Love & Lee – caring for families, the earth & its people

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.

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It’s so good to meet you Eve, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?LOGO WITH TAG LINE 1-01

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.

Arctic_ocean_organic_gots_cotton_swaddle_muslin_wraps_2_Love_and_LeeI 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.

Grey_bamboo_baby_blanket_2_Love_and_LeeDuring 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.

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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.Grey_bamboo_baby_blanket_4_Love_and_Lee

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.

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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.

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Thank you so much Eve for sharing your story and your business with us xxx 

 

Love & Lee deliver worldwide, so if there’s someone you know who deserves the very best when it comes to baby, make sure you browse this awesome collection of organic, natural & ethical baby products. 

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Follow this link to get a 10% discount added to your cart when you purchase from Love & Lee 

Small Biz Shout Out #4 – Rainbow Light Therapies

I’m so thrilled to be gifting you this article as part of my ‘Small Biz Shout Out’ series. As the parent of a child who suffers with anxiety, it was comforting to chat to Kim from Rainbow Light Therapies to get a better understanding of how we can help our children process the plethora of information we’re faced with right now, without overwhelming them.

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I know how fantastic Kim’s work is, as my own family have worked with her, and have had great success through her gentle and effective guidance. I trust Kim implicitly to give us all the best information when it comes to helping our children, so here it is.

Kim – Rainbow Light Therapies

Firstly, how are you feeling Kim, and how do you manage your emotions in the face of this unprecedented pandemic?

I am actually grieving at the moment. Grieving for a holiday that was 12 months in the planning and will now be cancelled. We were scheduled to go to Italy for 3.5 weeks in June/July this year.
Whilst grieving for that holiday I am trying to focus on ‘the good’ that may come out of this and to practise ‘gratitude’ wherever I can.  Hopefully we will see a huge shift in humanity and, a shift that will bring us back to ‘us’ and ‘we’ rather than the ‘me’ mentality we seem to be in.
Managing emotions is tough, if like me, you are empathic, counselling people and are bombarded with Corona Virus news wherever you look.

TURN OFF SOCIAL MEDIA.  Set strict boundaries and stick to them- Kim, Rainbow Light Therapies

How can we talk to our children about Covid-19 in the right way?

Talking to our children about Covid-19 is a personal thing.  It’s like telling the kids the truth about the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.  It can be very individual.  My advice is to keep it simple and factual.  Kids have fantastic ‘bullshit monitors’ and will know when you are sidestepping or trying to cover up the truth.  Tell them the facts in age appropriate language that they understand and then ask them questions.  Test that they have understood what you have told them.

Do you think there should be a limit to what we are telling them? 

I cannot reiterate enough that we need to tell the truth.  Don’t tell them it is just the flu OR that it is not even as bad as the flu.  What do you think is going to happen next winter when you the parent end up with the flu and your child remembers all those people dying last year from Covid-19?  Dying from a virus that was the ‘flu’ or not even as bad as the flu?

I am passionate about working with children and families to heal, empower and inspire them to manage their stress and anxiety in a natural, holistic way – Kim, Rainbow Light Therapies

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Do you have any great resources you can recommend for parents who need a hand with calming children who are feeling worried at the moment?

Here is a list of free resources that I have written and produced to help our anxious kids and teens.

Articles for Parents to Read

Top 9 Stress Busters for Kids and Teens
https://rainbowlighttherapies.com.au/top-9-stress-busters-…/

More Stress Busters for Kids and Teens
https://rainbowlighttherapies.com.au/more-stress-busters-f…/

5 Tips for a Calmer Sleep
https://kiddipedia.com.au/5-tips-for-a-calmer-sleep/

Article for Teens and Adults to Read

Just Breathe (Breathing Techniques for Kids, Teens and Adults)
https://kiddipedia.com.au/just-breathe/

Managing Teen Angst (A Guide for Teens and Parents)
https://rainbowlighttherapies.com.au/managing-teen-angst-a…/

Meditations for Kids

Secret Garden Meditation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFdk3OFRA60&t=100s

Happy Place Meditation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGBkPC_Gt1E&t=432s

Meditations for Kids, Teens and Adults

Progressive Muscle Relaxation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ogoK18lnBA&t=3s

One Minute Meditation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IRaKHc8azs&t=79s

I also suggest Cosmic Kids Yoga for yoga stories and meditations.
https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga

Jason Stephenson has some wonderful kids meditations also.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDmAYm1rH8TZpwHyiav8npnsSmkHcwSCw

 

Obviously some children will feel worried about the pandemic, however when would you recommend that parents seek further help for their child? What signs should they be keeping an eye out for?

