She is also the founder of Love Mae, which is one of my all time favourite brands that I came across as a new mum myself. As some of you may have seen on my Instagram, I adore their bio-degradable, non-toxic, plastic free, bamboo dinnerware which we use daily for my daughter. I didn't know that their range is actually a lot more broad, including; lunch boxes, stickers, wall decals and kid's room decorations.
I wanted to know more about this ambitious Mumprenuer in Byron Bay, and I want you to know more about her as well!
WELCOME Peta!!!!! SO happy to have you!
A lot of people might not know that you used to be a photographer and a chef before starting Love Mae in 2008. What did you learn most about yourself when you were in these professions?
I learned early on that you can do anything if someone gives you the chance…. and that I work well under pressure. The pressure makes me tap into this "can do" space in my brain and all the noise of failure and insecurity disappears. At that point I can just do what needs to be done. It’s such an empowering feeling, and these days I feel like I can tap into that space whenever I like. My brain is wired to achieve.... some days that is good…. and others it is just purely annoying! he he
What's your house like in Byron Bay? Is it as perfect and whimsical as your designs?
Actually I think I’m a little in between styles at the moment. We moved from our renovated hinterland cottage about three years ago and headed back to the beach… worst house, best location kinda situation. I live about 15 minutes north of Byron in an old holiday house, that is small and desperately in need of a makeover. I’m not too precious though and I can easily wait while we work on the plans. Meanwhile, we can hear the waves and we’ve made it comfortable with relaxed furniture and landscaped the backyard. We spend our time on our large back deck where there is a huge table for hanging out with friends, as well as a lounge area for lazing…. although being winter we spend more time around the fire pit than anywhere else.
My favourite restaurant in Byron is Folk. What's yours?
Oh I love Folk, I could live there… quite literally. It’s hard to talk favourites… do you mind if I give you my Top 5? For lunch, they would be 100 Mile Table (The Best!), The Farm, Luscious, Barrio and the pop up Japanese that you’ll find in a caravan Tuesday to Friday out the front of the surf shop. We are spoiled for choice and that is not even taking into account the cafes and restaurants in the town centre of Byron.
Why did you choose bamboo for the dinnerware range?
We originally used to make our dinnerware in melamine. It took a lot of time to allow myself to free the guilt from producing something so disastrous for the planet and it’s oceans. That stuff will never break down, and I still cringe a little that we did it. When I went looking for an alternative, bamboo was the one that stood out for us because it ticked all the right boxes. What a brilliant thing that these sets will not cause the troubles that melamine and other products do.
What's the very first thing you do every morning?
Meditate…. it’s the only way my brain won’t self destruct. ;-)
Childbirth: Traumatic, transformative or ___________?
Interesting… slightly questionable that it needs to be like that (he he)…. but in the end, amazing! Nothing beats that moment of the last push and the sound of your baby realising they are filling their lungs with air.
My favourite time of day is….
This is hard, I love so many parts of the day. At a push my favourite part is my swim in the ocean. I swim almost every day of the year… including winter. Nothing beats the rush in winter and in summer it’s just pure weightless bliss.
The best thing about being a small business owner…..
Giving a shit about everything… employees, customers, products… even the layout and look of the studio. It feels so good to care and to ride the ups and downs of your own decisions. It’s not like I ever feel in control, but if I lean enough in a certain direction it steers the ship and that feels great.
The worst thing about being a small business owner….
I find hiring and firing very painful. I get so nervous interviewing and need help throughout the whole process. I’m a bit awkward at the best of times and in that situation I’m a mess. As for firing…. no words needed! No one enjoys that process and I’m lucky it's so rare I don’t usually have to worry about it.
How do you practice self care?
Every morning I rise before anyone in my house and sit still for 15 - 20 minutes (meditate), then exercise and finish off with a swim. I’ve only just gotten back to the exercise bit, and I’ve sworn to my body to never give it up…. even when I get back to fitting into my clothes!
Recently I fell off the wagon and it wasn’t pretty. I now find the strength to get up every morning and show the body and mind complete respect.
What’s the best book you have have ever read?
Again I’m sorry…. it’s too much pressure for something I have such passion for… I LOVE reading! Here’s my Top 5.
Aztec, by Gary Jennings (History is so disturbing and intense and this is not for the feint hearted!)
Education of Little Tree, by Forrest Carter (my kind of bible)
The Signature of all Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Mallawindy, by Joy Dettman
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.
I know that as soon as I press send I’ll think of another 5 books I wish I had of put here. I love books so much.
In your opinion, what determines success?
Perseverance and endurance. You need to wholeheartedly want to complete things no matter the odds. Admittedly, sometimes the stars need to align and I have all sorts of personal theories on that. The important things it to know how to get things done and keep at it no matter how rough the road may seem.
Your work culture at Love Mae is “Family First,” which I love. Over the last ten years, has it been difficult to put your family first juggling life, work and two daughters?
In all honesty, it is easy to create that ethos for everyone that works here, but for me it’s the hardest thing ever. The assembly performance coincides with deadlines for the new range, or the NY trade show falls on my husband's birthday, my girls are sick when I’ve got meetings that took months to get… the list goes on, but I just take each day as it comes. I hope that my girls have memories of my being there for them despite the fact that sometimes I cannot.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to our readers who are new to the War On Waste
This shit needs to be taken seriously….. start making changes! There is so much more we could be doing. And why isn’t unnecessary packaging controlled? Imagine how many plastic containers are being opened right now, whether it be toys or fruit and veg, that are immediately put in the landfill bin. It's insane!
As a mum to two girls, what are your aspirations for them as young women?
I’m not sure this is my biggest aspiration, but it’s a theme in our house at the moment.
We are working on taking responsibility for our own reactions as no-one can make you feel anything unless you give them permission. Sometimes a tilt of the head, a smile on your face and a feeling of curiosity can get you through the most hurtful situations. When people hurt others, it’s because they are hurting. We can help make them feel better if we just know how to forgive and not take things personally. Concentrate on the good of a person and hopefully they will give you that same grace when you are having a bad day. Anything can be turned into a positive if we just leave our defensive responses aside.
What exciting things can we anticipate for Love Mae in 2018/19?
All going well, new products! You’ve no idea how much I wish I could tell you more…. but I’m seriously very excited about the processes we are going through at the moment to make this happen.
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