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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…

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Be Brave…

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Flamingo…

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Dream Big Little Girl…

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

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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!

kate

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

kate

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

kate

 

 

 

Ella Loves Local: Sarah from Little Fox Crochet

Ella Loves Local: Sarah from Little Fox Crochet

There is nothing sweeter than donuts and ice cream. That is, until you find these delights, hand lovingly crocheted into little toys that you could seriously almost eat. I came across Sarah from Little Fox Crochet via Instagram, and was immediately taken by her beautiful work. Seriously cute, seriously talented, seriously amazing. Her creations range from your typical donuts in various colours (and flavours :-), ice creams, garlands and crocheted superhero toys. Sarah lovingly hand makes each and every thing she sells, and once you invest in one, you’ll be hard pressed not to be addicted and want more. Her beautiful creations are the stuff of childrens’ dreams, and lets be honest, grown ups too…

Here are some of my favourites…

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I had the chance to chat with Sarah recently and learn more about her work…

1. What inspired you to start Little Fox Crochet?

I’ve been crocheting since I was 10 years old but I hadn’t picked up a hook in years. On a whim I decided to get back into it after my 3rd baby was born at the beginning of last year, and I couldn’t stop! I was crochetingso much that my family was in danger of drowning in a sea of crochet! So, with the support of my fabulous husband, I decided to take a chance and open up a shop! And of course, I had to name it after my son – he’s my little fox

2. How do you juggle business and family?

 To be honest, I feel I don’t do a very good job of the juggle! When I started out I had 3 kids under 4 and not a lot of time to myself to work! I do most of my crocheting at night after the kids go to bed or during nap time. Which means of course, if the baby has a bad night, not much work gets done. I’m still working on finding a routine that works for us and I’m actually heading back to my “real” job very soon where I’ll be working 3 days a week, so we’ll see how that goes!! 

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?

My very first sale was by far my proudest moment! It was so scary to put my stuff out there and then just wait for something to happen! When I got that first sale I was so excited I danced around my kitchen like a crazy person! I still get excited when people buy my creations –  there’s not quite as much song and dance these days, but I’m still so touched and humbled that people like my stuff enough to continue buying it!
4. What has been your biggest challenge?
Oh Gosh there have been so many!! Haha! I think the biggest one for me has been getting the balance right between keeping up with current orders and finding the time to develop new stuff. My head is constantly buzzing and I have so many new product ideas practically bursting out of me! But crochet is a time consuming art and there’s a lot of time and effort put into each item, which doesn’t leave me a lot of time to get all of these ideas out of my head! But I’m trying to work on not taking on too much at once – it’s a work in progress!

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

Find something you love and just go for it. You never know if you never try. I thought about opening a store for so, so long. I was really worried that no one would want to buy what I made – so I put a few things up on my personal Instagram page, and got a feel for what people thought. I was honestly surprised to find people were willing to pay me money to do what I love! I still am! And because I love doing it, it doesn’t feel like work at all!

6. Three words that describe Little Fox Crochet…

Quality, fun, original

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

I have two: doughnuts and ice creams! I absolutely love making them and I love seeing all the different colour combinations my customers come up with! I also love doing custom orders because it gives me a chance to try new things and use different colours than I would normally use.

8. Pay it forward to another local business.  Little Fox Crochet loves…

This is a tough question!! I love the Instagram community so much and there are so many talented women I adore and who inspire me everyday. I’ll give you three favourites, but keep in mind this list could on forever! Arlo and co, Little Olive and Co, and Top Knot Girl

Ella was lucky enough to sample some of Sarah’s delights, and these donuts sit proudly on her new shelves in her room…



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Be sure to support this local gem, and purchase some of her delights from her web store here!

kate

Ella Loves Local: Katherine from My Little Echo

Ella Loves Local: Katherine from My Little Echo

So I’m thrilled to finally be able to have some time to post my first Ella Loves Local for 2015 – My Little Echo. This one has to be up there with my favourites so far. You know when there are some people you stumbled across who are just so frigging talented that it makes your mind whirl? Most of my finds come via Instagram and I have to say that when I saw the amazing work of Katherine from My Little Echo, my heart skipped a beat. Her knot pillows are truly beautiful. I mean, who would seriously have the time and creativity to first, think up such a cool idea, and then, actually make it work? Her knot pillows are not (excuse the pun) only exquisitely beautiful, but they are practical too.

