HELLO FERN - Regional Maker Profile
As CQ Shopfront builds momentum, I want to highlight some of the amazing artists out there in Central Queensland. I had the pleasure of meeting Tahnee in Mackay and hearing her story. Now she is sharing it with you...
Hey hey!! My name is Tahnee! I am the crazy designer, owner + chief packing lady at Hello Fern. I'm a mumma of two boys. Huxley is 3 and Axl is 10.
We live just south of Mackay and hubby and I also run a labour hire company in the mining sector. To say I am busy is an understatement, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Our family loves to travel, it is absolutely what motivates my husband and I to work so hard. I’m blessed that we have already been able to show our boys some amazing parts of the world, watching them grow and become independent little people brings me so much joy. So far, we have travelled to Singapore, Thailand, Japan, New Zealand, Fiji, China, USA and Canada.
Hello Fern was started in 2015. At the time, I was a wedding and newborn photographer and honestly LOVED what I was doing. But the long hours away from the boys was proving hard work. I was also undergoing IVF (which thankfully gave us our miracle baby Huxley) and it was taking a huge toll on my body.
Hello Fern started as a simple wall print business, which allowed me to continue to use my creative side, but allowed me to stay at home, in my PJs, will going through fertility treatment. It was never considered to be something that would bring in a steady income. Just a little side hustle that would help me stay busy and centred.
After the birth of Huxley in late 2016, I had intentions of moving back into photography. But Hello Fern was growing momentum online and was really starting to grow. So I packed up my camera and took on the role as book keeper for my hubbies business and continued to grow Hello Fern. In 2017, I moved away from wall prints and fell in love with baby milestone discs. In 2018 we purchased 2 large laser machines and started making our baby milestone discs in our home studio.
In just over 12 months, we have grown FAR greater then I ever thought we would have. Hubby has since stopped his job out in the mines to run our labour hire company, meaning I could run Hello Fern full time and give it all the love it needs. We now have over 15 stockists around Australia and New Zealand, a huge following of over 25k online and have really created a community of customers who love what we offer. We have also be spotted in photos of new babies born to celebrities from Home and Away etc. We send about 160 orders a month and it continues to grow! We employ 3 casual employees that help with sanding and order packing.
Our most popular products are our wooden month milestone discs and our birth announcements. These allow parents to capture those special moments in a babies first year. We also offer achievement discs (my first smile, my first tooth etc), wooden name plaques for rooms, IVF milestone discs and more.
For us, the use of social media and brand reps has been what grown our business to where it is. This, as well as LOADS of long hours, has made us stand out against our competitors.
And while social media has been so beneficial for us, we are aware that this is an everchanging platform. I became interested in the idea of CQ Shopfront because I felt all of my ‘eggs’ were in one basket with our customers mostly coming from our social media accounts. I would love to learn other ways to gain exposure and tap into new communities of buyers. The idea of also meeting other like minded designers is exciting!