Something truly magical happens to your body when it's preparing for the birth of a child. The physical process of creating life is truly a miracle, but there's also a profound change within that connects you back to nature. It's an overwhelming and very powerful experience. For this reason, many expecting mothers have embraced the boho baby shower theme that brings the two worlds of nature and nurture together, just as Emma McClean did.
The mother of two and founder of kids' fashion label Children of the Tribe threw a bohemian style baby shower for three moms who were expecting their second, third, and fourth children. The free-spirited ethos and relaxed vibe of the Byron Bay hinterland on Australia's coast provided the perfect backdrop for the "Whimsical in White"–themed celebration. The intimate gathering was held under a huge naked teepee layered with rugs and cushions, low-set tables decorated with local native flowers, vintage brass vases and candles, along with an assortment of tasty mezzo plates. We quizzed the designer on her party-planning process, along with her mompreneur tips and work/life balance stance. Scroll to the end to enter our exclusive Children of the Tribe competition.
MYDOMAINE: Can you talk us through the decorating process? What are the must-have decorating pieces and tablescape décor that make a baby shower boho in style?
EMMA MCCLEAN: I wanted to create a warm and comfortable yet stylish space where moms could gather and feel relaxed. Nothing too formal. We were so fortunate that it was a warm and perfect winter day with not a breath of wind; it was magic. I definitely think the low tables instantly create a relaxed vibe where people can sit on a floor cushion, kick off their shoes, and feel at ease to chat and indulge.
I think it’s important to add a few unique touches that fit in with your theme, so we gave each pregnant mom a flower crown to wear on the day, which looked so beautiful. We also had an old suitcase full of cool vintage jackets in case guests got cold when the sun went down, and a henna tattoo artist creating individual designs for guests. The white chocolate, rosewater, cardamom, and vanilla bean buttercream cake (created by One Hundred and Eighty Degrees) was a real centerpiece. We also set up the bar on an upcycled rustic timber table and served signature cocktails and mocktails garnished with edible garden flowers. Everything tied in with the boho theme beautifully.
MD: Why do you think this theme resonates with moms?
EM: The boho theme is chill, relaxed, and free-spirited. This event's dress code gave the guests (many of whom are moms) the chance to dress up and wear white, which never happens around kids. The theme and location urged guests to kick off their shoes, relax in comfort, and enjoy beautiful food and drinks with good conversation in a beautiful, stylish outdoor setting. What’s not to love about that?
MD: What advice do you have for other moms who want to throw a bridal shower with a boho theme? What are your tips?
EM: Choose a location, whether it's your backyard, a beach or café; then ensure it ties in with the theme and the way you choose to decorate. Stay true to your style, and collaborate with those who also share that same vision. There is so much creative talent in Byron Bay, so we were able to use all local suppliers to make this event happen. It was a perfect day.
MD: You started sketching designs for kids' clothing while on maternity leave with your first child. How did you turn your passion into a profession?
EM: Yes. I worked at Yahoo7 for eight years with an extremely talented crew. Children of the Tribe was a little hobby founded while on maternity. When I returned to work, I took advantage of my colleagues' incredible skills and exchanged beer for a website build, whiskey for SEO, and lunches for website maintenance. While I was making sales and hitting my targets for Yahoo7, I was selling clothes through my website on the side. Taking a voluntary redundancy combined with a nudge from the bosses enabled me to pursue my passion. From there, my hobby has grown into a full-time job employing a team of 10 in four years.
MD: We are living in the age of the mompreneur. What advice do you have for working moms looking to start their own business?
EM: It’s achievable. Create a plan, have a goal, and know your vision and your target audience. Children of the Tribe makes clothing for free-spirited little people who like to get dirty, surf, swim, climb trees, and explore barefoot. Kids should be kids, and we always design with that in mind.
MD: How has the transition from working woman to working mom been for you?
EM: As a working woman, I was able to switch off once I left the office, however as a working mom, it's rare that I get that chance to switch off. My previous role at Yahoo7 was challenging, competitive, and fast. I had to be organized. It's definitely contributed to the role I'm in now and having two children to care for.
MD: What are some of the biggest lessons your children have taught you about life?
EM: To slow down, that routine is important, and to appreciate the little things. Don't take life too seriously, and most importantly (in our household anyway), always start the day happy.
MD: How do you keep your work/life balance in check? Do you believe in balance? What does "having it all mean" to you?
EM: I am still learning work/life balance. I find it difficult to switch off, but I'm getting better. I do believe in balance, but I find it difficult to achieve. My children are my number one priority. We are a growing team of 10, and half of our staff don't have children, so it's easy for them to maintain the 9-to-5 routine. A few of them work around their children, some work remotely, and occasionally we can be working on different time zones, so this can make it difficult. Somehow it works, though. I don't think there is such a thing as "having it all." Having it all gives no room to grow. We are so happy with what we have achieved so far as a brand, however, we have so much more to achieve, and we're so excited by these possibilities.
MD: What are some things you do for yourself that you believe every working mom should?
EM: Exercise has always played a big part in my life, and I love starting the day with my morning run. I try not to check emails until after I exercise. I also treat myself to regular massages and facials, as I need to feel alive.
MD: What's the best advice you've ever received, and why?
EM: To always focus forward. Continue to inspire and be inspired.