So, I did it. I opened up The Daisy Lounge. Something I've been dreaming of for the past 3 years. I join the 2% of Australian, 23 year old women who own and operate a shopfront Business. I am also a mother of the cheekiest, most entertaining 3 year old around.
This space, to me is more than just the new coffee place in town, it's been whirring in the back of my mind through everything. Through uni lectures, antenatal appointments, design briefings, photography shoots, it's just always been there and finally, it's here. In front of me.
This isn't an award acceptance speech so I won't go through the long list of people whom I am incredibly grateful for. This blog post is for you guys to see how it all happened. How hard it was and how much I loved every second.
So here it goes...
It started shortly after I had my daughter, 3 years ago. I was 20 years old, incredibly overwhelmed and in need of caffeine. I went out to my local cafe for my first proper outing by myself and all I wanted to do was relax. Which is what I used to do in cafes... until Bub. So I went up to the counter, ordered my coffee, took a seat, and took a breath, well half a breath.
*cue the shriek of a newborn*
Feeding time. so I did what any new mum does... right?
I fumbled around in the pram, finding the bits and pieces I needed to feed her, all the while listening to my daughter screaming and feeling eyes all over me. Coffee arrives and the server is waiting for me to take the coffee, looking around to confirm that yes... everyone was starring. Someone is gesturing at my pram which apparently needs moving to make way for them and their family, so I move it, of course. After a few more demands the universe had for me in that moment, I finally got to feeding her after giving up on the giant piece of fabric I was suppose to cover up with, half the baby bag scattered over the cafe and the mortified feeling of disrupting everyone else's day.
Skip forward a few months and Bub is crawling! *yay* and it's breakfast time with the family. Going out at this time is challenging to say the least. Your nappy bag has some how doubled in capacity, mysterious smudges have begun to appear on your person throughout the day and your the only person with a child under 10 in the whole restaurant. There is crying, the baby can't eat anything on the menu and frankly, you'd prefer to be anywhere with a pillow and blanket than in that cafe but you order the first thing you see before Bub reaches for the paper menu and nods politely as the waitress scoffs some cliche about being a parent, gesturing to your kid... You ignore it, nod politely and proceed to entertain your baby who is growing more and more impatient by the minute. You have to sit with your chair blocking the walk way so the Bub can sit on your lap without being pressed up against the table. The pram seams to be completely in the way whilst still being invisible and becomes the most bumped object in the place!
It's situations like this that made me crave a relaxing space where kids can enjoy and parents can relax. However, being a young parent and in no way qualified to start an enterprise. It took another 3 years to develop my concept, organise the logistics and make it happen. Realestate agents were apprehensive to allow a young woman like myself to attend viewings let alone sign a commercial lease. Banks wanted not much to do with me, which is understandable given my husband and I were both in our early 20's with partial university degrees and a small child.
Despite the adversity and the many hurdles I needed to overcome, Here I am, at my desk in the daisy lounge, writing this blog post, hearing the happy shrills of bubs in my cafe while scheduling photoshoots and responding to design enquiries.
The fit out process was not easy. I learnt so m much and has so much help. We had a paint and pizza night to get our much loved whale mural completed, With the help of a good friend (he did most of it, lets be honest), we got the mess lab fencing build, our geometric feature wall and the platform bench seating complete, I was incredibly grateful of the service that our local businesses deliver! Erin from wild ryes not only trained our staff on how to get the perfect cup of coffee from his carefully roasted coffee beans but he came into the shop the day before opening to make sure everything was running smoothly. Jen from natures gift delivered her teas to our store, Annalise from MiBoo straws made her delivery and we couldn't be happier with our incredible local suppliers!
There are too many people to thank to get here but I think I'll wait until the 1 year anniversary to write that post..
Until then , keep up with all my crazy ideas on Darling Photography and Designs' and the daisy lounge's Instagram and facebook pages. I'm always thinking of crazy ideas, so let's hope the next one isn't too out there.
Signing off with admiration gratitude,