Given Emma Hawkins’ most vivid memories of her childhood are of country life riding horses and just getting up to mischief with her siblings, it’s no surprise she’s gone on to create a wholesome life in the country with her own family...
The highs? “The space, air, stars, animals and privacy.” While the lows include running on rainwater and tank gas, meaning, “when we run out… we run out!”.
A mother of two girls – Arabella and Primrose – and wife of Geelong Cats star Tom Hawkins, Hawkins launched a childrenswear brand called Homegrown last year. Inspired by her own childhood, which was spent in easy-to-wear clothes, she set out to create a brand of comfortable, fuss-free clothes, for ages 1-4 with the single-minded aim of helping kids to do what they do best: have fun and make mischief.
Her new collection, entitled ‘Chapter 3’, features new colours, prints, waffles and designs. And all pieces are made from Australian Cotton. “Supporting Australian suppliers is something that is very important for us at Homegrown. This chapter holds a lot of inspiration from my childhood and the Australian way of life and I am super proud of it,” she says.
Here, we catch up with Hawkins and discover she’s as down-to-earth as she is dynamic, and dedicated to promoting honesty and openness in the motherhood community.
Go to homegrownkids.com.au
Emma with her girls Arabella and Primrose. The new Homegrown collection
Tell us about your childhood – where did you grow up and what are some of your most vivid memories of your childhood?
I grew up in Deniliquin, NSW on a farm outside of town. I rode horses from the age of 3 and competitively up until I finished high school. I loved my childhood and the older I get the more I look back on my childhood with great fondness and happy memories. I have three siblings and two wonderful parents. My most vivid memories are on the horses with my sister, getting up to mischief with my brothers, and all the antics I had with my siblings and friends on the local school bus.
Tell us the story behind your home. When did you move to the country and tell us about life on the farm – what are the highs and lows of living on a farm?
We were originally looking at a property across the road from the house we are in now. We heard this was going on the market, so we had a look at the unrenovated house sitting alone in a paddock. We fell in love with the views and have been working on it ever since. We are lucky in Geelong, you have the option to live regionally, coastal or in town. We decided to live regionally as Tom is a keen farmer and we both prefer the privacy and space that you inherit on a farm. We are only ten minutes out of town; however, it feels like we are miles away at times in a good way. The highs for me are definitely the space, air, stars, animals, and privacy. For the lows, we run on rainwater and tank gas – so when we run out… we run out!
Can you share your motherhood journey – what were the ups and downs?
I’ve loved my journey so far and feel so lucky to have two healthy girls. I found when the girls were 0 – 1 years old the hardest. I lost myself a little bit after I had Arabella with my identity and the pressure, I put on myself. 1-2 years old has been so enjoyable for us – I am so much more confident and content and know what is best for my family, which may be different to others and that’s absolutely OK.
Being in the public eye, did you feel added pressure after becoming a mother? You’ve spoken openly about the body-shaming you experienced after welcoming her second daughter in March 2019 – how did you deal with this?
I think there is an element of added pressure to an extent. However, it also comes down to how you feel in yourself. I’ve always been body confident. However, my body changed SO much after my two children and everyone else around me seemed to not change, so I just assumed it was only me. Even though I knew that wasn’t the case. I am very good at staying in my lane – if I mentally feel good, I physically feel good too. That’s the most important thing for me now.
How do you personally approach the post-partum period – how do you look after yourself in this period?
To be honest, both my pregnancies were so tough on my body. My post-partum experience was a breeze! I feel amazing compared to how I felt pregnant. However, I certainly don’t put any added pressure on my body. It’s already been through hell and back for nine months… twice!