Photography: Amelia Fullarton Words: Georgie Abay
We start our mornings the same most days. A walk and coffee, followed by the beach and local pool. We are so spoilt here and have such a great little circle of friends. We tend to all meet in the morning and then from 12pm onwards, I try to allocate to work, says Emma McClean, the Byron Bay based founder of childrens fashion label Children Of The Tribe and mother to Willow, 2, and Coco, 4 months. McClean started her business while she was on maternity leave with Willow. Two years later and her bohemian-style label is stocked around the world and has expanded into homewares. I have always been creative, but the idea of starting a childrens clothing label was just a small idea/hobby. On a family holiday to Bali, my idea started to become a reality. Just under two years later, here we are. A strong background in sales and a supportive network of local talent has helped Children Of The Tribe get to where it is today. Despite her label’s success, her priority is her family. Before motherhood, I was always in a rush to do things, she reflects. Living life in the fast lane and trying to achieve too much in one day, but being a mum has made me appreciate everyday for what it is. No longer can I live life on my own schedule, instead Im making sure my childrens needs are met first. We visited McClean at her beautiful Byron Bay home to find out more
Do you believe babies are happier with structure?
Everybody is different but for me, I need structure. Having my partner Steve away for such long periods, I need a routine. Willow knows each morning we begin with a walk. I would always run with the pram but now having Coco in the Ergo, we walk. Then theres afternoon rest time and evening stories.
What is your advice to first time mothers?
Follow your instinct, your heart knows best, don’t rely on Google to solve your worries such as why isn’t bub sleeping through the night. To do the best you can each day. Slow down and embrace it as those first few months come and go too quickly.
What inspires Children Of The Tribe?
Different tribes and our travels. The town we live in, Byron Bay, thrives with creativity and good vibes from all over the world. I feel most creative when outdoors. Seasons and colours tend to draw me in.
Can you tell us about your new spring/summer 15 collection?
Cactus Grounds, Fauna & Flora’, Desert Sounds and Birds Fly High are a few style names from our current summer range. It represents a warm summer with magical sunsets, dry grounds, flora, fauna, birds roaming and little ones continuously exploring what Mother Nature has to offer us all. Flowing, natural fabrics and simple design all come together creating our new collection.
Whats your philosophy when it comes to dressing children?
My children are always comfortable and wear simple clothes. They dont know or care about fashion, so Willows little wardrobe is full of cute things, she can pick and choose. Nine times out of ten, she doesnt match or she wears the same outfit for a week!
What are your summer fashion essentials?
I live in dresses, bathers and hats. This summer, my essentials are Fallen Broken Street Hat, Karen Walker Sunglasses, my Children Of The Tribe swimming Bag (of course) as we spend every morning at the beach/pool and my Zulu & Zephyr swimming costume. I don’t think my style has changed since becoming a mother, however I do feel I have less time to get ready or think about what Im going to wear, so my wardrobe only has pieces I love, so I know whatever I put on, I feel great and ready for the day ahead.
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