Elephants, octopuses, bunnies and pelicans: binging on Cheeky Chickadee’s online store is like a day at the cutest zoo you’ve ever imagined! We caught up with Connie, Cheeky Chickadee’s Chief to find out what inspired one of Sydney’s most loved emerging children’s brands. Organic cotton, sweet and versatile designs… read on and see why we think Cheeky Chickadee is the brand to watch!PP: We’d love to get to know the brains behind the brand. Tell us about you and your family!
Connie: I am a mum of two gorgeous babies, Arya who is two and a half, and Wills who is six months old, and wife to my husband Alex. We call Sydney home and live in a suburb called Enmore.PP: When I’m scrolling through my Instagram feed and I see a Cheeky Chickadee piece with an illustration of a baby chick or elephant, it makes me stop in my tracks! The old school charm evokes something inside me, and makes me happy. Can you tell us more about them?
Connie: Ohh thank you, that is so nice to hear. I started my little label when I had my daughter Arya and I didn’t want to go back to work. I wanted to spend as much time as possible at home with her, but after working in the fashion industry all my life I wanted to still keep in touch. Cheeky Chickadee was born and I have loved every minute. I concentrate on just animal prints and my style is continuing to evolve in every season. I started with more computerised images and have moved on to more raw drawings which are then digitised hence the chick and elephant. I love colour, but I also am starting to like the softer colour tones too.PP: What’s a typical day in the life of Connie look like?
Connie: A typical day in the life of me is very unglamorous. It usually starts at about 5am when I am awake with my son. My daughter is then up from 6am and then life starts. I like to spend the morning working from home whilst entertaining two little ones. The afternoons are spent playing and exploring with my children, and I get most of my designs from them. I like to make sure that I only work the mornings now and have the rest of the day to enjoy life with them. Once 7pm hits and they are in bed I really start working. That’s when I sew and there is no time limit on thatPP: Do you remember the first product you sold?
Connie: The first product I ever sold was my penguin print. It was my favourite and I made it in just onesies and harem pants. I got such a great reaction from people, it was very exciting.PP: What’s one of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt since starting your own business?
Connie: The biggest lesson is don’t grow too quickly. There have been many times I have not been able to keep up with demand and put huge strains on both myself and customers. That’s the biggest lesson I have learnt so far, only do as much as you can, and have balance in your life.PP: What’s your favourite part about working for yourself?
Connie: I’m the boss. I love working for myself. I decide all my concepts, all my prints and exactly how I want things to run.PP: Is there something about your range not many people know about?
Connie: All my pieces are handmade and made in Australia–I don’t think many business can say that any more. And I’m really proud to not have gone off shore.PP: Share 5 words that describe your business.
Connie: Loud. Colourful. Creative. Environmental. Australian.PP: Favourite item in your store and why?
Connie: My yellow Zebra onesies.PP: Share the love – are there any favourite small businesses you think our mamas should know about?
Connie: monkbaby is probably my fave, she makes the cutest shoes around.PP: Most memorable moment between yourself and a customer?
Connie: I have memorable moments all the time. Walking past children in my clothing in the street, seeing them play and knowing I made them is pretty amazing.PP: What’s your favourite thing about parenthood?
Connie: Everything. It’s been the most amazing experience of my life, every day gets better.PP: Best parenting advice you ever received?
Connie: Shower your children with love.PP: What’s your dream for Cheeky Chickadee?
Connie: To take over the world. Just kidding! I would love to open my own bricks and mortar boutique, that is the dream!