We’re always asking women for their time management tips. How exactly do the talented women behind successful businesses do it? How do they fit it all in? It's simple: being organised and prioritising what's important to them. This week for another of our ‘Keeping Time’ series, we caught up with mother of two Samantha Hobbelen. She's the woman behind Hobbe, a collection of beautiful rocking chairs and ottomans for the nursery and home…
Photography: Aimee Thompson Styling: Megan Morton Words: Georgia Macmillan
Can you tell us about your background and why you started Hobbe?
I am a clinical dietitian by trade, however I started a successful furniture hire company in Queensland several years ago, which I have since sold. I am an entrepreneur and mother of two young boys, Hugo and Harvey aged 21 months and 4 months. I began the concept for Hobbe when Hugo was two weeks old when I was up in the middle of the night feeding. I wanted to create chairs that memories are made in, whether it be feeding, reading or resting. Hobbe rocking chairs are not only practical for nurseries, but can be easily transitioned into children’s rooms as a reading chair or as a statement piece to create a haven in a bedroom or living room.
What are your tips for keeping the household running on time?
The key to keeping our household running on time is planning and organisation. I try and get as much done early in the morning before the boys (including my husband) wake up. This usually includes putting at least one load of washing on, getting everyone’s breakfasts sorted, having a shower and getting myself sorted for the day. If I manage to get some emails sent before 7:30am, then that is a bonus and a great way for me to feel slightly sorted before the day really starts!
Do you work to a tight schedule?
If I have meetings and appointments, then yes, I definitely work to a tight schedule as the work still needs to get done and I’m a stickler for being early/on time so being late just isn’t an option. On the days though that I don’t have meetings and I’m not in the office, I am pretty relaxed and love spending time at home with the boys. Every now and then on our ‘home days’ or if our eldest, Hugo isn’t feeling well, I just keep him in his PJs. Those kinds of days usually involve lots of cuddles and stories.
What do you do personally to make the day easier juggling motherhood and full time work?
For me personally, getting the most out of the day is all about efficiency. I get as much done early in the mornings before anyone wakes up and then at afternoon nap time, it’s a couple of hours of power. I’m back in the office after putting the boys to bed and having some time with my husband. One thing that makes the work days easier to juggle is remaining highly motivated, so on Sundays, it’s a no work, no phone, social media free day (well, until Sunday night usually!). That precious time spent with family allows me to just ‘be’ with them and be present and also reminds me why it is that I chose to be a Mum as well as run a business. It’s all for them.
Do the children help out?
Our eldest son, Hugo, is 22 months old and he has started to ‘help out’, however sometimes by him helping out, the job or task takes twice as long! His favourite jobs at the moment are unpacking the plastic items out of the dishwasher, passing me the pegs when hanging washing and now helping me change his newborn brother, Harvey. I think it’s important for our children to be involved in the day-to-day household activities as they are definitely going to be expected to help out as they get older!
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the juggling act?
Of course, I think it’s only a natural human response to feel overwhelmed at times. Some days I feel like I’ve nailed the juggling act and others are a write off and that is okay too. Being a Mum and also running our company are both large undertakings, so putting them together definitely comes with its challenges, but also great rewards. Working from home allows me the freedom to be with my boys and that is the greatest reward of all. Go to www.hobbe.com.au