Archive for the 'Hip Profiles' Category

Hip Mum Profile! Jenny From Just Smitten

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

js_mag_square_greeting_cardsPrior to the birth of Tinkerbell, with a little spare time on my hand and the knowledge that I was having a girl I hit the shops in search of ‘thankyou’ cards that I could use when she was treated to gifts from family and friends. There is a huuuuuuge array out there, but none of them stood out to me. And so I went about searching the internet for custom cards that could reflect my personal style. It was then that ‘Can’t Live Without Friend’ suggested I look at Just Smitten. I fired off a few questions and requested a quote. As soon as Jenny replied I was sold. She was prompt and friendly and within days had sent me samples to consider – what service!

We had a name in mind for Tinkerbell and in the shower one night (go figure!) I had come up with the artwork, Jenny was happy to work with my design and offered her expertese on how I could make it better. If perchance you don’t have a brainwave in the shower – then Jenny is on hand to design something that suits the feeling and mood you’re after.

If you’re in the market for thankyou cards, birthday cards, birth announcements or gift tags and want something bespoke whilst still being a reasonable price then be sure to check out Just Smitten.

It’s been a while since we’ve profiled a Hip Mum – what better Mum to profile than a wonderful, talented business woman!

just_smitten__about_us_abName: Jenny Peters
Lives: in Randwick, Sydney
Lives With: husband and two sons

Tell us a little bit about Just Smitten?

Just Smitten primarily started amongst friends complaining about the woeful selection of cards etc available and particularly the price. I have always had a thing for stationery and always find designing on the computer a great mental outlet and so Just Smitten begun…. Before I knew it, with the help of critique amongst friends – the first range of cards and tags evolved. Commencing with a range of 16 cards and 12 tags, Just Smitten now consists of over 60 cards and tags – all in 14 months!

What kinds of stationery do you specialise in?

I specialise in greeting cards, gift tags, thank you cards, a small range of party invitations, note cards and just new on the block – note books which are proving to be a huge hit already!

What were you doing before you started Just Smitten?

I was working as the advertising Creative Director/Studio Manager for a major magazine publishing house

Why did you decide to start your own business?

I wanted a creative outlet which still enabled me to be a stay at home mum. With my husband in a pretty stressful role, it was important that I did not return to an office as such and rather played the head of house harmony instead!

Any advice for any mothers wishing to start their own business?

Go for it… you never know where it will go. You can only try and mothers realise very quickly (particularly things involving children) where there is a need and therefore often get it right.

Do you help customers with the design process or do they need to suggest artwork?

As part of Just Smitten is Custom Design, I play it both ways. More often than not however I usually provide several ideas after having an initial chat with the client. Very rarely is my idea not exactly what they had in mind which is always a good feeling. It is important to ask key questions before starting a job to avoid making it a long and painful process. It is always a joy to work with custom clients for this reason. I do think years of working with advertising clients, you do realise it pays to ask as many key questions before starting any project!

Once a design is approved how long does the printing process take?

The printing process usually takes at longest, up to a week. This of course is all dependant upon what the process is. Occasionally the printing can be more involved like embossing, special foils etc. These are not only more time consuming in the printing process but they also cost considerably more too!

Do you deliver nationally?

Yes, I do deliver nationally and also internationally. I have had orders from NZ and CA before to name a few from top of mind.

Favourite The Hip Infant product?

Anything from Dwell Studio- I love it all!

Hip Mum Profile: Kylie From Sydney High Tea

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

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I recently went to the baby shower of a close friend at another friends house who was pregnant. Yes, alot of pregnancy….anyway the short of it was, to take the stress out entertaining she had the baby shower organised by a great company Sydney High Tea. It was fabulous. We each paid a nominal fee per head to be treated to tables dressed with beautiful linen, silver cake stands laden with ribbon sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and mini cupcakes and cookies all in the comfort and personal surrounds of someones home. Unlike high teas served in restaurants and hotels tt mean’t the guest of honour could put her feet up, relax and cry when she opened a thoughtfelt gift and not be too embarrased! It was a treat all round and most importantly it took the stress out of entertaining for the host and the ‘high tea’ style made it that little bit extra special for the mother to be. After doing some investigation into the business I discovered it was run by hip young mother to 2 kids Kylie.

It’s been a while since we did a Hip Mum Profile so thought I’d contact owner of the business and do a little more investigative work! So please allow me to introduce Kylie……..

kylie_and_poppy_2

Name: Kylie

Lives: Hunters Hill Sydney

Lives With: Husband Matt and beautiful children Poppy (2.5 years) and Louis (3months)

Hobbies: Looking after my family, running my business, walking on a treadmill (when I have time) and having fun with my friends!

Tell us about Sydney High Tea and the service that you offer?

Sydney High Tea is a mobile high tea service that can be delivered to your home or hotel suite anywhere in Sydney. Served and styled with decorative cups and saucers, silver tiered cake stands, gorgeous table linen and a selection of table decorations and scented candles. Your personalised high tea menu includes gourmet ribbon sandwiches, savoury pastries, mini cupcakes and cookies and scones served with clotted cream and homemade preserves. And of course a selection of fine quality tea and coffee.

