She epitomises success with over 75,000 loyal followers on Instagram who can't get enough of Hello Trader's curated collection of beautiful products. But founder, Chelsea Bennie is also juggling motherhood like many of us. Bluebird Co. had the privilege of catching up with Chelsea to find out about her new Hello Mini children's line and to learn how she manages a hugely successful business and a busy family life.
Chelsea on a sourcing trip in Morocco last year.
Hello Trader is obviously a hugely successful business with thousands of loyal followers but what was the process like for you of first taking the plunge and turning your dream into a reality?
It all started as a dream... with this burning feeling inside. I visualized the brand a very long time ago. Every time I kept coming back to my vision and the burning feeling within kept getting stronger. After months of dreaming I knew I had to dive deep. I set out on a solo sourcing adventure not knowing which way it would go. I gave myself three months to work on the concept to the time our doors were open. Everything just felt so right and fell into place so naturally.
Why did you decide to expand and add a children’s line to your range?
Hello Mini is something I have wanted to launch in store from the beginning and felt very passionate about. I was awaiting the right time. Being a mother myself I know how hard it is to find unique pieces. We try hard to only source handmade/natural products. Those real special ‘keepsake’ pieces to last a life time.
Do you get nervous even now when it comes to making a big change like this?
Never! I haven’t once felt nervousness. When something feels so right and you’re so passionate there should never be any feeling of fear. When I know something is the right direction and once I make the ‘decision’ to proceed with something - there's no turning back. I love working fast and I love change- watching things unfold in front of my eyes is one of the most exciting feelings. ‘Change is so good for the soul’!
What kind of process do you go through to select brands that align with your vision and even your vibe?
I have a strong vision and have kept to this every step of our journey. I know what will align with our brand the minute I see something amazing. Everything has to look good together and this has been a very important practice when picking brands that will fit our aesthetic. I follow my intuition always, everything falls in to place nicely.
Where do you go to for inspiration and how do you maintain that creative inspiration on a daily basis?
I find inspiration everywhere. I particularly get a lot of inspiration when I’m travelling overseas and being immersed in a different culture, colour and textures. A lot of the time I see something and visualize it in a different way or can visualize something new in my head before it is even created.
With a new baby (Chelsea currently has a four month old), how do you manage the juggle of business and motherhood?
It has taken over five years and running two businesses to get the juggling act down pact. Because I’m a creative with an extremely over active mind I had to learn quickly when to stop. I now work very efficiently and I pretty much work like I have an on/off button which is extremely important. When you have a strong vision & things feel right you can make decisions quickly. Having to split my time between business and ‘mumming’ has been the best thing for my work ethics. On my extremely big/busy days I’m 100 miles an hour and then I can switch off easily (creating calm amongst the chaos) it’s definitely a wild ride but this is what I love! It’s all about balance.
What keeps you up at night?
Business for sure! I’m a night owl. I come alive at night when the house is quiet and everyone is in bed. I love these creative nights... Just me and my thoughts can run free.
Finally, what exciting things are on the horizon this year for you and your brand?
We have big plans for 2020. A lot of new direction and growth ahead for our brand. We are currently fitting out a design studio, a creative space where I will make the magic happen!
We’re also working on another beautiful space, and extension of Hello Trader for our new botanical collection... you will also smell the fresh aroma of coffee (hint hint) - this is all I can share for now. But I invite you to watch this space!