredients different, is it a premium brand? The store needs to know how to sell your product

Which brings me on to….

Selling your product

A store is so much more likely to pick up your brand if you have

a)      Good point of sale material

b)      You can provide training on the product, or a list of benefits that staff can use to sell your product

c)       Good pictures, preferably online, so they can be downloaded for any promotions, and/or website use

d)      Good copy for use on their website, if they have one attached.

Does it have, or need packaging?

The answer to this is probably yes. I despise packaging, but I can tell you, after years in retail, packaging sells. Especially if the product is a gift.

When designing your packaging, think about how easy it is to display, does it stand up by itelf? Does it need a hanger, is it hang sell? How does it store if it’s not on the shop floor? All of these are factors a retailer has to think about.

You also need to think about transportability. If the store has a website, they will likely need to ship your products as well. If they aren’t packaged in a safe manner, it could affect the decision to stock your product.

packaging is important

What’s your plan?

So many manufacturers get caught up in their business, they often forget to think about their marketing. They think if they can the product into a few stores, it will sell itself right?

A retailer is going to look very favourably on a company that outlines any marketing they intend to do. It will allow them to plan their inventory accordingly and their marketing calendar accordingly.

business plan

For example, if you are advertising in a home wares magazine in July, tell your retailer in (preferably) April. Many stores will plan their windows and store features three months out, and if they don’t know about your marketing, you’ll miss out.

Plus, it shows us you’re professional. You’ve got your crap together enough to know where you’re heading.

What do I send a potential retailer?

First of all, do you need to ‘send’ them anything? In order to filter out potential retailers, we have an ‘Apply to Stock Us’ section on the front page of our website. Any enquiries are directed there.

If you don’t have these basics, your product won’t be assessed.

Why do we sound so snarky about it? These are the BASIC things we require in order to take on a new brand.

Here’s what we need, at flower child

o    A line sheet of products, with wholesale and retail pricing

o    Whether your business is registered for gst (hint, it’s kind-of a must-have)

o    The current level of Products Liability insurance held by your business

o    Your order dispatch/turnaround time

o    Account terms

Other companies may have different requirements, but if you include these, you’ll be in more likely to be considered.

In some cases, sending a sample of the product may be a cost effective option. BUT, it’s you responsibility to FOLLOW UP.

We get many unsolicited products, but I could probably count on one hand, how many people actually followed up after sending.

Additionally, it was often just the item. No line sheet, no pricing, just a business card attached.

Thanks for the present, but unless it’s a kicker of a product, it goes into a drawer, or is given to staff.

If you really need to show your products

If you have a range that you would like to present, don’t just rock on up to the store and expect someone to see you.

It’s unlikely that the person in the shop can make any buying decisions.

If it’s a smaller boutique store, and the owner does actually work in the shop, it’s also unlikely they can just stop what they’re doing to spend 30 mins looking at your products. Even if there isn’t anyone in the store, there are a hundred other things that small businesses have to do in the quiet times.

Call and make a time for the buyer/owner to see you or discuss the products over the phone.

Just like in person, don’t expect that they can spend 15 minutes listening to you about your products, regardless of how great they may be.

Just a simple “I’d love to book in a time with you to go over our range”.

You can offer to send them the information above, so they have an idea of what you’ll be presenting.

When you have your appointment, it’s up to you to sell.

Go through the points above; explain why you think your product is a good fit and its benefits. Tell them how you’ll market the product. Show them some suggested merchandising ideas.



I can’t shout this enough. Don’t just leave your price list and leave it at that. Don’t take the non placement of an order as a ‘no’. It may have just been overlooked, forgotten about. In our store, we have to enter the products into out POS system before we can send a purchase order, and that may take a few days.

A simple email after the meeting thanking them for their time, and letting them know you’ll follow up in a week or so, and if they have a preference of email or phone, to please let you know.

Give it a week, contact them again, and again after another week. If they are truly uninterested, they’ll tell you.

If that IS the case, ask them for feedback. Maybe the price was too high. or the range didn’t suit. Ask if you could contact them in the future if you feel that you’ll have something that might suit their needs.

So in summary, when you sell your products, you’re not just selling ‘stuff’. You’re selling your professionalism as a business, as a supplier. And if you do this focussing on the benefits to the supplier, you’re in a much better position than the next person.

