Our New Addition to Ashley & Malone
Over the last year we’ve been preparing for our biggest addition to our little family…and well business too! And that’s the welcoming of our little girl Isla Mae. It was actually a year ago today that we found out we were expecting and we couldn’t have been more excited, scared and happy with this news.
As most of you know, running a business and having a baby is a bit different than a traditional working environment. While my friends were looking forward to having a year maternity leave (hello, Canada), our reality looked very different. Seeing as both Dallas and I are self-employed we couldn’t just shut our business off for the year. We had our office, amazing team and clients to look after.
So we started the planning process and here are some tips of what’s worked for us:
- We started saving! Luckily we had nine months to begin figuring out how this was going to work and for us we wanted to have a backup plan, just in case. We were thankful we could save almost a years salary so that we could take on less and not feel financially stressed.
- Work now, so you can work less. We took on more work during my pregnancy so we could reduce our client in-take closer to my due date. Since I was due on New Years Eve, we decided to take on no new clients in December, only one in January and then 1-2 a month going forward for the first year. This allowed us some extra time with our baby and I was able to hand off some responsibility to Caryn and Amber on our team.
- Expect the unexpected. We lost one of our developers only two weeks after Isla was born and it was pretty stressful figuring out what we were going to do. Hiring and training a new team member with a newborn was not something we could take on. While we still had Dallas (obviously), it put more pressure on him during Isla’s first few weeks as he was taking on more work. In the end, our staff stayed on freelance which was very reassuring and in the end worked better for us. It’s true what they say, everything does work out in the end.
- Enjoy your baby. While not everything went as planned, we’re both super happy with how things have been going with our business and being new parents. Our team is beyond amazing and have taken a more active role in our projects. Plus Dallas and I doing things 50/50 with Miss Isla has been so fun. She gets both her parents and we get the personal satisfaction of our work – which is SO rewarding to us.
Now for a little fun! Besides being a Graphic Designer, over the years I’ve fallen in love with Interior Design. I have to say that I think #interiorlust on Instagram and Pinterest has set the bar pretty high and fuelled having everything picture perfect. That being said, when we found out we were expecting a girl, I was in heaven. I knew I wanted to create something special for our little girl so I enlisted the help of our talented client Alyssa from CoCo+Jack, a local interior design firm.
While we were working on her branding and website, they were also developing a box design service. Something a bit more affordable than traditional interior design. What was amazing about this was I could fill out a super fun questionnaire about our style and ideas I had for the space. With some quick measurements and photos, Alyssa was able to virtually develop the most beautiful and detailed design plan. We received a box filled with wallpaper, textiles and carefully selected furniture. The entire design was pulled together in a mood board and room layout so we could envision the space. Needless to say, we were blown away and started pulling the room together.
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