1. Are you a Maker, Creator, Mover or Shaker?
My passion is to create…. I worked in the design department of Collette Dinnigan for 16 years across pattern making and product development and design. I just love the creative process of making timeless beautiful things, especially for children.
2. How did your business start?
When my daughter Chloe was born in 2009 I made her a little scalloped playmat that my friends and family adored. I loved the practicality of it and took it absolutely everywhere to keep her off the floor! I didn’t realize it at the time but 5 years later this became the signature quilt design for our bedding collection.
In 2014 I reached a pivotal point in my career, we knew that we would only have one child, I wanted to do something for myself and to be there for my daughter.
Having a little girl and being so passionate about creating beautiful nursery homewares and dresses it made perfect sense to launch Bonne Mère.
3. Tell us a little bit about what makes Bonne Mere unique. What keeps customers coming back?
Bonne Mère, meaning ‘Good Mother’ in French is everything we stand for.
A celebration of becoming a mother and to create a feeling of fun, love, beauty and grace in all the products we design. When I started working in Fashion (many years ago!) it was all about the details and producing high quality products and by the end of my career the industry started cutting corners and focusing on price points …….The magic had gone…
I made a conscious decision to build a brand based on timeless style, quality and value.
4. What is the best part about running a small business/your own business?
For me it is the opportunity to spend time with my daughter and to watch her grow up.
I really do love the flexibility to manage my own time to fit around her schedule.
It has given me the opportunity to balance work and family life, which I am very grateful for.
I have also formed some wonderful friendships and had the opportunity to work with some amazing people. Bonne Mere’s success to date has been built on the love and support of so many good friends and customers who have supported Bonne Mère. I wouldn’t be here without them…
There is definitely a sense of pride owning your own business and I feel very fortunate to be able to make a living doing what I love.
5. What is the biggest challenge you face with running a small business/your own business?
For me it is time. You wear so many hats and take on many different roles in order to run a small business. …. from tax to accounting, freight and sales to ordering new stock, logistics and design.
Small businesses are dynamic, living entities and I am always learning. It is an amazing challenge especially with how quickly the business continues to grow. I am very grateful for the opportunity, and no two days are ever the same.
6. Who or what inspires you?
I draw inspiration from the mothers around me and the love they have for their children.
Someone special is Peta Murchison whose beautiful daughter has been sadly diagnosed with Battens disease. Her inner strength, the love she has for her children and family, the grace she shows in the public spotlight while raising awareness of the disease… is truly courageous and inspirational.
These woman of grace, style, who show acts of kindness inspire me to create beautiful, timeless, high quality pieces that mothers can pass down as family heirlooms.
7. What lessons have you learnt over the year?
The most powerful lesson for me this year is the power of giving and kindness. To help others and invest in relationships with your partners, customers and suppliers. I am very fortunate to have an amazing community of customers, suppliers, family and friends who are always there for me. They give their time, their love and support in so many little ways that it is very humbling.
8. Where to next for your business?
We will continue to develop classic, timeless clothing and bedding collections and are planning to grow the business locally and explore overseas export opportunities.
9. What did you want to be when you grew up?
My mother was a lover of hand made things so I leant to sew at very young age. I was always creative and when I turned 16 I decided that I wanted to be a pattern maker and work in the fashion industry. I was lucky enough to know exactly what I wanted to do in life at a very early age and love the career path I've followed.
10. Tea or Coffee?
One coffee daily …. occasional tea …… both with milk , no sugar !
11. Favourite holiday destination?
I am a foodie and I love to travel …. a tropical island is my ultimate escape
My top 5 holidays would be the Maldives, Panarea (Aeolian island Italy), Surin beach (Thailand), Fiji and sailing around the islands of Croatia!
12. Who is your favourite girl boss and why?
Vicki Wood who is the creator of Unclebearskin Productions is so inspirational. An amazing woman whose dreams and aspirations were… motherhood and to be a mother.
Vicki is a creative master, story teller, a mother to 5 children and a loving grandmother. She has been a friend, an inspiration and a mentor to me in building Bonne Mere. I could not thank her enough for her kindness, time, support and friendship.