Salena Knight is the founder of flower child baby boutiques. She is also an author and speaker dedicated to improving the retail experience.

Inspirational Monday – Natalie creator of Nattydesigns

Meet          Natalie


From         NattyDesigns

natty designs1

Can you tell us a little about your background before your children…

Originally I’m from the UK and moved to Sydney 8 years ago for work and haven’t looked back, I love it over here. I used to work as a full time packaging designer but for the last 5 years I have been contracting and mainly working from home, I love the flexibility of working for myself but it can have its down sides too (paperwork, I hate).

All my packaging work is computer based and I missed being physically creative so I started making my cards again which also kept be busy during quiet times of contracting.

How did NattyDesigns come about and why?

NattyDesigns has been around for long time, after leaving university in 2001 I did some bar work while looking for my chosen career path, I missed being creative so I started the play around with cards, papers, jewellery making and pretty much anything hands on, I’ve always been creative/ artistic since childhood so it was a natural fit. I sold my cards back then in some local shops, friends, family and word of mouth.

natty designs

Can you tell our readers a little about it and where you source your ideas from?

Where my ideas come from is a hard one to pin down really as they come from so many places, fashion, nature, materials, I love shopping for pretty things and have a collection nick-nacks, ribbon, buttons, papers & cards which I’ll play around with until I’m happy with a design.

natty designs2

What is your most popular design ?

Wow that’s a hard one as I have so many but my Christmas range is big at the moment, particularly my little cute reindeer’s.

xmas 31

Where do you create and make all your work?

Our spare room is my little hub, I have my PC for my design work and a separate desk for all my creating, I have drawers, boxes & jars full of beautiful papers, cards, ribbons, buttons & nick-nacks.


How do you juggle working and a family?

Juggle is certainly he right word to use, I’m not going to say its easy far from it some days as you feel like you don’t stop from getting up to going to bed, but watching your little one develop, learn and grow is priceless and worth all the hard work and sleepless nights.

I try to do most of my work while she is either napping or at night or weekends when my husband can look after her but I try make sure we make time for fun stuff altogether each night and weekends.

Do you think parenting is different from when you were raised? How?

Parenting has definitely changed since I was small, I think there is a lot more pressure on woman to return to work in fear that they will loose stature in their careers if they take too much time off with their children, even my sister who is 10 years older than me said “child care was never even a consideration” this was a main topic in my mothers group!

Dads play a much bigger role these days too which I think is great & important for both the child and mum, they are much more hands on well at least all the people I know.

 Have your own self expectations changed since having children? How?

I think for me it has to be realizing that I can’t do everything all of the time and being more realistic as to what I can fit in a day.

What is one thing you swore you would never do as a parent …. and now do?

hahaha this is a great question, do you want the list….

I swore I wouldn’t give our child a dummy, well that lasted all of about a 2 weeks, my daughter was a comfort sucker not much fun when you’re breastfeeding, she still has it now at 14 month for sleeping which we are slowly weening.

Can you walk us through a typical day for you…

My daughter wakes us generally 6-6:30am although sometimes that can be earlier, she always come into our bed for morning cuddles. Breakfast around 7am, Chloe plays in her cot while I shower quickly unless I have been lucky enough to sneak one in before the hubby leaves. Once we are both ready we often go out for a walk to the park/ run errands or play at home if the weathers wet, she’s just starting to pay an interest in crayons and finger paints which is great fun.

Lunch is around 11:30am and then its time for her nap, this is when I get my time to create & do any design work, wash the dishes, do the washing and any other chores that need to be done. Once she has woken its play time, dinner for her is around 5pm we sometimes watch a few cartoons while we wait for daddy to come home and then 6:30 its bath, book, bottle and bed. My husband generally puts her to bed while I prepare/cook dinner then its upstairs for me around 8pm to sit down and do some more work.

What is one resource that has kept you sane and helped you on your journey of motherhood? Eg book, person, website

A couple of things I’d say, having a loving and supportive husband as the early days and sleepless nights can get tough, I have a new found respect for single mums (and dads). Having a great mothers group to support each other and my work.

And one tip for us all on keeping it real…

Don’t be too hard on yourself we all try to be super-mums these days but remember you’re not superwoman!

