We're building a new home! I'm keen to share all the gory (and fun) details of the planning, the build, and the styling of our new house here with you and on Milk Tooth's Instagram account (link in footer).
We're building with project home builders and self-proclaimed sloping block experts Montgomery Homes in the gorgeous lakeside and bush-enclosed community of Murrays Beach, in Lake Macquarie.
I'm going to use this as a home page and index for all of my other posts about the build. A new home build is somewhat chaotic and has its ups and downs, so I think I'm just going to blog as a thought arrives in my head. We're already most of the way through the planning stages, so I can't handle them chronologically anyway, and any attempt to do so might make my brain implode.
I'll also use this post to link to a number of pages here on Milk Tooth that detail the styling of our new home, and I'm just going to update those pages as I add a new piece to a room - a velvet cushion here, a Scandi play mat there. Of course I'll have a focus on the kid's bedrooms and a beautiful bohemian style playroom that I plan to create, and I just can't wait to showcase some of Milk Tooth's gorgeous bed linen, rugs, and decor in them all. I also love supporting other small home and decor businesses and hope to collaborate with many of my faves before this journey is over.
So, links below to come very soon - as I create them!
- Katherine x
Sylvia and I went to see Despicable Me 3 a couple of months ago with some friends of ours. It was the first movie that Sylvie has really watched the whole way through at the cinema, and the first kid’s movie in a long time that really captured my attention and made me laugh!
What most tickled my funny bone was the main baddie character, Balthazar Bratt, a kid star from the 80s seeking revenge on the world for cancelling his show. Bratt is full of iconic 80s stereotypes. Whenever he and Gru engaged in a fight, one or the other of them would yell out “Dance fight!” and they would go at each other while cutting the rug to riffs of classic 80s songs. He also sported spiked up hair and a mullet, bubblegum, a bad moustache, shoulder pads, a dangly earring, a jumpsuit, and villainous toys inspired by his former show. Let’s be honest here though, it was probably the snippets of fabulous 80s music that really won my heart over to this movie.
Sylvie loves a bit of action and excitement, and is hugely disappointed if a movie doesn’t contain any baddies. I think this is why she enjoyed Despicable Me 3 so much; it featured more action scenes and suspense than its two predecessors. It also featured a strong theme of family ties, love and support. Gru discovers he has a long-lost twin brother, Dru, and they work through their relationship throughout the movie. Lucy, who is now Gru’s wife, is working out how best to be a mum to the three little girls, and they’re working out how to relate to her. Two of the sisters, Edith and Agnes, bond over Agnes’s desperation to find a real-life fluffy!!!!! unicorn. These sorts of themes are always nice for a mummy to see in a kid’s movie.
Finally, one more positive I’d like to tell you about this film: There’s not much minions action! The minions quit when they realise Gru is not going to return to his former villainy, then they go off on some odd storyline of being imprisoned, breaking out of prison, floating through the air, and putting on a musical number. I have zero love for the minions and barely find them funny, so the less the better and this movie definitely leaned towards less (yay!)
I highly recommend this for pre-school age kids and for mummies who really don’t get to go to the movies very often anymore and who were perhaps born in the world of the 70s or 80s (I’m totally dating myself here).
Yay! Afterpay is the new payment method on the block and it's already extremely popular. Use Afterpay on Milk Tooth to buy now pay later, and get your OYOY Adventure Rug or The World Rug, your amazing Kip & Co bed linen, your O.B. Designs Ripple Blanket, your Yumbox, your Lucky Boy Sunday Knit Doll, your iconic Pretty in Pine Sleepy Eyes, all of it...ALL OF IT!, now and pay it off over eight weeks.
Afterpay is simple to use. Just select it at Milk Tooth checkout as your payment method, and you'll be prompted to create an account if you don't already have one. You'll pay nothing upfront! We'll ship the goods to you right away. It's kind of like a reverse lay-by.
If your Afterpay payment doesn't go through, there are a handful of common reasons to consider and, happily, a handful of solutions to apply so you can get your beautiful Milk Tooth children's decor and toys with no further ado:
1. Your Afterpay may fail if your credit card expires within eight weeks. Contact your bank and get that replacement sent out to you pronto.
2. You're on your mobile. Sometimes Afterpay doesn't play as nicely with mobile phones as it does with desktop computers. If you can't get your Afterpay payment to process, try hopping onto your laptop and see if you can get a different result.
3. You've been spending merrily and Afterpay has decided enough is enough, you've reached your limit. Well, it might be as simple as that, but your limit is actually affected by several factors, including how long and how often you've been using Afterpay. It's a bit like a credit score really. You should note as well that sometimes the Aferpay purchase history of other members of your household will affect your dealings with Afterpay. If you have an legitimate alternate address you could try updating the Afterpay portal with this.
I've never actually explained the inspiration behind the name Milk Tooth on here before. It was a selection from amongst a number of potential names that included a few different animal references (because I love animals, and a lot of our toys, cushions and other decor are animal-themed). Unfortunately, after some research, I found the animal names that I liked were mostly taken and that style of name had really been done many times over.