How did the idea come about to start such a business? I run another business that co-ordinates events for the ever popular hen’s party. I saw a new trend emerging for women wanting more sophisticated alternatives to the traditional hens night entertainment, at the same time I also noticed women hosting more elaborate baby showers. And so it seemed like a natural progression to enter into the world of baby showers (I was also pregnant with my second child so obviously that was a great inspiration!) whilst also still offering a service to the hen’s party realm that I have gotten to know so well.

At The Hip Infant we’ve got lots of soon to be mums who are having baby showers, what does Sydney High Tea offer those throwing a baby shower ie what can we expect?

Sydney High Tea is perfect for a baby shower – it combines all the things girls love… delicious food, stylish decorations and a chance to catch up with the girls. Best of all, no one has to be slaving away in the kitchen -  all the hard work is done for you! Sydney High Tea delivers to your door and is set up and served by our excellent service staff.

Or for a special something extra, you can spice up your event with a gorgeous male model to serve you…dressed in just black pants & bow tie, your waiter will keep your guests entertained serving High Tea and providing shoulder massages for all the girls!

 

For the readers who aren’t in Sydney, do you offer a service anywhere else in Australia?

Watch this space! Sydney High Tea is setting up mobile high tea services in Melbourne, Perth & Brisbane soon.

How do you  juggle a business with 2 kids?

I have become an expert in the field of time management! Luckily my Children are good day time sleepers, so I get

alot done during this time. My toddler goes to day care two days a week, so I schedule most of my work on these days

so that the days that she is not in daycare I can pay her my full attention.

 

Any tips or advice on starting your own business?

Just do it! Jump in the deep end and bite of more than you can chew! If you have an idea, then just run with it. Don’t waste time with business plans (you can’t predict the future), instead get hands on experience and learn on the job as you go. Your business will grow & evolve over time and lead you down paths that you didn’t know existed at the start.

Favourite Hip Infant Product:I absolutely love the Lil’ Fraser brand Navy Blue & White Striped wrap…it keeps my little newborn wrapped up nice and tight for a good nights sleep!

So Sydneysiders when you are next hosting or have a friend host a Baby Shower be sure to take the stress out of it all and look up Sydney High Tea…..and maybe take Hip Mum Kylie’s advice and buy a Lil’ Fraser wrap as your baby shower gift!!!

Hip Dad Profile! Anthony from Tiger Tribe

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

It’s been a while since we’ve profiled a Hip Parent and today we’re delighted to introduce you to Anthony the genius behind one of our fav brands Tiger Tribe!

tigertribe_tradefair1Lives: Melbourne Lives With: Wife Naomi, children Lucy (6) and Joel (4)  and Daisy the lovable cat
Hobbies outside work, favourite food, past times: AFL (Go Sydney!), self confessed Sports addict (even admits to banning foxtel for fear of being soaked up by the tv!), Japanese and when they come along (which is rarely) a good arthouse film.
Favourite The Hip Infant product: Love the Alex Bath range. Makes for great fun at bathtime.

Tell us a little bit about Tiger Tribe, how did you start the business?

I previously worked in a childrens importing/wholesale business. But I was itching ot have more involvement in deisgn and product development so Naomi and I took a scary leap of faith. It has been a very steady climb (making little mistakes along the way) but we seem to be making better choices as we gain more experience. We feel like we have a much  better idea of who we are now, and we are getting really positive feedback from stores – which is very
satisfying.

What inspires and influences your designs?
I try to think of the things I loved to do as a kid. I also try to watch a bit of kids TV – just to get a sense of what is being pitched at different ages. We also try to think of the needs of Mums (travel stuff / café play /edutainment)

tigertribe_tradefair2How do you juggle family life with running a successful business?
Tricky…as I sit here typing this note while I should be preparing the kids breakfast. We work from a home office (as well as the warehouse) so it is not uncommon to have kids voices in the back ground while we are on work
calls! Over all I think we have a good balance…but there is room for improving.

What are nursery trends are you predicting for the future?
…just more good stuff! I think we have an exceptionally tasteful mix of product available in Australia.

For those out there who are just embarking on the nursery decorating journey, what are your tips for decorating?
Don’t get too hung up on the perfect piece. And do not rush…rather have more empty space than too much clutter.

tigertribe_tradefair3Best piece of fatherly advice that you offer/will offer your children?
Try not to scream (sometimes hard!)…messages seem to be much more effective when delivered in a calm way, with a bit of reason…

**HIP COMPETITION ALERT **Haven’t checked out our home that page this month? We are running a fab Tiger Tribe promotion to celebrate the launch of the new season products. Click here to enter! There are three different prizes so take your pick!

Hip Mum Profile: Tanya Duncan from Mum’s Card!

