Browsed by
Category: Local Legend

Local Legend: Sam from The Empathy Gift Co

Local Legend: Sam from The Empathy Gift Co

Tonight’s post is one that is very close to my heart. For those of you who know me either online and real life, you’d know that this last year has been, by far, the hardest of both my and my family’s life. Last August we lost our beautiful Dad, very suddenly. Only three months earlier we also lost our beloved Nanna. Grief beyond words to describe the void that has been left. It’s been a very hard year. One that we’ve almost come through. Nine months later we are doing ok. We have our moments. Sometimes we laugh, and other times we just cry, still in disbelief that he is not here. One thing that has kept us going is our support network. A close yet far reaching net of family and friends who have gone above and beyond to make each of us feel loved, and not left behind. I’ve often spoken with my friends about the sense of helplessness they felt at the time. What could they do? My Mum’s home quickly grew into what can only be described as a florist. Something that gave us great strength knowing how much people cared for us. However there were many, many people who felt at a loss as to what to give us. There are only so many flowers that fit into vases. Only so much room in the freezer for meals. Whilst these things are (I can tell you) very much appreciated, there are also alternatives that can a bring a smile to someone’s face who is facing the hardest time of their life. Whether it be a death, a divorce, a sickness, break up, mental health issue or hard time.

A great family friend who had also recently lost her Father, and not too long ago, her brother decided to do something to help people, help others in such times. Sam Lehmann developed The Empathy Gift Co. Gifts to give those who need something to help them through. Her vast array of pre made hampers that include books, candles, creams and an amazing range of other unique products. Stemming from her own experience, Sam wanted to make it easier for others to help others. To help give them something different. I’ve benefited myself from her own forethought, and am very proud to promote her business to you. One day, you may be searching for something to help someone get through their darkest time. Sometimes it’s not about sympathy, it’s about Empathy.

Here are a sample of her gift boxes below:

Those who are dealing with sickness…
or a break up…
a hard time…
or an incredible loss..

*Tell us about your business: your idea, your dream….

I have always loved giving gifts and I think I’m a good gift giver, I feel I take a lot of time and effort to choose something right for my friends and family and loving seeing their reactions when they see what I have picked for them. Having experienced two major losses in my life, my gorgeous brother when he was 35 and most recently my darling dad  I have gone through some pretty intense feeling of grief and loss. I received a lot of flowers after both deaths and although I appreciate the sentiments I feel there are other items that could bring more comfort like books, candles, pampering products and keepsake gifts. I have also had issues with anxiety and depression over the years, more so anxiety. The symptoms I’ve experienced have been pretty traumatic at times, I have a deep empathy for people who suffer from mental illness, you are completely vulnerable, frightened and don’t feel your self it can be debilitating.

I feel  that knowing this I could offer gifts to those not knowing how to support someone with mental illness, People who have never suffered don’t know what to do or say and I think we offer suitable products that communicate love and support to someone struggling. I decided that I wanted to create a business that could really help people support others with gifts that were helpful in many difficult situations like grief, emotional distress, cancer, divorce or becoming a new parent.

I would love The Empathy Gift Co to be the type of online business that people go to because they know they are going to be able to communicate their support and kindness in a helpful and long lasting way. If they struggle with choosing gifts we can help you with our Pre-made Gift Boxes, some people actually do nothing when someone they love is facing challenges because they are not sure what to buy or how to help, most of the time the person suffering just needs to know that someone genuinely cares about them and we like to think we can really help do that with our beautiful Products and empathy cards.

*Magic: What is the most magical thing that has happened so far?

I have owned and managed 3 other businesses, fashion retail boutiques, two women’s boutiques and a baby/kids concept store, I was lucky enough to sell all three. I would have to say the most magical thing that has happened to me as a business owner is not the financial success I have had, I would have to say its the people I have met and connected with, the stories I’ve been told , the support I have received and the satisfaction I have got from helping people, helping them feel good about themselves, I love that more than anything. I have learnt a lot about what’s really important in life, its certainly not money or being a successful business person, its the people you love and care about and if you do something you love and are passionate about the financial success will come anyway, be true to your self and don’t ever forget the people, the relationships, helping others, having integrity and sticking with your values., these are what will make you successful in life!

 *Mayhem: What has been your greatest challenge?

My greatest Challenge would probably be this new business as I am used to having the face to face interaction in my stores. Having an online business and not being able to talk to everyone that visits my site is just something I will need to get used to. I really want to be able to make this shopping experience easy for people so even though I don’t get to meet them all in person I hope when they visit the website and read my story they get a pretty good idea of the type of business and person they are buying from.

