Back in 2013 I launched Yo Mama! - a series of interviews with creative, working mums, chatting about work, life, inspiration and the juggle. I've had some awesome women onboard, gaining some brilliant insights into what makes them tick.
It's been a long time since my last Yo Mama! interview - not for lack of talent, but for lack of time.
Funnily enough, today's Yo Mama! is a wee bit funny. I'm chatting with Lucy Hosken from Nearly Nude. Lucy is very good friends with two of my very good friends. But what I didn't know until I'd met her recently, is that she's the sister of another of my friends (hi Edwina!!).
I don't know if you can hear it but 'It's a small world' is now playing in your subconscious. (Blame me for that later.)
Anyone that knows me well, knows I love a good foundation garment. It's not just because I am a frockstar (pun intended), it's because underwear can really make or break a gal's day.
Launched in 2005, Nearly Nude is an Australian brand with a strong global presence.
Without further ado, let's cut to the chase and chat with Lucy.
How did Nearly Nude all start? I started NN 9 years ago. I had a really low cut top and couldn’t find the right under garments so with an entrepreneurial spirit at heart I though, 'Why not, I can do this!!' Little did I know how much work it would be! Such a roller coaster ride, a fabulous one though.
What was life before Nearly Nude? I studied Marketing at University and then worked in magazines for 10 years. I started Nearly Nude in my last year at ACP Magazines and tried to juggle both, then NN got so busy I eventually left the world of magazines. I also had two children whilst trying to build the business so this was a huge challenge just trying to balance my life, work and trying to put the kids first. I think that is an ongoing battle for all working mums.
Tell me what a normal day looks like for you. I am not a morning person so normally my little ones jump on me and wake me up at around six. I take the children to school then come home and start my day. I am lucky enough to work from home so it’s very flexible. I normally check emails for for the first hour, then get into any calls I need to make, do the days NN social media and work on any product developments or website strategy. I then pick the kids up, take them to the park or go swimming, make them dinner then pass out!
How do you juggle motherhood with a busy work life? Well, this is the ongoing question everyone wants to know and after seven years of doing it I can now confidently say you can’t do it all!!! I used to think I could back in the early days but I genuinely think something has to give and it’s all about priorities. Mine are obviously my children, I love Nearly Nude and it’s my 3rd child in a way but to be honest I realised very early on that you cannot sweat the small stuff. Children are only small for a small time frame and I never want to miss out on anything. I no longer work any weekends or nights, I try to balance it all so we have a happy and balanced family life. I do feel though that this has taken me a good seven years to master! I am finally in a happy balance. In the early days I worked day and night, all weekend and never rested when they were babies, I think after a few years of doing that I almost fell in a heap, it ’s not sustainable. It’s not fun for anyone either but this is what happens when you start your own business.
Career highlights? Getting approached by a large US based lingerie company about selling the overseas rights of my business to them! This was five years ago and we did in fact do that deal. I am still involved in the international business but on a much smaller scale. After all these years of hard work, someone was interested in buying my little underwear company!!
What's the best bit of your work? The creativity….I love the design side of it and being able to imagine something and bring it to life. Then taking that product to market and then watching it sell, it’s very rewarding.
And is there a worst bit? The admin - which I don’t often do too much of anymore. I luckily joined forces with The Ambra Group in Melbourne earlier this year so they are the most wonderful group of people and they assist with all aspects of running Nearly Nude, it’s a dream come true.
Running your own business, and being a busy mum is tricky. How do you take care of yourself? I make sure these days I go to bed early, I am an eight hour a night type of person. When the kids were younger I think I got an average of about three hours a night so I figure I have a lot to catch up on! I am also trying to go swimming a few times a week these days and I have just started Yoga.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received? Stay true to your values. In my case it’s about priorities and for me my priority is always my family. If we spend a lot of time together and have fun that is the fuel I need to have the energy to run my business. The rest comes easily.
What's your favourite, must-have piece from the NN collection? The Cotton Slip dress, it's made of almost 70% Egyptian Cotton and is also super shaping but Comfortable. It is a staple piece to have in your wardrobe that goes under anything.
What's next for Lucy Hosken? At the moment I am just trying to consolidate the existing Nearly Nude Collection, we are also working on some exciting new launches for NN in 2015. We are branching out into everyday underwear so this is very exciting for us. I am continually coming up with ideas and I am sure my family and friends think I am crazy but I love it.. I am sure I will continue to create ideas but for the moment I am in a very happy place with my work/life balance.
Take a look at Nearly Nude's website.
Follow Nearly Nude on Instagram.
This is the 13th interview in my Yo Mama! series. Interviews with creative working mamas. Look out for them weekly. Or almost weekly.