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Last Christmas my sister, who lives overseas, gave me some beautifully printed cards with my name, phone number and daughters name on them and told me they were ‘like business cards for my new job as a mother’ and she further added that they ‘were great for when I met other mums at the playground’. Despite being big where she lived I kind of scoffed at them and put them aside in my top drawer. Turns out, as big sisters often are, she was right! They would become incredibly useful and handy. We recently discovered Tanya Duncan the brainchild behind Mum’s Card who also saw the need for such a communication tool. Today we are thrilled to profile Tanya as our Hip Mum!

 

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Name: Tanya Duncan, founder of Mum’s Card

Lives: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Lives With: My Partner Simon, 2 sons Hugh and Fletcher and our dog Matilda

Hobbies: I have a beautiful horse named Felix so when I get a few spare minutes I try to have a ride!

 

Tell us about the concept behind Mum’s Card, how did you come up with the idea?

Mums Card, being personal contact cards have been around for centuries. Originally they were calling cards that evolved into business cards. The personal contact card has been left behind a bit from the business card evolution which has become a standard, accepted part of any persons business stationary. fmc_circling_tn

 

What we have done with Mums Card is simply picked up a really useful concept and made it relevant and available to Mums and families. Mums are doing such an important job raising their family, and they are regularly networking with other Mums and Carers so I saw no reason that they should not also benefit from the convenience of a personalised contact card.

 

Once I started to look at the cards it also occurred to me that like Mums the card could be a lot more useful if they could multi-task (like Mums) and some additional information would greatly expand their usefulness and make them even more relevant for families. This is when the inclusion of name of kids, an emergency contact person and any allergies that their kids suffer from were introduced to the card.

 

As the cards are completely personalised people can include what ever details they want, we just provide some suggestions for what might be useful to a Mum.

 

 

 fmc_elephantupdate_tnWhat info would you normally print on the card?

Mums Card will generally include your name, your kids names a contact email address and mobile phone number. In addition to this people often also include their address, home phone, emergency contact people, kids date of birth, allergies, illnesses and some people even include their kids likes and dislikes.

 

We also have quite a few grandparents that get the cards as well as small business people and nanny’s or babysitters. They generally will include their rate, qualification and contact info.

 

How big are the cards?

There are size the same as a regular business card – 90mm x 55mm. They are also matt laminated to make them really durable.

 

Can I customise the card to have a look and feel that suits my personal taste?

If you visit our website you will see that there are 3 different ranges, so there is pretty much something for everyone. The Fun Mum Range has a lovely child like drawings and image, the Colour My Day Cards are a range of simple coloured designs, and the Photo Cards have a number of designs that incorporate your own photographs.

 

How long does delivery take from the time I place my order?

Once you place your order online we will email you a proof of your selected design and cmd1_brightorange_tn1personalised info within 2 days. Once our customer confirms that all the info is correct we send it to print. From this time it is 7-10 days till your cards will arrive on your doorstep!

 

Before you started Mums Card, what where you doing?

I was running the marketing for a range of large trade events mainly in the fashion and interiors industries. It was a great job for me as the challenges were endless. Event Management is a really dynamic and challenging industry as everything is very timeline oriented, so generally the pace is fast. Once I started having babies and before I started Mums Card I also started a Boutique marketing firm – Infokus Marketing. I still run this company, helping with the marketing for generally small companies that are not in a position to employ a full time marketing person.

 

photo_stripped_3childAny tips for starting up a business of your own?

It will not be as easy as you think! The time that a new business takes could be endless, so it is important to be clear about your goals and objectives so that you can work as specifically as possible towards your outcome. It is also important to have some good business mentors around you – it can be a bit of a rollercoaster, so someone that can give you a clear perspective of things without being emotionally involved is always helpful. I would also suggest if finances permit outsourcing tasks that you are not good at – you can waste hours, days or weeks plugging away at something that an expert could get done in minutes, hours or days.

 

Tell us about how you juggle being a mother of two with a successful business?

Juggle is probably the right word. We are busy, but in a good way. I try (though am fmc_daisychain_tn1not always successful) to keep the business to the times that the kids are in bed. Luckily both my boys still have a day time sleep so this always gives me a chance to get a bit done during the day. Sometimes there are late nights, but again I try to keep this under control and not make it every night!

 

We also have a nanny that looks after the boys one day a week and they go to occasional care one morning a week, so as long as I keep flexible and make the most of the snippet that I get we seem to make it work.

 

 

HIP OFFER ALERT!!!: Till the end of September Mum’s Card is offering Hip Infant blog readers a free Mums Babysitter Pad when they make a Mum’s Card purchase. All you need to do is enter the code HIPIN as the Unique User Code at the checkout. Too easy!

Hip Dad Profiles! Happy Father’s Day!

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Happy Father’s Day! Below are the last of our Hip Dad profiles from our competition. We hope all the Dad’s out there find the time to enjoy the company of your family, the time to do something that you like to do best and most importantly the time to reflect on just what a special and important role you hold with the title of ‘father’! Happy Father’s Day from all of us at The Hip Infant.

