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Local Legend: Tracy from Love my Pantry

Local Legend: Tracy from Love my Pantry

Pantries. They are the centre of our homes. Whether you’ve got a small pantry cupboard, or a large butler’s space….if you are like me then you need, crave, want some order amongst all of the cereals, baking products, snacks and spices. Problem is, pantries are often the most cluttered, disorganised spaces in our home. With food coming in and out at an exponential rate, unless someone is putting things back in the right spot, then it quickly ends up looking like a rubbish heap. Even if you’ve invested in the most expensive tupperware! As I’ve gotten older I swooned over the amazing, organised, ordered pantry spaces that have graced many a pinterest board. There is nothing like seeing your food neatly ordered in lovely looking jars, labelled, easily at reach. The problem is, turning a pile of cereal boxes, opened packets of pasta and snacks into something that resembles the above, is a task that is well beyond the limits of time and patience for most people!

Step in Tracy from Love My Pantry. Quite simply, everyone needs Tracy in their life. No jokes, she is like an angel from heaven. You know those jobs you have that feel really important, that you really need to get some, some day, but they are never a priority? Tracey makes those jobs happen. Literally. Last year, after we moved into our home, I was lucky enough to have Tracy come to my home to weave her pantry magic. Essentially she comes to your home, assesses the state (or chaos) or your Pantry, cupboards, linen closet, toy room storage etc….removes everything, then reorganises, repacks, rearranges and sorts everything back in the most ordered, decluttered way. Tracy turns your once cluttered pantry into a storage space fit for any Pinterest account!

She uses clever storage tubs to help you categorise and organise your food items. Whether there be baking goods, spices, or snacks for the kids. She is your woman! Tracy is a local Mum who turned her everyday love of all things organised into a booming business of her own. After a few months, she had clearly struck a nerve, with people all over Melbourne begging her to help them! This is what she did with my new pantry!


Love My Pantry




This is her story…

1. Tell us a bit about your business, your dream, your story
I started my business just over 2 years ago. As a housewarming present for my brother & sister in law I thought I would do a Pantry makeover. While I was doing this my sister in law said. “You are in your element you really should do this as a job”
I thought for a moment. Don’t be silly. Who would want this? Later that day I decided to give it a go. I put a post of Facebook in a mum’s & baby group giving away 5 free Pantry makeovers. The response was insane with so many mum’s commenting “yes please!”
“Pick me”. It’s grown very organically through word of mouth from very happy customers. All my clients are overwhelmed with how amazing they say it makes them feel. It’s a very rewarding job for me also as it makes me feel great too knowing what a difference it makes for busy mums. I now help in any areas in the home not just the pantry.
2.Magic: What is the most magical thing that has happened to you as a small business owner?
I would say the most magical thing that has happened for me as a small business owner would have to be all the amazing messages I get from my followers saying they absolutely love my Instagram page. It makes them feel calm! Many of them say they need me in their lives. For me this is very humbling. I’ve had clients call me the pantry queen & also the pantry goddess.  It really is an amazing feeling. Never thought it would make such an impact in so many people lives.
3. Mayhem: What has been your greatest challenge, moment of mayhem?
The greatest challenge for me is right now trying to work out how to scale my business so it’s not just me. I get enquiries from all over Australia and I would love to be able to help everyone. I’ve been looking into employing other organisers and also franchising but I’m not sure which way to go.
4. Milestone: What has been your greatest achievement, milestone?
My greatest achievement so far would be all the press I received when Mamamia Aus interviewed me and wrote such a great article about me & Love My Pantry. Also reaching 10K Instagram followers was a really big milestone and I’ve started to notice other businesses taking me more seriously and asking for collaborations.
5.Pay it Forward: Who do you love? What small business are you lusting over right now?
 I really love seeing pictures of interiors & architecture. I was a graphic designer for many years before having my 4 kids. I just decided I no longer wanted to sit in front of a computer anymore. I follow Dotandpop and love everything about them. Simple decluttered spaces.