Cushions and pillows are everywhere these days, and it is hard to find something unique. Well there really is nothing quite like Katherine’s pillows. Coming in a range of colours, fabrics and patterns, these pillows can be custom made to your taste. We were lucky enough to provide a home for one of her creations, and as you can see below, it looks divine on Ella’s bed.

 

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Made with a cotton blend fabric my little echo has created this unique knot cushion that would suit any room in your house.

The classic style knot is approximately 12″ x 12″

Please allow up to 3 weeks for delivery of your cushion. Each cushion is individually cut, stuffed, knotted and hand stitched by Katherine. They are $65.

So let’s here from Katherine and learn about the amazing mind behind this creative gem…

1. What inspired you to start My Little Echo?
I found that there wasn’t a whole lot of variety for kids bedding, especially when it came to boys and I’m not a pale blue teddy bear kinda gal.
The cushions came soon after when i NEEDED some unique affordable cushions for their rooms, which then spread to them being all over the house!

2. How do you juggle business and family?
I have just recently gone back to work after being on Maternity Leave so im having to find my feet all over again. I mostly work at nights and I have 1 day to myself each fortnight where I can slog it out. I truly love making beautiful things though, so although things can get hectic I love the pressure and find pleasure in knowing that a piece of my art is out in the world.

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?
Recently a piece of my work was in the December My Child magazine. The photos were part of a interview with the talented Svjetlana from Little Interiors.
But I do feel so much pride in knowing people chose my little business to make something for the ones most dearest to them, that just feels so good.

4. What has been your biggest challenge?
Finding a balance between my work, my family and myself.
I am very grateful to have such a supportive family that allows me to explore my passion.

5. What is your advice to others wanting to start their own business?
Just do it. I believe it’s better to try and fail than to spend your life wondering.
There are so many creative people out there, and the world needs their ideas.

6. Three words that describe My Little Echo..
Fun, Quality and Unique. I love finding new fabrics and creating ‘linen art’ with them.

7. What’s your favourite current product in your line?
I do love the knot pillows but the sheets are my favourite. I have always loved linen, and love how some new bedding can change the look and feel of a room.
I do have some new products in the making that I am super excited to reveal this year.

8. Pay it forward to another local business. My Little Echo loves…
I love Carter’s Corner. She is not only one of the loveliest people i have Inst-met, but her teething bib is genius.

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So if you are after something truly unique for your child, or for a gift for another, be sure to check out this amazing talent, and get your little one their very own Knot Pillow! She also creates Fitted sheet sets, cot quilts, pillows and cushions, her full range can be seen here.kate

 

…and we’re open! Happy Ella After Prints

…and we’re open! Happy Ella After Prints

This weekend was a big millestone for me, launching my own little business – Happy Ella After Prints. After months of admiring, and adoring the talent I’ve seen on Instagram, and the amazing range of kids’ decor, much of it local, I decided to put my creative genes to work. Since moving back into our home, I’ve simply loved decorating the kids’ rooms and have developed a real love of unique kids’ prints. Being a lover of technology, I’ve been busy working on a range of colourful, bright and simple prints. Most of them celebrate the funny things that Ella says, and some of them share our love of superheroes, and things we do as a family. I’ve spend a couple of years, supporting local businesses via my ‘Ella Loves Local’ and ‘Friday Finds’ series, but this time, I’m sort of supporting myself. Being on maternity leave, I’ve found my blog to be a creative outlet, and this is simply an extension of that. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take up too much room in my house! In the beginning, I’m selling A4 prints, with A3 coming soon. All of my prints are affordable, being priced at $15. They are printed on quality 300gsm card, and will be sent via registered post, to ensure smooth delivery. Currently, I’m shipping to Australian Residents only, with New Zealand coming soon, along with the rest of the world! So without further adue… here is my current range (each image links to the web shop):

Batman’s Got Nothin – A4 – $15

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The First Avenger – A4 – $15

 

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Just One More – A4 – $15

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Build it Up (White on Black) – A4 – $15

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Build it Up (White on Black) – A4 – $15

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Some More Please – A4 – $15

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Play On (Blue) – A4 – $15

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Play On (Black) – A4 – $15

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Play On (White) – A4 – $15

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I really hope you like them! My store is available by clicking on the PRINT STORE @ www.happyellaafter.com

To celebrate my opening, I’m running a giveaway for my Facebook Followers.  Five lucky followers will win an A4 print of choice!

