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As Heidi Klum so often says, "Sometimes in fashion you're in, and sometimes you're out". Auckland designer Ingrid Starnes is definitely in the former camp. The 31-year-old established her eponymous label in 2009 and now has stores in Newmarket and Herne Bay. She tells us how she juggles the fashion business with five-year-old twins Ned and Olya and 18-month old Gertie.
"There's not a lot of rest time when you have three kids, two stores and a fashion business! But both myself and my parter Simon (31) are self employed and when you have businesses to run and staff to pay and things you want to achieve, then you just have to get on and do it.
I'm lucky that I work from our home in Pt Chevalier, which makes it easier to keep track of household activities. Simon manages the finances for both the business and home, so he makes sure the bills get paid, which is one less thing I have to worry about.
Our day is pretty full on and we generally get up around 6.30am. There's a bit of a rush as we get ready for the day and sort the kids out for school. I generally start work at around 8.30-9am, depending on the school drop-off. We're really lucky to have a wonderful live-in au pair who takes care of Gertie; I'm not sure we could achieve so much without her.
Depending on where we are in the season depends on how busy I am. If we're sampling a new range my day will involve pattern making, fittings, writing specs, sewing and cutting. I may also fit in a visit to our stores to deliver any alterations or new stock. Because I work from home, there's a steady stream of visitors popping in, including Gertie who will come in to say hi and hang out with me during the day, which I love.
Around 5pm, I'll wrap up for the time being and focus on the kids, getting their dinner and giving them baths. I've heard this time of day referred to as the witching hour, but it's one of my favourite times, hearing about what the twins have been up to and having some quality family time.
Around 6.30pm, I'll try and get out for a run - it clears my head and helps keep some balance in my life. It's one of the few 'me' times I can carve out during the day. When I get back, Simon and I will have dinner and once the kids are in bed and it's nice and quiet, I settle down to designing.
We decided early on that weekends would be family time. We try not to work then but as well as working in our business, Simon also works as a copywriter and when you're both self-employed sometimes there's no choice but to work weekends. We're lucky in that we work well together and try our best to juggle our workloads so if one of us is really busy and needs to work a weekend, then the other will have the kids. Like so many working parents, it's just a big balancing act and all you can do is keep going and trying to achieve that balance."
- As told to Sharon Stephenson
- © Fairfax NZ News