 

tobyName: Ben Kanizay

Lives: Lyndhurst VIC

Lives With: Jo (wife), Toby (son) and Liberty (daughter)

 

Tell us a bit about you and your family?

I’m 32 years old. I’m the senior interactive developer at McCann Erickson Melbourne, building websites, games, animations and other fun web stuff. My wife is super mum and stays at home with our two bundles of joy. Toby is 2 and Liberty is 8 weeks old.

 

What makes you a ‘hip’ dad? I’d like to think that I still dress and look pretty hip and I find it hard to resist buying something hip for one or both of the kids whenever we go shopping, usually clothing. Also I love spending time with my kids and don’t shy away from all the parenting duties – that’s hip in my book.

 

How will you be spending fathers day? At home with my special trio. Hopefully some brekkie in bed!

 

Best piece of fatherly advice that you will offer your child one day? “I told you so” (lol). Seriously though, to never give up on their dreamsno matter what, coz they can achieve whatever’s in their heart to do.

 

Best parenting tip/piece of advice?

Never put your kids down, either directly to them or to others (in front of them or not). Love them to bits and encourage them no end. Oh, and tell them you love them – often!

 

What’s you’re favourite THI product?

So hard to pick one. I like a lot of the Ouch stuff. Right now, I’d probably say the Ouch Newborn Floral Tunic Top (for Liberty) or the Ouch ‘Boom’ tee (for Toby)

 

And we can’t forget all the Dad’s-To-Be today who are celebrating their first of many Father’s Days! 

 

hamishName: Hamish Anderson

Lives: Neutral Bay – NSW

Lives With:     My gorgeous wife Amanda who is 4 months pregnant!

Tell us a bit about you and your ‘soon to be’ family? My wife always tells me I’m a little bit nuts and I hope to pass that on to my child, because I want a family that laughs and plays and enjoys being together.

 

What makes you a ‘hip’ dad? I do not know if I am necessarily a hip Dad yet, but I plan to be. I want to take a very level approach to fatherhood and be very approachable to my kids. I think communication is key, and as such I am already taking steps to try and make sure that I am communicating with my wife and our little baby-to-be. I try to chat to them both (though this may make me seem nuts) and am also learning Makaton (baby sign language).

 

I am also tweeting about the day-to-day stuff regarding my perspective on the pregnancy and impending dad-hood, so that other dads have a reference (I’m trying to keep it light) should they want one, and so we, as a family will have something to look back on one day.

 

How will you be spending father’s day? We will be seeing my father in-law in the middle of the day and catching up with my wife’s family. We don’t see them that often so it will be good. It also means we get to see our niece and nephew. That evening we will be going to my parents for dinner which I believe I am cooking (my brother beat me at “rock/paper/scissors”)

 

What Hamish doesn’t realise is that his lovely wife also has aFather’s Day of his own planned! Complete with a card from baby-to-be and some socks… the true ‘dads’ present! We only hope she’s given them to Hamish before he checks out the blog!

 

Best piece of fatherly advice that you will offer your child one day? Communicate. No matter what happens communication will always be the one tool that can help make or break a situation

 

Best parenting tip/piece of advice? Always ensure that every member of your family respects one another, that includes child respecting parent and parent respecting child

 

What’s your favourite THI product? Oricom Baby Monitor Secure 100, Little Einstein Team up for adventure and I like the wall art stuff too.

 

Hip Dad Profiles! One More Sleep Till Father’s Day!

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

We are happily celebrating Father’s Day and following on from yesterday’s Hip Dad profiles today we have two more ultra hip winners from our Hip Dad competition!

steve-tomName: Steven Wise
Lives: Adelaide, South Australia
Lives With: Wife Kate and eight-month-old son, Thomas


Tell us a bit about you and your family: Kate and I married in April 2008, and – much to our surprise – on our honeymoon we discovered we were expecting! Tom was born early 2009, and as he’s our first, it’s been quite an education and lots of fun.

I’ve been lucky to be working from home, so we’re both able to spend lots of time getting to know Tom, and vice versa. He’s quite a character and a true little boy -  I’m one of three boys myself so I know what my wife is in for!!

What makes you a ‘hip’ dad? I’m not sure how ‘hip’ I am, but I think Tom likes our long walks (Tom in pram, naturally) first thing every morning and it’s definitely father / son time. We make lots of friends on our walks as Tom is such a charmer.

How will you be spending fathers day? At my parent’s house with three generations of our family. Tom is the first grandchild so will be spoilt rotten, no doubt!

Best piece of fatherly advice that you will offer your child one day? Women are always right. (Just say ‘yes’, son…).

Best parenting tip/piece of advice? We didn’t use a dummy – in fact Tom rejected it early on – so instead he would suck on my little finger (I always cleaned it first, of course), which would settle him if he was upset. We picked this up from our paediatrician on our first visit. 

What’s you’re favourite THI product? Skip Hop Pronto Mini Changer - we take it everywhere as it’s so compact and convenient to use.

