Welcome to "Up close & personal", the first in a series of intimate and honest interviews with real, accomplished and inspiring women. To kick things off, a chat with Tessa White, owner/creator of Down That Little Lane - described by Madison Magazine as, "Australia's local answer to Etsy - our advice, check it out immediately." And I'd say they're pretty on the money. Down That Little Lane is like no other online retail site that currently exists in this country. A superbly curated collection of unique pieces, handmade trinkets and general droolworthy items du jour (if it isn't already on your bookmarks bar you need to sort that out), DTLL is set to become the go-to place to find that special something. It's a credit to this regular chick who's a mum like you, loves chocolate like you, and somehow finds time to be exceptional... Here's Tessa...
*Introduce us to the clan... There is Marcus and I.. both still sub 40 ;) and my kiddlywinx are Kitty Jasmine who is 5 in a few weeks and we have Master Harrington Kingsley who is 3.5
*What are your 5 favourite things? My 5 favourite things would have to be time with my favourite people, a long bush run, a roast dinner, pottering around Vinnie's and lastly a lounger in the sun with a mag and some chocolate (is that last one a cheat as it has too many elements? lol)
*Most humbling moment as a parent? Wow thats a biggy...I think it has to shared between both the kids and there is one thing that always floors me and melts my heart - It is when they come to me unprompted for a cuddle and to tell me they love me.. its not daily but it happens and I have never felt more proud or had all those tough days swept away by just a few words..
*Greatest challenge you've faced as a parent? Oooh.... Learning how to recognise my bad traits in my kids before they truly blossom and nurture them along a path that is more positive. I don't see any of my traits as truly negative but I know they could possibly be shaped in a more constructive manner..
*Best advice you've been given? "Be patient and believe". That was said to me before my first Ironman Race but it has sat with me for everything since then. Not just with my kids but with my business, life and remains for my sporting challenges.. It is so true. You can't have what you want just like that. Everything in life takes time and hard work but if you truly believe it is worth the effort and commit to putting in that effort it will be...
*How do you find the balance between Tessa-the-mum and Tessa-the-BizLady? To be honest, I don't.. I find it hard as I am sure all working Mums do. I am getting better as time goes on and on the days I have my buddies with me I ensure we go out for the morning and arrange play dates and catch ups in the afternoon. It forces me to step away at least 75% and I know they are having fun.
We come home at lunch and I allow them to watch a DVD, that gives me the time to work uninterrupted and do enough that I can walk away for the afternoon until they go to bed in the evening..
I wish I could switch off but I live and breathe DTLL.. its my 3rd baby and so for now I struggle with the balance but as each month passes I am getting better and better
*Favourite downtime pastime? Curling up on the sofa with hubby, a bar of chocolate and a good DVD
*What led to the creation of DTLL? Well that was a long time coming but it started about 3 years ago...I was always a book marker, I just couldn't help myself. When I found something unique I saved it to come back too, I mean what if it hadn't been able to find it again?!
My friends were always asking for recommendations. I always had the bookmark for exactly what they wanted but I realised there wasn’t a one-stop shop that I could send them too.
*Most gratifying moment in the DTLL journey so far? They just keep coming... a stores first sale always makes me smile. Seeing our name in print is VERY special but I think these days the truly gratifying is the amount of personal emails I get from buyers and sellers saying how much they love the site, that the selection of products is divine and that they love the way it all looks. It makes me so proud and that is truly gratifying
*What's next? Oh my... if I could show the development tickets we have created you would wet your pants. Our creative team bounce a million ideas around and we then implement the ones that will be most fabulous for our buyers and sellers alike. We are going to be continuously developing the site and ensure it is a fun place to hang out.
As for right now.. we are about to shoot a series of images to showcase just what DTLL is and who our gorgeous sellers are. We have one of Australia's best stylists from a very high profile interiors magazine onboard and I can't wait to see how it all turns out.. it will be two days of DTLL Decadence!!
I'm in awe of you Tessa! Check out DTLL here!