We are thrilled to be spending the day with one of our most recent sellers to the store, Zoe Wheeler, founder of Nettlefold. Zoe lives in Oxfordshire with her other half Marcus, son Roman, dog Conan & cat Lily. Her business baby, Nettlefold, is her passion after setting it up shortly after losing her Mum.
Inspired by her childhood home of the same name and the poetry of her late Grandad, the Nettlefold brand stirs feelings of nostalgia whilst revisiting the wonder of childhood imagination... we'll take a bucket full of that please! Join us as we take a look into Zoe's world, discovering how she juggles the day job & her passion project with family life.
I always get woken up by my son Roman (he’s 20months and that’s been the case since he was born!) My morning routine starts around 6am with a bottle of milk for Roman, cuddles in bed with a bit of Paddington Bear on the TV, followed by a very quick shower and brekkie. My other half is up and out the door by around 6 or 7am so I never have the chance for a lie-in! I work part time from home so we normally leave the house around 9am whether it be for a dog walk, errands or to take Roman to nursery.
"I now have to be efficient with the spare 10-20mins I may get through the day when Roman is playing, eating or napping... I thought I’d miss the regular day job though but I really don’t!"
From 9ish until 5ish
My working day varies hugely as some days I have Roman and others he’s at nursery. Alongside Nettlefold, which I work on every day, I’m also a freelancer in events and video so may have some client calls, presentations or budgets to work through. I chop and change between household chores, emails, calls, my son (the list is endless) so there’s a lot of spinning plates!
I usually have a pretty set idea of how our week will pan out, it involves getting outdoors a lot. Covid has been tough so it usually just consists of trying out various local playgrounds. I have started a bit of arts and crafts with Roman but he’s a bit too young to really engage with it yet.
I refer to my ‘day job’ as working in video and events but I also spent 25 years in the music industry which had so many highs. I’ve surprised myself though - I thought I’d miss the regular day job but I really don’t! I now have to be adept at dipping in and out of work, being efficient with the spare 10-20mins I may get through the day when Roman is playing, eating or napping, but having my son hugely changed my attitude to work. I think I was delusional before he came along, thinking I’d be able to do both, but it’s almost impossible to focus on work with a toddler running around and my focus has to be on him.
I prep for Roman’s tea which he has around 4.30/5pm, then we sometimes play a bit of hide & seek (running around to burn off any last bit of energy!) before winding down indoors with Paddington Bear on the TV. I usually start his bathtime around 6, then we get cosy in a dark room with milk and a cuddle. He’s only just started sleeping through the night and self settling so it’s been a huge change for us getting our nights back! He’s normally asleep around 7 so that's when I start sorting our dinner before I check back in on emails from around 8pm.
I like to enjoy my evenings with a glass of wine in front of the TV but sadly more often than not these days I’m catching up with emails or prepping things I’ve not been able to do through the day!!
The weekends and weekdays don't differ massively for me, although my other half is at home on Saturdays and Sundays so he gets more playtime with Roman. We try and do at least a dog walk or a little outing together as a family and always eat tea together on a Saturday and a Sunday which I love. In all honesty I don’t get much time for me at the moment though and that's something I really need to rectify.
How Do you Play?
We like to ask all our contributors some quick fire questions about how they like to play at home, here are Zoe's answers...⚡️ Inside or Outside? Outside
⚡️ Messy or Clean? Messy
⚡️ Watch or Get Involved? A Bit Of Both
⚡️ Tidy Away or Leave Out? Leave Out
⚡️ Favourite activity? Crafts & Colouring
⚡️ What could you not get through the week without? Coffee & Cake!!
Discover Zoe's beautiful collection of notelets, notebooks and prints on the store now, featuring poetry by her late grandfather alongside whimsical illustrations. We are also thrilled to have joined forces with Nettlefold for our first Children's Poetry Writing Competition.
You can find more details on the competition here including details on how to enter. Each entrant will receive a certificate and there are some wonderful winner's prizes including a bespoke bunny print by Nettlefold featuring the winning poetry on the theme of Spring.