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Ella Loves Local: Rachael from Little Olive & Co

Ella Loves Local: Rachael from Little Olive & Co

Since renovating our home, I’ve become a little obsessed with kids’ interiors. Inspired by amazing local designers and stylists, there are just so many beautiful products our there, many handmade. Rachael from Little Olive & Co has developed her own range of unique banners for children, and her use of colour, text and simple shapes has got me hooked. The cute catch phrases, the soft palettes, the bold shapes. Rachael has clearly hit the nail on the head when she developed her range, and over the last year, her gorgeous banners have appeared in rooms all over Australia. When you see one of the hundreds of photos featuring her banners, you immediately fall in love, and will want one for yourself. Here are some of may favourites…

Just always be you…


Be Brave…





Dream Big Little Girl…


However my most favourite of all, has to be her classic Batman banner, as seen here hanging in Hudson’s room…


So with that, lets hear from Rachael, and the story of how Little Olive & Co came to be…

1. What inspired you to start  Little Olive & Co? I have always considered myself to be a very creative person. Even as a kid, I always had some crafty project on the go. My Mum taught me to sew from a young age, I used to make all sorts of things for my dolls and teddies! My Mum and Nan also used to have a little market stall selling gorgeous handmade children’s clothes. I was lucky enough to help out which established my appreciation for handmade products and gave me an insight into what it takes to run and manage a small business from home.  I started sewing again after my daughter, Olive, was born. More than anything, I desperately needed a creative outlet and something else to focus on other than the constant demands of two small children! I began making bows, headbands and clothing, which quickly lead to my first Etsy store. I added a few banners for a bit of variety, and to my surprise they were quite popular!
2. How do you juggle business and family? Creating a balance between business and family is one of the things I struggle with most. I desperately wish I had more time to sew, however I also feel incredibly privileged to be able to stay at home with my children while they’re young and I would hate to compromise that in any way! I generally only sew in the evenings when the kids are in bed, and I spend every evening sewing well into the night! I am always behind with emails and social media, but that is the trade off, unfortunately! I have invested in a diary this year, which is helping to keep me focused and somewhat organised!  3. What has been your proudest moment so far? I have so many proud moments that it’s hard to narrow it down to just one! My proudest moments are receiving lovely feedback from customers and seeing my work styled beautifully by some pretty inspiring people! I always get such a buzz from seeing my banners in their new homes, and it’s amazing when the handmade aspect of my work is appreciated.
4. What has been your biggest challenge? Definitely time management and balancing work/family life.  I hate turning down custom orders, wholesale enquiries and collaboration opportunities. Learning to say ‘no’ has been challenging as I want to see my little business continue to grow. Understanding my limitations in terms of time, is something I’m still working on however, I have so many new designs that I want to try out and new things that I want to make! I can’t wait until I have the time to start making a wider variety of products and treating my business as just that, rather than a hobby. Keeping my range fresh and unique is something that is very important to me.
 5. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business? Just give it a go! There is so much support for the handmade community at the moment. It’s the perfect time to take the plunge!
6. Three words that describe LittleOlive & Co… Bright. Fun. Original.
7. What’s your favourite current product in your line? It always changes! One of my all time favourites is the ‘popsicle’ banner which I originally made for Olive’s room as we had a bit of an ice cream theme happening! I also love the ‘yay’ banner. It was one of the first banners I made and it’s such a happy little banner; perfect for any space!
8. Pay it forward to another local business.  Little Olive & Co loves… Little Fox Crochet. I have been following Sarah since she started and I’m very proud to own one of her crocheted watermelon garlands. Sarah’s products are so beautifully handmade and original. I am eyeing off the crocheted pears next, they’re completely adorable!

So head to Little Olive & Co now, and get your little one their own, beautifully handmade banner to hang with love!


