Behind the scenes of Little Windmill Clothing Co, we are a family of 5 that live on a beef cattle station located in the Upper Hunter Valley, south-east of Murrurundi, NSW.
Despite the vast landscapes and amazing adventures experienced while living out here, I can't say living on a property hasn’t provided some challenges while running a kids country clothing brand and raising three boys.
My business and family life are most often intertwined, and with three boys, that goes just about as well as you think. (I mean, there are only so many hours within a day, right?)
From meltdowns to screaming while on calls and staying up until the early morning to get orders packed and work done at times. There have been tantrums, tears and moments where I felt like giving up, and don’t get me wrong, those moments still happen, but that’s just it; they are just moments, fleeting moments that won’t last forever (Even if it feels like they will sometimes). And even though in those moments I am stressed and question everything, these will one day be funny and beautiful memories of my young boys and the challenges that came with starting my own business. So overall, My best advice to any mum would be, just do what you can and let go of the rest. It will still be there tomorrow.
Now, of course, you don’t go through these challenges without learning a thing (or two) Routines as a mum with a busy schedule are the centre of our lives; for us, making lists and juggling time management is essential.
In my household, we start dinner during the day, so when we come in late in the evenings, a salad is ready in the fridge, and meat is prepared for the BBQ. I pre-cook all the kid’s meals, come in and do the bath, dinner and then bed. Each night, it’s the same to keep things moving—exceptions, of course, to the weekends and events.
When we have horses in work, both my husband and I ride, so we have to take turns meaning one stays with the kids. We also like to involve the kids in daily chores, such as feeding up to 17 dogs, horses, cats and chickens, and cattle work as well, depending on the day.
We believe life skills and giving kids responsibility when they are younger is essential as it gives them a better understanding of how much goes on to get their food to the plate.
When It comes to business time, I set up activities like playdoh, painting, farm animals and washing toys etc. My kids like to be engaged, so prior to a busy day, I like to get them outside and burn some energy, whether it is with the horses, bike riding, walking to the river, gardening. Just to start the day off and have them more settled to play quietly later.
Now, as much as I love the serenity and experiences of farm life, I encounter challenges that you may not even think of! To begin with, we have no phone service or anything out here; we run off satellite which drains quickly, so we have to be careful and resourceful with our usage! Another challenge is the delivery services… well, we don’t get any out here! The commute to town is over 160km round trip, which is short for most getting parcels to the post office. Now it runs smoother as parcels are collected from the main station’s office.
Despite all these challenges, living on a property has provided my family with so many experiences, the bomb fires in the paddocks, the swimming in the river in the summer, the ability to be in our world. It’s through these experiences with my family that inspired me to start this new journey in sustainable children’s western clothing. Now don't get me wrong, living on a property while running a business has brought its fair share of challenges, but my passion for providing ethically made children's country clothing has pushed me to find a way to overcome them. I am so appreciative of everything I have been taught and inspired by, living in this beautiful part of Australia. Now you know more about my lifestyle and the inspiration behind my Australian Designed children’s clothing, check out what we have in stock today!
by Shari Keanie
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