*Milestone: What have you been most proud of?

My greatest achievement is not any of my business’ , its raising my 2 beautiful caring, kind and loving daughters. It hasn’t been easy and at times very stressful but they both make me so proud to be their mum. Being a mum has been my greatest challenge but also the most rewarding. Finding work/life balance is I believe a challenge for all mums, we want to be there for our children always but at the same time we feel the pressure to contribute financially and be an independent woman. We wear a lot of hats because we just want to get it right, but I don’t think any of us ever get it right, we just do our best, we make mistakes and mess up but all we ever want for our kids is to feel loved, accepted and be happy. We just want them to grow into capable, loving, resilient and  kind adults well that’s all I want for my girls.

*Pay it forward: who or what do you admire?

I source items for my business all the time I want to make mention  the amazing artisan creators out there, the skincare, body products, candle makers, crafters and cooking creators, these small business do awesome stuff and I am keen to support as many as possible rather than the big brands. When you visit markets and festivals support these people they put so much love into what they do and deserve to do so well.

Sam also has an amazing range of cards to say words that are often hard to say. From one person who has experienced loss and found it hard to get through, these gifts would be a tremendous help. Just knowing that you have someone in your life who cares enough, is enough.

Head to https://www.theempathygiftco.com.au

Local Legend: Issy from Seriously Milestones

Local Legend: Issy from Seriously Milestones

Motherhood. Magic, Mayhem, Milestones. Some milestones are well known – first steps, first tooth, first sleep through the night. Then there are the milestones that we all love or hate, that never seem to be ‘celebrated’. Stuff like picking your nose for the first time, throwing your first real tantrum and becoming a threenager. I’ve adored milestone cards for many years as a way to help parents snap and document the incredible moments of joy with their children. However Seriously Milestone Cards takes these events to a new level. Recently my son Hudson turned three, and if you’ve been following along for long enough, you’ll know that some of his milestones have been the result of magical mayhem. Sleep has been an incredible huge challenge in our household, and the first night he slept through the night, I could have shouted it from the roof tops. With Seriously Milestone cards – the Toddler Edit – you can do just that. Issy Ker has developed what is simply the best set of cards to help us all laugh and cherish the times that make us all laugh. Sure, she’s got the set of baby cards as well, but when I was asked to recently test out the toddler edit, I was in love.

Here is a sample of what you can get in this fantastic, real pack!!! Seriously real moments. Seriously real milestones.

Simply Milestone Cards

Simply Milestone Cards

Simply Milestone Cards

Simply Milestone Cards

Simply Milestone Cards

Simply Milestone Cards

Awesome hey!! Issy is a Mum from Bendigo. Let’s hear all about this local legend, and how Seriously Milestones came to be!

1.Tell us a bit about your business, your dream, your story

Seriously Milestones was a total piss-take! My husband and I always talk about ways to make millions of dollars and not have to ‘work’ – this was one of those ideas and it just wouldn’t go away so I decided to run with it. Once I realised that it was actually going to happen, I put a lot of time and effort into making it the best product I could –ensuring the product and packing was all sourced locally and as ecofriendly as possible. Plus I wanted to donate to relevant organisations right from the start, and in less than a year I’ve raised 2K and taken on a sponsor child, which is definitely a highlight.

2. Magic: What is the most magical thing that has happened to you as a small business owner?

Having people believe in my product right from the start. My goal was to have 10 stockists signed up before I launched, which I achieved thanks to some amazing stores who could see my vision. And I say my vision because most of them were on board before I even had a physical product produced. It still blows me away.

3. Mayhem: What has been your greatest challenge, moment of mayhem?

Everyday is mayhem at my house! Honestly! I don’t have an ‘office space’ as such, well, I do, but there is no door…and with 2 crazy kids running around, it can be tough.

I’m super lucky that they are both good sleepers though and get to bed at a decent hour, and my husband works from home too so he can help me wrangle them while I do things if I really need him too.

Actual work challenges are that of most small businesses, the fact that I’d probably earn a better income from stacking shelves at Coles – but at the end of the day it’s about adjusting to the challenges so you can do what you love and what works for your family.

4. Milestone: What has been your greatest achievement, milestone?

There are SO many!

From things mentioned above like getting my first 10 stockist and raising money for charity, to being nominated for business awards and sending products overseas – I feel really lucky that the business is going so well in its first year and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future brings.