Naming a business can be hard because it's just so permanent (in most cases) and there are so many factors you need to consider. I wanted the name to sound modern, not too cutesie but instead a little edgy. I wanted it to reflect the fact that we sell items for babies and young children. It needed to be different to that of similar toy and decor stores already out there. And I wanted it to be easy to spell and say. It also needed to be available in terms of domain and social media handles.
A milk tooth is a baby tooth, the set of teeth your child has before they all fall out and their adult teeth grow in and they're no longer your small child anymore and are going to grow into an adult and move out and leave you as an empty-nester seemingly overnight. Sob. I created Milk Tooth around about when my little bub Sylvie had her very first two milk teeth, smack bang in the middle of her lower gums (the usual spot for the first teeth to come through). They were, frankly, adorable, and first gave me the idea for the business name. I really liked that the name was inspired by how Sylvie was at that particular moment in time, because she also inspired the business itself. I also like that the name almost perfectly reflects the demographic of our target customers: babies and young children - little people who have milk teeth!And that's it, really, nothing more complicated than that. The only two issues we've run into with the name are people occasionally spelling it as one word - Milktooth - which I actually thought was correct at first myself but doesn't really matter as our url is the same regardless, and a high-end restaurant in, I think, Canada, that has the same name. Occasionally on Twitter we receive kudos for an amazing-sounding dish that I'd love to eat but would never actually be able to cook. I imagine they must sometimes receive a thank you tweet about a customer's lovely new felt ball rug, lunchbox or baby blanket, so it all evens out in the wash :-)
Ah, it's been so long since I wrote a blog post! There are a multitude of tasks in running an online business so unless you have unlimited time (I do not!) then some tend to get put on the back-burner. However, I thought I might write this one in case there's anyone out there either in Australia or overseas - the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Germany, France, the Netherlands, other European countries, Canada, Asia, anywhere really! - that could benefit from our free gift-wrapping and gift-sending service for their friends and family in Australia.
I'm prompted on this by having just arranged one of these for a wonderful former colleague of mine, who asked me to wrap and send the son of her close friend a couple of lovely wooden toys from Milk Tooth for his very special first birthday. I actually really enjoy doing this for people. You know that nice little vibe you get when you give someone a lovely gift? I get a little of that rubbing off on me when I do it on someone's behalf for Milk Tooth. And it helps of course that I love all of the beautiful soft toys, wooden toys, baby blankets and wraps and other special gifts that we have in store (this kind of goes unsaid given I'm the one who gets to shop for them all!)
So, let me do the hard work for you, and save on present wrapping materials and postage! The service is completely free, and I'll ship your gift directly to the lucky little birthday boy or girl, expectant or new mum, or newborn, so there's no double handling and things arrive as quickly as possible.
I've gotten to do this for several of my lovely customers from the UK and New Zealand in particular, many of whom have friends and family living in Australia. It's the perfect complimentary service for these overseas customers as they save on international shipping costs. So, come on, let me share in a little of your gift-giving vibe!
A friend just alerted me to an article on Mamamia entitled "Practical things you didn't know you could buy online." The article suggests its (primarily Australian) readers buy from major online US stores such as diapers.com, Macys and SAKS Fifth Avenue. Really, Mamamia? diapers.com?
This really annoys me, because I know Mamamia likes to take a political and socially responsible stance on issues. Is supporting the Australian economy and/or small business not something Mamamia cares about? It's such a shame, because an article pointing Mamamia's many readers to look domestically for online shopping could have been really beneficial for little businesses like Milk Tooth.
While it might be hard to imagine that an article on a mummy website like Mamamia might make any difference to real small business owners in Australia, I'm hear to tell you it can. I've only been operating Milk Tooth for a few months, and I'm currently making a grand total of around $15 a day. This is absolutely normal for a start-up, but it does mean that every extra sale...every.single.one...helps me along and helps to build up my business. That in turn helps me to stay at home with my daughter and give her as much all-important mummy-time as I can, so she grows up to be the best little person she can be. A socially-responsible person at that.
So, Mamamia, how about an article promoting a handful of small Aussie businesses? Why not promote some work-at-home mums who are working many more hours a day for much less pay than they would be at a "regular job", because they feel that's the very best thing they can do for their children?
Thanks to my friend for commenting on the article to point this out to readers, and for linking to Milk Tooth.
P.s. The article also points readers towards Etsy, which I wholeheartedly support. There are many work-at-home parents on Etsy who are only just charging enough to compensate them for the labour they put into their beautiful, handmade items. I've found a handful of the brands I offer on Milk Tooth through Etsy, because I want to support other small businesses as much as possible myself.
We're still pretty new over here at Milk Tooth. I got into an email discussion the other day with the first of my "regular customers" (first of many, hopefully!) She has advertising and marketing credentials, and was helping me out by suggesting I think about my brand and what sets Milk Tooth apart from other online baby gift stores and children's toy stores.