Ella Loves Local: Nat from ChiKhi

Ella Loves Local: Nat from ChiKhi

Hold Up, Hold Up! In case you have been living under a rock somewhere, you NEED to know, see, touch and experience the gorgeous new threads that are Chi Khi! The brain child of the ever so cool, and passionate Mum to boot, Nat Basingthwaite, Chi Khi kids has burst onto the scene with gusto.  Their range is inspired by the edgy moochrome palette and features unisex designs, many of which can be worn by both girls and boys. We’ve been lucky enough in the Korber household to experience the gorgeousness of Chi Khi first hand, and all I can say is that as a Mum, the quality of the fabrics is like nothing I’ve ever seen. Thick quilted dresses, soft bamboo cotton, warm luxurious knits. Honestly I wish that they came in bigger sizes so that I could wear the stuff myself. What’s also unique is the passionate way in which Chi Khi’s CEO and creative director, Nat Bassingthwaite, manages to find the time in her crazy schedule to manage Chikhi. Hashtag ‘MummyCrush’. Along with her two real life children, Chi Khi is certainly a love that she clearly wants to nurture, and by the looks of it so far, it is paying off!

Here are some of my favourite threads….

The Nylah Knit


The Willow Bamboo Quilted Dress


The Frankie Striped Knit


The Lennox Reversible Bamboo Vest


and here is my own Chi Khi Monkeys rocking their outfits…

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and now, from the amazing Nat herself….

1. What inspired you to start Chi Khi?
My children were the biggest inspiration. The choices I was making always had them at the forefront of my mind. I have always thought about being a working mum and how I could balance that work family life.  Having invested in property and business before I thought I could take the step in creating a brand, inspired by my children, my experiences as a mum and my love of design and fashion.

2. How do you juggle business and family?
It is never easy. I do have an incredibly supportive husband who is like my right hand. It is a constant juggle of who is doing what and who has the kids. Ideally we try and have one of us with them all the time but we support each others dreams. I don’t have much of a social life but I prefer tp love my work and spend time with my family. Also my job is fairly social so I don’t feel like I really miss out on anything. Except for sleep!

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?
As a mum it is watching my daughter conquer her fear of the water. That was beautiful to watch.

With Chi Khi it really is just seeing what you have in your mind come to life. Also the response has been extraordinary. We have had so many people place an order and then once they receive their order they buy more. That feels amazing.

4. What has been your biggest challenge?
Has been learning how to run your own business. I do love to learn and this has taken it to a whole other level. Also time management.

5. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business?
Take your time. Learn as much about the business and what is involved before you start so you know what it takes.

6. Three words that describe Chi Khi….

7. What’s your favourite current product in your line?
The Evie Dot Cardi is a real statement piece. Double fronted knit is made from 100% cotton. If you want to stand out from the crowd, this is something a little different. Beautifully finished with matte black buttons.

8. Pay it forward to another local business.  Chi Khi loves…
Stylerunner, is the best Online store for all active wear. The two girls who founded this are super talented Julia and sali and have been instrumental in helping me with Chi Khi. Every step of the way!

Nat, your new line totally rocks. From style to comfort, Chikhi has got it covered!

#supportsmallbusiness #ellaloveslocal #shoplocal





Ella Loves Local: Charlotte & Jacqui from Little Wild Things

Ella Loves Local: Charlotte & Jacqui from Little Wild Things

There is nothing nicer in my book than soft, comfy, gorgeous bamboo cotton. It feels so beautiful against your skin. As a Mum I’m always looking for gorgeous clothes for my kids that are comfortable and caring on their skin. I remember that feeling as a kid, when I’d have to wear something that was so ‘itchy’. Mum never heard the end of it. So when Jacqui from Little Wild Things contacted me about her new venture with fellow friend Charlotte, I was interested so say the least. Not only have they created beautiful t-shirts for kids, made from organic bamboo cotton, but their designs are like nothing else I’ve seen. Funky, cool and creative. I was immediately drawn to the batdog, and catgirl designs for my little one’s. Here they are, wearing them with delight….

