Sunday Coffee with Baby Donkie

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Feb 102013
 

Baby Donkie

It has been a while since we’ve invited a small business owner over for Sunday Coffee on Hip little one, but after discovering Baby Donkie I couldn’t resist and sat down with owner Dong-Maria for a quick chat. Dong-Maria is a proud mama of two boys and she loves hunting for unique goodies for her store. I just love her taste! Find out more about this gorgeous store and the lovely lady behind it:

Baby Donkie - Dong-Maria and family

Baby Donkie – Dong-Maria and family

What does your ideal Sunday look like?
A sleep in if I can sneak one in and then heading to Balmoral Beach with a few friends to take the kids for a quick swim before grabbing fish and chips for lunch.

What do you enjoy most about running Baby Donkie?
I love seeking out new and gorgeous products from Australian designers as well as boutiques from overseas. I’m learning so many new things everyday whether it be about the latest trends, how to use social media, sales and marketing or how to run a business. It has also been wonderful to meet lovely people in the industry who have similar interests and who have also been inspired by their kids to venture into their own business.

What is (currently) your favourite product at Baby Donkie?
Sapling Owl on Branch BoydsuitI’ve got a soft spot for the Sapling Organic range and my favourite item is the Owls on the Branch Bodysuit.

What can we expect from Baby Donkie in the future?
This year I will be bringing in some new labels including Indikidual, Mini Shatsu and DandelionKids. You’ll also see a lot more boyswear and unisex clothing at Baby Donkie as with having two boys of my own I know it can be hard to find well designed and unique boys clothing.

What is your best tip for keeping the kids entertained during the school holidays?
Lincoln and Archer have so many cousins, so my best tip is to have a few over or go visit them. As they are close in age, the kids can keep themselves entertained with little more than a soccer ball or some water balloons. Other than that, we have filled the holidays with a few outings such as going to the zoo, beach and seeing play at the Opera House.

To find out more about Baby Donkie, to browse the range and to order online visit www.babydonkie.com.au.

Sunday Coffee with Oksa

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Jan 132013
 

Oksa

Last week I wrote about my first shopping experience with Australian label Oksa, home to a stunning range of maternity and nursing wear for stylish mamas. It made me interested to find out more about the clever lady behind it all, meet designer Kirsten in today’s Sunday Coffee:

Oksa - Kirsten and family

Oksa – Kirsten and family

What does your ideal Sunday look like?
Getting up early and heading to the beach for the morning with my husband and boys. Then grabbing a roast chicken, crusty bread and coffee and heading back home for a lazy lunch and afternoon in the backgarden (spotted with a few gin and tonics!)

Why did you start Oksa and how did you decide on the name?
I started Oksa after giving birth to my first son with the intention of designing a few breastfeeding pieces, mainly to see whether they would work or not. One thing led to another and after receiving really good feedback on some of my designs, our first collection was created. When choosing a name, I wanted something that was separate from all things pregnancy and baby related as I felt my designs suited the non-pregnant/ breastfeeding market as well. My nephew actually started calling my eldest Oksa Rockstar (his name is Oscar) so the label’s name was born.

What do you love most about running Oksa?
Staying mentally stimulated whilst being a stay at home mum. I run the whole business from the design and fabric sourcing, accounting, advertising, social media etc. so I really feel like I am maintaining a career on the side of my main job as a mum. Keeping active both mentally and physically is my key to being a good mum and I feel it is a really good role model for my boys. In addition to this, I feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment when I see pregnant women looking and feeling so feminine and comfortable in my designs and also for providing an easier alternative for breastfeeding access.

Oksa Printed Overlay ShirtWhat is your favourite Oksa design from the current range?
I love the Printed Overlay Shirt. The design is so classic and the print adds an element of femininity. It has breastfeeding access as well so I really wore this piece throughout my most recent pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding. It is my most versatile piece- whether you pair it with some tailored shorts or casual jeans, it looks and feels fantastic. I know I’ll be wearing this for years to come.

What is your best tip for keeping the kids entertained during the school holidays?
Well this is the first time I have had a “school holiday” as such so with slight panic, I have tried to set activities out for each day. Whether it be heading to the beach for the morning, soccer camp at our local park or a new project in the garden. I have two boys, so the key is to set activities that are going to tire them out! My eldest has a new fascination with Bear Grylls so that buys me a good hour at lunchtime to work on Oksa.