 

rebecca

Name: Robert Jones
Lives: Rockhampton, Queensland
Lives With: My wife Rebecca and sons Luca (3.5 yrs) and Elliot (9 mths)

Tell us a bit about you and your family? My family and I live in Rockhampton in sunny Central Queensland, where I am studying for a Bachelor’s of Engineering degree.  My wonderful wife Rebecca is a travel agent who is on maternity leave at the moment looking after our beautiful boys Luca and Elliot.  When we are together we like to visit the zoo, and feed the ducks and the turtles at the botanical gardens. We also like shopping, and going for walks around the lovely old area in which we live.
What makes you a ‘hip’ dad?  Since I spend most of my day surrounded by 20 year old students, I find that I have to make sure I am up to date on all the latest fashions and musical trends in the hope that no one realises that I am in fact very old.
How will you be spending fathers day? With my family (getting a lie in if I’m lucky).
Best piece of fatherly advice that you will offer your child one day? Be kind, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Best parenting tip/piece of advice? Go with your instincts!

What’s you’re favourite THI product? I keep my eye on the Read, Watch and Listen section – particularly the books. I love to read and it has rubbed off onto my sons that’s for sure!!

One more sleep to go – hope you’ve all planned your breakkie in bed menu for all the special Dad’s out there. Read our blog tomorrow to read about the final two winners of our Hip Dad competition!

 

 

 

 

 

Hip Dad Profiles! How Will You Celebrate Father’s Day?

Friday, September 4th, 2009

A week or so ago we put a call out to all Hip Dads to enter a competition with the winning prize being a hip feature profile on our blog along with a nice little gift voucher to go shopping at The Hip Infant. We picked 6 winners and will share them with you in the lead up to father’s day!

These two Hip Dad’s both listed the same item for their fav Hip Infant item – snap!hipdad_terry

Name: Terry Cumming
Lives: West Footscray, Melbourne, Victoria
Lives With: Lovely wife and cutest bub!


Tell us a bit about you and your family?
Well other than being lovely and cute … my wife is the most caring and kind person that i know … and my beautiful little daughter is the happiest, most content little bub you will ever meet – thanks to mum!

What makes you a ‘hip’ dad? I don’t know really … maybe how bubs and I go shopping together in matching outfits with her on my shoulder?

How will you be spending fathers day? Morning in bed with the family … then on to celebrate at a restaurant that is named after our daughter’s namesake … with wife and bubs.


Best piece of fatherly advice that you will offer your child one day?
To quote John Lennon … “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” … don’t muck around .. get stuck into it.


Best parenting tip/piece of advice?
Relax and do what feels right … for sure get advice … but YOU choose what feels right for you and your family.

What’s you’re favourite THI product? Rondeau Industries Custom Made Names

 

 

 

 

 

jacob

Name: Jacob Buma
Lives
: Beldon (Perth, WA)
Lives With: My wife Louise and my daughter Sunny (5 months)


Tell us a bit about you and your family? Besides being a dad and husband I am finishing my final year of an engineering/commerce degree, and doing part time to make ends meet. As a young family, we love getting out and about in our free time, socialising with friends, going to parks, the beach (when it’s not raining), I play footy, and we both take turns playing mixed netball (while the one on the bench holds Sunny).  

What makes you a ‘hip’ dad? Because I study and work part time at home (sometimes in the office) I get the chance to spend heaps of time during the day entertaining and being entertained by my daughter. I have to make the most of it when she is asleep, but I love putting everything aside when she is awake to hang out with her. I particularly like reading her books and singing to her (even though I am aware that I don’t have the greatest voice!)

How will you be spending fathers day? We head off to church in the morning, before spending the afternoon with just the three of us, and then for dinner a dad’s style BBQ is planned at my brother-in-laws house with close family and relatives.  

Best piece of fatherly advice that you will offer your child one day? Enjoy life and love living!

Best parenting tip/piece of advice? Get your child in a good sleeping routine early on. Sunny goes down at 7.00pm still wide awake but will be asleep within 15min, I don’t generally hear her until about 7.00am the next morning (although my wife assures me that she still gets up once during the night).

What’s you’re favourite THI product? A ‘Sunny’ wooden name by Rondeau Industries

Tune in tomorrow when we feature two more Hip Dads from Queensland and South Australia!

Hip Mum Profile: Mother of 9 Cate Bolt!

Monday, August 31st, 2009

By now you should have cottoned on to the fact that here at The Hip Infant we love to regularly bring you profiles on what we think are some pretty damn hip mums! We do this in the hope that they inspire you and introduce you to people you might not necessarily meet in your everyday goings on. Cate Bolt is no exception. Cate is a writer, photographer, humanitarian, conservationist, small business owner & mother of….wait for it……9! She recently walked away from a successful business & luxury lifestyle to dedicate the rest of her life to building an orphanage & wildlife refuge in Indonesia. Check out our Hip Mum profile below to find out more about her cause and how she juggles 9 children!

catebolt_profile

Name: Cate (Catherine) Bolt

Lives: On a mountain on the beautiful Queensland Sunshine Coast.

