The Mother Hustle Interview: Emily and Lucy from 3acre Blooms
August 9, 2017
I had the pleasure of meeting the sister duo behind 3acre blooms the other week, talented floral designers and growers Emily and Lucy. We chatted non stop about all things but mainly the motherhood juggle! I loved hearing all about their journey from busy working mum lives to teaming up, moving out to the beautiful Cornish countryside and starting their flower based business! They live just a few minutes apart and grow the most beautiful seasonal flowers on Emily's little plot ready for gorgeous weddings around the South West. They have 5 children between them and have also just started a group for mums and children called Blooms and Babes which sounds amazing! Time for Mums to potter and arrange flowers while their children are busy with activities like petal play or biscuit decorating, I'd love to get along to one soon!
Tell us a bit about who you are, where you are and what your family looks at the moment.
We are sisters, Emily and Lucy and we live near the North coast of Cornwall. Emily lives with her husband and has three children under the age of eight and Lucy and her husband have two children under the age of four. Our littlest ones are only a month apart in age.
Tell us all about your business/ side hustles/ work life and where we can find you on the internet?
Our business is called3acre Blooms, we grow flowers and are floral designers for weddings and events. We also run a monthly ‘Blooms and Babes’ get together for parents and their children to take the time out and do something flowery, whilst we also entertain the little ones. All fuelled by lots of caffeine and cake.
How do you find the Juggle with work/ family/ life / childcare etc?
Crazy! There are times, especially now as we enter our busiest period with little childcare, that we find it to be a huge juggle. However, we are exceptionally lucky that we are sisters and completely understand the challenges that each other face and can support one another practically and emotionally. We are also incredibly fortunate that we live four minutes down the road from each other try and help with things like meal planning and pick-up and drop-off.
What would your ideal balance be, and are you close to achieving it? If not what needs to change?
Time, we need more of it. It’s exceptionally exciting right now and we have so many ideas that we want to explore and grow, but we recognise that we have limits and that having young children means that the time that we do have is short and precious.
Why did you decide to work for yourself?
We’d both spent a number of years in corporate environments, in jobs that were unfulfilling that didn’t offer an outlet for our creativity or the flexibility that we needed with our growing families. We had always wanted to work together and since both having children, were constantly looking for a way that we could join forces. Emily began planning 3acre Blooms a number of years ago, when she started renting an allotment after the birth of her first two. After she and her husband moved to a new home which had land and space, they could realise their vision for growing flowers. Location, jobs and circumstance meant that it wasn’t until Lucy and her husband decided to relocate back to Cornwall that we could really focus our efforts and join together.
Would you say you have been more productive since having children, or less?
Lucy: I would say more, although at times when the to-do list is as long as my arms and I’m fuelled by caffeine and carbs owing to sleepless nights, it doesn’t feel like I am that productive. I definitely spend less time faffing about than I did before children. That said, there are many a late night that I spend working once the children are asleep. ‘Balance’ and ‘Productivity’ often seems like an unattainable ‘Holy Grail’, so I try and keep things simple and realistic and make my to-dos more manageable by breaking them down, often into three things that I need to achieve (it could be as simple as food shop, fold washing, send email to X person) that way I find I don’t get too overwhelmed.
Emily: Definitely more productive! I try to multitask ALOT - which I’m not always sure is a good idea, but folding washing while brushing my teeth seems to work ok! I’m lucky, although my children wake up really early, generally they sleep through the night, so I’m not often sleep deprived and get a head start on the day nice and early. I’m a lover of lists, written in notebooks, I really love the satisfaction of physically ticking off something I’ve done - I need that physical sense of accomplishment.
What is your favourite thing about being a mother?
Lucy: It is amazing to watch the children blossom into the most hilarious personalities, and seeing how their imagination develops and grows. They have such an innocence and sense of awe and wonder about them. Life is fast and furious these days and it is so easy to get caught up in things, yet my children remind me to stop and take a moment and remember that life is precious.
Emily: For me, it’s all about family. I grew up in a big family with lots of siblings and I love seeing my children together, developing their relationships.
And your least favourite?
Lucy: The loneliness, I never imagined that despite being around little ones the whole time, being a mother can feel so lonely. When it’s a rainy day and the children are going wild and you’re so tired that your bones ache and your eyes hurt, it can be so hard to get through the day. I’ve relocated a couple of times since the birth of our children and didn’t really find my ‘tribe’ and those friends that I did make following children are now abroad or far away. I think my loneliness was also confounded by a sense of uncertainty as to whether I was doing it right, especially as a first time Mum. I am exceptionally lucky however, that as well as being my business partner, Emily is my best friend and having children has made us much closer and she’s been through it all before, so can give the best advice.
Emily: Not getting the balance right, trying to cram in work whilst I’m supposed to be also looking after children. Feeling inadequate because I’m trying to do both at the same time and not feeling like I am doing a good job at either.
What do you love about where you live and what does your ideal weekend look like?
Lucy: There’s something almost magical about Cornwall, the landscape, the space, the proximity to the sea. I am so grateful that we can raise our children here. My ideal weekend is getting out on the beach for an early stomp and having a breakfast picnic on the beach with good coffee and then spending the afternoon in the garden and having a BBQ.
Emily: The freedom of being able to go for a lovely long stomp on the beach or run around the fields, being close to nature is really important for us as a family and being in Cornwall makes that really easy. My ideal weekend is a slow breakfast with pancakes, a trip to Heligan and back home for a nice and cosy roast.
And finally do you have any tips for working from home with toddlers?
Lucy: Be kind to yourself, we have to wear so many hats these days and whilst there are so many people who seem to be serene and swan-like in their approach to life, we’re often all furiously kicking and paddling away underneath the surface.
Emily: Don’t try it :) This is when I feel all the Mama guilt when I try and work and the children are around. However, Lucy and I are super lucky because our youngest children are so close in age and play so well together so we manage to squeeze in work with them occupying themselves.
Thank you Emily and Lucy x x
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