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A local couple of girls, with extensive experience in the fashion / buying industry, they really know what they are doing. It was lovely then to meet them and get to know how Little Wild Things came to be…

1. What inspired you to start Little Wild Things…

Being from a fashion background we wanted to created something that is stylish for kids but didn’t want to over complicate it. We knew a full clothing range can be super fun to design but the logistics of running can become difficult. So concentrating on one category, the t-shirt, means we could focus. Because don’t forget there is a lot more to our lives now than just work… our beautiful kids.

2. How do you juggle business and family?

 I guess I probably answered a bit of this question above. Just focusing on one category has allowed enough head space to juggle work and family. But in the beginning it was difficult as there is a lot of effort in setting up a business

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?

 I think what we really strived for is a marketing platform, so reaching 1000 followers on Instagram was pretty exciting… The last 10 followers took about a week, so we were constantly checking our status and boom we got there… now we’re aiming for 2k and then 40k!!

4. What has been your biggest challenge?

Photoshoots!!! ahhh… didn’t even think about the photoshoot challenge when starting the business revolving around kids in photos. We started with quite a few friends in the shoots but now its mainly just my (Jacqui’s) kids Oliver, Willow and Ella starting… its just easier to manage.

5. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business?

Just do it! expect hard work but it is very rewarding

6. Three words that describe Little Wild Things…


7. What’s your favourite current product in your line?

Oh geeze.. I’m very happy with the new long sleeves… I guess I would choose Loco. Inspired by my Loco kids 🙂 and I like the girls contrast colours of Loco.

8. Pay it forward to another local business.  Little Wild Things loves…

Rookie&Co. We did a competition with them recently. Love their gear and they are a great team.

So head on over and grab your babies a gorgeous bamboo tee. You won’t regret it!



Ella Loves Local: Adriana from Mickey Rose

Ella Loves Local: Adriana from Mickey Rose

Since Hudson was born, almost one year ago, I’ve been obsessed with cool pants and harems that have sprouted up all over Instagram. Cool prints, beautiful fabrics, inspiring designs. There are so many wonderful local designers who are creating gorgeous wears for little ones, and recently the new range of harems form Mickey Rose caught my eye. Monochrome, bold and funky, it was with great pleasure that I got to know Adriana. Another local who decided to put her talents to good use, and after suffering a time of grief and loss in her life, was inspired to begin her own business. Mickey Rose was born and the rest is history. Here are some of my favs…

Anything from the their new Monochrome collection…



Tee Pee Harems…


Here is Hudson rocking his Black cross Harems. They have great stretch, and what I love most is the legs have a little extra length.

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More from the beautfiul Andriana from Mickey Rose

1. What inspired you to start Mickey Rose?
I have always wanted to be a designer. Growing up, I would draw, sew, and create for hours on end. As I got older, not only did I realized I loved to create, I also loved to be the boss. Whilst studying both at high school and at RMIT, I was sure I wanted to own my own business. Then when children’s wear came to mind, I knew that was the career for me.

Whilst studying my Dad (Mick) fell seriously ill with cancer and passed away two weeks before my 19th birthday. My whole life paused and crumbled around me. I had told him my dream to be a designer & run my own label (he was a successful business owner himself). Two years after losing my Dad, I realized life is too short, so with a heavy heart I opened Mickey Rose, and now a year in it is the best decision I have ever made.
So, he was in fact my inspiration amongst many.

2. How do you juggle business and family?
Being a business owner is a 24 hour gig. I really love what I do & enjoy my job so much, but I always make sure to make time for the ones I love. I am all about my diary, so I make sure to schedule in time away from work with friends or family.

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?
Wow, such a hard question! I would have to say it would be getting this far in the first year of Mickey Rose. I have worked day in and day out to now have stockists around Australia, and to have worldwide interest in our brand is so thrilling. An exact moment would be getting my first ever stockists with Lala Boutique (She is amazing!). I get blown away with all the positive feedback I receive, I am so so grateful.

(And having the courage to do what I love!)
4. What has been your biggest challenge?
Another hard question… Can I say everything?