It’s important to keep an eye out for any changes in behaviour eg: onset of nail biting, more frequent stomach aches and/or headaches, trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, angry outbursts, withdrawal from the family, loss of confidence, negative talking etc.  Just to name a few.Keep the lines of communication open, ask open-ended questions (questions that require more than a one word response). If you feel you need help then get it. The strategies I outline really do work – I have a son with autism and high anxiety and they work on him.

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I am working online at this time providing counselling for kids, teens and adults as are a lot of other folk.  I am also running “Parenting Strategy” sessions online -Kim, Rainbow Light Therapies

What can parents do to better manage their emotions and therefore help stop their children’s feelings escalating?

Monkey see Monkey do!  Your kids will emulate exactly what you do.  Parents need to set a good example.  Set healthy boundaries like turning off social media.  Don’t watch the news coverage 24hours per day.  Exercise.  Eat well.  Keep to a routine.  Even just a basic routine will help as we all suffer less anxiety when we know what is going to happen next, so, set up a daily planner and stick to it (allowing for fun time, downtime and blocks of time for things to go pear shaped).

Stay home BUT stay connected.  Get the kids to show you how to do a group chat online via Skype or Zoom so that you can “see” your tribe and stay connected.  Think outside the box.  Setup games nights, birthday parties and other celebrations via online methods.  Research shows that connection lowers stress, anxiety and depression – Kim, Rainbow Light Therapies

Kim is working online at the moment. She offers a range of services including Kids and Teens Group and Individual Managing Anxiety Sessions, Kids, Teens and Adults Reiki Workshops and Intuitive Healings, Kids, Teens and Adults Spiritual Development Workshops and Individual and Family Counselling Sessions for the whole family.

You can get in touch with Kim by emailing her – kim@rainbowlighttherapies.com.au

You can check out more from Kim via her website, and by finding her on InstagramFacebook & YouTube


 

Thank You!

Whilst many, many small businesses are letting go of staff, and popping the ‘closed’ sign on the door for the last time, thousands more are trying their absolute best not to become a victim of the Covid-19 Pandemic. That is why it is crucially important that we all make sure we are researching before buying and making a real point of ‘shopping small’. By sharing these posts you are sharing this small business with your friends and you are creating a chain of exposure for each and every business we feature. Imagine the difference you could make, just with the click of a button!!

Who can you support next?

Liv xx

 

Small Biz Shout Out #3 -Elly VValler Design

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I am so excited to introduce you all to Elly Vvaller. Elly is not only a beautiful person, she is also the creator of some insanely gorgeous hand printed paper goods! Yes that says hand printed!!!
I had a good chat with Elly and asked her to share her story, so that you could all be encouraged to reach out and support her.

Elly – Elly VValler Design

I’ve been running my own business since 2015.  I started whilst on maternity leave, got my first big retailer early on and the rest followed!
Originally from the UK, I’m now based in Sweden where I run the business from my peaceful home studio.
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I have always been creative and am an illustrator at heart. For that reason, when I started my business I decided to specialise in beautiful hand foiled greetings cards and prints. I sell these worldwide via wholesale and through Etsy for those of you who love putting pen to paper or wrapping gifts in delightful designs.
The current climate means that I’m having to be a little more creative in how I work and what I’m producing. I’ve found my new print at home files  are doing well and I’m hoping to offer a bespoke service where I ship products direct with a personal message.  Fingers crossed!
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As a small business owner, I’m continuously looking at working harder on my social presence.  I feel that it’s so important my customers know who’s behind the brand and understand that there’s more to me than my stationery.  I am currently working on a brand new website that combines my love for vintage, styling and illustration, so watch this space!
Collaborations are at the top of my list!  Do get in touch if you have a great idea! 
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At times like this we all need to remember we’re in this together!  It’s unthinkable that every single person and business is affected by Covid 19 no matter how big or small they are.  I truly hope we can learn to see the positive take aways from this situation we find ourselves in. I’m hoping that over time we relearn the joy of snail mail, slowing down and most importantly, staying in touch.  Writing is our historical archive and we don’t want to lose it in a time when text and zoom is king.
I am lucky in that I haven’t had to make too many changes to my way of working because of the pandemic. However, I have made it my goal to create more of a presence on social media to really reach my customers and show them who I am and what I am creating. I’d love for you to reach out and find me, see my work, like what I do, and purchase something that may brighten someone’s day just at the right time.
Elly xx 
If you would like to get in touch with Elly regarding wholesale or purchasing something to make someone smile, please email her directly at @ellyvvallerdesign@gmail.com     or you can reach out to her through Instagram 

Thank You!

