Sunday, August 30, 2009

Meet the amazing mum behind Little Choopie

And speaking of Little Choopie..Amanda is another of the lovely WAHM's that Id like to share a bit about with you..

What inspired you to start your online business ?

Being an avid fan on online shopping and looking for something to do with my time at home when my little boy took his long 3 hour naps (instead on spending all our money on online shopping), I decided to venture into making girls hair accessories. Thrilled with the outcome, I quickly (read very quickly) set up an online store. It was around this time that felt conscience stricken (loving mothers gult) that I didn't have any boys products in my range (after my branding was based on my little boys' namesake, Little Choopie) so I ventured into making some modern whimsical applique'd t-shirts for funky babies and toddlers tro go with my ever expanding range of girls accessories.

How did you come up with the name 'Little Choopie' ?

The name Little Choopie comes from the nickname I gave my little boy, Lucca when he was only days old. I can't ever recall hearing such a name but Little Choopie seemed to fit him so well. A bit fun and definately unique I decided that this name would stand out from all the others, so it was decided I would name my business after my Little Choopie and still have a beuatiful connection with my gorgeous little boy.

What did you want to be when you were a little girl ?

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a hairdresser. I remember standing on stage at the kids talent quest telling everyone that when I grew up I would be a hairdresser. Having moved in a very different direction and become a trauma nurse by profession, I feel like I have almost done a full circle as I now make new accessories for hair (just not quite up to the hair styling/cutting stage yet!!) Its very strange how life leads us down very different paths and I am thrilled to be moving this path.

What is your favourite colour ?

My favourite colour varies between red and pink. I love them both as much as each other and really love red and pink together in childrens fashion. Such a girlie girl, I even had a pink party for my hens night, all the guests were asked to wear a touch of pink, the cocktails were pink and the professional manicurists we had at the hotel only provided pink shades of nail polish. All very fun and ultimately very girlie!!

What is the best thing about being a work a home mum ?

The best thing about being a WAHM (work at home mum) is I still get to be with my little man all day and have lots of fun together but still feel like I am connecting in the adult world as I go about building my business. I love being here when he needs me or being able to take time away from working if he is unwell.

What advice do you have for other mums wanting to start a business from home ?

My advice to other mums wanting to start a business at home is go for it. Follow your dreams and start of slow and steady and NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK. Networking has been the most beneficial part to building my business and I have met the most amazing and talented women and men along the way.

How do you juggle the balance of working at home and being mum ?

Initially when I started Little Choopie the balance between working at home and being a mum was a lot easier as my little boy took his long afternoon naps and I would just try to get my orders and website things done during this time. As my business has expanded my little one has started to drop a few sleeps in the afternoon, which has made the balance difficult to obtain but I have been trying to wake earlier and go to bed later at night so I can get more things done during the times he is in bed. Lucca loves my buttons so often when I am making orders he will put all the buttons back into the bags for me or I will get him to do different activities whilst I am making up an order. Whilst at the moment I am finding it hard to obtain a great balance between the two, I am hoping once my website is relaunched things will be more settled.

What do you do to relax / what is your idea of a relaxing day ?

To relax I love to get out of the house and away from the computer with Lucca to go for a babycino whilst I have a nice super mug of decaf cappucino. There is a lovely cafe providore near my home which has a gorgeous alfresco dining area that looks on to a landscaped dam with lots of ducks swimming around. After our "cinos" we go and see the ducks and Lucca has a lovely time. Its so beautiful seeing him all excited about the simple things in life. The ideal relaxing day is going for a drive with my husband to the yarra valley to have a beautiful meal and a few glasses of wine and watch lucca play is a fabulous little playground they have at the grand hotel we love going to.

Tell us 3 of your favourite things in your shop right now ?

ooh 3 favourite things in Little Choopie made with love right now would be the sail away t-shirt, apple of my eye t-shirt and the Ballet x3 large hair ties in a tin. I really love red, white blue and pink colours at the moment and not to mention polka dots! I am crazy about them!!

Visit Amanda's beautiful online store here

Little Choopies new home is now LIVE

I am so excited, Little Choopie's new home is now live for all to see !

