Creative Director and Founder of Frankie Peach, Charlotta Backlund, was first introduced to me by a mutual friend when she came along to our first ever MUMOKI (then Out & About Baby) event. At that stage, she was working as the Fashion Director of Cosmopolitan magazine, but has since gone on to create the most beautiful silk accessory brand for strong, independent women who want to stand out from the crowd. We recently had a chat to find out how she successfully bribes her kids to do what she wants and where her creative inspiration comes from.
Q: Where did you grow up and what are some of your fondest memories of your childhood?
I grew up on an island in Sweden called Alnö. We lived in this neighbourhood that had heaps of kids and we were all free to roam around left right and centre. We would play hide and seek and ride our bikes for hours on end. I also remember the Summer I got my first pet bunny. My neighbour Sara got one at the same time and we would play with them from sunrise til sunset. When I look back now it was honestly the best childhood and am so grateful to my parents.
Q: As a career, what did you do before you started your own business?
I worked in magazines for over a decade. I started as the fashion assistant for Dolly magazine and worked myself up to becoming the Fashion Director across Cosmopolitan and Cosmopolitan Bride magazine. When I think of that little girl growing up on an island on the other side of the world with only 10,000 people on it, I honestly have to pinch myself.
Q: How has becoming a mother changed your work life?
I found out one week before I went back from mat leave with my first child that I was pregnant again. I knew then that my old career was no longer suited for the life I wanted for me and my kids. Luckily I had launched Frankie Peach a month earlier which would give me the flexibility I wanted moving forward. I stayed in the magazine role for another 6 months and then put my hand up for redundancy.
Q: What’s been the most challenging thing about motherhood so far?
The juggle! My fiancé and I have no family in town and it’s bloody hard. I remember people saying this to me prior having kids, but you can’t quite comprehend it until you are in that boat. I totally understand now why people move back to be closer to their families.
Q: What is something special you always try to do for your kids?
I grew up with incredible grandparents that were a big part of my childhood, so we try to get them to Brisbane at least a couple of times per year and we also go to Sweden once each year. It’s so important to me they get to hang out with their grandparents, great-grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunties etc. and having them part of our lives and not just a face on the screen as we FaceTime them. My grandma is my absolute hero and I hope our kids will have that same relationship with their grandparents. When I had my daughter my grandma came out to Australia for a whole month and helped me out as I was settling in as a mother of two under 19 months.
Q: What are some of your everyday mum life hacks?
They may not be the healthiest, but I always have sultanas on hand. They are the most amazing bribing snack and I can get my kids to do almost anything. Post office visits, meetings, leaving playgrounds without a fight etc. They are my lifesavers!
Q: How do you approach self care?
I would love to say that I eat well and nourish my body, but most days I fuel up on caffeine and eat the kids leftovers. Something I am strict with though is that I take myself to a pilates class twice per week. I call these classes my mental health hours, and it helps to keep me sane. I also have my nails done every 2-3 weeks.
Q: Why did you originally decide to start your business?
The idea came from my original co-founder and breast cancer survivor, Sali. When she was going through treatment, she couldn’t find any affordable silk scarves to wear and knew this gap in the market should be addressed. She put the idea to me and having seen hundreds of accessories companies come and go, I immediately knew that it was a great idea. The fact that we were both on mat leave at the same time pretty much sealed the idea.
Q: What makes Frankie Peach so special?
From day dot we didn’t just want it to be an accessory brand, we wanted to do good as well. Hence we partnered with PINK HOPE, an organisation that aims to help women reduce their risk of breast and ovarian cancer. $1 from every FRANKIE PEACH sale is donated to help save lives and empower women to assess, understand and reduce their risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Q: What does the future look like for Frankie Peach?
Corporate collaborations is a big growth for us at the moment. As an online store we are also focusing on getting our product into more physical boutiques where our customers can touch and feel the product.
Q: What are your time management tips and how do you get everything done?
I get up before the kids each morning to shower, write my to-do list and have a general plan of attack for the day. I do my absolute best to get it all done and I try to not give myself too much of a hard time when things are left on the list. There is always a day tomorrow and as long as the kids are happy, fed and healthy, I am ticking all the boxes that truly matter.
Want to learn how to tie your Frankie Peach scarf? Check out our guide here.