20 Mar Interview with Working Mum Amanda Lee ~ Interior Motives
Meet Amanda Lee— our Business Mama of the week. Amanda turned her money savvy attitude and her inner craft addict to a thriving homewares and interior styling business. Some of her gorgeous products include personalised children’s name hangers, leather strapped shelving and a brand new A5 print range. When Amanda isn’t busy cutting, sanding and sewing leather she’s spending time with her gorgeous girls.
The Nanny Collective sits down with Amanda to discuss all things business and motherhood and how she manages to keep the two in sync.
Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I’m Amanda, 28, and along with my husband and two girls (Ella, 3yrs & Ruby, 5yrs), we all live in Tasmania and love it. Hubbie works full time at an asphalt landscaping company and Ella my 3-year-old — AKA ‘ninja’ — because she is constantly climbing, moving and I swear the fastest child I have ever seen — has been at home with me full time. Ruby, 5yrs, an animal lover who has spent half her life on all fours with a piece of leather as her tail and barking like a puppy has just started Prep (and yes she leaves the tail at home).
Please tell me how Interior Motives Aus came to be?
I have always been a big fan of DIY and when you have been living off one wage for 5 years, being a stay-at-home mum, you quickly learn how to budget. So when it came time to decorate Ruby’s ‘big girl’ room, my inner craft addict came out and with the guidance of my husband’s power tool skills, I made her a Timber Poster Hanger for a poster I printed from ETSY.
I had just started an Instagram account around the same time for posting home photos/interior styling etc. Others liked the hanger and so I decided to start selling them as a hobby and for some pocket money. I remember when my first order came through, I was so nervous and excited! It took a few weeks of Instagramming to get a steady stream of orders coming in. Shortly after, I added my leather range of shelves, drawer pulls and straps. Within a short few months, I was working full time with over 60 orders a week. I went from being a full time mum to a working mum in no time at all.
Where do Interior Motives designs come from and do you have a favourite?
A lot of my designs are Scandi inspired, especially the leather range. I love keeping them fresh, simple and minimal. My favourite would be our Natural Leather Strap Sets, a stylish & affordable way to make a DIY shelf.
What have been the highlights of Interior Motives so far?
I love seeing people post photos on Instagram with my products and seeing how they style them. I’ve even had couple of my items printed in magazines for photo shoots which is really exciting. Also, working with interior stylists and making custom products for their room installations is definitely a highlight.
Being a mother is a full time job and additionally you are working on your business, Interior Motives. How did you make it all work?
It is a big balancing act! I find being super organized and planning for the day ahead extremely important. I love working and creating from home, but with two small children it can be hard to stick to a ‘schedule’. So I set mini, achievable goals for each day and once I reach them, anything I get done after that is a bonus! While I make the majority of the products for the business myself, my husband is a huge help when I have a big influx of orders and need an extra pair of hands. Or at night time when I have a little book work or I’m finishing up for the day he will get the kids ready for bed and read them a story. I’m very fortunate to have a big family that all live close by so I have a lot of support from them also. My niece has just started working for Interior Motives, making poster hangers and a few items from the leather range.
What were your greatest challenges as a working mum?
Being a working mum can be tough. I’ve learned to embrace the mess. The kids are making mess, I’m making mess, the whole house can be a mess but I have a job that I enjoy and allows me to have the children at home with me. I often have Ruby sitting next to me in my office drawing pictures while I’m cutting leather & packaging orders. This year I want to try and have set days that I work and days that I am just mummy. So Ella is going to day care 1.5 days a week so I can get as much stock made as possible. Then the rest of the week I can just package orders, make extra stock if I get time, and most importantly, be mummy.
What are your most cherished memories of motherhood?
So many! Those early morning snuggles when they were babies, the giggles from playing with daddy, the proud looks on their faces when they learn to do something new. Their happiness is probably what I cherish most.
Where can we find out more about Interior Motives?