I gave this little bird a makeover a couple of months ago, then designed him a new home.... a gorgeous backdrop for Amanda's gorgeous products. I have just loved working with Amanda.. such a delightful client, all the excited, heartfelt little emails she sent me during the process always made my day :-)

If you haven't already seen Amanda's products then you must take a look Little Choopie represents a stylish and affordable clothing and accessories label for your little fashionista, from funky t-shirts and bodysuits to delicious little bobbies and snap clips!

Sarah xx

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Business Helping Business

Check out this cute little fella...this is a logo and banner I designed for Aussie Product Review. I love to see business helping businesses, this is a great idea for all you work-at-home-mums wanting to get your products out there, check it out here

Aussie Product Review are out to help Small Australian Business, no matter how small or how new you are, they will review your products. The review is then posted on the Aussie Review Website and Blog, and also promoted throughout the web.

I read on Twitter the other day Cheryl was thinking the little owl needed a name...did you come up with something Cheryl ?

Sarah xx

Monday, August 24, 2009

Another of my new lovely WAHM friends...Jen of Mini-Stylista...

What inspired you to start your mini-stylista blog and social network?

From a young age I was always inspired by fashion. I spent every cent I earned either buying fashion magazines or beautiful clothes. I always wanted to own my own boutique however never had the confidence to take a risk and set one up. When my son was born I had this urge to pursue my dreams however I found my focus had shifted from being obsessed with Adult fashion designers to kids clothes. I originally set up a website called My Style Australia which was going to be an online blogzine dedicated to Australian fashion.

But I just couldn’t stop thinking about how much Kids fashion is inspiring me! Then I saw the amazing kids blog Mini Gaga and felt the need to create a blog and post pretty pictures of all the Kids fashion I love. Therefore I set up the Mini-Stylista blog and had so many kind emails about how people loved the blog I decided to set up the Network too!

What did you want to be when you were a little girl ?

A fashion designer or buyer

What is your favourite colour ?


How many kids do you have ?

Just one little boy Rocco who is turning one in September (see pics of Rocco's Nursery above)

What is the best thing about being a work a home mum ?

With out a doubt spending more time with my son and working while he sleeps!

What advice do you have for other mums wanting to start a business from home ?

NETWORK! I have made so many amazing friends (such as you lovely Sarah!) through networking on Twitter or facebook and even my own social networking site Mini-Stylista!

How do you juggle the balance of working at home and being mum ?

I often try to only work on my sites when he is sleeping! My husband also helps cook dinners and clean as much as he can which is lovely and this allows me to work from 7 pm to midnight!

What do you do to relax / what is your idea of a relaxing day ?

I have learnt that when you become a mum there is no such thing as a sleep-in anymore!!! At the moment the Sites have been so busy I haven’t been able to relax and have been working 17 hour days! But to be honest I am a perfectionist and workaholic so this is heaven to me being so busy! However when I do have time my idea of a relaxing day would be what we sometimes do on Sundays: drive to our favourite patisserie and buy some delicious French pastries a coffee and lie in the park and read magazines (kids fashion ones naturally!!!)


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sunny Mummy - A Warm Place To Be

Sunny Mummy is an exciting project I am working on at the moment, beginning with a blog but with so much more to come! My lips are sealed on the exciting things in store but let me just say that becoming a 'Sunny Mummy' will be on every mummies 'to do' list!

Sunny Mummy founder, Stacey believes most mummies these days know about the 'Yummy Mummy' status... she says to forget about trying to keep up with this external illusion and encourages us.... being a 'Sunny Mummy' is such a warmer place to be...

I am having so much fun being a part of the Sunny Mummy Journey! Stacey is so much fun to work, she is so bubbly and full of life (I love how excited she gets when she sees the designs hehe), so inspiring and is really putting everything she has into this new venture, and I for one, cannot wait to see it take off - because it will take off !! you just wait and see ;-)

Sarah xx

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My intentions for this blog were not only to post my work, but my inspirations. As Ive mentioned before I have met some truely inspirational women since starting SMG, and have developed friendships with these women. We support and help each other in our our business and our personal lives, it may only be via typed word, a twitter or an email, but as I sit in my home office working away, these beautiful women are always right there with me, making me smile and laugh. Im so thankful for these new friends and want to share some of them with you...

Hayley -

What inspired you to start your online business ?