Whilst many, many small businesses are letting go of staff, and popping the ‘closed’ sign on the door for the last time, thousands more are trying their absolute best not to become a victim of the Covid-19 Pandemic. That is why it is crucially important that we all make sure we are researching before buying and making a real point of ‘shopping small’. By sharing these posts you are sharing this small business with your friends and you are creating a chain of exposure for each and every business we feature. Imagine the difference you could make, just with the click of a button!!

Who can you support next?

Liv xx

 

Small Biz Shout Out #2 Love Gwen Jewellery

The first time I spoke to Corinne, and heard her story, I just wanted to reach out and hug her. However, due to social distancing and all that, I am only able to show her my love by sharing with you, her story. This is not only a tale of bravery against the odds, determination and love, it is a story that will make you realise exactly why shopping small is so damn important. Keeping talented people like Corinne supported should be the first thing we think when we are looking to buy.  Here is Corinne’s story!

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Corinne – Love Gwen Jewellery

I have always been an artist, I did sculpture, painting and in my 20’s I started as a young apprentice under my now mentor Lisa. I worked with Lisa for 13 years, after begging her to hire me! I learned from a strong woman doing it on her own and have now followed in her footsteps.

After having my two children Beau (7)and Gwen (4) I was inspired to create jewellery that made me and my customers capture the love that our children, siblings and partners had brought us.

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My little Gwendolyn inspired most of the pieces you see on my online shop.  Gwen is a free spirit and from the minute she was born, my desire to create and inspire kept growing stronger. Don’t get me wrong cleaning up my 4-year-olds vomit while breastfeeding my 6-month-old DID also inspire me to do something more with my day to day too BUT mostly I have always been a maker.

I had been dreaming about starting Love Gwen Jewellery for years but the universe decided to give me one giant kick up the ass to get my jewellery out there.

I was working for another jeweller in a tiny shop when I was robbed, in broad daylight, on my own. 5 men smashed through the windows and threatened to kill me with hammers. It was the most terrifying moment of my life. In an instant I thought I would die and never see my family again. They left with jewels and money and I was left coping with PTSD and raising 2 children under 4, whilst my husband went to work. It was one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced.

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After that, I could never work in a shop again, I could barely cope with my day to day.  My work was always such a huge part of who I was creatively, so how would I work again and heal? Love Gwen Jewellery was finally born. It healed me from my trauma and made me see how much making others happy with my jewellery is what I have always needed to do. I could breathe when I was making and I could learn to be a good mum again too. 

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Two months later, I hit another bump in the road. Cancer. I had grown a tennis ball size tumour in my armpit. It seems my stress and anxiety from the robbery had manifested into a huge lump. I still remember when the doctor told me. I skipped into the office thinking I was untouchable, I’d been through enough yeh? Wrong. Apparently I still had some battles to go. In the coming weeks I had major surgery and survived. Now missing an armpit and with one boob slightly lower, I was ok. I still kept Love Gwen Jewellery going and I remember doing all my Christmas orders 1 month later in a sling after surgery. Once again Love Gwen saved me.

It has been 3 years and between routine scans, anxiety, and support from family and friends Love Gwen Jewellery has thrived.
I shared my love and made pieces that people truly cherish – Corinne
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I’ve had Abby Gilmore, Constance Hall, and Celeste Barber all tell the world they loved their Love Gwen pieces and it has been an amazing ride. My hubby and my kids are so proud and they tell their friends at school, that mum will make them jewellery.  My son Beau has brought home a few little girls bracelets for me to fix which I love.
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All the jewellery I make is made with my own two hands, and every piece is personal. I promise it’s made to last.- Corinne
I do a lot of custom pieces which I LOVE and engagement rings.
My jewellery is sterling silver and gold, nothing is plated and all links are soldered, it really is made to last a lifetime. My jewellery won’t change colour or snap, never to be seen again the junk jewellery pile!
I make pieces for baby to adult, that will last their whole lives and it makes me so happy that something I made will be with them forever – Corinne
Another thing I do at Love Gwen which I really adore, is I get kids, or adults to write their own names or even the writing of a loved one that has passed, and I turn it into a name necklace for them. That is truly rewarding work.
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In times like these

Unfortunately jewellery is generally one of the first things to go when times get tough. It gets pushed to the back of the to do list. My customers are mostly Mumma’s who deserve to treat themselves and want to honour their families in jewellery. So when Mumma is trying to survive, she puts her wants and needs last.
It’s also a very hard thing to promote when you know people are struggling. We are all struggling.

