I like to shine a spotlight on small businesses and work-at-home mums where I can. Sometimes they are advertisers, sometimes it’s just stuff I have found and want to share. Let’s high-five them, shall we?
If you’ve traipsed around the internet in Australia, you most probably have come across online store Down That Little Lane. If you’re a blogger or a blog reader, you may even have come across its gorgeous owner, Tessa, who is a wonderful supporter of the blogosphere, and all-round rad chick. Her curated delights never fail to provide me with premium eye-candy, and I’ve often imagined whole decor overhauls and I’ve only been on her site five minutes.
Tessa works from home, and like most of us, finds it a bit of a struggle. But one she never shies away from, as it affords her flexibility and time with her family on top of doing what she loves. I find her inspirational and friendly as hell, so I was keen for a little peek into what makes her tick.
Down That Little Lane came about after Tessa found it hard to source the more unusual and quirky gifts she loved so much, and wanted a place to house all the wonderful items she’d found so far so she could share them with others. It has succeeded beyond her wildest dreams, so I asked her how she manages to balance work and home life.
“To be honest, not that well,” she says.
“I wish I could say it was easy, but it is not and I work very late most nights as a result. That said, I am lucky to be running a business that I can do from virtually anywhere, as long as I have access to the internet so I am able to work a full-time job around my children.”
It’s quite the ideal a lot of us are looking for, so it’s refreshing to hear that it can be done, and that other people find the balance elusive! With the long nights also comes the usual business challenges, like time and money, she says. But as someone who is deeply passionate about creativity, Tessa can be found tweaking the website, re-writing newsletters and fiddling with fonts until she is satisfied. Having an online business can also mean being on-call almost 24 hours a day, which she also deals with creatively: “last week I answered a customer service email at 2.30am! (it was my husband’s 40th and we were still out drinking champagne!)” … if that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is!
With one of the best eyes for detail in the business, Tessa delights in surrounding herself with similar creative people. She and her team are always on the lookout for new and unique sellers to add to the DTLL umbrella of goodness.
“I, along with three of our gorgeous people, hunt down the original source for any divine images we potter across on Pinterest or unique blogs – it’s almost a weekly challenge of who can find the best new potential store each week,” she says.
And while Tessa and her team have created an online utopia of beautiful things, she says there is still so much room for the business to grow.
“It hasn’t been easy and it still isn’t, but we love it!” she says.
We do too
Tessa has also hand-picked some gorgeous bits and pieces in different categories for us to have a squiz at – if you’re in the market for a pretty thingamabob, do please go and check them out! We love to support the people who love to support Veggie Mama. Group hug!
Work-at-home mum picks:
Eco-friendly product picks:
You can find Tessa and Down That Little Lane on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google Plus.
Disclaimer: Down That Little Lane is an advertiser on Veggie Mama. Ole!Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!