It was when my husband and I decided we would have a baby I became very interested in all things little. I would go into shops and have a look at what you could buy for babies and I thought that it was all so cute and lovely. I actually wanted to open a bricks and mortar store before I was pregnant, but then decided that I would wait until I knew what it was like to be a mum. It took me 3 years to come up with what I wanted and to research what I thought other mums would want for their little ones. My children, Keely and Taj, are my inspiration behind Little Pinwheel and I am sure they will continue to inspire me.

How did you come up with the name 'Little Pinwheel' ?

I actually really loved the name Pinwheel first, although it was taken so my husband suggested to put ‘little’ in front as it is all about little people. Pinwheel comes from my view on children, I love the colours of a pinwheel and I love what a simple toy can do a child’s imagination. Their faces light up when they see the colours spin from the wind or from them blowing it around.

What did you want to be when you were a little girl ?

I actually really wanted to be a Park Ranger, I had a love of outdoors and animals. I did work experience as a Ranger and I really did think that I would be one. It is interesting how life changes often and your dreams can change. I admire those who follow through with their childhood dreams.

What is your favourite colour ?

Well, I wouldn’t say favourite, I would more say I am kind of obsessed with this colour…. RED. It is everywhere in my house, tastefully everywhere! If a simple thing like a toaster comes in red then I will have a red toaster! Then to balance the kitchen out the toaster is stainless. So I am obsessed, but quietly obsessed! I am yet to find a great pair of red shoes, I am still on the hunt.

What is the best thing about being a work at home mum ?

My husband and I decided before we had children that I would be a SAHM and I would be the one to raise our children. So for me the best thing about working from home is the fact I can still be the mum I want to be for my children. I also love the fact that my daughter, Keely, is so involved in Little Pinwheel, she role-plays shopping on the website. Keely packs orders for her customers, it is all very cute!

What advise do you have for other mums wanting to start a business from home ?

Firstly, if your heart is in it then go for it! The one thing that has really worked for me is to involve my children. Making them part of Little Pinwheel makes it fun to pack orders and it becomes more a game rather then time that mum cannot play other things with them. I am a person that believes if you have a dream then follow it, what is the worst thing that can happen?

How do you juggle the balance of working at home and being mum ?

Lots of working at night! I try to do a lot of my work on Wednesdays and Fridays when Keely goes to pre-school. Taj has two big sleeps and it is amazing what I can get done in that time. Keely does not have a day sleep anymore and as this is the case when it is her lunch time she has quiet time while mummy does a bit of work. She said to me a few weeks ago that she was lucky that I have Little Pinwheel so she can be at home with me all the time.

What do you do to relax / what is your idea of a relaxing day ?

Relax…can I laugh! Ok I guess my relaxing time is when I sit down and have a herbal tea. I am really into drinking tea and for me this is my time, even if it is for 5 or 10 minutes. Simple things can relax me, so a relaxing day to me is to take my little ones to the beach and build sandcastles. That to me is relaxing.

Tell us 3 of your favourite things in your shop right now ?

I have only just received Rittenhouse summer, which is for the fashion conscious mum. Being a fashion victim myself this is divine. I have ordered so much of it for my daughter and my son. It is all made in Australia and there is nothing like supporting Australian designers! My favourite items, so far, are all from the Rittenhouse range and they are, the Pony dress, the Paramount tee and for the little ones it would have to be the Lucia pilchers. There is so much more to come and I know if you ask me the same question in a couple of weeks it will change!


Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Nursery

Here's a few pics of the nursery I am decorating for our baby boy, due in October. I haven't quite finished fiddling around yet but Ive been so excited I had to share the WIP with you. I still have to design a canvas artwork (of course!) to add a finishing touch to the room.

Cool things; Kate Finn Elephant. Maiike Handmade Toy. Stickytiki Elephant Wall Decals. Green and Chocolate Paper Lanterns from Details Details. Tiger Tribe Elephant Mobile from The Hip Infant. Dwell Studio Gio Aqua Cot Set from Design Child (I have just ordered this, the photo is from the Design Child Website). The bookcase and green floor rug are from the one and only... IKEA.

Sarah xx

PS please excuse the bad photo's from my crappy digital camera (Im not the best photographer either lol) I am hoping to purchase a digital SLR very soon so I can take nicer pics)