Lives With: Husband Rick and 9 Children (see pic below) Loki (18), AJ (16), Matt(15), Ashley (14), Bailey (12), Julian (10), Kelsey (8), Ailish (5) & Charlie (nearly 3)

Hobbies: You’re kidding aren’t you?

 

You recently walked away from a successful business & luxury lifestyle to dedicate the rest of your life to building an orphanage & wildlife refuge in Indonesia what brought on this decision?

When I first started that business, I did so to create a better work/home/life balance which I achieved for a short time and then lost the plot and became too obsessed with the business and getting bigger and better and having more of everything. After about 7 years in the business I started to get a bit disillusioned by people and their priorities, working with brides is pretty stressful and being a mother with special needs children I think gives you great perspective, and possibly less tolerance of people being precious. I started becoming interested in Buddhism in 2006 and having adopted many of the principals of Buddhism since then, the business that I was running just didn’t fit with my values or beliefs any longer. Indonesia I find so compelling for a number of reasons, firstly it’s proximity to Australia, one of the most fortunate countries in the world, and the irony that such a close neighbour could be subject to such abject poverty and social injustice for so long. Also Indonesia happens to be home to our favourite animals – the Sumatran Tiger & the Orang-utan. Rick and I had been doing much soul searching since moving to Queensland at the end of 2008 and it just really came as an epiphany that this was what we would do. We discussed it in depth obviously, but we both agreed from the first second it came to me that this would be what we would do. 

What were you doing before you made this decision?

Waiting for a sign – I’m a fairly spiritual person, and I tend to take direction from the universe a lot (as crazy and hippy as that may sound.) We left Victoria to put some distance between ourselves and our businesses. I think we knew we were over them but we were waiting for light bulb moment when we realised what it was we were meant to do.

How is your life different now? Do you have any regrets?

Hmm, we’re a lot poorer than we’ve ever been! Our kids understand that we don’t have money to spend on “stuff” – we buy the bare necessities of what we need to survive but other than that there isn’t much else. For me, from a Buddhist perspective this doesn’t worry me – my desire for random objects is minimal. I do still have the parent gene that wants to be able to afford the things my kids need or want to achieve their goals in life, but as far as buying presents for them, this is now a matter of buying them an experience or something they need to achieve. Ie my two oldest boys have been bought driving lessons for their birthdays, my 14yo got cricket coaching. The younger ones might get a party or an outing instead of a present. Maybe it seems harsh to others, but unless you have a large family and understand the cost involved with doing things, it’s probably difficult to comprehend. Regrets? Yes. Waiting until I was nearly 40 to commit myself to making a difference in the world. I’m quite disappointed with myself for that.

Tell us abit about your fantastic cause and project overview

In Indonesia today there are approximately 1.8 million homeless children, and another 500,000 in orphanages. Over 50% of the Indonesian population lives on less than $2US per day. Many parents out of sheer desperation abandon their children in the hope that someone more fortunate will take care of them. Can you imagine the level of hopelessness you need to reach to leave your child alone at a crowded market or outside a mosque? Can you imagine the devastation of both mother and child as they spend the rest of their lives without knowing each other, or even knowing if the other is alive?

As it stands at the moment, the initial goal is to raise 1 million AU dollars for the purchase of a parcel of land in Sumatra, Indonesia. The land will likely be approximately 300 sq kilometers in size – 95% of which will be used for a reforestation project and wildlife refuge for around 250 Orang-utans. The other 5% of the land will be used to build a village of 18 homes, community centre including medical facilities, school and staff residences. Each of the 18 houses will be home to up to 8 orphaned children and a house mother, where the kids will be raised in a loving and nurturing family environment, rather than a boarding house type situation. The children will all receive schooling on site, and be involved in wildlife conservation from an early age. The project will also include an outreach project which, in consultation with other local communities, will be able to build small village schools which will offer education to local children, and one meal each day. Hopefully the outreach program will minimise the need for children to be abandoned by their parents, and remain in the family home. These children will also be able to receive medical care such as immunisations and dental care through the orphanage medical centre.

 What are you most looking forward too once the project is up and running?

All of it! Having the ability to save children’s lives, mainly. Knowing I have the ability to break the cycle of poverty for people by providing an education and the health care they need to reach an age where they can themselves go out and achieve their own dreams. Contributing to the reforestation of ravaged land and assisting in the conservation of some very endangered animals. Raising children to love the wildlife and want to protect it. Putting my arms around a child and showing them the compassion and love that was previously missing from their lives, seeing them smile and knowing they are safe. 

catebolt_family1You run a successful alternative therapy website The Elements At Eumundi: Lifestyle Sanctuary and are donating 50% of the products to your project. Tell us abit about the site?

