I am so excited to introduce you all to Eve from Love & Lee. Eve began her business with love in her heart and you can tell! Love shines through every glorious product. This wonderful collection of baby products is organic, natural, and ethical, in fact, they’re so lovely I’m almost tempted to have another baby just to get my hands on them.
Eve Cammel – Mother and Managing Director of Love and Lee Ltd.
Originally from The Netherlands, I immigrated to countryside New Zealand at age 9. I learnt English at the local primary school and had a great childhood on the farm where we were often working with mum and dad in the field.
After spending a fantastic early 20’s in Queenstown, NZ, I moved to Australia with my now husband at 25. I now live in Noosa, Sunshine Coast with my 2 young children aged 8 and 4.
I love spending time with my friends & family, and I also love a glass of wine and a good book. When I immerse myself in a topic I really like to learn as much as I can about it, whether it be business, astrophysics or good gut health – my interests vary greatly depending on what floats my boat at the time.
What inspired you to create Love & Lee?
I’ve always had big dreams and have always pushed myself in my career. After having my girls, I wanted to create a beautiful career, something I could be proud of. I wanted to build a business in order to provide employment opportunities for other women who had children, who would want to work flexible and part time hours whilst also having the opportunity to shine in their own expertise.
The catalyst to starting Love & Lee was after I had my youngest child. I knew it didn’t feel right to go back to my old job, which I loved. I was searching for something I could put 100% brain power into, without limits and something to completely take my focus.
During that time, I was becoming much more aware of our health and how many chemicals were normalised in our society. Although our family had a great diet and a natural lifestyle we furthered this by concentrating on gut health, plus eliminating as many nasties as possible from our clothing, food, home and environment. It was from here that I wished there had been a better selection of organic, eco-friendly, certified and plastic free baby products available.
Once the idea was born, it came time to design the packaging. I really wanted to create something which included the older sibling in the gift giving process. I’d been to so many baby showers and watched on as the older sibling started to feel left out. ‘All the presents are for the baby, what about me?’ Becoming a big sister or big brother should be celebrated, they also deserve to feel special. As part of my environmental journey, I wanted to create packaging which was not only plastic free but could also be reused, repurposed and recycled. This is when the idea of turning the packaging into toys came from.
The first 12 months of business have been a crazy ride, I lost money by trusting manufacturing contacts who didn’t deliver, I won awards including the recent ‘Most Innovative Start Up of the Year Asia Pacific Stevie Award’ and having staff meetings by myself sometimes took its toll. But I love it!! I absolutely love the freedom to think of, design and create beautiful plastic free, organic and eco-friendly products.
How have you found combining business & motherhood?
I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to be able to combine both and dictate my own hours. I work early mornings, late nights and weekends, and can often be found on my phone in the car while waiting at school pick up.
It’s not always easy but I can be there when my girls need me. I can juggle for the time being. When they are sick, we move between watching Frozen 2 on the couch to sitting on my lap whilst I type emails.
I think every working mother has the same challenges but I feel lucky to be working for my own business. Despite never really switching off from work or having a finishing time, I’m able to prioritise my girls when they need it.
What challenges have you faced if any due to the global pandemic?
Remote learning and work – geez! That was hectic!
At one point I had my 8 year old doing her school work on my desk and my 4 year old on my lap listening to Cinderella audio books whilst writing emails to stockists & manufacturers whilst packing orders and trying to get to the Post Office before it closed! You know how it is!! Fortunately my business grew quickly during that time because everyone was online shopping. As a new business I was incredibly grateful for this growth and at the same time was feeling very lucky to still be working when so many people around me were losing jobs.
What have I learned?
Never give up!! Believe you can do it and surround yourself with people who also believe in you and support you. There will always be people who say you can’t, but I’m a firm believer in just going for it and supporting each other.
Women in business are so powerful, insightful, thoughtful and supportive. Individually we are just a drop in the ocean but together we ARE the ocean. This is what I love about my job the most. I work with incredible people every day, I’ve gathered a great crew of legends for which I am forever grateful.
Thank you so much Eve for sharing your story and your business with us xxx