Simply follow the instructions below!

Good Luck and thanks for supporting Happy Ella After Prints!

kate

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ella Loves Local: Kate from YorkeLee Prints

Ella Loves Local: Kate from YorkeLee Prints

Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I daily come across new brands and inspiring images. A few weeks ago YorkeLee Prints caught my eye. Kids’ prints are ‘so hot right now’ as parents everywhere share images of their child’s nursery adorned with cute images and words of wisdom. Everyone knows that I’m avid lover of Superheros and Kate’s ‘I’m small but quick’ print jumped off the screen and into my wishlist of things I (still) want for Hudson’s room. After contacting Kate is soon became clear that she is another example of a Mum who has trusted her instinct and gone with her passion talent. A gorgeous range of prints for girls, boys and unisex rooms that is ever growing. What sets her prints apart is the fact that they are so affordable, and come in a range of sizes.  Here is a selection of some of my favourites (note that each print is monogramed with her logo, but when purchased they are logo free)…

My favourite, and the one that caught my eye…’Bolt’

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‘Pack leader’

 

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‘Arrow Heart’

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‘Boss’

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‘Teepee’

 

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Gorgeous prints and a gorgeous Mum behind them…

1. What inspired you to start YorkeLee?

I started YorkeLee Kids Prints after trying to find creative, unique prints and decor for my two boys’ rooms, I found it surprisingly hard, particularly for boy’s decor, there is a lot of pretty decor for girl’s rooms but not a lot for boys. When I did find some, they were totally out of my price range, so I went on a mission to create unique, affordable prints for kids bedrooms.

2.How do your juggle business and family?

One of the big reasons that I decided to work from home was to have better work life balance, I wanted to be able to see my boy’s grow and I am lucky enough to be in an industry that allows me to work from home. At times, it is definitely not easy, I have learned that it is essential to separate my day’s into “work time” and “family time”, I allocate a specific amount of time each day to work, I have specific hours that I work, for example, I work most mornings until 12pm then in the afternoon I dedicate the time to playing with the boys, activities, going for a walk or to the park.

3. What has been your proudest moment so far?

I don’t like to take anything for granted, so I feel proud of what I am achieving everyday. I don’t think there is a specific “proud” moment, but it is so humbling to have such amazing support from my family, friends, followers and buyers. I am very passionate about what I do and I feel very proud that people love my designs.

4. What has been your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge is time, I feel like I need an extra 24 hours in each day to get everything done! I also want to make sure I spend enough time with my boys and remember the reason I first started YorkeLee Kids Prints, it is so easy to get caught up with Social Media and loose sight of what’s important in life.

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

I just love Albert Einsteins quote – “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious” If you love what you do and have passion, you will find a way and make it work. I guess my advise is ‘just do it’.

  1. What are three words to describe YorkeLee?

Unique, Creative & Affordable

7. What is your favourite product in your line?

I have so many favourite prints at the moment, but i just LOVE ‘Pack Leader’!

8. Pay it forward…YorkeLee loves….

YorkeLee Kids Prints Loves Project T-Bear, handmade, customizable modern bits for modern babies! Love them xo

As said above, Kate’s prints are affordable, unique and creative. Starting at $10, you choose the size and it gets delivered to your door, ready to frame. Mix the prints, mix the sizes. Here is my favourite ‘bolt’ print in Hudson’s room…

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So to visit her range and purchase a gorgeous one of your own, visit YorkeLee prints here.

**STOP PRESS**

Later on today we will be kicking off a giveaway on Instagram where you could win a print off your choice! Visit Instagram and follow @happyellaafter for details! Also be sure to check out her gorgeous gallery, with tips on how to hang and style the prints in your child’s room.

Thanks Kate…for giving such joy to kids’ rooms everywhere! By the looks of this photo, you are pretty joyous yourself!

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kate