A gorgeous Australian based brand that is run by the gorgeous Holly. I am completely and utterly obsessed with all of her gorgeous items, some of which have been created by herself and she now runs a store in her local town and is a stockist of so many gorgeous goodies! We are the proud owners of one of her house shelves and its one of my favorite pieces in Blairs room. Make sure you keep an eye on this brand it is expanding rapidly and they are creating so many great new goodies all the time!
I was lucky enough to sit down with this gorgeous Mumma & business owner to chat all things mum life, business, hubbies, food, hopes & dreams and the chaos that is being a working mum & hustler!
When and how did the concept for Darlings of August come about?
I started Darlings of August two years ago as my very own online brand and boutique. I was on maternity leave with my daughter and had only just moved to the stunning beachside suburb of Forster. Being at home every day with a little bub is wonderful but as most mums can sympathize with, these days can be some of the longest we can experience (am I right!?). They leave you alone with your thoughts quite a lot of the time. I’ve always been pretty creative so with all of this extra “time” I decided I would start my own children’s line. One that could be treasured, loved and handed down from generation to generation. It was extremely important to me that I created this sustainable, heirloom type of quality for my customers. My first collection, Chapter One Hidden Treasures included pieces in the form of room decor and children’s feathered clothing, tied together in a whimsical book that I wrote.
Each collection that continues to be released is a new chapter in the Darlings of August story. It is the story that lies within each book that is the heart of the brand. Since then I have worked with some of the world’s biggest influencers and have had Darlings of August become a household name. Recently I was able to expand and become more of a children’s boutique (along with my own pieces), featuring some of the best homegrown and international brands.
Where did your business name ‘Darlings of August’ come from? Is there any meaning behind it for you?
As a Christian, it was important to me that I had a name that really encompassed the beauty and innocence of children. August is a synonym of majesty and having a name when converted means “Darlings of Majesty” I knew straight away that this was the right fit.
What was your background/what did you do before you had a family & ran your kid's empire?
When I finished school in 2006 the only jobs I was interested in pursuing involved helping children. I studied Social Work for a year but upon reflection, I knew that Primary School Teaching would be the best fit. A job where I could bring my creative flair and passion for helping children together in a setting where education, fun, independence, individuality, growth, and safety could be fostered. I have also always loved Interior Design and seem to always find myself losing track of time re-styling my home or helping others with any styling queries they might have.
In 2017 my husband Dan and I welcomed our beautiful daughter Vahli to the world and by June 2020 we will welcome another little male addition to the family. We couldn’t be more excited to continue growing our little tribe. Having my own little muses has really helped grow my love for styling both in the areas of children’s fashion and room decor.
What do you love most about running your own business?
The thing I love most about running my own business is that all of my customers and the gorgeous people I’m continually meeting get to witness a little piece of my heart though Darlings of August. I’m so passionate about the pieces I create and the brands I stock, I just love seeing people smile and feel like they’ve walked into my home when they come into the store.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face regarding being a working mum?
Some of the biggest challenges are definitely the work/ life balance. It’s something I’m still continually working on, to be honest. My business is both an online, international boutique and a physical store so I feel like I’m working 24 hours a day some times.
Another challenge for us is not having family around. They are all 4 hours away in Sydney. We only have each other to rely on so making sure everyone’s needs are met can get tricky but I think we are slowly mastering it J
What are some of the things you do to combat those challenges?
An important rule that I’ve given myself is that whenever my daughter is in my presence, I put my phone away. My hubby Dan and I also have an ‘Electronics down at 7:30 pm’ rule. It helps keep us accountable and ‘present’ with one another. Family time is my number one priority when we have the opportunity to be together.
Where do you hope to see your business in the next five years?
I really hope to see Darlings of August as one of Australia’s most well-known and loved children’s online boutiques. I’m always expanding with new brands and hope to continue this growth into a bigger physical store or maybe two as well!
What do you like to do when you need some ‘downtime’?
I’m a bit of an exercise junky when I’m not pregnant. I love nothing more than to go for a run or do some type of HIIT circuit to release some endorphins and start my day off right. My girl Maddy is my key ingredient for coaching and a guaranteed butt whopping. I also just love to veg at home and ‘slow’ the day down with my family. I’m pretty protective of family time as hubby has a pretty busy work schedule too. When we get time together I seize the opportunity to be in our little family bubble.
What is your go-to date night with your hubby?
Hubby and I love going to the movies. When we first met I think we used to go at least once a fortnight! I’m a bit of a fantasy/ Sci-Fi lover so I just love losing myself in whatever world I’m met with on-screen. Since having kids its definitely harder but we jump on the opportunity when the family is in town.
What is your advice for any Mumma’s out there that are thinking about starting up their own business?
I’ve actually had a lot of mumma’s reach out in person and through social media with this exact question. My best piece of advice is don’t rush the process. Darlings of August was being dreamt up and put into the plan for at least 8 months before I even started a social media page or started talking to people about it. Look for a point of difference too, don’t be afraid to try something new and bring something original to the table.
What is your go-to guilty food and/or meal?
OOOO I love this question! My absolute go-to guilty pleasure is always hot chips! Hubby knows if I’m having a bad day that hot chips will certainly turn my frown upside down! I also have to finish off with some Cadburys Marvellous Creations Chocolate.
What does Women Supporting women in business mean to you? Have you experienced much of this being in business?
I have never been more proud to be a “boss mumma” and run a small business in Australia. Since I began Darlings of August I have met so many like-minded, driven, passionate mums and dads who have embarked on similar adventures. We live in a culture where it has never been more important to praise one another and encourage others, even if they’re your biggest competitors. After all, they are the ones that help us grow in our own businesses the most, the ones that push us to be better. I love nothing more than sharing my purchases from other stores and highlighting the wonderful things others are doing in the industry.
Favorite pages on the gram?
Gosh, there are so many! I have been absolutely blessed to work with so many great Influencers but I can’t go past The Quinn Girls
. Leesh is truly a big-hearted beauty and her professionalism and eye for detail when working with businesses such as myself is second to none. I also LOVE your gorgeous feed Meags and get the BIGGEST kicks and laughs out of your hilarious memes!
Holly has very kindly offered all of our readers a HUGE 15% off when you use the code 'FAWNANDFINCH' at the checkout! You can shop her entire range by clicking the 'SHOP NOW' button below!
You can also follow along with her journey and keep up to date with all her beautiful products & creations on Holly's social media (click the icons below to check her out) xo