5. Pay it Forward: Who do you love? What small business are you lusting over right now?

This question is hard because I live for small businesses and the people who support them too! If I had to say just one right now, it would be @hello_zef because I just picked up a pair of Suzie’s shoes last week and they are to die for! Plus I am in awe of her ability to run this business, plus work another job, all while looking after her son – she is a legend and still totally chilled out!

 

That’s why they call them the terrible two’s

So if you are after something REAL to give to yourself or a friend, then head on over to SERIOUSLY MILESTONES and grab a pack today!

 

Local Legend: Tamara from Nit Clips

Local Legend: Tamara from Nit Clips

Nits. Nothing worse. As a child, I had them. Several times. Living in a household of four kids under six years old meant that if one got it, we all got it. So much so that my Mum actually became a ‘nit nurse’ for a period of time, travelling to schools, checking hair and letting parents know if the dreaded lice or nits had called their child’s head home. I vividly remember having my hair doused in KP24 (think strong chemical shampoo) and lay on Mums bed, face down on a towel as Mum combed my hair and picked each one out. As a child it drove me nuts. I cannot even imagine how my Mum stayed sane!

Lucky enough, we’ve been able to elude the dreaded nit in the Korber household so far. I regularly check around Ella’s hair line (Mum taught me that this is the first place the lice lay their eggs), but to my delight, so far we’ve remained a nit free household. In part, it’s been due to an amazing product that I came across earlier this year – Nit Clips. A simple idea where you apply a couple of drops of tea tree oil (included in the kit)  to a specially crafted hair clip that Ella wears in her hair each day. What makes them even better is the clips come in bright and funky colours, and are able to be used time and time again.

I approached Tamara, Nit Clips owner to ask her about how her business came to be. A local Mum, Tamara saw the need to create a product that could not only serve the purpose of a regular clip, but also keep homes free from dreaded nits and lice. So let’s meet Tamara and learn a little more about this super cool product.

Nit Clips Nit Clips

1. Tell us a bit about your business, your dream, your story

Life is crazy busy, I am a marketing consultant, wife and mum to two girls in daylight hours who crazily decided to start a new business adventure in the few hours a day that remain. NitClips are a fantastic product I discovered and I just knew they were every mums’ dream come true. A simple, natural solution to keep the lice away that was too good to keep to myself, so I went for it. And the rest (like sleep) is history.

2. Magic: What is the most magical thing that has happened to you as a small business owner?
As a small business owner, each mini milestone has been magical – developing the logo, packaging, website, first sale but the most magical thing has been discovering networks of other working mums, who are all so supportive of each other and generous with their advice.

3. Mayhem: What has been your greatest challenge, moment of mayhem?
Lol, school holidays are always mayhem! The ongoing battle between work and family life, accepting calls from unidentified numbers and risking the shriek of children on the background, trying not to be on the phone and focusing on the kids, using your ½ hour of ‘me’ time to answer emails instead of cooking dinner. Everyday is mayhem when there are so many balls in the air.

4. Milestone: What has been your greatest achievement, milestone?
First online sale from someone who wasn’t family or friends.

5. it Forward: Who do you love? What small business are you lusting over right now?
There are 2 ladies in Sydney who have launched funnily enough a hairclip business. I don’t know them, they just popped into my Instagram feed and I love what they are doing online, offline and the brand they are building @omgitsmisscat check it out. Locally I am loving the @motherhoodmelbourne feed, watching the launch and growth of an amazingly supportive bunch of people. Lusting over artwork at the moment. Watercolours by @stefangevers are at the top of my list.

So head on over to Nit Clips if you’d like more information. Everyone will love them, except the lice!

 

Local Legend: Polly from Piccolo & Peony

Local Legend: Polly from Piccolo & Peony

Flowers. We all love to give them, and squeal with delight when we receive them. Finding a great florist is a little bit like trying to find a great hair dresser. You want great service, great products and great value. They are often hard to find, but when you do, you stick with them for life! If you haven’t already heard about this next little business that I’m sharing as part of my local legends series, then you had better make a cuppa and read on. Last year, I came across Piccolo & Peony as I scrolled through my Instagram feed. The concept was simple. A simple, but oh so beautiful piccolo (bouquet) of flowers created each day. By 9am, they  upload the day’s piccolo on their website as well as Instagram and Facebook page. Orders are taken until 12 noon Melbourne time, or until the piccolos have sold out and deliver them to their recipients in the early afternoon. For a very humble price, they were delivered to the door of your choosing. Delivery was, wait, included! Such a great idea, and one that has taken off! So it’s with great pleasure that today, we share the love and story behind this business as we meet it’s founder, Polly!

