New LoveLoops owner/operator Maree Harper lives in Taneatua, Bay of Plenty and has two children aged 13 and 9. She chats with OHbaby! about managing work and motherhood.
OB Why did you set up your business?
MH I am the very delighted new owner of LoveLoops. I am very proud of the fact that my necklaces are meaningful, elegant and handcrafted right here in New Zealand.
OB As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
MH I had lots of different ideas growing up from a vet to a mechanic but I ended up being an accountant, and now the owner of an online jewellery business which I absolutely love.
OB Do you ever feel "mummy guilt" about spending time working instead of with your children? If so, how do you deal with it?
MH Yes but I think sometimes we all feel mummy guilt no matter what we do. I try to include the kids in what I am doing, they can do little jobs for me in the office which they really enjoy as they feel helpful. They also have a desk right next to me so they can do their homework after school with me.
OB What do you do to get "me-time"?
MH My favourite “me time” is running with my dog Beeva, I am very fortunate that I am able to run on a track that follows the river on my neighbours farm – its stunning. I usually have my best ideas while out running and it really helps with stress and clearing out the cobwebs.
OB What is the smartest thing you have done with your business?
MH Asking my cousin to help me with the marketing and to share my ideas with. The next thing was organising a beautiful photo shoot with a very handsome baby boy and his Mum. There were so many lovely shots taken it was very hard to pick just a few, our model Edgar loved the camera and my good friend Laura is very photogenic, they made the photo shoot very easy.
OB What is your favourite thing about the business now?
MH Being creative and I’m lucky enough to work with stunning jewellery and prepare it beautifully to send out to my customers. The feedback I get is wonderful. Of course, working from home is fantastic too.
OB What do you most enjoy?
MH I love being able to do the things that I enjoy while working like photographing the necklaces or organising photo shoots, meeting new amazing people along the way. I love being creative and LoveLoops allows me to put all my ideas into action… What you put in is what you get out.
OB What is the most surprising thing you’ve found in running your own business?
MH How busy it is!
OB What is your philosophy to child-rearing?
MH This is a hard question because I don’t have a philosophy as such, my husband and I just try to make the right decisions as we go along and hope that we bring up caring and appreciative children.