Find out more and take a look at Natalies gorgeous creations..

or email her on

Inspirational Monday – Sophie from Small to TALL

Meet    Sophie Ellis


From     Small to TALL

Can you tell us a little about your background before your children…

I’m English by heritage, born in Hong Kong and spent my primary years in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. I then went to the UK to study and started off my career in London in digital production during the early days of the internet.

After 5 years working as a digital producer I specialised in the area of user experience design which is a fancy way of saying I help businesses design a product for the people who actually use it. During my 15 year career, I have worked with a number of large eCommerce, Financial Services and News Media clients both in London and Sydney. I still consult part-time and am currently working with consumer association CHOICE on redeveloping their website.

I came to Sydney, Australia with my now husband in 2003. We intended to stay for a couple of years but it seems we are still here :)

Small to TALL – love it – how did the name come about and why?

Thank you so much! I have a nephew in the UK who is two years older than my eldest son, Jack, so we were lucky enough to receive lots of fantastic hand-me-downs. I struggled to find similar items at a similar price in Sydney and knew that other mum friends felt the same. After many a playdate moaning with Sarah, a good friend from my mothers’ group, we as good as dared each other into setting up shop and our new baby was born.

Sarah and I worked together to set up Small to TALL and ran it as a partnership for the first couple of years. At the start of this year, Sarah made the difficult decision to leave the partnership as she wasn’t able to give the time to it any longer. I decided to give it a go alone which was a massive change but it has been a really exciting time for me.

Can you tell our readers a little about your Small to TALL and your products.

Small to TALL is about finding gorgeous gear for kids that doesn’t cost the earth, literally. When we started, Sarah and I very quickly realised the importance of developing relationships with designers and labels who stood for same things we believe in. This enabled us to build a collection of ethically produced clothing and accessories which use recycled or organic materials and sustainable methods of production.

What are some of the most popular items and where do you source them from?

Our most popular local label is Anarkid organic baby wear [] designed by the very talented Kelli Marchewka. These items are so popular because they are gorgeous but they are also made from high quality, soft organic cotton and printed with non-toxic dyes. It is also very affordable. Win, win, win!

Our collection by London label Boys&Girls is also really popular []. This is a fun and playful label which is more playground than country and it resonates well with our Sydney and Melbourne customers. The majority of their pieces are designed to be unisex, which I love as they can be handed down regardless. These items are also ethically produced in GOTS certified organic cotton using non-toxic dyes. Quality at a great price.

Finally, one of our most popular items this year have been our First Baby Shoekits [] designed by a lovely family business in Poland. These kits come in a lovely little gift box with a full set of instructions and all the bits and pieces you need to hand sew baby’s first pair of shoes. The kits are a great present for a new arrival.


How do you juggle working and a family?

Add into the mix that I am still working in my first career, it can be tricky! Some weeks are more productive than others and I am learning not to be too hard on myself during those weeks where the to do list ends up longer at the end of the week than at the start. It is easy to panic when there is no one else to pick up the slack and it is tempting to just keep going into the wee hours of the morning, but, in the long run, it’s not sustainable and sometimes you just have to cut yourself some slack. At the end of the day, the boys have to come first.

I am nearing the point of no return, where I am ready to take the big leap into focusing solely on Small to TALL, I can’t wait!

Do you think parenting is different from when you were raised? How?

Yes I do. I think there is a lot more focus on what parents should and shouldn’t be doing than when I was being raised. I try to parent in the same way I was raised, relaxed and with love and guidance where needed. I try not to take on board everyone else’s opinion (and everyone seems to have one!). On the flip side, there is a lot more information and support out there to help guide parents nowadays, which has been pretty invaluable to me.

Can you describe to our readers your work place..

Sure, I have commandeered our spare room as my study! It runs the risk of been overtaken by family life but it means I can pick up work whenever I have a spare minute. I love working from home as it gives me so much flexibility, although you have to know when to switch off!

Have your own self expectations changed since having children? How?

Yes, in a way. I guess I still have the same expectations of myself and what I want to achieve but the focus has shifted. Having children has really motivated me to create a sustainable business that gives me the flexibility I need as a mother to give my children the support that I feel is important.

What is one thing you swore you would never do as a parent …. and now do?

