The Tale of Fiona Kowalski - The Grace Tales

The Tale of Fiona Kowalski


Photography: Julie Adams Make-up: Regina Gao Words: Georgie Abay

“Printebebe was and still is inspired by the arrival of my daughter,” says Fiona Kowalski, the talented Bondi-based founder of Printebebe, a beautiful line of printed children’s clothing and mother to three-year-old Gidget. “Before I had her and realised how messy babies were, I thought she would wear head-to-toe white. Always. Then reality came along and Printebebe was born.” The concept was simple: “basic pieces in gorgeous prints that all mix and match. It’s fuss free, easy-to-wear and stylish at the same time.” Drawstring skirts, drop waist dresses, pull-up pants, bloomers, sun hats, bibs, among other items, all come in the prettiest of floral prints (or for the boys, camo, check, endek and paisley) in mostly muted hues such as dusty pink, khaki, grey and navy.

It’s no wonder she’s created such a covetable line. With a background in pattern making and design and experience working as a clothing designer, Kowalski then went on to spend many years working as a fashion stylist for magazines such as Vogue Australia and most recently, Madison magazine. After she became a mother, she went back to work part-time for two years at Madison, before deciding to make a change. “I worked in the one career full time for a long time, I think it’s nice to start over and get new perspective,” she reflects. “To do them well, fashion magazines require a lot of travel and after hours functions, and that just wasn’t what I wanted to be doing right now.”

These days, she juggles motherhood with running her children’s line and working as a freelance stylist. “Printebebe is definitely much harder work than I ever imagined, but I have complete flexibility around my time. It’s also so thrilling to see something spring from an idea and actually up and running as a business,” she says. “I think many mothers weigh up the raising of children and the earning of money and get creative about what could possibly happen. Ideally, I would like to be in a situation that when Gidget starts school, I can work school hours and be there for drop off and pick up. I realise this is a lot of working mother's dream, and the only way I could see that happening was by doing something on my own.”



Time out is spent at Sydney’s Bondi beach with her daughter (who is always perfectly dressed in Printebebe) and husband. Luckily, her home is located opposite one of the world's most famous beaches. “The style of our home is Hawaii meets Bondi … we have a small apartment, but living across the road from the beach makes up for the lack of space. Beautiful beach out the front, great cafés nearby and a village like atmosphere makes living in Bondi brilliant.”

Fiona’s little list of loves:
Daylight savings and late afternoon beach sessions mid week with the three of us.
Our morning coffee/babycino ritual at Porch in Bondi.
Green smoothies. I am late to the game but loving them right now.
A dip in the ocean, everyday.
The six waves I caught last week, getting on the surfboard again is on my must-do list.
New Pom d'Api boots that just arrived for Gidget.
The Picture Postie app. I am slightly obsessed with having all my Instagram pictures printed.
Long evenings where we can have a wine and cheeseboard at Porch and still be home before Gidget’s bedtime.
Mona Vale beach on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We have always gone to Avalon or Whale Beach most weekends, but Mona Vale has some great beach cafés and a scooter track, it’s also not quite as far to drive to from Bondi.”



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