First up is the gorgeous Janette from My Sweet Prints, who is mum to 2 year old Will. Janette is the reason I started blogging (before that I had no idea what a blog was)! I first noticed her Eye Chart print in Shop 4 Kids and jumped onto her blog (and started following) with the intention of ordering it. However, I got distracted by ALL of her beautiful prints….I did however order the Made with Love print (I shared here). Since then my collection has grown and I also have a Made with Love print for Charles and a Charlies World print (am I a fan much?!).
Janette & Will
My Sweet Prints (www.MySweetPrints.com.au) is a range of original and personalised art prints, for the home, nursery and the heart!
I recently launched a canvas range with a large canvas World Map and canvas Height Charts which I am still very excited about.
How did My Sweet Prints get started?
I had always dreamed of having my own business. And I didn’t want to return to my job as a Graphic Designer in the magazine industry after I had Will – I wanted a flexible work arrangement which is often hard to find.
I now have around 20 stockists and my own website and shopping cart on www.MySweetPrints.com.au.
What does a typical day involve for you? How do you balance work life & children?
A typical day starts around 6am as my cheeky little monkey wakes up and jumps into bed with us. On a day that I work and Will goes to his little daycare we just get ready for the day slowly and all have breakfast together. I drop Will to his school around 8.30-9am and I enjoy hanging out there for a little while as he settles in.
Then spending the day getting the files ready for customised prints, returning email enquiries. Write a blog post or two and get my orders all ready for posting.
I usually take myself out for lunch just to get out of the house and then back home to finish off work, packaging and labelling the orders before I go to the post office to post them off. I pick up Will around 4-4.30pm and then we do the usual afternoon evening routine.
If I’m really busy then I’ll work at night after dinner, sitting on the lounge next to hubby with my laptop.
Do you have childcare?
For the first year of starting My Sweet Prints I was so lucky in that I was able to juggle both looking after William full time as well as running my business. But by the time Will got to 18 months it was getting harder to entertain/stimulate him and work volumes really increased so we put him into the little daycare up the road. He loves it as he is very social and active and it means that I can get my work done on the set days that he’s in daycare and then the days that he’s at home with me we can have quality time together without work getting in the way.
What type of activities (i.e. Playgroups, swimming etc) do you do with your little one?
We were doing more structured activities last year but now that Will is in daycare a few days a week we just have more of a chill out time together. We do go to a church bible study once a week though which is great because Will can play with his little Sunday school friends and I can catch up with the other girls from the area/church. Otherwise we have play dates or meet up with my Mum which is always fun.
Hubby is teaching William to swim so that’s more of a weekend activity that they do together which is really sweet!
When you not working, how do you entertain bub?
Will loves pottering around the backyard so we spend a lot of time out there. Otherwise lots of books, toys and cuddles/rumbling.
Any tips for staying organised?
The great thing about working from home is that I can be flexible with mixing household chores and work. For example I’ll put a load of washing on then check my orders then hang the washing out then follow up on emails… it breaks up the day which is great when you’re working from home.
The other thing I do to help stay organised is I often do a big cook-up on a Sunday afternoon and cook a few big meals and freeze them for the week. It means that I don’t have to worry about all the preparing meals/cooking/washing up etc during the week, I find it makes a big difference.
Do you work from a dedicated home office/space/where ever you lay your laptop?
We have a home office set up in our study which has all of my work bits and pieces but I find that I usually work from the lounge room as we have lovely sun coming in all day, I can look out the window and watch the world go by and I often put the TV on low in the background for some company. Also when Will is at home with me I can check emails while he plays with his toys and I’m not shutting myself away from the family in the study.
Do you have any sanity saving tips for other working from home parents?
Take yourself out at least once a day, just go for a coffee, a walk or window shopping just to get out of the house and take your mind off work for a while.
I also love blogging (www.MySweetPrintsBlog.blogspot.com) and have found it fantastic as a work from home parent, as I think of it as kind of like having colleagues. I catch up on other peoples daily lives or inspiration and I share about my day/work/projects etc.
Also because I love my ‘work’ so much it can be hard to put the laptop down in the evening, I could design and search the web and find inspiration all day long so making sure I put the laptop away for a break and for some quality time with my husband is important.
What are your ‘can’t live without’ items?
I’d have to say my Mac Book, it has my whole life on it just about. My label printer is a little gem and my iPhone – I can write back to customers while I’m down at the park or standing in the grocery line.