Changes

I like all small business owners have had to make changes to the way I work. I have recently eliminated postage costs to customers. For now, I will pay for that. I have also made sure I offer sales whenever I can. My product quality will never change. The price of gold keeps going up but I’m keeping my prices as they are. I have been offering to send gifts directly to the receiver, so no one needs to leave the couch (the best part of online shopping!). A lot of mums won’t be out shopping for birthdays, and Mothers Day, so I’m happy to wrap it up and pop it in the mail on their behalf.
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To all my customers I want to let you know I am still here! I will be here for that birthday you can’t celebrate, that mum you can’t catch up with on Mothers Day, that 1st birthday that got cancelled. That Christening that you couldn’t go to.
What better way to show someone you love, you’re thinking of them, than a piece of jewellery that will last them their lifetime – Corinne
You can support Corinne by checking out her beautiful range at Love Gwen Handmade Jewellery 
You can also find Love Gwen Jewellery on Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest
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You can also email Corinne Barlow if you have something you may like to commission – corinne@lovegwenjewellery.com.au
WORLDWIDE SHIPPING AVAILABLE

Thank You!

Whilst many, many small businesses are letting go of staff, and popping the ‘closed’ sign on the door for the last time, thousands more are trying their absolute best not to become a victim of the Covid-19 Pandemic. That is why it is crucially important that we all make sure we are researching before buying and making a real point of ‘shopping small’. By sharing these posts you are sharing this small business with your friends and you are creating a chain of exposure for each and every business we feature. Imagine the difference you could make, just with the click of a button!!

Who can you support next?

Liv xx

 

Small Biz Shout Out #1 Cakes by Carter

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I’m so happy to be introducing you to Lisa for #1 in my ‘Small Biz Shout Out’ series. Not only does Lisa create the most incredible cakes right here in Melbourne, (I’ve eaten a few) she is also a genuinely good human. If ever you wanted to support a small business, this is the one for you. I mean, great human and gorgeous cake… Is there a better mix?
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Hello everyone! I’m Carter – Lisa Carter. My dear Qantas family, in Melbourne, where I worked for many years helped create the name of ‘Cakes By Carter‘ on a lonely nightshift, and the dream has been moving slowly since then.
Cakes by Carter was created out of a passion for home baking after making my first wedding cake back in 2002. Now, 18 years on I am still baking and specialising in cakes; all kinds of cakes. I offer novelty, wedding, proposal, baby reveal, cupcakes… you name it, I can do it! I also have a unique talent for decorating cookies using the freshest of ingredients, all hand made by me. Vegan, gluten free and egg free are some of our frequent requests, so no one is left out!
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Cakes by Carter is a loyal member and of the CDAV (Cake Decorators Association of Victoria) and I have a genuine passion and love for what I do. I am proud to be a 6 time winner at the Royal Melbourne Show & Red Hill Show.
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The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on my business. From weddings to birthday parties, and all other events on hold, Cakes by Carter has had most bookings cancelled. For my small business this is huge. Looking at an almost empty booking diary is not what I was expecting at this point in the year.
Being home based and always maintaining a certificate in food safety, I can guarantee our practices are safe and adhere to new Covid-19 measures as put in place by the Government.I have recently updated my practices to include the addition of hair nets and face masks while continuing to wear gloves as always – Lisa Carter

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To Melbourne, I would like to say, I am still operating. I’m still filling my kitchen with beautiful baking smells, and I would love to create something for your loved ones, especially at a time when we are all desperately searching for special connections.
Let me, Cakes by Carter help you surprise your loved ones, friends or work colleagues with a contactless delivery of cupcakes, cookies or a cake. If you know someone who has to stay home for their upcoming birthday why not have a gorgeous small cake delivered right to their door?

You can support Cakes by Carter on Instagram & Facebook

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Thank You!

Whilst many, many small businesses are letting go of staff, and popping the ‘closed’ sign on the door for the last time, thousands more are trying their absolute best not to become a victim of the Covid-19 Pandemic. That is why it is crucially important that we all make sure we are researching before buying and making a real point of ‘shopping small’. By sharing these posts you are sharing this small business with your friends and you are creating a chain of exposure for each and every business we feature. Imagine the difference you could make, just with the click of a button!!

Who can you support next?

Liv xx