Little Bird Designs was my first business, and it really started by trying to find something to do that would fit in with my three young children – Jackson , Sienna and Harry. Prior to having children, I sold brand new homes which was very demanding with weekend and night work, definitely not family-friendly.
It’s funny the way life takes you in certain directions – I had never planned on designing children’s clothing although when I was little I did want to be a fashion designer. When I had my second child, my daughter Sienna, I started making decorative things for her room and making her clothes - and that’s how it all got started. Friends would see the clothes that I made for Sienna and they would order some designs and then their friends would order some items and that’s really how it got rolling. It started to grow so quickly that I developed the website and put my designs online.
The business took a new direction about 18 months ago when I started working with polymer clay to make little girls' necklaces. I had first worked with polymer clay when I was a little girl. At around the age of ten I used to design jewellery and sell it to my mum’s friends at various functions that she had. I guess always loved creating! The jewellery side of my business really began with designs for little girls, to complement the clothing. And then one day I had a few beads left over so I made a few necklaces for myself and then everyone started asking me for those. Now LBD has grown and is the major part of my business – with eight retail stores now stocking my seasonal collections.
Fitting my business life in with family life is not always easy. I try and shuffle and juggle as we all do as Mums – and I don’t always get it right, but I try. Sometimes I set my alarm for 4am so I can get some work done before the children get up. I work when the kids have school and kinder, and sometimes I work late in to the night. I just try and fit work in where I can. Fortunately I love what I do, so when I have time to myself I love going into my studio to work on my orders and develop my range. My business is also my hobby.
I can do school duty and take them to and from school and to all their sporting commitments - and I can fit my business in around my family.
What does success look like to me? I’m not looking to be huge – I don’t want to work with major retailers or to be a famous designer. I just want to get my life balance right and have some extra spending money.
Fortunately my partner is very supportive of what I do. It’s important to always remember what your key objective is with your business, whether that is to grow into a large business or if it is to fit your business in with your family life.
LBD by Little Bird Designs is a collection of necklaces and earrings, in seasonal colours and designs, handmade in Melbourne by Sophia Norris.
Tel: 0430 100 582
Copy: Melanie Quirk Photography: SomedaySomehowStudios
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