For those of you who have graced our markets, you probably headed straight for Little Bonnie Dot’s Coffee Caravan to get your caffeine fix before setting out to find your market day goodies. The bright yellow vintage caravan is almost as hard to miss as the beautifully warm and welcoming barista who brews up magic before your eyes. Mama Jade works tirelessly at every event she attends. Many times she rises before the sun to provide market stall holders their cup of morning delight before they set up their stalls, finishing only when the last patron leaves.
Jade is a mother of three incredibly unique and gorgeous boys. She gives me hope and strength in the idea that not all families of boys turn out like an endless wrestling match. She handles herself, her business and her family with so much grace, humor and love, I had to share her story with you all. Enjoy…
What are you children’s ages & personalities?
I have 3 boys. Aziah is 6yrs old, he is extremely smart, quirky and complex, he holds back and observes and analysis every little detail. Sacha is 3 and is sensitive, imaginative and so funny, he will throw himself into the middle of anything that comes his way and is constantly coming up with stories or characters. Little Ziggy Ray is 18 months, He is our cheeky little ball of energy. He walked at 9 months and there has been no stopping him since! He is a food thrower, plate smasher and escape artist but is oh so CUTE so gets away with it!
What are you passionate about?
Living life to its full capacity, my boys, my husband, being creative and adventuring in our natural world. I love to bake, drink tea and collect fine china which are 3 passions that helped kick start my Little Bonnie Dot journey.
Tell us about your soul purpose and how you are pursuing it.
I feel as though my soul purpose is to raise my three boys into respectful, thoughtful, happy, accomplished men. To achieve this I think that pursuing my dreams and showing them that ideas can turn into successful ventures is important. Every day is a struggle to stay calm and try to be the person I want my children to learn from and not the sleep deprived, life-juggling, slightly crazy mum I really am!
Tell us about your experience working in the hospitality industry.
My hospitality life has definitely come with its highs and lows. Hospitality can be a very high stress job and definitely isn’t for everyone but I love it. I hold a certificate in hospitality operations and a certificate in tourism and events and have worked in fine dining, resorts, cafes, weddings and events.
I met my husband whilst, he was the chef and I was the manager of a dinner cruise boat in the Whitsundays. Michael and I have worked together on and off ever since we met 10yrs ago. Our careers have taken us to some amazing locations and cemented life long friendships along the way. It was only when we started our family that we stopped the traveling hospitality life and Michael began running his own restaurant and more recently we began Little Bonnie Dot.
What is different about Little Bonnie Dot compared to other food trucks/vans?
Little Bonnie Dot is an original 1930’s caravan and is painted such a happy shade of yellow that we instantly stand out from the crowd. We have transformed this rare beauty into a high tea pop-up cafe. We are not just selling you a cup of coffee, we also bring with us whimsical fun from a by-gone era.
We serve organic herbal teas, locally roasted direct trade coffee, hand-made treats and cakes using organic, farmers market and locally sourced ingredients where possible. We have thought about the little details and are proud to stand behind the products we sell. Retro lovers, coffee drinkers, families, curious kids, vintage enthusiasts, reminiscent elderly, lovers of tea…. I believe we add a memorable moment to anyone’s day!
Who are the mumpreneurs that inspire you the most?
So many mums in my life are out there chasing their dreamy creative projects or business ideas and I can genuinely say that each have inspired me at some time. I love that “returning to work” doesn’t have to mean going to work for someone else, it can mean creating a business/ project/ creative process that allows for you, as a mum, to choose your own hours to suit the needs of your family. I love that I am surrounded by a network of mums who are doing this and this in itself inspires me to strive for more.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as a mamapreneur?
I think any mum would answer this the same…. its the juggle! I need an extra day to be added in the week, a day purely dedicated to home, no school, no pre-school, no restaurant, no functions, no Little Bonnie Dot, no birthday parties…. just home!! Sometimes it feels like I am chasing myself and no matter how close I get to having it all done there is still always a huge pile of clean washing that needs folding!!
What do you do for mama time out?
This is a tricky one as I very very rarely get mama time out! I do like a nice peaceful glass of red or cup of tea after all the boys are asleep. When a child free moment does occur I love Thai food date nights with my man and wine or coffee catch-ups with the girls. Though they don’t often happen, when they do it seems to reset my tolerance levels!
What is the trick to working as a team with your husband as parents, lovers and business owners?
I think the answer is that I married my best friend. You always forgive your best friend, even when they snap, you talk to your best friend about everything, enjoy their company, like the same things whilst also respecting each others differences, laugh together and are there for each other. This is how I feel about Michael.
The hardest part is that we struggle to have time just for the two of us. Michael has a very heavy work schedule with terrible hours but I knew the life of a chef before we were married with children and we have just had to make it work.
Since starting Little Bonnie Dot I feel like we have been able to re-connect about something other than our kids, although its more work, it has also been a project that we have both contributed to creatively and worked on as a team. We have had bookings which we have had to leave as early as 4am for, we leave the kids with my dad and its almost like we are off on an adventure, we then get to spend the whole day together kid free!
What is your favorite thing about the market scene?
I love that it gives creatives a platform to test ideas, products and creative projects. My main focus is to enter into private functions and high tea catering and for me the market scene has allowed me to be seen, get my name out there and promote my services. It is the best form of advertising as customers can experience Little Bonnie Dot before they hire us. I also love the market vibe, the customers are there for a day out and are usually more relaxed.
What gets you through the toughest days?
I have a new technique for this actually… I turn on Spotify really loud and dance it out! The boys think its hilarious and all join in, we get creative with our moves and all end up laughing in a pile. This and pinot noir!!
For more info about Jade and Little Bonnie Dot or to book Little Bonnie Dot for your next function be sure to head over to their Facebook page at https://mamaandme.com.au/2016/06/20/hey-mama-jade/