I met Stacey through Angela, owner of Beautorium - House of Beauty, who we interviewed last week for the blog, and we hit it off straight away. Stacey is so warm, easy to talk to, and just one of those cool mums who is very interested in entrepreneurship and trendsetting.
After meeting with her over coffee, she invited me to her Spring Collection photo shoot where if you follow us on Instagram, probably saw how much fun it was to be a part of. The bubs were adorable and tiny toddlers were energetic and playful- it was a day that definitely kept me on my toes!
Overall, it was incredible to see Frankie & Taj’s new line come together behind the scenes and hang out with the kids while checking out the new limited edition prints and expanding age range Frankie & Taj is stepping into it. It’s all very exciting for both Frankie & Taj and Mini because we love supporting local Brisbane businesses and seeing mums in action!
How did you begin Frankie & Taj and what is the biggest inspiration for your business?
I worked fly-in-fly-out for oil and gas in Western Australia, and I knew always wanted to start a business, but I never had the confidence to.
I’m inspired by my son, Taj and my early experiences of motherhood. The idea struck me the early newborn days when I had trouble settling him, baby wraps really helped. I wanted to shop for more, but when I was looking around Brisbane and Australia, I couldn’t find any baby wraps that were of good quality or suited my style. Everything looked the same, kind of “babyish,” and I wanted something unique, trendy, and of quality that held its shape after the first wash.
What’s the philosophy behind Frankie + Taj?
I’ve always enjoyed being asked, “Where did you get that from?” I love unique pieces, finding them really excites me, and I think my ideal mum is a trendsetter who gets excited about it as much as I do.
All my collections are inspired by my childhood and I work with our amazing graphic designer, Ellie Whittaker out of the Gold Coast who specialises in textiles to create these quirky patterns inspired by childhood nostalgia printed on sustainable organic cotton.
What is the day in the life of Stacey like lately?
My fiancee is fly-in-fly-out. Right now he’s working 2 weeks away and my son is 15 months old. The early bird catches the worm! I start my morning at 2 or 3 am to get my work done for Frankie + Taj- answering emails from factories, designers, and general admin.
My son wakes up around 6 am and I want to be present around Taj while working from home, so from 6 am till he goes down for a nap around lunch is quality time. During that time, I get whatever else I need to do around home done, and after that, Taj goes down to bed at 7 pm and I can complete the rest of my work with Frankie + Taj.
It’s a total misconception that working from home gives you more time! I work just as hard as if I were working out of home, and maybe even more so because I’m constantly juggling tasks throughout the day.
What are your and Taj’s favourite activities?
We go to the gym every morning. There’s a playground there and he loves it!
I moved to Australia from New Zealand when I was 18 years old and before we had Taj, my fiance and I were avid travellers. We’ve travelled through South East Asia and Europe. We’re going to take Taj to Bali and see how he goes on that trip, but we would love to travel more as a family and visit the Frankie + Taj factories.
What do you think is essential in maintaining a balanced work-life relationship?
Finding that balance is something I’m still learning, and it gives me purpose. I’ve always kept busy because I love to achieve, but I think that work-life balance will come when Taj starts kindy.
I have an auntie that lives down the road from us. She’s been such a blessing to have in my life, especially in the first 12 months while I was learning to be a mum. It’s scary. We’re lucky to have lots of friends offer to look after Taj as well. It all helps.
Do you have a soundtrack to your life at the moment?
I’m throwing it back to the old school. My current playlist has Fleetwood Mac, Dire Straights, and the Eagles.
What do you find are really helpful tools, resources, books, podcasts, etc… that have helped you in building your business?
I had a really great mentor when I was working fly-in-fly-out in oil and gas. I never had the confidence of putting myself out there to do my own thing, but I learned to build the confidence after managing a 120-staff shift daily.
My mentor groomed us well in that role and he opened my eyes to what else was possible for me to pursue. It was the first time I had someone who wasn’t family believe in me and taught me everything I needed to know to pursue my passion.
I now work with a business coach because I felt like I needed more direction and guidance and it’s been great so far.
Do you have a favourite entrepreneurial moment?
I was a guest on the Mums with Hustle podcast this year. It didn’t hit me until Tracey (the host) and I were speaking that I thought, “Oh my gosh, people are going to listen to this!”
But it felt really great to share my story with other mums and have my experiences resonate with them. I think we don’t really appreciate our own stories. Our generation is busy looking forward to where we want to be, but we don’t take enough time to look back and appreciate what we’ve done. It’s something I’d like to do more of, and being on Tracey’s podcast and talking to other mums really reminded me to reflect.
Where would you like to see Frankie + Taj in the next couple years?
Frankie + Taj’s a clothing line for 0-2 year-olds, but I’m currently getting into older kids’ clothing, and launching our 2017 Spring Collection! I would love to get into matching clothing for mum & bub and dad & bub and a shoe collection.
I love the direction we’re currently headed in now- wholesale growing and building up the brand to be more than just a website to buy clothing.
Do you have any advice for new business owners?
Don’t think about it- just do it! When you just jump into it, you don’t have time to psych yourself out. You won’t know what the risks are until you have to cross that obstacle, and we need to make mistakes to learn.
What about advice for new mums?
Listen to your body, slow down, and focus on you and your baby. Don’t try to be the person you were previously. Your hormones can really affect you, so pay attention to how you’re feeling.
Stop trying to live up to the “expectation” of being the perfect mum, because there is no perfect mum.
Motherhood is hard, but we’ve been so lucky to have my fiancee’s parents around to help me with Taj in the first 6 months. Looking back now, I should have let them help me more. It’s a lot of work and I had a lot to learn, so take help when you can!