Emma Hawkins grew up in one of my favourite places in the world, Deniliquin. This is the town I had a home in and I spent most of my twenties and thirties. I remember Emma's parents as community champions, and I can tell their work ethic and sense of community has influenced Emma.
Apart from loving the south-west and Riverina of NSW, we both share the deep love of a frill collar.
Emma, you’ve got two tiny girls, a big career in the spotlight, you’re a champion of rural Australia and you have launched an amazing children’s brand Homegrown less than a year ago. Already Homegrown has launched chapter three of their line -think iconic Australiana, subtly shown in Australian farmed fabrics. In addition, you've been keeping us entertained during iso with @theladybunchshow. Talk about a lot going on!
Q. Emma, can you please tell us a bit about your ethos behind Homegrown?
A . It was also so important to me to create a range of children's wear where kids could run around and get messy, in practical but cute clothes. However, without all the fiddly bits, you know, the pompoms, the glitter etc. It was also very important for me to create a label that nodded to my strong country roots. All our pieces are made from Australian cotton and merino wool (which will be launching a bit later), as supporting Australian farmers and suppliers is core not only to the brand but for myself as well.
Q.What elements or experiences do you want to bring from your own childhood into your girl’s childhood?
A. I have such fond memories of my childhood growing up in Deniliquin, being outside spending all day in nature, exploring, getting my hands dirty and being adventurous. I consider myself so lucky and am so grateful to my parents. We had space, horses, friends and adventures all day long. Nothing was too precious. And I guess, I would hope I could bring my children up to appreciate how lucky they are, but also, just for them to be happy as kids, to get dirty, to explore and use their imaginations.
Q.Having a newborn is all so new, there is so much unknown. Where did you turn to for support as a new mama?
A. I found asking questions on Instagram helpful - I am so lucky that people would take time out of their day to respond to a question I had asked. However, I always say, anything medical or personal "stay off Instagram and go seek professional advice" (This can not stress enough either). I would FaceTime time my sister and mother all the time too.
Q. What was the very best advice you received before you became a parent?
A. A friend's sister told me “Emma, women have been doing this for thousands of years - long before the books, the apps, the mummy bloggers, the equipment etc. You will be fine. Trust your own instinct and always, always, do what is right for you. That may look completely different from what your friends do, how your mum did it, or how the influencer you follow does it, but that’s OK. They are not raising your baby. You are and you are AMAZING at it” - I will never forget it.
Q.What was the best thing you packed in your hospital bag before the birth of your girls?
A. 10 large black undies from K-mart - and they went straight in the bin too after the hospital, haha.
Q.Speaking of hospitals, they can be an unfamiliar setting. Are there any tips you can share with our Suite Set family for making a hospital room feel a bit more like home?
A. Bring whatever makes you feel comfortable - it might be quirky or unnecessary in the eyes of others, however, who cares?! This is your journey and your moment. Do and bring anything you want to make yourself feel more comfortable. I personally had an epidural straight up, so my room was very comfortable from the get-go, haha.