Female Figure #3 - Vanessa Hall

Posted by Joey Azman on


Ever dreamt of changing lanes in your career and taking a different path?  Our next Female Figure, Vanessa Hall of Cookies and Crumbs Melbourne  found herself in the baking business by accident when she just wanted to make something cool for her son's birthday and received lots of orders through instagram - gotta love the Gram! Now she runs a booming business, baking for big brands like Mecca,The Daily Edited, Westfield, Tiffany & Co and Kikki K (to name a few!). 

A little bit of background on Vanessa, she is a concert violinist, music teacher and mother of 2. Vanessa found herself in the baking business 6 years ago and was the primary baker for 2 years till she had her second child. She had complications with the second birth and had an infection called golden staphylococcus and cellulitis, this was when she decided to get support and hire staff. It was hard for her to let go of the baking process but this truly allowed Vanessa to focus on expanding her business rather than working in it. She believes that everything happens for a reason , and never sees a setback as a negative - but as a stepping stone to the next adventure! 

Vanessa has 2 bakers now working in their own certified kitchens which allows them the flexibility to work while raising little ones. Win! 

I met Vanessa in the midst of the Victorian lockdown in 2020 when she bought a Moodyboard for her home office setup. We very quickly became friends and have supported each others businesses since. Vanessa's aesthetic and colour sense is sophisticated and fun and has a little something for everyone. From her witty (F#?K Covid) phrase bikkies for the adults to her Design-your-own-Cookie-Kit for the kiddies. She has really thought about her customer and what they need and has definitely brightened up many households with her creations. OK enough from me - Here's more from Vanessa!

F%?K Covid Dessert Box is sure to put a smile on someone's face during this uncertain time.


1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came into business? 

Vanessa:  I was previously a violin/music teacher at Haileybury College and have always been creative. I then designed a birthday cake and cookies for my sons first birthday. I started posting photos on Instagram and began receiving orders. Before long I was receiving enough orders to resign from my job and start expanding my business.


2. When you were starting out, was there any particular client that gave you that "big break" which really propelled you to a larger audience? 

Oh yes! After a couple of months I was asked to do an influencers blogger lunch and provide them with cookies. There was one influencer there that loved my products and had photographs with them. She then posted for me (and I didn’t pay for it or anything). I then used to do many of her events. So my advice would be not to be too greedy at the start or ever, do lots of unpaid work to get your name and reputation out there! 


3. How are you finding your Moodyboard and has it helped with your line of work?   

VanessaMoodyboard helps me organise my week in advance. I have to coordinate the workload for 2 staff and a courier each week. Its very important for me to be able visualize my schedule and plan in advance.


4. What does your typical work day look like?

Vanessa:  I'm up at 6am to start scheduling my social media posts for the day. I then respond to any orders and emails that have come in overnight. I then make breakfast for the kids and get them dressed before driving them to school and kinder.

The rest of my day is then spent dealing with customer emails and phone calls, checking in with staff and then picking up our two kids from school and kinder. After school activities then follow before dinner. After the kids are in bed I then respond to more customer emails before bed.


5. As a mum, what are the challenges you face when running a business, and what do you do to overcome those challenges? 

Vanessa: The main challenges I face when running a business as a mum are school holiday periods with both kids at home and having to coordinate staff, clients and keeping the kids occupied.

Staying organised by using the Moodyboard really helps.

6. As a business owner, what tips do you have for others who are just starting out/ thinking of starting a business? 

Vanessa : My advice to anyone wanting to start a business is to just start and keep persisting. Everyone will want to give you advice and tell you what they think. Get your inspiration and advice from others in the industry and make sure you are organised and use your time wisely. 
I also have a supportive husband who supported me the whole way through and always encouraged my endeavour!
DIY Cookie kits, perfect activity pack for the little ones. 
Chocolate pyramids for any occasion
Follow Cookies and Crumbs Melbourne on Instagram here or visit their website to get your sugar fix !
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Female Figure #2 - Lauren Camilleri of Leaf Supply

Posted by Joey Azman on


It's Friday again and I am so excited to share this next story with you as it truly does resonate with me personally. Any of you currently working a 9-5 job and itching to take that leap to make your side hustle your main gig? Read on as our next female figure shares her journey from being a publishing exec to running a successful business, insight into what her day looks like (not chained to a desk!) and how she balances motherhood and business. 

