Being a mum basically requires superpowers, you need to be in two places at once, have eyes in the back of your head and come fully prepared for anything at any moment….but how does one achieve this? With a Mary Poppins bag of everything, of course!
Nappies, bottles, snacks, bibs, toys, dummies… these things don’t fit into your classic Chanel Flap Bag.
Willow Bay bags are a whole different story. Founders Tammy Bishop and Hayley Norman wanted to create stylish handbags that were both functional and versatile. They are the kind of bags that are deceptively spacious and have compartments for just about everything, aka MUM PROOF. They also have an adorable kids range!
Both Hayley and Tammy are mums of school aged children who were initially operating out of their garages. In just 12 months Willow Bay were able to turn over $1million revenue and have only continued exponential growth since.
We chatted to Tammy and Hayley to find our more about their amazing Australian business:
What did your career look like prior to Willow Bay?
Pre Willow Bay career for Hayley was firstly in finance and client management and then running her own skincare business whilst raising a family.
For Tammy it was 12 years of retail management with a business she owned in Hyde Park, also freelance photography for the 4 years previous to Willow Bay while raising her 3 children and supporting her husband grow his business.
Did you expect your business to grow so quickly?
We never expected our business to grow so fast, we experimented with bold colours and patterns and put huge emphasis on our customer service and it really paid off.
What’s the secret to juggling being business women and mummas?
If you find the secret please let us know! As all working mums would know, it’s a daily juggle. Supportive husbands are a big help and for both of us partners having each other to take the load when the other has had family commitments has been a blessing. Also having a good work/life balance where we can switch off from work and spend quality time with our family has become a high priority because in the early days we spent a lot of time on the business and it became detrimental to our families.
Our personal secret is that we support one another, we are both equally as hard working and can rely on each other to take the load when the other needs time for all of the other 100’s of things you need to worry about being a wife and mother, and we both appreciate how rare this is in a working partnership.
What’s in the future for Willow Bay? Are you considering any other products?
Our range is always growing and evolving, we will continue to experiment with different colours, fabrics and designs as always and we’ll be expanding our newly released, really popular, Vogue collection. We continue to be inspired by fashion and colour trends from all over the world, plus what our customers ask for. Our ever growing international presence is very exciting for us as we continue to expand into new countries.
If you were a Willow Bay bag which one would you be?
If Tammy was a Willow Bay bag she would be the Boutique Zip because she is versatile, loves to travel and adapts easily to any situation. Despite her fondness for bold colours and quirky patterns, she almost always wears black.
Hayley on the other hand, would be an Express Duffel, she loves the outdoors, she’s a little quirky and unique, pretty with personality. She also tries to live a minimalist life, just don’t ask to see her handbag stash!