Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
This has been a big learning curve for us both. Mum is still working and I have a new baby, so it’s been trial and error for the past few months. Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with an easy-going, very content little girl. I’ve been able to work on the business during her nap times, and after she goes to bed. I guess that’s the advantage of being able to work from home.
We make sure that we go for a walk on the beach each day as a family, to reconnect and rebalance. Mum also makes time to walk in nature and go to yoga a few times a week. Nature is one of our driving forces and inspirations, so it is very important to us to stay connected to it. Some days are very productive, while others are a struggle. We just aim to stay in the flow and do what feels right.
The Drive: What challenges have you overcome?
Our challenges will probably resonate with all small business owners: perfecting our product, questioning whether it is good enough and whether people will actually like it, and trying to balance the new demands on your time with normal life stuff.
Finding the right suppliers with the same values as us has been time consuming and and learning new skills – from website building to accounting – has been enjoyable but also frustrating at times.
However, we have been able to get over every obstacle so far, and some would say putting this whole business together in less than four months is an impressive feat!
For better or worse: What are the pros and cons of running your own business?
Spending time with Lyla, my number one priority, is just the best. Being able to be there for everything is such a gift. It’s also pretty special to create a product and brand that serves more than just customers. And we are able to grow Hello Fred into whatever we choose. Knowing this is a very liberating, exciting and sometimes daunting prospect.
However, it is very easy to be working constantly. Because there are no set work hours, it can sometimes feel like we never get a break. The beauty of what we have created though is that we love and enjoy what we are doing.
The beauty of what we have created though is that we love and enjoy what we are doing.
Also, because it is a very personal business, there is a strong sense of vulnerability that can sometimes be a bit unsettling. But, we keep coming back to the ‘why’ of what we are doing, and try to stay authentic to ourselves. If we continue to do this, we will attract the right people who appreciate and love what Hello Fred is all about.
Hopes and dreams: What next?
The sky is the limit! We continuously dream up new products and projects. We are trying to pace ourselves and grow at a steady rate. After all, my mum and my grandmother physically hand-make every single item, while I do everything else while trying to navigate my way through motherhood.
In the end, we hope to have left this earth a little bit cleaner, and people a little bit wiser and more inspired to look after our environment.
And for Lyla (whose nickname is ‘Fred’), I hope to give her a childhood where she not only gets to be with me, but watches my example and learns the importance of protecting our environment as well as the people behind products. I hope she inherits an unwavering kindness and compassion for whatever/whoever her future holds, all the while knowing she inspired a beautiful new business to come into fruition.
Photography: Meg Siejka.