But really it would have to be doing this and making so much progress without having my Dad to share it with.
5. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business?
Be organized and take risks. I was told I was too young, didn’t have enough experience, you name it but if you’re ambitious, you can do anything. The best thing I ever did was taking the risk of just starting. Keep it simple but do not underestimate the work load!
6. Three words that describe Mickey Rose…
Fun. Unique. Practical.
7. What’s your favourite current product in your line?
Oooo it would have to be our Monochrome Panda Harems. I think the Mickey Rose aesthetic is captured perfectly in this pair of pants. They sum up the three words above to a T!

 8. Pay it forward to another local business. Mickey Rose loves…

We love so so many brands here at Mickey Rose and always trying to share the love. I would have to say one of our favourite local labels at the moment would be Howi.
I was truly inspired by reading Adriana’s responses to my interview questions and genuinely felt proud of her achievements in starting her business so far. So many of us go through times that are tough and challenging, and Adriana’s story is no different. What is different however is how she used her grief to begin again. I’m sure her Dad would be so proud.

To purchase your own gorgeous harems from the range, be sure to visit Mickey Rose today.


Ella Loves Local – Louise from Two Little Ducks

Ella Loves Local – Louise from Two Little Ducks

As the Mother of a girly, little girl it is a no brainer that we love hair clips. Sparkly, bows, bright colours. We have so many of them, and over the last three years have spent a small fortune. I probably need to admit that I have a secret love of them myself, and whilst I don’t normally wear them anymore, you can bet that if you come knocking on my door you may find me with a few bows in my hair after a dress up session with Ella.

That said, bows can be expensive. Really, really expensive. I love Ella wearing gorgeous things but there is a line that I won’t cross in terms of affordability and practicality. That is when I stumbled across Two Little Ducks on Instagram. They have recently launched their new range of gorgeous bows in a range of colours for an amazing $4 each. Yep $4. They also sell other beautiful products – childrenswear and decor. Here are some of our favs…

This beautiful tutu…

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These divine baby blankets from Jolie Petite Chose..

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These colourful and affordable bows..


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It was with great delight then, that I met Louise, the Mother hen behind the brand (not that Hens and ducks are related…wink, wink). With a background in childrenswear and buying it was always going to be a sure thing that Louise, also a Mother, was going to do well and connect with her followers.

Louise is one of those people who you want to do well. She is just lovely and genuinely wants to help other Mums purchase affordable clothing for their little ones. I’m sure you’ll fall in love with her as you read how she came to start her business….

1. What inspired you to start Two Little Ducks

Starting an online business had been a dream in the making for some time. I love fashion and of course baby and childrenswear. I am a Mum of 2 children, Lucas & Grace, hence the name “two little ducks”.

After the birth of my 2nd baby, I decided that there was no better time than the present to jump in head first! Grace was born in July 2014, and shortly after this I started buying my stock (mostly while she slept!). It took several months to get the website and everything up and running, and by November 2014 Two Little Ducks was live!

I have worked in the fashion industry for over 10 years as a Fashion Buyer and Developer. I wanted to utilise the buying skills I had to source lovely product for Mums, babies and toddlers that were both affordable and not too mainstream. I also wanted to try my hardest to support local, small Australian businesses where I could.

Despite being a relatively new business (only 4 months old), Two Little Ducks has really moved forward, and I have just had to employ my first person to help with the packing and distribution of stock!

2. How do you juggle business and family?

When you have your own business, it is very hard to switch off at times. I do most of my work while my baby sleeps, or at night after the children have gone to bed. My husband is a wonderful help to me as well. It is great to bounce ideas off him and get his opinion. Some days it is crazy though!!

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?

My proudest moment was when I received my first order! It was a little doll, and was sent to Canberra. It’s a time I will never forget, as at the time all I could think was “I’ve just spent all the money I saved for my maternity leave, what the HELL am I doing????!”

I also feel really proud when I receive lovely emails and photo’s from customers telling me how happy they are with their Two Little Ducks product and service.