Haha, so many little things! I think the biggest shock is when I hear my own mother’s come out of my mouth. “Don’t do that, it’ll end in tears!”. I see my children making the same face I used to give my own Mum :)

Can you walk us through a typical day for you…

My week is broken up into 2 ‘mummy days’, 2  ‘work days’ and a short ‘Small to TALL day’. I do get some Small to TALL time in during ‘mummy days’ but my rule is to primarily be with my boys on those days and give them the choice of what they would like to do.

It’s always a mad dash on ‘work’ days, doing two drop offs and getting to the office or back to my home office. The days fly by in a mad dash to get as much as I can done and then it’s off to pick up. I’m usually running late. Then dinner, play, showers, stories, bed.. wine.. aaah! I usually hit the computer of an evening to catch up on things if I can face it.

What is one resource that has kept you sane and helped you on your journey of motherhood? Eg book, person, website

My mum has helped me enormously in my being a mother. Although she is on the other side of the world she has a lot of wisdom to share if I ask. She was (and still is) a great Mum. Calm, kind, full of laughter and always patient. I am not always all (or any) of those things but having a good role model has helped!

And one tip for us all on keeping it real…

If there is ever any concern that you might be getting above your station, just hang out with the children…”Mum, why are you going out in your pyjamas?”

Check out Small to TALL here

Inspirational Monday – Stacey from The Veggie Mama

Meet Stacey

vegetable mama

From  The Vegetable Mama

veggie 3

Can you tell us a little about your background before your children…

I married my best friend in 2007 and we travelled. I finished a degree in journalism, politics, and international relations while also working as a high school teacher aide and vacation care educator. I was a newspaper editor for a while and then taught media law and on-line journalism at uni just before (and for a few years after) my babies were born.

How did The Vegetable Mama come about and why?

newspaper editor looking for a post-baby job + wanted to write about food but had never had any food articles published = food blog as potential portfolio. Once I realised you could carve out a career as a blogger, and write from home around your kids, I was sold. I have been honing my craft ever since.

Can you tell our readers a little about it and where you source your ideas from?

Initially, it was a food blog and the ideas all came from my making a ton of vegetarian recipes and everyone wanting to know what they were. Then I had babies and people liked my stories about motherhood. Now I’m a mix, and my ideas come from being a vegetarian work-at-home mum with
a toddler and a preschooler. That’s a lifetime of blog posts right there!

What is a great recipe you can suggest for busy parents that is easy yet full of vegetables?

I always want to say soup, but not all kids will eat soup. Neither of mine will touch it with a ten-foot pole, despite my repeated attempts! So I do second-best – a super-easy veggie-tomato sauce that I just throw together from whatever’s in the fridge, and serve on pizza and with pasta.


hidden-veggie-scrolls (1)

How do you juggle working and a family?

Very poorly up until a few months ago! It was by the seat of my pants, and I never felt like I was on top of it all. Now I’ve got more of a routine and some structure, which involves only doing certain tasks on certain days so I stop wasting time. The girls also go to day care two days a week so one day is devoted to writing and creative things, and the other day is a meeting.


Do you think parenting is different from when you were raised? How?

Yep, I think there is too much worry, and judgement from other mothers. I know I’ll never be able to let my kids out to play all day unsupervised like I’d like to (and like I did as a kid), there will always be someone wanting to frown upon my free-spirited choices. And tell me about it.

Can you describe to our readers your work place..

The laundry.

Have your own self expectations changed since having children? How?

I have to simultaneously require more of myself (patience) and cut myself some slack (when a tough day means I’m not patient).

What is one thing you swore you would never do as a parent …. and now do?

Refer to myself as “mummy” in the third person.

Can you walk us through a typical day for you…

Eat half my breakfast, wrestle two small kids into clothes, brush all of the teeth, and then a mix of refereeing fights, laundry, overseeing sharing, laundry, washing dishes, picking playdough up off the floor, more fight refereeing, reading Winnie the Pooh, laundry, cutting crusts off sandwiches, picking up apple off the floor, laundry, checking email, vacuuming, shouting down the stairs to stop doing something This Minute, forgetting to put the laundry away, trying to go outside for some portion of the day, wondering if it’s bedtime yet, having plenty of intentions about getting some work done, fail at that, make dinner, bath kids, pass out.

veggie 2

What is one resource that has kept you sane and helped you on your journey of motherhood? Eg book, person, website

My husband.

