I LOVE it when I see women turn their dreams into reality. When I heard about Carly and her new business: Little Lettie Boxes, I wanted to chat to her about how she turned an idea into a viable business venture. I am inspired by the number of mothers who are forging their own way with micro-businesses. It takes guts and self-belief and I am completely in awe of those that do it.
Let’s chat to Carly of Little Lettie Boxes ….
What did your life look like before kids?
Before Scarlett, I worked full time as an Early Childhood Teacher in a long day care centre in Ultimo. I lived in Glebe + would run around Blackwattle Bay. James + I would go out for breakfast every Saturday + we spent a lot of time watching our favourite television shows together or going out for dinner + the movies.
Did your feelings about yourself and what you are capable of achieving change after having kids?
Yes, you question yourself so much more when you have a child to look after. Being an Early Childhood Teacher, everyone thought I knew exactly what I was doing. Not true at all! Having said that, I found myself knowing that I could achieve so much more after having her. After giving birth (and surviving on that lack of sleep – and I still am!) made me realise how much I can do if I believe in myself.
What gave you the idea to start Little Lettie Boxes?
When I was pregnant with monkey I would watch YouTube clips of other mummas, most were in America as I couldn’t find anyone in Australia who documented their pregnancy in such a way (maybe I just didn’t look hard enough!) A lot of these mummas would open their ‘Citrus Lane’ boxes on camera. It was amazing to watch and I loved the element of surprise; not knowing what you were going to get and that the box was tailored to you. I signed up but then quickly realised that they don’t ship to Australia. I searched here for something similar, where a toy or item was sent (not a beauty product) every month and I came up with nothing. One company I did find, had closed their shop only a few months before I started my search.
I spoke at lengths with starting my own business with James; and so Little Lettie Boxes was born. At the moment, it will be a premade gift box that you can order and hopefully by the end of 2015 I will have the subscription boxes up and ready to go for the new year!
What was the thing that set the spark alight to turn that dream into a reality?
I came home from work one Tuesday in late June and James told me that a company in his hometown of Dubbo was looking to hire a new team member. After I had given birth to Scarlett we toyed with the idea of moving their as his family is there and are extremely supportive, compared to in Sydney where we have no one. We discussed at lengths the possibility of moving, particularly because I was about to secure an amazing opportunity at work where I would become the assistant director. He got the job and it was decided that if we moved, that I would explore launching my business while I stay home with Scarlett.
What has been the most inspiring thing to happen on your journey to making Little Lettie Boxes a reality?
The amount of support. Little Lettie Boxes will contain items made by other mummas who have created a business for themselves and I am still in awe of the amazing business who have jumped at the chance to contribute their items to our boxes (both subscription + gift!)
What has been the toughest thing so far, and how did you overcome it?
Personally, depression. I was diagnosed with Chronic Depression, Extreme Stress + Anxiety the year before I had Scarlett and it was quite a terrible time for me looking back. Having no self worth or esteem can play havoc with your self talk. So at times, it is hard for me to see the positive and when things go bad for me, they often feel like the end of the world. Most days though, I am great and have the most positive outlook on life. For me, going and talking with a psychologist really helped + my lovely community I have on my instagram account.
Do you have the support of your family and friends? What does that look like in a practical sense?
Yes. As we now live in Dubbo, his family are there and can be there to help at a quick call. They are very excited that we live so close now + are very willing to help. James’ sister, Aunty Em helped look after Scarlett for me the other day while I did a mad dash around the house to clean in lieu of an inspection!
Mummas. Every single mumma out there is my hero. I honestly never understood the term ‘tired’ until I had Scarlett and I am in awe of everything that we as women do each and every day for our children. Just amazing. Not to mention childbirth!
What do you do on days when it all feels a bit too much?
I love to colour in, go for a walk, eat chocolate or something equally naughty, have a bath, paint my toenails or go shopping.
Where will Little Lettie Boxes be in five years time?
I am hoping that it will be a thriving business within five years and that it will be able to support my little family.
What advice would you give a mum looking to set up her own business?
Research! Find out your market, explore the need + examine your competition. Be different!
How can we follow what you are up to at Little Lettie Boxes?
At the moment, our site is being developed by Michelle from Little Hero Designs (http://www.littleherodesigns.com.au/).