Balancing Business & Babes with Natalia and Lauren

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to celebrate the Mother figures in our lives! Well-loved maker friends and creative new Mum’s Natalia of Wolf & Mishka and Lauren from Oktoberdee / Middle Child joined us for a little chat! Read on for insights, how they balance their businesses as mum’s, and some stellar recommendations to get you ready for Mother’s Day this year!

Bonus ~ To get your gift shopping started, Wolf & Mishka and Oktoberdee / Middle Child are generously offering FREE SHIPPING on your purchases from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th April! Want more inspiration? Visit the Finders Keepers Mother’s Day Collection; there are many special handmade gift ideas to discover… You might find something for yourself too! 

Left: Natalia in her studio! Right Lauren with her babes, photo credit Karen Williamson

Tell us about your businesses and your journey as a creative mum

Natalia: I’m super passionate about creating unique hand-illustrated printed fashion with my business, Wolf & Mishka. Wolf & Mishka also focuses on designing for transeasonal and wardrobe mainstays instead of fast, trend-driven fashion. Always sticking to quality rather than quantity.

After an extremely dynamic 2020 for W+M (i.e. having a baby in a pandemic!) I’m excited to have moved into a brand new studio and working on a new collection! This new collection is set to be released just in time for Finders Keepers Melbourne market in July! Watch this space.

“I’ve found inspiration for this collection in the strangest of places, you never know where and when creativity might hit! It’s been quite tricky balancing mum life and business life this past year. Work time definitely becomes very precious!” 

Lauren: Hi, my Lauren Hassett and I’ve been designing fashion accessories under the label Oktoberdee since 2003, and more recently launched our sister brand Middle Child in 2017! It is not a coincidence that Middle Child launched the same year as my first daughter was born, becoming a mum changed and challenged everything I had grown comfortable and confident within the nearly 15 years of running my business.

It has made me a better operator and has provided me with a more balanced perspective of business and life. I have come to a point where I can now focus the time I do have in the studio on the aspects of the business that I most enjoy, namely designing our new collections and accompanying creative aspects such as styling and imagery. 

[Being a Mum] has made me a better operator, and has provided me with a more balanced perspective of business and life.

What’s your ultimate way to spend (or spoil your mum) this mother’s day? 

Natalia: My mum LOVES to cook and gets so much joy making us kids delicious dinners and throwing decadent afternoon teas at her place. So I think spoiling mum this year with a group cooking class, a high tea, or baking her a special cake would make her day very special indeed! 

Lauren: We’ve just welcomed our second baby, Herb Wilder, on Good Friday, so this Mother’s Day is going to be an extra special one with our newest family member, pretty sure a big freshly cooked breakfast and a bucket of coffee will be in order.  As Herb will only be a few weeks old, we probably won’t venture too far from home, it will likely involve some naps too; we will just enjoy living and relaxing in the baby bubble this Mothers Day.  

Normally we would celebrate special days like this with some family time such as a trip to the beach or an adventure somewhere we are yet to explore. We are fortunate to live near the coast and Otway region so there are so many interesting places to explore with our four-year-old daughter, Wilma. 

What 3 products would you love to give or receive this Mother’s Day? 

Natalia: Ohhh so many things!!! But if I were to choose for me, I’d say these three items below, yes please!

Lauren: So much goodness, but at this point in time these would be my picks!!

Wolf & Mishka

What does being a creative mum mean to you?

Natalia: Being a creative mum to me means always being willing to try your hand at anything, no matter what it looks like in the end! It’s just about having fun, and knowing there’s no wrong way of doing something. I think that’s a great way of relaxing at work and can provide a really great lesson for kids when it’s their time to start creating! 

Becoming a mum has definitely taught me some new ways of working on my business. I never take studio time for granted now, and try to be kind to myself if things are taking a little longer to achieve. 

Lauren: Being a mum has unequivocally changed my mindset and priorities when it comes to running my business. Motherhood brought with it more clarity around what I needed to do to make my business viable without putting in endless hours for humble returns. I simply no longer had 70+ hours a week to dedicate to Oktoberdee; gosh in reality I didn’t even have 10!

I made major changes to my business in the months following the birth of my daughter in 2017, the first and most major of which was the introduction of my sister brand Middle Child. Now running two quite different brands side-by-side provided further insight as to where the market was at and in which direction I could envisage future growth.  Three years on and Middle Child has grown from strength to strength, with a solid footing in the wholesale space (which has been especially critical throughout 2020), I now employ three amazing and dedicated staff members who each bring excellent skills in areas such as social media, inventory and wholesale account management as well of course as the production of all our jewellery designs.

Now that I am mum to two!! little humans, I am so grateful for the pivot I was forced to take when I first became a mum, our success as a brand is truly a result of having the bigger picture entirely re-framed. 

Connect with:
Wolf & Mishka
Middle Child

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