Meet Grace Rowland-Jones, owner of Acorn + Oak
Meet Grace Rowland-Jones owner of Acorn + Oak. Grace has a passion for supporting mothers and parents through the journey of pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond. Embracing the challenges of being a working mum, Grace manages her business from home while balancing the demands of motherhood.
OHbaby!: Tell us about yourself
My name is Grace Rowland-Jones & I am 25 years old. I married my husband Alex in 2021, and we then had our daughter Scarlett who is 1.5 years old. We live in Christchurch and have done my whole life. I finished school and really had no idea what my next steps were! I originally signed up to study to become an early childhood educator until I finished my last school year and couldn’t think of anything worse than studying!
I then began working in a management and marketing role learning as I went before falling pregnant and suffering from hyperemesis. I then stopped working and spent my days getting through until our beautiful daughter arrived.
OHbaby!: What does your family look like?
Crazy, fun red head energy! My daughter Scarlett is head of the house (well not really!). She brings so much love and joy to Alex and I and is super cheeky. We also have our first born child (dog) Arlo who is a GSP (German Shorthaired Pointer). He’s such a huge part of our day to day and we would all be lost without him at our feet!
OHbaby!: What is your business and what does it do/sell?
I am the owner of Acorn + Oak. An NZ online store which I currently run from home between mum life! We have a beautifully curated collection of essentials to support mothers and parents through pregnancy, postpartum and then to care for your little ones ages 0-5. Feeding support, maternity wear, childrenwear, accessories, toys, books, you name it! We are so fortunate to work and fly the flag for over 50 beautiful NZ and international brands that have like-minded business practises to A+O.
We have big plans (as I say ‘we’ it’s really just me!) to continue to grow our business from what it currently is, our small steps are helping us to grow and support our customers parenthood journey.
OHbaby!: What is the story behind your business?
I purchased Acorn + Oak in February 2023. In late 2022 I decided that maybe I might like to pick something up that I could ‘potter’ away at and before I knew it I had brought a business! I loved what had been created for Acorn + Oak and knew I had the passion and willingness to push it to the next level. I hit the ground running, and filled up our spare room with stock, an office and packing desk and off I went. Learning on the daily (and still am!). I love being able to be my own boss, create my own goals and ambitions and strive to succeed. Ultimately every moment comes down to ensuring what I am doing is supporting our customers as they enter or tackle life as parents/grandparents/ a supportive friend or family member through essential products making life that little bit easier or more manageable.
OHbaby!: What does a day in the life of you look like?
Three days a week are solely filled with business admin, orders, sourcing and planning for Acorn + Oak while Scarlett is at preschool. It’s the usual crazy household juggle with getting out the door for drop off on these days. I always come home, take a breath and do a quick reset of our home before heading to my desk. First thing at my desk is to pop some music on, it keeps me company and gets me going throughout the day. Emails & orders are always the next thing and then I write my ‘to- do’ list for the day. I always make it achievable and pull the most important things from a bigger list that I chip away at. Second coffee mid-morning to give me a boost is a must too! I also manage the copious amounts of laundry throughout the day – there’s nothing more eye rolling at times than hearing the washing machine beep reminding you it’s go time!
The other 2 days are Scarlett focused, a slightly slower paced start to the day generally lots of puzzles & snacks! I use the time while she has a lunchtime nap to dispatch orders. (We dispatch daily so I fit it in where I can!). Sometimes that’s early in the morning before the day starts or during a nap, and sometimes at night to get on top of them! Between work and toddler activities we love to get out and about to see friends and family.
OHbaby!: What is your favourite thing about your business?
I truly love being able to support my customers. It brings me so much joy knowing I can give my knowledge and relate to their needs. The best thing is that I too am a Mum and chances are have been or going through stages like my customers! I can use my learnings to share with others day to day and be relatable.
I also love meeting my customers face to face at markets and expos. This is something that when I first brought the business I didn’t think I would love as much as I do, but it reminds me that what I am trying to achieve is real and people do love the business and the products.
OHbaby!: Favourite product?
Eek! I’ve been asked this a few times lately and I think my answer changes every time! Everything?!
OHbaby!: What is one thing you said you wouldn’t do as a parent that you totally do?
Mmm! When Alex and I were expecting Scarlett we always said to each other lets have no expectations and go with the flow and we really have stuck to this. I think this has really helped our parenting journey, we are relaxed and adaptable. If Scarlett needs to sleep with us at times that’s ok, if Cocomelon can help us have a moment of peace with snacks in hand then there’s nothing wrong with that either!
OHbaby!: Anything else you want to add…
If you having a long day or just wish you can lie on the couch in peace, remember the long days always come to an end and you are NAILING LIFE even if you don’t feel like you are!
Always have a think in the tough moments what positives are around you and what you have actually achieved in the day (even just holding your small human, or unloading the dishwasher). You are exactly where you need to be!