And one tip for us all on keeping it real…

When all else fails… TV.

Read more about Stacey, here recipes and her fantastic blog that I am now hooked on!!

Babywearing Week Winner!!!

Last week we held a competition to win a Manduca Carrier for babywearing week.


And the winner is….. (drum roll….)

Caroline Dale!!

Congratulations Caroline – we can not wait to fit you and your gorgeous little man into his new Manduca Carrier!

The Manduca is a fantastic carrier that comes with the newborn insert already attached, a sun shade, 5 adjustable points, straps that you can cross over your back (makes it so much more comfortable), padded shoulders and hip belt, back extension to be used as your child grows and can be worn in the front, hip or back carry.

Just a few of the reasons why we love the Manduca carrier here at flowerchild.


Drop in to flower child to try one on today


Inspirational Monday – Franjo’s Kitchen – Fran, Jo and Kate



Come and meet    Fran, Jo and Kate


From     Franjo’s


Can you tell us a little about your background before your children… 

Fran is a corporate lawyer working for a large fashion retailer. Jo is a naturopath and nutritionist and Kate is an art director.  Jo and Fran are mummies to Matilda (nearly 2) and Phoebe (21 months). They have continued juggling their careers pre-children with running Franjo’s and being mummies!

How did Franjo’s come about and why?

Fran struggled with supply issues when Phoebe was little and did what every mum does and turned to google. After discovering a few recipes for lactation bikkies Fran started making her own. Around the same time Fran met Jo whilst out walking, the two were neighbours and became fast friends. A few mums had been asking Fran to make lactation biscuits for them. At the time Jo was starting another little biscuit company and the two got talking and came up with Franjo’s Kitchen. Jo helped develop the recipe naturopathically and the rest is history!


Can you tell our readers a little about Franjo’s and your amazing products.

The three of us are passionate about beautiful, wholesome and functional foods. We want to celebrate and support mums at every stage and provide them with delicious, and healthy snacks.

We currently have two products, our Tanker Topper lactation biscuits and our Belly Bump Biscuits.

Tanker Toppers

Both products are naturopath and nutritionist designed and contain real functional ingredients with mum’s health and well being in mind.

What are the benefits of Tanker Toppers and Belly Biscuits?

Our Tanker Toppers are full of natural galactagogues oats, brewers yeast and flaxseeds. They also contain superfoods chia seeds, coconut oil and buckwheat flour. We have two flavours, fig and almond and choc chip. Our Tankers are dairy, egg, wheat, refined sugar and preservative free. Nothing nasty!


Our Belly Bump Biscuits contain fibre, omega 3, iron, calcium, b vitamins and zinc. They also contain ginger which has been used for centuries for nausea. Like our Tankers, our Bumpers are dairy, egg, wheat, refined sugar and preservative free.


Do you think parenting is different from when you were raised? How?

We live in the information age and mums these days are bombarded with parenting advice and information. This places at lot of pressure on us. I think most mums analyse their parenting in ways that never used to happen.

On the flip side, we have so much more support, better maternity leave, gender equality in the family unit, washing machines and disposable nappies(!) and more dialogue about the challenges facing parents so in many ways we are much better off!

Can you describe to our readers your work place..

We all work from home, for Jo and Kate their office is in a bedroom and Fran’s office is tucked away off the dining room! The three of us get together once a week and drink bottomless cups of tea and plot to take over the world. The rest of the time we just send hundreds of e-mails and text messages to each other!

Have your own self expectations changed since having children?

Jo and I (Fran) often talk about this. We are both ambitious and drive people, but parenting forces you to slow down and not sweet the small stuff. As a result I think we are kinder on ourselves than before.

What is one thing you swore you would never do as a parent …. and now do?

Give in to everything! I hate tantrums and am a massive softie (Fran).

Can you walk us through a typical day for you…

Every day is a juggle – working, friends, sending out orders, meetings, playgroup, cooking, washing, walking the dog, the endless to do list that goes on and on. But no day is the same.

What is one resource that has kept you sane and helped you on your journey of motherhood? Eg book, person, website

Definitely other mum friends. We’re all on one crazy rollercoaster ride together.

And one tip for us all on keeping it real…

Turn on the news. It’s a big bad world out there and we are all blessed to live in this beautiful part of the world.

Find out more about these amazing woman and their fantastic business..