(p.s. stay tuned to the end and you can order your own piccolo for a great discount! Just for Happy Ella After readers!)

Here are some of my favourites from their past piccolo offerings!


  1. Tell us a bit about your business, your dream, your story

Piccolo & Peony came about for two very special reasons – the love of freshly cut flowers and the enjoyment I get from showing someone I care.

Piccolo & Peony is owned and operated by Polly, a mother of three and former primary school teacher who has in recent years discovered her love for flowers, interior design and all things pretty!

Piccolo & Peony is a small and unique flower business delivering simple bouquets (piccolos) to the inner suburbs of Melbourne for just $33.

Whatever the occasion – to say thank you, I love you, Happy Birthday, congratulations or just to brighten someone’s day (even if that someone is yourself) we are up early to source the best and freshest seasonal blooms available from wholesale markets and local growers in order to create your unique piccolo.

By 9am, we will upload the day’s piccolo on our website as well as our Instagram and Facebook page and email our newsletter subscribers.

We will take orders until 12 noon  Melbourne time, or until our piccolos have sold out and deliver them to their recipients in the early afternoon.

I dream of being able to share my love of flowers with others and bring joy to the recipients and a wonderful customer experience to the senders.

2. Magic: What is the most magical thing that has happened to you as a small business owner?

I think the most magical thing I have found when starting a small business if the community of other small businesses who support and celebrate your successes, even the really small ones. The encouragement and willingness to offer support has been a really lovely surprise and really validated my decision to start Piccolo & Peony.

Polly and her gorgeous family

 

3. Mayhem: What has been your greatest challenge, moment of mayhem?

As a Mum to three little ones I have at times found the juggle between family life and early morning market runs and the dining room table being full of flowers challenging. My family is extremely supportive and are my biggest cheer squad and I really could not do this without them.

 4. Milestone: What has been your greatest achievement, milestone?

My continued support and following on social media has been so encouraging, however I think the most rewarding thing about Piccolo & Peony is seeing repeat customers use my service to deliver beautiful blooms to their friends and loved ones.

5. Pay it Forward: Who do you love? What small business are you lusting over right now?

I am really loving Pure Home Body @purehomebody at the moment. They sell eco and health friendly home cleaning and body care products.

I also love @cinquecandles – they create my custom made candles – which smell AMAZING. Elisa is very professional and so good at what she does!

This is the incredible piccolo that was delivered to my home last week. So beautiful, and in it’s own vase! So if you’d love to order your own little piccolo today, then you are in luck! Each follower can get 30% off their first order with the code PICCOLOANDPEONY30. It can be used STORE WIDE! Head to www.piccoloandpeony.com.au/ to support this local gem!

Local Legends: My Creative Box

Local Legends: My Creative Box

My Ella who is almost five, could do art and craft all day long. I’ve lost count of how much money I’ve spent at $2 shops on paint, glue, pom poms and the dreaded glitter. As a Primary teacher, I must admit that I’m a partial to a little bit of creativity every now and then, and I love nothing more than creating something from scratch. There is just something about using your hands. About coloured paper. About…the dreaded but oh so captivating glitter. However what do you do when you’ve got no creative bone in your body? Or your little one asks you constantly for ideas on what do do with all the craft ‘stuff” you’ve got in your cupboard? Step in Leanne and Abby, two local Early Childhood Educators who have taken their similar love of craft to the next level, crafting ‘My Creative Box‘.. They have brought ‘easy’ craft to the masses. I can hear Mums sigh with relief everywhere!

Their little project has involved the creation of a monthly subscription box that contains 5 / 6 simple but engaging craft activities. What’s more is that they are themed and tie in with what is happening during that month. Think Christmas, Easter, St Pat’s Day, and next month…Valentines Day. Everything is included. Everything! From instructions, to glue, to pain. Each activity is individually wrapped in a plastic bag. You can do them all at once, or if you are a little bit smart…A couple at a time to make them last.

My Ella had the chance to try out their up and coming February Box, and needless to say she was hooked. She firstly had trouble deciding where to start, and since then has been telling me all day long what she is going to do next. Dead set…this creative box is the best thing ever for kinder kids. You will honestly love it!

MY Creative Box

I was intruiged to head about their story and process of creating this genius idea. So I was lucky enough to sit down with these girls and find out how it all started….