The Elements stocks a range of sustainable living products, including green cleaning, health & beauty, clothing, alternate therapies and books. The site is still fairly new so we are working on building a client base. I’m probably most excited by the addition of Babyjo bamboo baby clothes and some awesome titles from Penguin books. I’m a big lover of books, so being able to stock these has been a bit of a buzz. This is our main source of income at the moment – 50% of profits go to the charity and 50% go to trying to keep our kids fed and in school. As soon as we get some of the sewing project items finished and photographed we will add those to The Elements website also and 100% of the sale price of those will go directly to the charity!

Cate we regularly feature working mums who provide advice on how to balance a successful career with family life, but we are yet to feature a mother of 9!!! How do you do it?

I have no idea. I wake up in the morning and put my feet on the floor and take it from there. In my honest opinion, I don’t think running a family of this size is very difficult on a day to day basis. My husband is 120% hands on in the house and does all the cooking, breakfast, school lunches etc. He also does the lion’s share of the washing and ironing. I do all the cleaning and I bake nearly every day for the kids school snacks (buying those had to go when we decided on the charity). We don’t do much in the way of “leisure activities”, our day starts between 4-5am and it ends about 16 hours later – we hit the floor running and don’t stop until we go to sleep. I can’t imagine life any other way though – it’s not for everyone, but we enjoy what we do. I think the main thing is priorities and accountability. I’m not really very big on people who tell me they don’t have time to cook their kids a proper meal or pack them a healthy lunch. I come from a long line of busy women though – my mother and grandmother we always doing something.

Please share your best parenting tips and advice with our readers.

Wow, I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer this, but… don’t sweat the small stuff, pick your battles wisely. Children are like husbands (or maybe vice versa) if you’re nagging constantly they soon learn to shut off and not listen. Set clearly defined guidelines and be consistent with enforcing punishments. Don’t reward bad behaviour, no matter how much easier it might make your life at that particular point in time. You are only making a rod for your own back later. Always provide a united front, make sure the same rules apply with both parents and that Dad doesn’t give in when Mum says no. Try to avoid undermining your partner in front of the children, no matter how wrong you think they are. You can never, ever, ever love a child too much. Nothing is more of an investment in your child’s future than raising them with confidence and knowing they are loved.

How can we find out more about your project?

Easiest way is to visit my blog, soon we will be launching an official charity website, but in the meantime this is the place for all the updates. 

What can Hip Infant blog readers do to support this project?

Donate! At the moment the greatest gift we can receive is fabric and habby items for our sewing project – I need fabric, buttons, zips, bag closures, bias binding, ribbon, trims etc. We are also looking for a printer who can donate their services for stationery, a solicitor and a tax accountant who will work for… FREE!  I’m VERY passionate about making sure every dollar we make goes directly to saving lives and not lining the pockets of professionals. I’ve given up my income full time to dedicate myself to this project, I’d like to think a few suitably qualified people can find it in their hearts to donate a few hours also.

Publicity! Spread the word as far and wide as you can. What seems like a huge project will be made so much smaller if we have many hands on board. Tell everyone you know, get the word out – if you can’t help yourself I’ll almost guarantee you know at least one person who can!

I’m also open to sponsorship offers and we will soon also be in a position to start taking cash donations. I’m hoping to run some charity events starting from early 2010. Please check the How to Help page of the blog.

 

Hip Mum Profile: Mother of Four Month Old Twinnies Eva!

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Today we’re profiling Hip Mum Eva. Eva is a loyal customer to The Hip Infant and caught our attention when she sent in a beautiful picture of herself with her equally beautiful newborn twins. We thought what better person to give advice on decorating a nursery than a mum who has just been through it all with not one baby but two!

 

Lives: Gold Coast 

Lives With: Twins Allegra and Dario (4 months) and husband Riccardo

Hobbies: Before my babies it was travelling, reading books, design & fashion, international food and cooking.  Now my hobby is my babies and the world revolves around them.

 
Your life must be incredibly busy with twins – tell us about it?

I am a newish mum of twins girl and boy, Allegra and Dario. Firstly my life has been blessed with their arrival, and has become so much richer, colourful and joyful!! You never know such deep fulfilment until you have kids, especially me with two at ones and a boy and a girl!! I call myself one of those really lucky people!! These are my first kids, so I do not know any other way, but if I had one, I’d surely feel bored now that I know whats like having two!!

As all other new mums will tell you, yes is very hard work filled with alot of hardship and uncertanties, but I tell myself everyday do not let difficult moments ruin the special ones!!! I only have to look at my babies and feel restored for the next task on such a hard but magical journey.

Busy yes, very busy and time is so little, you find yourself running all the time, there are very few minutes to take your breath!! I make sure though I slow down and spend quality time with each of my babies while the other one sleeps, so I never miss any bonding moments together!! When my friends ask me what is like to become a mum of twins-I say I am very blessed!!!

 
eva_babesWhat was the inspiration behind your nursery?

I didn’t know the sex of my babies, so the inspiration was fresh, simple, functional and dreamy like, a nursery that will serve well their first years, they will feel safe, warm and secure, but in mean time a place where they can enter the innocent and special world of dreams and fantasies!!
 
What are your favourite things in the nursery?

