We would like to introduce you to Tracey Harfoot who created and runs the business Elephant Ollie. I put a series of questions to her and this is what she has to tell us about herself….

Tracey Harfoot from Elephant Ollie

Meet Tracey Harfoot from Elephant Ollie

Q   Tell us about your family?

Husband, Kieran and two children.  Ellie is five in July and starts school next term and Finn will be three in August. Elephant Ollie came from Ellie + Finn = Elephant.

Q   What did you do before you had children?

Primary school teacher.

Q   Tell us about what you do now?

Currently, I’m teaching Spanish part-time (0.6) in Hamilton, am owner/operator of Elephant Ollie and a mum to my young family.

Q   What does your working day or week look like?

I usually get up at 6:30am to get myself and my children ready for the day.  I head to school to teach, and as soon as I’ve completed my responsibilities there I return home to work on Elephant Ollie.  On the way back to Cambridge I often have to collect materials or drop off items for the business.  I try to collect the children from daycare by 3:30pm so I can spend my afternoons with them riding their bikes, going to the park or nearby school, grocery shopping, etc.  Between 5pm – 6pm I fold the washing and organise the dinner.  After dinner I wash the dishes, help bath the children, read stories and organise their bags for the following day.  As soon as the children are asleep in bed, I do several of the following: check emails, photograph products, order fabric, wash and iron fabric, design patterns, cut product, manage the website and Facebook page, accounts.

Q   How do you fit working in around your family life?

I feel like I’m always running from one thing to the next.  I spend a lot of time in the evenings working on Elephant Ollie so I can still have valuable time with my children in the afternoons.  The weekends are family time, and also for doing the housework and general household chores.

Q   What is unique about your enterprise?

There are a number of other Bib brands in the market.  We are proud of both the Elephant Ollie and Apple Tree Boutique brands as they are fashionable, 3-Layered, super-absorbent bibs that draw moisture away from little ones keeping them and their clothes dry.  All Elephant Ollie items are NZ Made. One Elephant Ollie product alone, Bib, Apron or Cuddly Teether uses materials from 8 other local or NZ businesses.  When you buy Elephant Ollie, you are supporting a number of other NZ businesses also!

Q   What are your long term ambitions or goals for your enterprise?

Ideally, I would like Elephant Ollie to grow into a full-time occupation.  At this stage, I have no intentions of giving up or selling the business as much blood, sweat and tears, and many late nights have gone into growing Elephant Ollie to the point it is currently at.  I believe Elephant Ollie is a great product range and what’s most important is that our products are NZ Made.  One Elephant Ollie product alone can support up to 8 other local or NZ businesses.  Within 5 years I aim for Elephant Ollie to be one of the most trusted, reliable and recognised Baby Accessory brands in Australasia.  Within 10 years, I aim to have Elephant Ollie sold in department stores globally whilst remaining NZ Made.

Q   What is it that inspires you or motivates you?

I am passionate about the Elephant Ollie range of products because I know they work and do exactly what they are designed for.  I have received some wonderful feedback from customers, which motivates me to want to continue providing high-quality products.  I want to be an example to my children that hard work, determination and perseverance can lead to success, as well as giving you a great sense of self-worth.

Well, I feel positively lazy reading about how Tracey Harfoot from Elephant Ollie packs it all in. What an inspiration. I guess the reality of being self employed is always being busy. Good on you Tracey. Connect with Tracey Harfoot from Elephant Ollie via facebook.

Have you started solids with your little ones recently? Check out some of these posts The First Phase, Three Easy Purees and Introducing meat. If you have recently started solids then you may want to stock up on some bibs. You can buy an Elephant Ollie bibs or others from the great selection of bibs over Munch Cupboard.

Mummy to three small boys

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