  1. Tell us a bit about your business, your dreams and your story

My Creative Box is a monthly art/craft learning tool, specifically designed for preschool children. Every month we launch a themed box full of 5-6 learning activities that come individually packed with everything you need in them. We provide easy to follow instructions as well as parenting prompts so parents can help teach their child while also helping them build important skills and development.

Our dream is to help parents raise creative, confident individuals. We would love to see a future of children learning through play, art and using their imaginations at home as well as early childhood settings. We wanted to create an easy and convenient way to empower parents to feel like they could take charge of their children’s learning and development at home while spending quality one-one-one time together and having fun too.

My Creative Box was founded by us, two Melbourne mums, Leanne and Abby. We both have backgrounds in Early Childhood Education. As well as being very passionate about Early Childhood Education, we both share an interest in creative arts and know how important the role of art is children’s lives. We love creating fun and engaging learning activities for our children at home, but it is hard work gathering materials for the activities and then storing the excess materials! We thought about how great it would be to have these activities already packed for us with everything we needed in them. This is how the ‘My Creative Box’ idea came to life! A simple idea to bring fun, creativity, learning and development to your door! We know that parents want the best for their children and that’s why we have created a product that is fun, easy to use and convenient for parents while parents also learn how they can further enhance their child’s learning and development.

2. What is the most magical thing that has happened to you as a small business owner?

The most magical thing that has happened on our journey as small business owners so far is the people it has connected us with. We feel so fortunate to have met so many wonderful business owners who have shared their own journeys and experiences with us. Their insights into the business world have been invaluable and we have learnt so much already. The learning has definitely been the most magical part, but we also gain lots of magic from our customers who motivate us every day to keep going when they tell us how much their children are loving their creative boxes and when we see their beautiful smiley faces in photos. That is magical!

3. What has been your greatest challenge, moment or mayhem?

Our greatest challenge so far has definitely been working from home or should I say from 2 homes!!! We also have 5 little human obstacles who are often running mayhem in the background! We LOVE our working environment though and working around our busy families. It gives us such a sense of accomplishment seeing our children involved in our business and sharing their thoughts and ideas. They are also the best motivators in the world! And the bonus, they get to try and test most of our fun, learning activities! Another big challenge is ‘knowing when to stop’. Working from home means there are always unfinished jobs lying around and it can be so hard to resist the temptation to keep working!

4. What has been your greatest achievement, milestone?

Our greatest achievement has definitely been launching products that we are proud of! We put so much time and effort into our products and we are so happy that people are seeing the value in them, selling out our full allocation of December and January boxes with very little advertising. We also gain a great sense of achievement when we get positive feedback, returning customers and people subscribing to our monthly boxes. At Christmas time, we made up some boxes for children at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne for our own children to take in and donate. This was such a beautiful milestone for us, as we see this as the first of many more opportunities to give back to the community in the future!

 5. Pay it forward- what small business are you lusting over right now?

We actually have 2 small businesses we are loving at the moment, one for mummies and one for kids!

Something very important to us is living a healthy lifestyle and we know that before business priority is looking after ourselves! We need to exercise and eat a healthy, nutritious diet to function to the best of our ability. We are absolutely in love with @thehiitmum AKA Colette McShane. She is an inspiring business women who has created a number of small businesses to help people get back on track to live a fit and healthy lifestyle.

We both attend her @thehiitfactoryhq classes where she has created a fun, upbeat, friendly environment for mums to work out while being kid friendly. We get to do our workout in half an hour, while our kids get to have fun too. The Hiit Factory is also franchised so there are lots of new locations popping up around Melbourne, so worth looking into. They also offer regular challenges to motivate people to get back into shape and these also include meal plans and recipes. The recipes are easy and amazing, we now use so many of these recipes regularly. She also has a great app PT IN MY POCKET to encourage exercise anywhere when you can’t make a class. It’s a must have!

She also has a monthly box which you can buy as a one off or subscribe too. It is amazing! @thehiitbox is full of great fitness, food and skincare brands and there is so much value in these boxes! They are great for presents or just a great incentive to help you stay on top of your fitness and health!

Our kids business is @castleandcubby a family owned and run business. We love their cubby houses and the fact they use recycled materials to build great imaginative play spaces for children. We recently had a new cubby installed for a small courtyard space at our home that wasn’t being used. It is now a kid haven, where we spend lots of sunny days drinking homemade lemonade and eating cupcakes!

So whether you, like Me, want to stimulate your little one’s creative mind, without blowing your own then head on over and sign up here! It is also the perfect gift for Birthdays!

Hope you all enjoy! Stay tuned for more pics of my Ella creating her own Masterpieces!