This is actually a big question for me. What does set us apart? I'm aware that if I'm not careful, Milk Tooth will simply become a "me too" store. Just another store like the others. But I really hope it isn't that. I'm working hard to make Milk Tooth a special place to come and shop.
The suggestion was that I come up with three words that describe Milk Tooth and what makes it different. And that I make sure to apply some or all of those words to everything I do for the website: blog posts, newsletters, social media posts, product listings, etc.
I've really gotten a lot out thinking about Milk Tooth as a brand in this way. And after some jotting down and reworking, I now have my three words! Here they are:
I love each and every product on Milk Tooth. I've made not a single compromise in selecting my stock, and I've extensively researched and selected and shopped to the point where I now have what I think is an excellent curation of beautiful, well-designed, high-quality items that I can stand behind and recommend to my customers. I hope you like my taste.
There is a lot of me in this business. I enjoy writing in the first person and being accessible to my customers. So you get to know the person behind Milk Tooth. And you get to know my daughter too! I've included Sylvia in many of my posts and photos, because I like that she can represent the little ones that you might be thinking of buying for. I'm an advocate for gentle parenting practices, gender equality and the environment, so I also like to include some of that in my musings, in my approach to product selection and description, and even in the protective packaging that I use when I send things out to you. Finally, I am the customer service that you'll receive at Milk Tooth, and I aim to be the best when it comes to helping you.
I research competitors' prices before listing items on Milk Tooth, and then I price my items at the lower end - often below - the price range that's currently out there. So you know you don't really need to shop around for the best price. If it's on Milk Tooth, it's probably a really good price already. On top of that, I hope you've already benefited from our newsletter sign-up deal of 15% off your first order, and maybe one of the other offers we've put out there. Lastly, we have an ongoing rewards system called Milk Tooth spending money. You can earn points for creating an account, joining our newsletter, making a purchase, writing a review and referring a friend. Because of the program's ongoing nature, you need never pay full price on Milk Tooth - ever. Just keep on converting that Milk Tooth spending money into discount codes.
What do you think? Do you get a sense of these three words when you browse through the website or read my posts? Do you have any suggestions for me?
A very big thank you to Roshnee.
I've been busy unpacking and listing a whole bunch of wonderful animal wall stickers from KEK Amsterdam. I'm actually pretty excited about these stickers, as they're right up my alley in terms of nursery design or kid's room design. Real photos, pretty much life-size and super-flat on the wall, so they look realistic.
They come in two ranges - Forest Friends and Safari Friends - which are perfect if you're looking for a woodlands theme in your nursery or an African animals theme for your kid's room. So, if you're stuck for nursery decoration ideas, you could consider building your theme around these cool wall decals. Invest in a feature wall of them and your hero piece will be sorted! Perfect for a unisex nursery idea too.
Anyway, back to the title of this blog post, because I wanted to share these cute pics of Sylvie getting up close and personal with this lion cub wall decal. She really took a shining to this little guy! (Note he's all shiny because he's in the packaging still - they're super-matte on the wall). I love how she's crawling all over him and poking her finger in his eye in these pics. No one escapes from the eye-poking in this house - we all get it - Mummy, Daddy, the cats...and the wall stickers.
Check out all these boxes filled to the brim with quality wooden toys that would make the perfect gift for Christmas!
We've just received these and will be listing them shortly (argh, more product listing!! :)). Most items are by Djeco, which is a French company that specialises in high-quality wooden toys, many of them educational. We have gorgeous wooden pull-along penguins, cats, squirrels and turtles for toddlers, wooden "sewing" toys for creative little hands, three-layer wooden puzzles (such as an igloo, where you start with pieces that show the occupants of the igloo and then build your way out - so clever!), wooden magnets that you can use to make crazy animals and little village scenes, wood stacking rings, the popular new wooden Zooblocks construction toys range and colourfully painted wooden musical instruments.
Also in those boxes are a few items from Le Toy Van that we've been waiting on, including a restock of our popular Honeybake Chococcino Machine (one of my personal favourite items from right across the website) and our Doctor's Set, which is amazingly detailed in its inclusions. New to the site are a Baker's Crate, Harvest Vegetables and Breakfast Tray (brekky in bed!!)
And yes, Drew is super-excited to have yet more boxes in the house. Wait til he sees the re-orders of O.B. Designs blankets and Weegoamigo wraps and crochet blankets, as well as the new Areaware kitten and koala cushions that are still to come!
I think I've only just really realised this. I already knew it of course, but Sylvie turned one on the weekend and I'm suddenly thinking "Where did my baby go?"
I am ever so grateful to have spent every day and every night of her babyhood with her. It has been such a privilege and so important to me. I know it doesn't work out like this for everyone, but the stars have aligned for us and I wouldn't change it for anything.
Sure, some of the hours spent nursing non-stop on the couch have seemed long. Some of the nights waking over and over again to the point where I threw in the towel altogether on going back to sleep have seemed endless. There have been a lot of nappy changes and lately there have been some shows of strong will. But my message to other new mums is this:
Happy birthday, sweet girl. We love you.