Starting out using her great grandmother’s old sewing machine to create beautiful cot quilts and swaddle wraps, Kerry-Lea Quinn was focused on starting a business that would allow her to spend precious time at home with her young children. Learning new sewing techniques on YouTube, and staying up late at night to produce the best quality handmade products, she launched Two Little Friends, an online boutique selling limited edition, handmade and NZ/Australia-sourced baby and children’s products. Here she talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind her business, how she juggles work and family life, and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I started Two Little Friends in May 2015 just before the birth of my second child. Crazy some might say! As a stay-at-home mum at the time, I was looking for a way to stay active and develop something of my own whilst being able to spend time with my Two Little Friends. Mum guilt was a real thing, not contributing to the bills while my husband sacrificed family life working away to support us.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
In the beginning, I stayed up late at night and scheduled sewing cot quilts and swaddle wraps with the finest materials I could find between feeds and nap times. I borrowed my great grandma’s old sewing machine to use until I could get my own. I used YouTube to teach myself different techniques to use on the products so my products would last the test of time and be of the highest of quality.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
My biggest breakthrough was realising that I couldn’t do it on my own: that I needed to accept help when it was offered. I soon realised that there were other makers out there just like me that had experience in other products that suited the brand I was building. Now we stock only brands from Australian and New Zealand designers.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
It is so important for me to remember why I started Two Little Friends: to spend time with my two little boys and my husband. On Sundays, we have family day where we either spend time as a family doing something on our little hobby farm or go to the beach and spend the day as a family making memories. Saturday nights are no device night and we spend time as a family watching a movie and having a picnic dinner.