Most likely found in a swimsuit near a pool or at the beach with son Eli (2.5 yrs) and a laptop in tow. This wander-lusting solo mum is the creative powerhouse behind Brand Babe Studios, which has been the quintessential piece to building a life that can satiate the thirst to travel. We catch up with Alarice about building her business, working remotely and what values she hopes their travels will instil in Eli.
Alarice wears Saben Big Sis' Tilly in Dijon macro croc emboss
Tell us about your journey as a solo mother
Its wild - very wild. Seriously solo parenting has got to be the most confronting thing ever. But it’s also been the best thing ever (it’s taken 2 years to realise that). When you realise you can actually parent solo you realise you can legit do anything. It caused me to lose my job which has been the biggest blessing! Basically, I started a new job and was still on probation - my little babe kept getting sick at day-care and I had no one to help us as we lived in Melbourne at the time. It’s so wild because if all that didn’t happen I would have never moved back to New Zealand and started Brand Babes Studio.
Shout out comfort/advice for other mumas about to go at it alone?
You can do it! But no seriously, you can! Run your life like a business - work smart not hard. Call on your community, your village your tribe - take the help and say heck yes to delivered meals. Order your groceries online, meal prep, block out you time - it's not selfish, it's necessary!
Eli isn’t your only baby – tell us about BBS?
As a mentioned before BBS was birthed as a bi-product of solo motherhood - well kinda. I had conjured up the idea for BBS for about 6 years and kept putting it off because well you know, life.
Can you talk us through the start of BBS? How did it come about, what was the scariest part?
It sounds so cliché, but seriously the hardest part is to just start. To just seriously commit to it and then go all in! I studied Design about 6 years ago and I always knew I wanted to work for myself. When I moved back to New Zealand it was like every man and his dog was starting a business or a side hustle. Bingo! Ideal client alert. Basically, we work with “small biz babes” to take their brands from zero to launch. I love that ultimately what my business does is help woman live their purpose.
And the biggest learnings thus far?
Find your tribe and love them hard! I’m talking about fellow business owners, who you surround yourself with in general and the clients/customers you choose to work with. Define your values in life and in business and be aware of your circle. You become who you surround yourself with – it’s not an annoying thing your mum tells you because you think she doesn’t like your friends, it’s actually really true!
The hustle of your own business and the freedom to work remotely.... LIKE IN BALI! Tell us about your latest adventures?
Just as I was starting my business I was also struggling with depression. I took a 10 day trip to Bali with some girlfriends at the start of last year and it was a game changer. I met so many other business owners who run online businesses similar to mine and I was like “Hay! This is actually a thing!”. It ignited a fire inside me. It was the start of a healing process and so I knew that I had to keep travelling and I had to build a business that could function from anywhere in the world. So at the start of the year I decided to test run the idea - “Could I really live, work and play in Bali while running BBS and raising my little babe” - the answer is YESS!! It was such a fab experience and I am so glad we did it! Initially we headed over for month but ended up staying for almost 3. Bali is well set up in many ways for solo parenting. Nannies and childcare are really affordable as is accommodation. Those are the main costs as a solo parent that can be really hard - so it was quite refreshing. In terms of running BBS nothing changed - everything is online and if I had a client meeting we would just Skype which is what I do in New Zealand anyway with some of our clients from Australia.
What do you need from your Saben handbag to suit your days that transition between work, motherhood and travel?
Big enough to carry my laptop but small enough to wrangle the little babe in the other arm. Shop Alarices' picks: Camden black pony and Big Sis Tilly dijon.
Tid-bits on parenting at home vs parenting abroad / in transit:
Honestly, it’s all the same. Tantrums are not any less fun or harder whether you’re at home or at an airport or in a foreign country - they are forever #painful haha.
How do you see your travels enriching Elis childhood?
Sounds crazy as he is only 2 and a half but I can see it already. I think in general the education system is so far behind and a bit flawed and there is nothing like real world experiences to wake your senses and challenge your mind. He is so stimulated by our travels and an absolute social butterfly. He adapts so well everywhere we go - sometimes better and quicker than I do! It’s impressive.
Values you want to instil in your son
Be a kind and respectful human. There is no point doing anything in life if you don’t have those two things.
So, you’re home for a while? What is next for BBS, you and Eli?
It’s so funny we get this question a lot - and truthfully in terms of where we will stay or head next I don't know - got any ideas? Haha! In terms of BBS there is a lot in the works. Currently we are purely a service-based business, but we are working on diversifying our income streams by adding in digital products. And that’s all I’m saying for now - you'll have to follow us to find out more.