With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we sat down to chat with super mum, Kristy Whithers, who makes running one of Australia’s most successful brands and being a mum of two seem like a breeze.
Kristy started children and nursery furniture brand Incy Interiors when her son (now eight) was two. Since then, she’s grown the business to the global brand it is today while growing her family too.
Take us back to the start. How did Incy Interiors come about?
“The Incy story began when my son was ready to move into a big boy bed. At the time I was working at eBay Australia managing their marketing team and I was travelling regularly to the US/Europe and seeing all the amazing products available there.
“I had an image in my mind of a dark brown iron bed. I searched high and low for it. I tried to get one made, I tried to buy old ones off eBay but they had lead paint, and I tried to import one but I just kept coming up with barriers,” explains Kristy.
“I harped on and on at anyone who would listen about my quest for this bed. Finally, my husband said to me one day ‘For God sake stop talking about it and you just do it’.
“This was the push I needed and from then Incy was born!”
How did you find juggling your roles as a mum and a new business founder?
“Like everyone, one day at a time!” laughs Kristy.
“I clearly divide my day into ‘work time’ and ‘home time’. The clear division means that whilst I am at work I am 100% focused on the company, and when at home I’m committed to family time.”
Looking back do you have any regrets about the journey or if you were doing it again, is there any advice you’d tell yourself at the beginning?
“I don’t have any regrets, however the first few years I was really doubting my decision and spent the first few years feeling like a fraud and that at any moment someone would realise that I didn’t know what I was doing.
“I wish I would have applied the amount of time I doubted myself to investing in the things that I could control.”
How do you make time for your family and what are some of the things you enjoying doing most?
“The good thing about being short on time is that you prioritise and work on the things that really matter. Having a strong, supportive team is such a great help.
“I live a busy life so one of my favourite things to do is to be with my family at home, whether that’s building Lego, cooking dinner or reading books with the kids.
“Family and friends are a huge part of my life, so if I’m not hanging out at home (which is rare) I am always with my loved ones.”
What will you be doing this Mother’s Day?
“I plan to sleep until I wake up, snuggle with my babies (and husband) wander down to our little village, stopping to chat to all our neighbours/shop keepers on the way. A lazy brekkie at The Old Mill (Millthorpe) followed by a play in the park on the way home. The afternoon would be spent reading the papers and hanging out with the kids followed by an early dinner on the deck with a nice glass of wine.”
You’ve continued to grow Incy Interiors and your latest rocking chair is just stunning. Tell us about this collaboration.
“Collaborating with Samantha Hobbelen from Hobbe has been so exciting. Available in rose and navy, the Incy x Hobbe Blush Rocker (RRP is $1,299) is the ultimate iconic piece, inspired by traditional Italian design principles.
“It has clean silhouette and squared sofa shape which is a drastic departure from the traditional wingback nursing chair commonly associated with nursery rooms. We wanted to create a modern-day nursing chair with a design sophistication that you would see in Milan as well as your child’s room. It’s insanely beautiful. The collaboration with Hobbe was such an amazing experience. And so much fun!”
Insanely beautiful sure is how we’d describe it too. Thanks Kristy for sharing your tips and wishing you and all the mums out there are a very Happy Mother’s Day!