To find out more about Oksa, to order online or to locate a stockist near you visit www.oksa.com.au.

Sunday Coffee with Oh My Giddy Aunt

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Dec 232012
 

Oh My Giddy Aunt

If you’ve really left it too late with Christmas presents you don’t have many options, a gift voucher it will have to be. But don’t settle for a boring Coles/Myer or Kmart gift card (after all, they usally get spent on groceries or other practical items), grab an Oh My Giddy Aunt gift voucher for a unique, personal present instead. This store is a delight to browse with so many lovely options for the whole family, I would LOVE to get a gift card to spend on beautiful goodies just for me!

Everything in store is picked by the wonderful Nikki, a woman of many talents as you will soon discover in today’s Sunday Coffee:

Oh My Giddy Aunt - Nikki having fun with nieces and nephews

Oh My Giddy Aunt – Nikki having fun with nieces and nephews

What does your ideal Sunday look like?
Snoozing till 8ish… brunching till 12ish…. movies till 2ish… champagne afternoon tea… ABC TV in my PJs at night (I’m a Giddy Aunt – not a Mum, obviously!)

Why did you start Oh My Giddy Aunt?
Before I became a giddy aunt in 2003 I used to be a Fairy Queen (really). I started my fairy shop, Fairies on the Downs, in 1993 and sold it in 1998 and have always loved gifts that are really going to mean something special and be remembered always. A couple of years after I sold the shop I became an Aunt to nine nieces and nephews (over 8 years) and had ideas for things I wanted to create to tell their stories. Each special occasion is a chapter in a family story and keepsakes are such personal ways to commemorate those moments.

Where do you draw your inspiration from for new Oh My Giddy Aunt designs?
Nine nieces and nephews, several honorary nieces and nephews and families past and present!
I love traditional keepsakes and the sentimentality of the past – but I also have a bit of a quirky imagination and sense of humour. My favourite ideas are those that combine all of those elements. I’m not a big fan of fashion or fads and would much rather create something that will be kept forever or passed on to someone else who will add to the story. We personalise a lot of our jewellery with birthstones and hand engraving and the engraving has now determined most of the keepsake gifts in the range too.

My background is a little eclectic: In addition to being a Fairy Queen and a Giddy Aunt,I’ve studied and worked in children’s theatre, written children’s books (including Magenta’s Tartan Socks), taught preschoolers and adults (usually not at the same time) and worked as Development Manager and then National Director for Australian charities promoting child health and protection. I think the imagination from writing and acting, the work with children and families and the business experience have somehow all combined to create Oh My Giddy Aunt and the range!

What is your favourite Oh My Giddy Aunt design and why?
Queen Bee Honeycomb RingsMy favourite design is always the latest one… until the new one comes along! At present it is the Queen Bee Honeycomb range. I wear a set of the three rings and all of my other rings have been feeling very neglected lately as I just wear the honey bees with everything. The little bees are just so sweet and the rings all fit into each other to create a honeycomb so from a distance it looks like a wide, three tone ring but when you get up close you can see the details and find out the story behind it.

What can we expect of Oh My Giddy Aunt in the future?
I have books full of ideas waiting to happen but they all take time. Perhaps I should spend more Sundays working?! Recently Oh My Giddy Aunt welcomed Irish Giddy Uncle Alan Ardiff’s fantastic range of moving jewellery into the collection and I’m looking forward to including a few more designers who share my sense of humour and love of the unique and precious in the coming year. I’ve also got a very big project underway… can’t say too much yet but think “This is Your Life”… and watch this space!

To find out more about Oh My Giddy Aunt, to browse the range and to order online visit www.ohmygiddyaunt.com.au.