4. What has been your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge was trying to get my business up and running, and do everything by myself with a newborn baby, no sleep and a VERY energetic 3 year old boy!

There were definitely some long, stressful days wondering if I had made the right decision. What product would I buy? Would people like it? What if no-one bought anything? What am I going to do with all this stuff?!! I invested most of my maternity leave savings into the business which was exciting, but stressful at the same time!

5. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business?

When my business first went live, I was so nervous, wondering how it would go. I remember reading a quote from Emma Watson on one of the days were I was really doubting what I was doing.

She was quoted saying “In my moments of doubt, I’ve told myself firmly: If not me, who? If not now, when?”. It was like it was meant to be! So I made the decision to jump in head first and worry about the rest later!

I think it is important to get out of your comfort zone.

6. Three words that describe Two Little Ducks…

Classic, Unique, Affordable

7. What’s your favourite current product in your line?

I love our leather moccasins which are handmade in Brisbane by a label Mosov. I try where possible to support Australian, local businesses. They are made with the softest, beautiful leather and made entirely by hand.

Our Lulu & Milly collection is also just gorgeous. Lulu & Milly is an Australian small business run by 2 friends, Amanda and Jasmine,. They are based in Melbourne. I hope they do a boys line soon!

I feel really lucky to be one of the stockists of these lovely labels.

8. Pay it forward to another local business. Two Little Ducks loves…

Jolie Petite Chose is a beautiful Melbourne label run by Mum of one, Jodie Baud. We stock their divine baby blankets which are not only soft and snuggly, but perfectly on trend and affordable for those stylish Mums and bubs out there. We can’t keep up the orders, with many people buying them as gifts for new babys, or for baby shower gifts.

Jodie also hand makes beautiful baby mobiles, which are the most amazing keepsake. I was lucky enough to be given one of these mobiles as a gift when Lucas was born, and I hope to pass it down to my grandchildren one day.

As you can see, her passion is palpable. Get on over to her store to buy something for your child, or for a special gift for a loved one. Here is my Ella, loving her navy bow. It looks divine with her gorgeous red hair!

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Remember to #shoplocal and #supportsmallbusiness


Ella Loves Local : Kate from Postcode Kids

Ella Loves Local : Kate from Postcode Kids

Everyone who follows Happy Ella After knows that I’m passionate about supporting local businesses, many of which are Mums and Dads who have discovered their passions or callings. They have taken a risk, stuck their neck out and tried something new. We should all support them. Supporting local puts food on someone’s table. It puts clothes on someone’s back. It keeps your local economy healthy and happy. Today’s Ella Loves Local profile is a little different. Not only does it support a local business, but it supports a local business, supporting a local community.

Kate from Postcode Kids is the definition of ‘paying it forward’. A question that I ask all of my profilees. Who do they love? Who do they want to support? Well Postcode Kids is different. Not only do they sell kids t-shirts with your chose postcode (very simple, very cute), but a preportion of the sales from those t-shirts goes towards a chosen charity in that postcode. Kate is passionate about developing community. Participation, support and love. Local Kids, Local Communities. We all have heard the phrase ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, and Postcode kids is an example of doing this. Giving something back. I was immediately taken away by her idea, and how passionate she was towards achieving her goal. This is truly one of my most favourite profiles to date.

Here is Ella & Hudson in thier 3182 (St Kilda) Post Code Kids t-shirts. They are soft, they are comfy, they are gorgeous. I’m proud to say that I gave Kate a donation towards the cost of our shirts, and Kate will be donating the proceeds to St Kilda Mums. An amazing local charity that supports underprivilaged families.

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Let’s meet Kate form Postcode Kids…

1. What inspired you to start Postcode Kids?

I have three young children. My son, Harry, is almost 4 and my twin girls, Piper and Grace, are 20 months old. When my girls turned 1 I was ready to incorporate business back into my life. I needed to do it in a flexible way and so I decided to start my own little business and work at my own pace. I believe in working at what you’re passionate about and so I decided to incorporate two of my passions; kids and community.

