What does every mother need to get through some of the most trying stages of motherhood?
I think a mother needs to take time for herself and have other interests. For me, that’s my businesses, In House Concepts and Tiger & Coco. I get so much satisfaction from working and contributing in a business environment.
Can you tell us about your childhood?
I was born and bred in Melbourne. One of four children, I have two brothers (Mark and Nicholas) and a sister (Annabelle). My mum and dad gave us a very happy childhood all together as a family. When I think of my childhood the first thing that comes to mind is the court we lived in. We were surrounded by other children and families who are still close family friends to this day. We spent most of our time outside having the time of our lives together. We learnt a lot by making our own fun. Water fights, bike riding, Halloween, Christmas mornings, knick knocking, mud pies, running from house to house, swimming, dogs, rabbits, fish ponds, turtles, court parties, you name we did it. These are some of my most precious memories. We have a beach house on the Mornington Peninsula and have spent many happy summers down there. We spent endless days on the beach exploring, playing, boating, swimming, we had surf skis and would spend hours on the water paddling between piers. After a long day on the water, everyone would moor their boats together and fish and chips would be on the menu. I loved school, however more so for the friendships, I made rather than the grades I got. I have made lifelong friends from school and have experienced so much with them during and especially after our school days finished. From travelling, skiing, holidaying, business opportunities, weddings, babies and always supporting each other in the highs and lows. I have always been very close to my three siblings and it is now a joy seeing all the cousins growing up together and watching them experience similar opportunities we had growing up. Tiger, Axel, Oscar, India, Pearl, Araminta and Boston are all my favourite little humans!
Where did your love of interiors begin?
I have always had a general love of design both in fashion and interiors. I have always been artistically focused. My love of interiors really developed through my mum while growing up and the love continued to become stronger and evolved as I got older. As the old saying goes, you are a product of your environment and I seem to be a perfect example of this.
Talk us through your career path…
Selling something I have either created or are passionate about has always given me an enormous buzz. My career path has seen me go from a creative folio building course to owning and running three businesses thus far. What I have found is I learn so much from the actual experiences I have had rather than sitting in a classroom. As university did not appeal to me and with a creative background I jumped straight into owning my first business (in fashion) a few years out of school and have not looked back.
Did your mother influence your career/work ethic?
My mum owned a children’s fashion label called Giggles when she was younger, so I suppose you could say she did influence my career. She has an incredible eye and is a very creative and talented person which I know is what sparked my interest in being creative at a young age. She was a stay at home mum and looked after the four children with an endless amount of love and a huge amount of fun. She is an extraordinary mother and a day never goes by without a phone call offering to help me in some way (especially with the kids). I have often heard her say over the years that she has the most important job which is raising her four children and she has always been proud of that, and so she should be. She influences me every day to be the best mother I can be.
What do you recall about launching your interior business In House Concepts?
It was actually my sister Annabelle that came to me with the idea. The two of us previously had built a fashion label together called Sisnme. We started the business from decorating Bonds singlets in our bedrooms to becoming a sizeable business stocking to over 70 stores in Australia (including Myer) and expanding to stockists in Hong Kong. Sisnme also did a range for Sportsgirl that was stocked Australia wide. We regularly participated in Melbourne and Sydney fashion weeks including runway shows that allowed us to really let loose with our creativity. We were then approached by someone to buy our business and we decided to sell after running it for six years as we were still young and wanted to travel and see the world and have the opportunity to try new things. So when Annabelle came to me about starting In House Concepts I knew it was always an area I wanted to get involved in. The idea was exciting and having successfully worked together before it took me no time to jump on board. When we started our business Annabelle was living in Melbourne. She has now lived in Hong Kong for the last seven years which has given us the opportunity to expand the business overseas and she has experienced some fabulous projects with people from all over the world.