Sunday Coffee with Rudy and the Dodo

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Dec 162012
 

Rudy and the Dodo

Although many of the big retailers have already closed orders for Christmas delivery you can still can count on some awesome small Australian businesses to get your gifts to you in time for the big day. One of those lovely stores is Rudy and the Dodo, the ‘4th baby’ of mama Julia. At Rudy and the Dodo you’ll find a website full of gorgeous gifts for small and big people, perfect for under the Christmas tree! (Check the Rudy and the Dodo Christmas cut-off dates here)

While you browse this fabulous store you might wonder who picked all those fun, beautiful, quirky, unique items, let me introduce you to owner Julia in today’s Sunday Coffee:

Rudy and the Dodo - Julia and family

Rudy and the Dodo – Julia and family

What does your ideal Sunday look like?
It starts with a sleep in, a fab breakky at a favourite café, and time with my hubby and three little boys. Sunday is always family day in our house, and I like it that way! I do wish the sleep in was a reality and not just a wish though!

Why did you start Rudy and the Dodo?
Before kids, my career involved lots of interstate and international travel, along with client entertaining. Not very family friendly! So when my second son was just a few months old I decided to take the leap and start a little online business filling what I saw as a gap in the market for quirky toys and gifts for babies and kids. Five years and another baby boy later we continue to grow and cater for more and more fabulous customers looking for gifts that are just a little left of centre.

What do you like most about running your own store?
SHOPPING! I spend lots of time searching the globe for fabulous, quirky finds that my customers wont see in every other store. I also love the flexibility it offers – I do school and kindy drop offs and pick ups and can juggle things to allow time for activities like reading groups at school and the odd long lunch with girlfriends!

Wooden Blackboard LaptopWhat is your favourite product at Rudy and the Dodo (at the moment)?
Oh, SOOOO hard to choose. It’s a toss up between the fabulous French backpacks ($44.95, choice of 5 different designs) and the wooden blackboard laptop ($24.95).

What can we expect of Rudy and the Dodo in the near future?
We are polishing up our website early in the new year so it will be all shiny and extra fabulous with a few more bells and whistles. We’ll also continue to expand our blog to include more inspiring decorating and creative ideas, and to meet some more extraordinary mamas.

To find out more about Rudy and the Dodo, to browse the range and to order online visit www.rudyandthedodo.com.au.

Sunday Coffee with Four in the Bed

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Dec 022012
 

This week was the first really warm here in Adelaide and it was definitely a hot one, hot during the day and still very sweaty at nighttime too. Time to get out the cool Summer pyjamas, something Ellie at Four in the Bed knows all about. Ellie has designed her own range of lovely, cotton childrens sleepwear that looks fabulous and will keep your little ones at the right temperature this Summer. Here’s a super quick catch up with Ellie and stay tuned for a fantastic Four in the Bed giveaway this week!

What does your ideal Sunday look like?
No pitter patter of feet down our hallway to our door until 9am – a cuddle and chat about what we dreamt about and then a leisurely breakfast on our front verandah (bacon, eggs, tomato with fresh basil) and a chance to flick through a magazine or two. Time to reply to personal emails and a solid hour’s natter on the phone with one of my girlfriends, uninterrupted. Then BBQ lunch in the paddock on one of our friends property’s that late into the afternoon and watching the sunset across the Hay Plains in the car on the way home.

Why did you start Four in the Bed?
Out of frustration of not being able to find classic cotton sleepwear for my own girls.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My own childhood.

What is currently your favourite Four in the Bed design?
Oh definitely the Olivia Camisole Set – I just love the broderie analgise scalloped hemline and the cool crisp cotton fabric.

What can we expect of Four in the Bed in the near future?
A bigger size range we will be up to size 14 for Autumn Winter next year. There is so much demand from customers wanting bigger sizes.

To find out more about Four in the Bed, to locate a stockist near you or to order online visit www.fourinthebed.com.au.

Nov 182012
 

This week my gorgeous new Eve of Eden dress arrived and I absolutely love it, it is so nice to see maternity wear that is flattering for your bump and stylish too. It makes you wonder who is behind this label, it must be one very talented lady! I decided to find out and I am excited to introduce you all to her to too, meet the lovely Tania from Eve of Eden:

(By the way make sure you enter the Eve of Eden giveaway for your chance to win the new Emerald One Shoulder Dress, just in time for Christmas!)

What does your ideal Sunday look like?
Out to breakfast at Pony in Neutral Bay as they serve delicious poached Turkish eggs with beans and then catching up with friends at Balmoral Beach. Nothing too hectic or busy is my preference for a Sunday.