2. How do you juggle business and family?

I certainly haven’t succeeded in compartmentalising my work and home lives. In a way, it’s one of the things I love about Postcode Kids, that there are aspects of the business that I can involve my kids in. We can spend half an hour constructing a lego postcode together or we can collect flowers for a postcode picture, while we’re in the garden. Don’t get me wrong, when the kids go to bed it’s work work work for me!

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?

It was the moment when The Monash Children’s Hospital agreed to become Postcode Kids’ principle charity. My daughter Piper spent time in the hospital when she was born. The doctors, surgeons and nurses were outstanding and I was thrilled to be able to give back with Postcode Kids’ ongoing support.

4. What has been your biggest challenge?

Getting the word out. Postcode Kids is such a new business and our marketing budget is nonexistent. Finding inventive ways to market Postcode Kids is challenging and exciting and is a full time job in itself.

5. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business?

Don’t underestimate the work involved, when starting your own business. It can become all consuming because you enjoy what you’re doing. Build in time for yourself. A break clears and refocuses the mind.

6. Three words that describe Postcode Kids…

Kids, Community, Fun

7. What’s your favourite current product in your line?

Our 3186 and 3188 Postcode Kids T-shirts support Brighton South Playhouse. Funds raised will go towards upgrading the community house and making it safe and enjoyable for all. This is such a great example of the spirit of Postcode Kids.

8. Pay it forward to another local business.  Postcode Kids loves…

I’d love to give a shout out to TopKnot Girl (@topknotgirl_), Holly is an inspiration to mums starting their own businesses. Also, Inkibabinki (@inkibabinki) for beautiful, geometric kids clothing and Mavara Edu. (@mavaraedu) for beautiful African community made products. You go girls!

Thanks Kate for your passion, and your beautiful product! You can visit Postcode Kids here. There just couldn’t be a more selfless, giving idea!

#supportlocal #supportsmallbusiness #ellaloveslocal


Ella Loves Local – Natalie from Toucan

Ella Loves Local – Natalie from Toucan

This week we turn to supporting Natalie from Toucan. A treasure trove of kids prints and decor that will have you swooning as soon as you see the range. Along with their classic monochrome range, Toucan has recently released a number of gorgeous products including the prints that feature the on trend pastel palette. Think icecreams, think glitter, think cute, cute, cute. What is even more fabulous is that many of their prints can be personalised to make your child’s little space even more lovely. They also showcase a range of garlands and felt ball rugs to compliment their beautiful prints. Here are some of my absolute favourites…

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So let’s hear from Natalie and a little more about their business…

1. What inspired you to start Toucan?
Our children! Amelia, 3 years old and Levi, 1 year old! And of course our shopping addiction and love of children’s interiors!

2. How do you juggle business and family?
It’s a family business! Everyone helps us out.  It is very hard to find a balance between family and work because it’s not a 9 to 5 job. We are constantly designing, packing and running around in between our families routine, with a lot of late nights, but it’s all worth it!

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?
Having numerous stockists from all over the world.

4. What has been your biggest challenge?
The family and work balance has been the biggest challenge as we are constantly working on bringing out new and different products which takes a lot of time and hard work.

5. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business?
Go for it! Always help out other small business’s as we have found it has really helped us.

6. Three words that describe Toucan…
Colorful, contemporary and quality

7. What’s your favourite current product in your line?
Definitely our Freckle felt ball rugs, tempted to keep one in each colour.

8. Pay it forward to another local business.  Toucan loves…
Little S & Co and Zilvi

Ella was lucky enough to get her own slice of Toucan in her bedroom, and she absolutely loves her Paddle Pop and Hello Lovely Prints. Along with the gorgeous felt ball garland, it really does make her room look magical…

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So head to Toucan and check out their gorgeous range. You won’t regret it!

#supportlocal #supportsmallbusines #ellaloveslocal