We were lucky enough to steal a few mins with Gemma – Mummy from the Husband & Wife dream-team behind the brand Arlo & Co.! They are the makers of bespoke decor & gifts, using fine-quality materials and made with a lot of love! xo
1. Tell us a little bit about Arlo & Co.? What inspired the two of you to started?
A teacher by trade, I was on maternity leave with a 19 month old, an 8 week old, and a crave for creativity. Suddenly, my career focus shifted, and the need to get back to doing something meaningful, creative and independent – but still flexible – was bubbling. I’d already been making name plaques, cake toppers and nursery mobiles for friends and family for a while – but it was really just a hobby.
A lot of encouragement from all friends and family saw me finally take the plunge. So, with some basic photography of my first ideas, and a ‘just start somewhere’ approach, I began using Instagram as my only marketing tool, and launched Arlo & Co. I made the products in our makeshift garage studio, and ran the business from the kitchen bench, often while breastfeeding an irritable baby.
Driven by a genuine ‘can do’ attitude, I was blissfully naive, but giddy with excitement. And as the virtual till began to ring, I realised my hunch about the need for more personalised, high quality, beautiful decor and gifts, in a style that was innovative, was spot on. Six months in, I brought my husband on full-time as my right-hand man, and we’ve grown from there.
2. What is it like working as a husband and wife duo?
My husband, Damian, and I are the perfect ying and yang, and so much to our initial surprise, it works well! Working together as partners took some getting used to, but we met the challenge with enthusiasm, propelled by our desire to build something incredible, that our young girls could be proud of. It’s cool to be truly doing life together, blending our work lives, and our family life, in an attempt to have our own workable business that fits in with parenting and creating a life that suits us best.
3. What has been your biggest milestone with Arlo & Co.?
We’ve been pioneers in bringing fresh concepts to the interiors and gifts industry, and at the heart of Arlo & Co is the desire to create a brand that continues to be about making pieces that are special; to be kept forever. This is a huge focus and continues to be our strength.
We’ve also been able to foster the most gorgeous online community of supporters. We’ve gained recognition this year in the form of being named as finalists in the ORIAS People’s Choice Awards, which is just super cool encouragement, because the winners are determined purely by the number of votes from our community of fans and customers. We’ve also grown our team, our product services, our studio workspace, and our goals… and have some other exciting news coming up – but I’m sworn to secrecy at this point!
4. Favourite things you like to do as a family? <3
I’m a fan of starting our day with a long lie in – all four of us – chatting and tickling and just hanging out in the bed in the morning. Follow that up with a packed lunch beside the sea, or feeding the ducks at our local playground, and I’m sold. It’s definitely the little things. Working long hours and means when we finally have spare time, we just want to chill. Be silly, play games, tell stories. It doesn’t matter if we’re in PJ’s all day – we’re pretty simple and love any down-time we can get our hands on.
5. Describe your studio in Melbourne where all the magic happens?
Working as a small team from our studio in Melbourne, we’re big believers in locally-owned and made, from concepts, to design, to manufacture, to marketing. We’re committed to innovation, quality and customer service that wows.
Most of my days at work are spent emailing, designing, laughing, creating and working on the next project up our sleeves. It’s all pretty normal, really. Plenty of multitasking, in-jokes, and coffee.
I spend a heck load of time running up and down stairs between our top-level office (decked out just the way we like it – with creativity and inspiration galore) and down to our large studio workshop where all the hands on, painting/stringing/designing/ packaging hard yakka happens.
On the days I’m in the office and studio – with our awesome team of kind-hearted go-getters – I’m doing what I love most.
6. We love that you support local! What are 3 local small businesses that you are loving right now?
Ah – so many we love to support! Some long time loves who I just adore include;
~ Happy Hands, Happy Heart (@happyhandshappyheart)
~ Kayleigh McGlynn Photography (@kayleighmcglynnphotography)
~ Brown Paper Lemon (@brownpaperlemon).
Follow @arloandco on Instagram!
Shop Arlo & Co here
Father’s Day is coming up – have a squiz of their ‘Father’s Day Collection’ for lovely personalised gifts!