Careers

When London-based Laura Roso Vidrequin - a senior buyer at Harvey Nichols and mother to baby boy Albert – became a mother for the first time, she noticed that while there were changes in the adult market, the circular economy for children's garments remained largely the same...

She also noticed that second-hand clothes had been deemed as "dirty" for a long time. "Consumers are used to associating second-hand with thrift shops, that are not always taken care of and are often full of old, discarded items that have not been cleaned or organized," she says. It inspired her to launch Kids Oclock, a fashion resale platform where you'll find the best of pre-loved for your babies and toddlers (sizes go from newborn to three years old) and where you can sell, rent, or buy clothes. Because as Laura recently posted on her Instagram account @kids_oclock, there is no planet B.

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In a few minutes you can learn a lot from contemporary textile artist Nikita Sheth, namely the importance of quality family time. When she was just two year's old, her family home was burnt down.

Luckily, no one was hurt but it meant she was raised in a home where material possessions came secondary to family dinners and spending quality time with one another. She grew up in a home with "good food and laughs". While it took time for her to embrace her Indian heritage – her dad's family was one of the first Indian (Gujurati) to move from India in the 1950's – she later realised how lucky she was to have it.

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Ask any woman who has been through fertility treatments, and they will likely tell you that the hardest part is the waiting and the unknown...

Which is why any technology that can lessen that emotional load is welcomed with a huge sigh of relief. Case in point? Genea's world-leading IVF technology, which not only includes an embryo incubator (which has been proven to increase the number of high grade embryos created each cycle), but also contains time-lapse cameras, so Genea can capture photos and videos of each embryo as it develops. Sent directly to patients through the Grow by Genea app, it's a welcomed addition to many couples' fertility journey.

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At some stage on a Sunday I like to take a moment to check over my calendar for the coming week and make sure I've got a plan for each of the days. I think about which mornings I can train, what I should wear each day and whether I have meetings for which I need to prepare. I'm not usually one for inspirational sayings but this one rings true for me: "A Sunday well spent brings a week of content"...

Many women with busy lives take a similar approach and when they start to learn about the process involved in fertility treatment, the biggest hurdle they face can be the lack of a set in stone schedule.

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Back in 1996, Amanda Briskin-Rettig founded the legendary Australian accessories brand Mimco. She had $5000 in savings which she used to develop six handbag samples. And then in 2007, 11 years after she launched the brand, she sold it for a reported $45 million. To describe her as extraordinary is an understatement....

The launch of Mimco just so happened to coincide with the birth of her first son, Blake. "I was unpacking the truck with my first delivery of product when I was pregnant at 26," the Melbourne based Briskin-Rettig recalls. "My eldest son has been with me on the journey from starting the business in the very beginning. He joined me on my business trips and meetings – I would have him in a rocker at my feet in my first office."

The confidence to go out on her own, she credits to growing up in an entrepreneurial family. And as for navigating career and motherhood, that's an ongoing journey. But one thing she has learnt is not to seek approval from others. "The biggest adaptation has been working out my own identity as woman, mother, and partner, and keeping that balance so I don't sacrifice myself. Feeling satisfied is really important. I feel it has to be my own satisfaction though and not approval I seek from others. My husband, Andrew, has been the linchpin in helping me to confront these challenges and deal with them head-on."

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The Grace Tales is a global lifestyle platform for mothers searching for style, substance, and solidarity. Driven by creating content, community and connection, we celebrate the paradox of modern motherhood; the struggle and the beauty, the joy and the relentlessness.

"Everyone should have a brand," Lama Perin, owner of Bodibar told me...

"If you have the patience," she cautioned. Two years on, the comment was still stuck in my head. Lama had successfully launched Bodibar, a luxe vegan mud scrub range with her sister and before that co-founded party accessories line Paper Eskimo.

Just like that feeling when you discover a new word and then hear it everywhere, since starting Summer Stories, an all-natural Australian shampoo and conditioner line that leans into our continent's unique botanicals (quandong, kangaroo apple, finger lime and lemon myrtle) – I'm now hyper aware of all the great indie brands in the beauty and personal care space filling my Instagram feed.

Even before starting Summer Stories, I was a fan of Queenslander Ellen Newman who has just one sensational, versatile product, The Great State, a body balm in a reusable turquoise tin. I befriended Molly Dunkle of handmade lipstick brand dunkle authentic at a Brisbane women's events. I've ordered my initials on a matte canister of Maarks lipstick in classic rouge. And I picked up a bright blue tube of Ultra Violette sunscreen to protect my freckles.

I knew the microbrands were coming. I had spent years working in New York City ad agencies and each Fortune 500 client shared a powerpoint that showed their market share being eroded by indie brands. Whether it was beer, soaps or soft drinks, every quarter these household brands lost a percent here, a percent there to artisanal, craft upstarts in amber bottles and hand-lettered labels.

The cost of entry for new brands is not what it was. A Squarespace website can be built in minutes. A Shopify storefront in an afternoon. And it's fascinating to note how many large brands are using off-the-shelf web products. My smoothie supplement order arrives via the Shopify checkout. And those abandoned cart emails used by retailers are automatically generated by a Shopify plug-in that's a $9 a month subscription.

In the past, supermarket brands needed million dollar budgets for television and print campaigns. Social media means you can find your niche audience. And you don't need a football stadium of humans, just the ones who will buy your products and dig what you're trying to do.

The internet also allows an unlimited opportunity for knowledge sharing. In her book Girl Boss Sophia Amoruso says she succeeded in business because she Googled everything. It's how she worked out how to build a mailing list to warehouse economics. She Googled.

Add to this Facebook groups like Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine – where anyone can ask a question and find the right vendor, supplier, wholesaler, connector – anything they want. There's this feeling, perhaps optimism, that the whole world has changed. That it's opened up. That you can do anything. Anyone can have a brand if, as Bodibar's Lama Perin says, you have the patience.

Go to Summer Stories



Naomi Newirth's life sounds like the plot of a film. The setting? Maui, Hawaii. Our heroine? A bikini designer, balancing creating her beautiful swimwear line with raising her two little island boys.

"We are outdoors all the time", she tells us of her idyllic life. "It is so special to see my son grow up on the beaches I grew up on. We are also fortunate to have family close by. We live on a two acre family compound full of fruit trees and vegetable gardens. He runs down to see his ama (grandma) every morning." Naomi's workdays are spent perfecting her collections, which have now expanded beyond swimwear to include resort and children's ranges, and running her flagship store. Time is punctuated by beach sunsets, horseback riding, and homemade veggie juices.

But before this all becomes too perfectly cinematic – even in paradise, the work/life balance conflict cannot be escaped. Acacia, the sustainable swimwear line Naomi began working on in high school, opened their first flagship store just two days after she gave birth to her second child. "It was so difficult, because I was so sick with hyperemesis gravidarum", she recalls. "There was so much I wanted to do, but just could not at the time with how severe my sickness was."

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