Our Female Figure #2 is none other than Lauren Camilleri, Co-Founder of Leaf Supply, Author and acting Creative Director of Belle Magazine

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came into business? 

Lauren: I don't think running my own business was where I expected to find myself but I always knew I wanted to be in a creative field. After studying Interior Architecture at uni I went into graphic design in the publishing world of books and magazines. I'm really passionate about print but it's definitely been a tough few years in the industry and when I was looking for a new challenge I started to explore the idea of doing something of my own. I was really getting into my indoor plants and could see it was a growing trend, around this time I met my now business partner Sophia Kaplan and we joined forces to create what is now Leaf Supply.  

2. How are you finding your Moodyboard and has it helped with your line of work?   

Lauren: I'm a really visual person and I love being able to display things on my moody board. From family polaroids to inspiration for the new book, I'm constantly changing it up with the help of my moody magnets. It fits so beautifully in my space and the sage colourway compliments all the plants perfectly.    


3. What does your typical work day look like?

Lauren: One of the best things about running your own business is the variety, no two days look exactly the same. The diversity is very appealing for a girl who was regularly chained to my computer in previous jobs. From creating content for social media, putting together eDM's and other marketing material to getting out to nurseries to source plants and getting my hands in the soil, I relish the different elements that make up my days.

We've just signed on for our fourth book so we're currently preparing for our first shoot days and I'm busy working on the design concept. Writing, shooting and producing the books is an incredibly creative and rewarding element of the business, and one that came rather unexpectedly. 

Leaf Supply Book, by Leaf Supply.


4. As a mum, what are the challenges you face when running a business, and what do you do to overcome those challenges? 

Lauren: Running your own business can be all consuming, there's no leaving work behind at the office. The juggle is definitely real! On the flip side there is flexibility in being your own boss that is particularly valuable as a mum. Both Soph and I have small children and it's been a priority for the both of us that the business work around our lives. I think having a really strong support network is key - a partner who shares the parenting load, day-care and grandparents (total godsend). I couldn't do it without the help. Even still it doesn't take much for things to get overwhelming and the wheels to come off, sickness and sleep deprivation are a constant and I think you just have to accept that there are times that you just have to cut yourself some slack.
Mini Monstera Kid's Tee available at Leaf Supply. 

5. As a business owner, what tips do you have for others who are just starting out/ thinking of starting a business? 

Lauren : It can be a really scary leap for people, especially if they've had the security of a full time job for so long. I think one of the best tips is just to start. It's easy to avoid launching until you feel things are perfect but it's much better to put it out there and evolve it rather than sit on it and then have someone else beat you  to it.
Another tip is to really try and understand the financial side of things from the beginning. Get a good accountant if money isn't your forte and get them to walk you through setting things up properly from the beginning. I think a lot of creatives (myself included) find this side of business very intimidating but the reality is if you're not financially viable you have a hobby not a business. It's really empowering to understand the financial side of your business and what does and doesn't make you money, we've found for us it really helps to focus what we spend our time on and that's really valuable when time is so limited.
Our Autumn Leaves Moodyshape Magnets are stocked at Leaf Supply. 
Sage Moodyboard at Lauren's home amongst lush greenery. 
Follow Leaf Supply on Instagram here or visit their website for all your botanical ware needs. 
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Female Figure #1 - Becca Stern of Mustard Made

Posted by Joey Azman on

Welcome to our first "Female Figures" interview! To kick things off, I am so honoured to have Becca Stern, from Mustard Made join us to share some insight into a day in her life! 
Becca and I first got to know each other through a collaboration in 2018 and have been business friends since! Becca has been an informal mentor to me and has always made some time in her busy schedule to share advice and tips on how to navigate through running a small business, and for that I am eternally grateful. Becca and her sister Jess have created a die-hard tribe of over 88,000 followers over a few short years. Once you lay your eyes on them, it's easy to see why their motto is "fall in love with lockers". 
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Female Figures - Launching June 2021!

Posted by Joey Azman on

Female Figures - 5 Questions with inspiring women in Business! 

I am so proud  to introduce our "Female Figures" section launching this June where I will be chatting to a handful of inspiring and successful female business owners within the creative industry who are absolutely kicking-butt at what they do. Every second Friday, 6pm. 

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