Sourcing inspiring Australian designers and brands to feature in her children’s interiors and lifestyle mag, Minty, has taught Nicole Ray a thing or two about the art of the collab…“If it’s not a Hell Yes! It’s a No.” Here, we delve into her love and support of sustainable design and ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ approach to motherhood.
Minty Magazine first began in 2014 (previously Tiny Tribe Magazine), Tell us about the journey to Minty?
Minty was an existing business when I came across it in 2016. The founder felt she had taken it as far as she could and was looking for someone to take it on. I was immediately drawn to the opportunity on a very intuitive level. I can’t put my finger on exactly why I felt compelled to take it on but I trusted my gut and jumped in!
I was inspired by the opportunity to grow the business and share the joy that comes from creating beautiful spaces for our children to a broader audience. I am a passionate supporter of Australian small businesses and being able to create a platform that allows those businesses to shine excites me and drives Minty forward.
Best lessons learnt since acquiring Minty Magazine?
Oh the lessons come thick and fast! I have learnt to back myself a lot more and really stick to my guns. Whether it be the design of the magazine, collaboration opportunities, even revenue opportunities – if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no!
I have definitely learnt to take time to think about things before I commit to them. I am naturally a yes person, but having two children and a business I have to be more careful with my time. Now I run most things through a sanity check with a good friend before I commit.
I have learnt that its ok to try things! Some things work, some don’t. I don’t let it get me down if things don’t go to plan, I just focus on the positives and move onto the next idea!
Mother to Charles (3) & Florence (1), what has inspired you when styling each of their bedrooms?
Ha! Like the plumber with leaky taps….
Florence is still in with my husband and I. She has a divine Bloom Alma Mini Cot that she has slept in about 3 times (It was Charlie’s first, he also slept in it about 3 times!). I did create a beautiful nook in our room for her. I knew she would be in with us for awhile and being second child I was pretty relaxed about things. But I was adamant she had a space that was hers from the start. I styled it to fit in with our room which I would call modern relaxed Scandi.
Charles’ room has a modern Australiana vibe. I have used muted blues and greens to keep it very relaxed. He has a beautiful For Me by Dee Koala print and a large statement artwork by Sarah Kalidis featuring Australian botanicals which really set the tone for his room. I chose stunning indigo stripe Cultiver Linen on his bed… it’s my favourite place to sleep!
Surrounded by so many talented designers and unique products, do you want to keep adding to the styling of your own home?
Yes, but I am committed to sustainable design, so generally I hold back. I think each purchase through, and if after a few days I still think we need it - or it will add true joy to our home, I will get it. We live in a tiny home in Bondi Beach so I have to reign it in so we can maximise our living space.
What advice would you give for styling a play area in common living spaces of the home?
You will have to look at it every day so make sure you love it! Keep it in-line with the design of the rest of your home so it looks & feels harmonious. Use beautiful baskets to store toys in, and at the end of the day you can put the toys away and enjoy the space. Remember to embrace the fact that it is temporary, and that for now, it brings your children joy.
What’s your secret to juggling motherhood and a running a business?
I don’t have any secrets… I wish I did! I just try and focus on my kids when I am with them, and my work when I am working. And I make sure I do some things for myself along the way. Sometimes we have an amazing flow and sometimes it is chaos. When things get too crazy I take some time to sit on the floor and play with the kids. It brings us all back together in a flash and gets my priorities right back in line. I do my best and try not to be too hard on myself when things aren’t perfect.
What’s been the best piece of advice you’ve ever received about motherhood?
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
What’s your parenting style?
Relaxed. We live in the moment. I choose fun over housework every time. Manners, gratitude and respect are my non-negotiable's. Shoes are optional…
Who inspires you most?
Oh gee…so many people! My husband is an incredible businessman who is always pushing forward and challenging the status quo. He is also incredibly generous and supportive of everyone around him, so I’d have to say, right now, him.
A note to your younger self?
Take on more, push the boundaries further, trust yourself 100%.
What does 2019 hold for you & for Minty Magazine?
I am so excited for 2019! My baby Florence is a little older now so I can really sink my teeth into some big projects. I have a charity partnership in the pipeline which excites me to no end. Our content creation service (Minty Co.Lab) has been a really exciting addition to the business this year. I can’t wait to see where it goes in 2019. I am exploring a new role in the business to push our own content to the next level. I really feel like the sky is the limit.
Personally, we have a renovation and a trip to Europe on the cards. I think it will be a fantastic year.
For our own curiosity, and as an on-going source of inspiration, we always like to find out as much as we can about our featured guests, can you humour us with the first thing that comes to mind for each the below?
Currently I am...
Drinking | Peppermint tea (I recently quit coffee… I wish I was drinking coffee…)
Cooking | BBQ’s and salads - summer eating is my favourite!
Planning | Europe 2019
Listening | All out 90’s on Spotify…best playlist ever!
Dreaming | of the long beach days of summer
Wearing | active wear
Watching | The Greatest Showman
Reading | The Leadership Moment by Michael Useem
To hear….my mums voice, just one more time
To see…. Kylie at Bimbadgen Estate in March… I bloody love Kylie!
To hold…my babies, always
To visit….South America… it’s been on my list for too long