If you purchase a hat that is part of the Sarah J Curtis Collection you are guaranteed two things. One, it is going to protect you from the sun. And two, you are going to look incredibly chic when you are down at the park. And that is because functionality and style are the two key pillars of Sarah’s namesake brand.
Having spent years growing up under the harsh Adelaide sun, Sarah was diagnosed with melanoma when she was pregnant with her middle child. Being a proactive mama she began searching for practical, stylish hats that would protect her skin while out on her daily walks pushing the pram round the block and to the park.
We sat down with Sarah to find out more about her journey, her special little helpers and her chic hat collection.
Q: Where did you grow up and what are some of your fondest memories of your childhood?
I grew up in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia with wonderful memories of riding bikes for hours on end, long hot summers and swimming anywhere we could, pools, ponds, dams… And fabulous fresh food!
Q: As a career, what did you do before you started your own business?
I actually studied International Studies at University but, like so many, I’ve never used it. After uni I worked for Levis in Adelaide which was where the manufacturing was mostly done before it went off shore to China.
Q: How has becoming a mother changed your work life?
I’m not sure if I have worked out that work / family / life balance yet! And to be honest, I’m not sure if I ever will. It’s a constant juggle. But one thing I have learnt is that I have to do things straight away otherwise I totally forget. Before children I had a brilliant memory and now I cant even remember what I had for dinner last night! Baby brain is real! Hahaha.
Q: What’s been the most challenging thing about motherhood so far?
Remembering that the children come first and not to take my stress out on them.
Q: What is something special you always try to do for your kids?
Lots of healthy treats when I pick them up from school and lots of snuggles before bed.
Q: What are some of your everyday mum life hacks?
I hate making and packing school lunches. We are very anti single use plastic and foil in our house but I know the kids can sometimes feel like they are hard done by being the only children in their class that never get to open packets of chips at recess. Also my children are not the sort of children that sit quietly doing craft. Instead my house doubles as an indoor netball/ football/ tennis court and sometimes you have to watch for flying objects or else you might get knocked in the head from multiple flying drones at any one time – the noise itself almost sends me into convulsions!
Q: How do you approach self care?
Yoga and ocean swimming. I love that stretch from yoga and the salt water always clears my head. You NEVER regret a swim!! Noise cancelling head phones also work a dream.
Q: Why did you originally decide to start your business?
After being diagnosed with Melanoma 6 months pregnant with my middle child I started the search for a classic Panama hat with an extra wide brim that I could wear every day walking with a pram. It proved impossible so I started to have some made myself. Then my friends started asking me for them. Then buyers of stores started to get in touch to put them in their shops. And the rest as they say is history!
Q: What makes the hats in the Sarah J Curtis Collection so special?
I pride myself on the extra wide brim that our hats have because for us, even though it’s stylish, it all comes back to sun protection and being functional. And yes I also have a passion for fashion so I always try to create styles that never go out of date.
Q: What are your time management tips and how do you get everything done?
I just have to make myself do things straight away and I try not to ever over commit. And worst case scenario, I can pay the children to help me.