Why did you start Eve of Eden?
Crazily enough, I launched it 2 weeks before Ollie was born which was almost 2 years ago now. I’d started planning it while I was a few months pregnant with him as I was working as a designer in the magazine industry where everyone is so fashionably dressed everyday. I couldn’t find anything to wear that was affordable so I started looking at putting together a new maternity label.

Where do you draw your inspiration from for new Eve of Eden designs?
I look mainly to what is happening overseas as they are ahead of us and look at updating current trends to suit maternity wear. I also love the fashion from the TV program New Girl as well as Etsy for inspiration as there are many up and coming designers there with new ideas.

What is (currently) your favourite Eve of Eden design and why?
Probably the pink and navy striped/block dress as it’s something I can imagine Zooey Deschanel from New Girl wearing which is why I designed that dress. The Pink and Navy Striped Maternity Dress ($65) is available in the sizes 8-16, delivery within Australia is free.

What can we expect of Eve of Eden in the future?
I have gone a bit bird crazy for our coming winter collection! We have a bird printed shirt dress coming in as well as a top and dress with a silver bird silhouette printed above the chest. But more than anything, more affordable and stylish maternity clothes.

To find out more about Eve of Eden, to browse the range and to order online visit www.maternitysale.com.au.

Nov 042012
 

Every time I bring my twins to kindy I can’t help but adore those two beautiful children, walking hand in hand like best buddies. They look so gorgeous with their matching Woddlers backpacks and when I offer to carry their backpacks for them they usually say no because they love them so much. We always get lots of compliments about their backpacks so I thought I’d introduce you to the talented mama behind this Australian brand. Meet Meegan in today’s Sunday Coffee:

What does your ideal Sunday look like?
An ideal sunday would be to sleep in, have a great family breakfast at Williamstown with the sun shining, before heading off for a long walk by the beach with the children and a relaxing afternoon in the swimming pool.
In reality that never happens especially with Melbourne’s weather. With a 2 year old, a newborn and 2 businesses our house is more organised chaos on a Sunday. One watches the children while the other takes phone calls and checks emails before we swap roles. It’s not uncommon for us all to get in the car for a “family Sunday drive” but straight to the building sites so my partner can check the status of his work also. We do however love making pancakes for Miss 2 and she in turn loves trying to help pack Woddlers orders.

Why did you start Woddlers?
I had just given birth to Indiana (now 2) and I still wanted a job that was flexible without affecting the running of the home and our family business (www.navbuild.com.au). After noticing I couldnt find shoes for little Miss that were made from non-toxic materials and made with eco manufacturing techniques in mind I decided that building a range and working for myself was the best option. Woddlers was meant to be a small “at the markets” role on the weekends which has quickly turned into a full time job, expanding ranges and a team of staff to assist me.

How did you decide on the name Woddlers?
Now this credit has to go to my brother – Thank you James Cassell! I literally sent him a text with my idea one day and asked that if he had a great name to go with it feel free to pass it along. He is the creative one when it comes to unique, different ideas and I’m sure he now wants legal rights to say this name is his (laughs) Actually it was all his contacts that made Woddlers the sucessful brand it is today. From my website designer, to my cartoonist, to the unique name- my brother has been an amazing support and Im grateful to have had his input.

What is (currently) your favourite Woddlers design and why?
I love the newest addition to the Woddlers backpacks collection- Pretty Bird!! It is available in the Toddler backpack, Lunchbox and the Big Kinder Backpack I love the colours – not all little girls love pink and I wanted to make something a little different yet still girly, I think Pretty Bird hits that mark. If I had to choose a boy style then Cheeky Monkey would win, his neutral colours have been a great gift to all our family and friends with children.

What can we expect of Woddlers in the near future?
Woddlers is expanding rapidly. We recently introduced 4 new backpacks and lunchboxes to the range plus a New Big Kinder backpack style.
We have new suitcases launching next year, along with drink bottles, neck pillows and more Big Kinder backpacks colours. The range has been embraced really well by mums and little ones across Australia. I think this is partly due to the fact Woddlers has a unique look compared to others on the market. We also ensure our backpacks and lunchboxes are PVC free, Lead safe and made with the environment in mind which is a great bonus to mums buying gifts for their children.

To find out more about Woddlers, to browse the range and to order online visit www.woddlers.com.au.