OHbaby! chats with Little Fern founder Hannah Berg. Hannah's other titles are The Boss, Mum (to four girls) and Senior Reporting Analyst.
OB: Why did you set up the business?
HB: I didn’t want to spend my working life sitting behind a desk. I started my adult working life in the middle of a recession and ended up in a role that I hadn’t initially trained for. For my sanity I really needed to do something that I found satisfying and gave me a creative outlet, and where I could be my own boss and keep my own hours.
I’m also lucky enough to come from a family of amazing women who really can and do make anything. They've taught me I can do anything that I put my mind to. Most of my childhood memories of the women in my family are of them making something - dresses, quilts, dolls, hats, stained glass windows, you name it, they made it. And if you didn’t push their patience too much they were also all more than happy to teach you whatever craft they were currently working on at the time!
So...it was a natural progression for me to start the business. Like all the women in my family, I’d always made quilts and toys for my own enjoyment. From there I started selling to friends and then over the years it gradually became a business.I’m also not very good at being told what to do so being my own boss works well!
OB: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
HB: I was always going to be either an author or a doctor. I haven’t yet published a book, but I did make it to med school, but I struggled too much with the balance of med school study and being a young mum.
OB: Do you ever feel mummy guilt about spending time working instead of with your children? If so, how do you deal with it?
HB: Not at all. My children are right there beside me. Sometimes they’re picking fabrics with me, other times they’re passing me beads and sometimes they’re sent outside to play so I can concentrate and get the accounts done. They know that we work hard and it’s important to me that our children grow up with good work ethics.
OB: What do you do to get me-time?
HB: I work flexi hours and have amazing family support when it comes to childcare, so I often have lunch catch-ups with girlfriends or pop out during the day for a haircut or a sneaky long lunch with the hubby.
OB: What is the smartest thing you have done with your business?
HB: Believe that it can work. Ignore everyone that called it a hobby. And most importantly I listened to people that have already been there, even when it meant swallowing my pride.
OB: What is your favourite thing about the business now? What do you most enjoy?
HB: Seeing Little Fern products in stores. Every time I see them it’s still a WOW moment for me.
OB: What is the most surprising thing you’ve found in running your own business?
HB: To begin with it was people’s reactions, I hadn’t expected that not all my friends would be supportive of the business and this lead to a lot of self-doubt in the early days. Now it’s that everyone thinks it’s easy and that it’s something that’s just happened overnight.
OB: What is your philosophy of child-rearing?
HB: There is no right or wrong way, you just get up every day and do your best. If you have a bad mum day today it’s not the end of the world, just try to have a better one tomorrow.