To see more of Tracy’s amazing transformations, and to contact her to have her come and help you in your home, especially as we all head back to school and start a new year, head to her Instagram Page here:

Local Legend: Lou from Honey and Co Club

Local Legend: Lou from Honey and Co Club

God knows I love stuff that helps Mums stay sane. What I love even more is stuff that keeps kids engaged and occupied, using their little brains to think, play and create. Businesses that can combine the two are, in my eyes, the best businesses on the planet. Happy Kids = Happy Mums.

This year I have come to know some fantastic monthly subscription services that send wonderful ideas for kids’ play, straight to your door. No need to head to the shops, find activities and spend your cash whilst wrangling kids in tow. No no. If you are yet to jump on the subscription train, then this blog post, my friends is for you.

This month I share the story of Lou from  Honey & Co. Her clever little business sends out monthly subscription kits to children aged 0-5 years of age.  Each month is a surprise and has a different theme but always inspired by Play. They  include quality wooden toys, books, puzzles, craft or outdoor activities – all presented in exclusive printed canvas pouches. These canvas bags are proving to be super popular with Mums as they have so many uses after their little one enjoys the goodies inside, and each month is a different colour or design.

What’s more is her subscription service can literally be the best gift your could give to another child. Popular with grandparents and aunts & uncles as a ‘gift that keeps on giving’. I love the fact that Lou told be that they really wanted to get children excited again about the touch and feel reality of the letterbox, just like the good old days! In this world full of technology for our little ones, they ‘think it’s important to have that balance’.

Here are a few snaps of my children enjoying two of their monthly kits that included some gorgeous board books, puzzles, organic fruity toothpaste from JackNJill, Pop Out Woodland animals from PetitCollage and possibly the cutest glasses from Tiger Tribe.

Honey and Co Club
Ella loves Sally!
Honey and Co Club
The kids love putting these cardboard animals together!
Ella loves her little Owl
Pretty proud of her efforts!
Honey and Co Club
How cool are these glasses?
Honey and Co Club
It was great to chat with Lou and find out how it all started!

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

My name is Lou and I’m a Mum to one and our fur baby, Honey the Labrador.

My background is in the major events industry, particularly within the hiring and styling sector. After having my little girl, it soon became apparent that the major events lifestyle was going to be a difficult balance with being a new mum. I decided, this was my opportunity to create my own business and flexible working hours.

As a new mum, I would sometimes be sitting on our front porch with my one year old and Honey and watched as my daughter played with the letterbox. As months went on, I watched the thrill she got when something was in there, albeit the local takeaway pamphlet! I also have family in country Victoria, so they would often send her a little parcel of sticker or hair clips. She was so, so excited, I got to thinking that I would love for her to receive mail, ‘the old fashioned way’… and maybe other children all over Australia would too.

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

You know what, actually having those first few subscribers that joined the Honey & Co Club, that weren’t friends or family. These amazing subscribers entrusted me to send quality parcels to their children, that to me was pretty magic. Also, having the beautiful Kate Ritchie post a photo of our product on social and then for her to take the time to come and meet me at One Fine Baby show last year, because I love her so much, that was also pretty magic.

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

Christmas last year, knowing 4 weeks out we were going to sell out, I quickly had to devise a plan to get all our suppliers to make more bags and acquire more stock with a 2 week turnaround deadline. A moment of mayhem and panic, but we got there in the end. The greatest challenge I think is being ‘all hands’. When you run your own business and are building this up from the start up phase, you really are all hands and the ‘do-er’ of everything.

Milestone: What has been your greatest achievement, milestone?

A great achievement was partnering with Australia Post last year on their small business campaign. This was incredible for Honey & Co Club as we like to see ourselves often promoting the post, sending letters and receiving parcels. When Australia Post contacted us to make a short video on our business, it was a fabulous achievement to get noticed by such a big corporate all within our first year of business.

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

@hipetalmelbourne Seriously have the Insta feed you need to brighten up your day. They deliver beautiful posies in jars and I have used them on numerous occasions for friends and clients. It’s such a treat to receive pretty flowers and these guys do it so well.

So head on over and take a look at Lou’s gorgeous business!

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 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!