Definitely my Blik wall art from The Hip Infant – it makes the nursery!!
 

Even though they’ve only been in their nursery for 4 months, anything you would change?
Yes, I would change the size of the room, it is a small room and I really have optimised the space with every corner cleverly designed with some storage. I wish it was a bigger room that I would use for nursing and feeding also, rather than our living room! Our babies have taken our house over already!!

The nursery gives you the feeling of a serene, innocent environment-a place where my angels can feel at home, it is a bit small-but with such character, everyone comments on it!!!!

Any tips when planning a nursery?

Buy only the essentials and leave heaps of room around for other things you need and will buy as you go!! Do not buy everything before baby is born, not everything you read in books is suitable for your baby-you learn as you go!!

 

Given you had to plan a nursery for a boy and girl, what influenced your choice of colour and furniture?

Contemporary Neutral, fresh and fantasy like. Most pieces were simple with few funky items, such as wall sticker or toys on some simple shelves.
 
Must have items that you can’t do without?

Two things. 1) My change table- it is the most used item in the nursery, this has to be the most organised and functional item prior to babies arrival as it is the working bench throughout the first 3 years of babies life! 2) My Moses baskets from Gertie and Me, I couldn’t have survived without them, as I take my babies in them everywhere around the house, or in their cots, as they don’t sleep on cots yet(handy especially at night for feeding them, taking them from their cots without too much disturbance). I highly recommend them to any mums, as bubs feel safe in them first 3-4 months, they seem to settle quicker, you can put them in your lap if babies are unsettled, super versatile. These have been my best purchase so far!!

 

 

Eva shared some beautiful pictures of her baby shower with us too! Given we’re all about ‘The Ultimate Baby Shower’ competition this month we thought we’d share how she celebrated this special occassion with you too!

 

eva_babyshowerHow many guests did you have at your baby shower?

Around 30. My very close friend Lara organized it and it was the best baby shower party ever!! We had a whole full day of being together, having games, fun, food, laughs. I will remember that day forever, as it was best celebration of pregnancy!!I had a professional photographer and my friends compiled all the photos in a book- every time I  see the book I laugh and cry at the same time, as it was so much fun-but so touching from all the love and generosity I received from my friends that day!

 

Was there a theme?

 We had a little poem that we based the whole baby shower on;

‘We celebrate twin babies,

from heaven above,

we gather to shower them,

with so much love…’

 

Did you have a wish list?

I did have a suggestive list, which was a much better way  of indicating items needed, and it worked I got so many useful presents!!

 

Fav baby shower gift?

Babies bath in stand, my back is very thankful, everything I got was fabulous and use it everyday!!

 

 

TAKE THAT HIP IDEA AND MAKE IT MINE: We loved Eva’s friends idea of taking photos and putting together a special book as a momento of the day. You don’t have to have a professional photographer to take a few snaps and put together a beautiful book – you could also get guests to write a wish in it!

Hip Mum Profile: Barb from Jinky Art

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

jinky_familyEver wondered who photographs the beautiful babies on The Hip Infant home page? Drum roll please…..today we are thrilled to introduce super talented and super lovely Barb from Jinky Art as our latest Hip Mum profile!

 

Lives:Canberra, Bungendore.

Lives with: 3 children (Ede 3 years, Penny 6 years, Talia 8 years – check out the beautiful pic of them below) and labradoodle puppy Boo!

Hobbies outside work:We love to travel – which is convenient as we do a lot of that for work.

Who Am I? Tell us a little about your background and how you came to start Jinky Art

JinkyArt started as a blog on the internet. Back in 2002 I was documenting the day to day happenings of my children and we started to received emails about photographing other peoples children as well.  It all snow balled from there. 

 

What is the philosophy behind Jinky Art?

JinkyArt is about capturing family memories in a realistic yet whimsical way.

 

What led to your passion for photography?

 I use to be a child care worker, and have always loved photographing children. It was really easy to join my two passions – photography and children.

 

What inspires and influences your photography? 

Life and love are my two biggest inspirations. I can say with all honesty that each family that Ive photographed have their own unique way, and that is so inspiring.

 

How do you juggle family life with running a successful business?

My husband is a stay at home dad. He also works in the business, so really there are two of us home most of the time. We really are a “family business” in every sense of the word. Right now, Im back at work however I’m breastfeeding so my family are never too far away.

 

 

thehipinfant-jinky1

‘They’ say never work with children and animals, have you had an memorable experiences working with children. Good or bad?

Always good, I also love to include family pets in sessions too. They are hilarious!

  

For those of us at home taking photos of our little ones can you share any photographic advice?

Get in close, capture real moments and most of all – enjoy yourself!

 

HIP OFFER ALERT! Jinky Art is offering Hip Infant blog readers a special photograpic promotion. Simply mention The Hip Infant when booking a family portrait session and recieve $50 off the session fee and a free 5×7 print! This wonderful offer is available for family portrait sessions in Cairns, Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast and Newcastle and is valid until January 1, 2010.jinky_girls