Natalie Manoushian is the founder of Little Label Co, a one-stop-shop for all your home organisation needs.
Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?
I was in the corporate world in sales/marketing before having kids and I was lucky enough to be home with them the first couple of years of their lives but being home with them made me realise I didn’t want to go back to the corporate world, I wanted a job that fulfilled me, that I was passionate about and offered flexibility so I can be there at every school pick up and drop off.
It all began in 2017 when I moved interstate for my husband’s work with 2 under 3. Moving was hard and took a toll on my mental and physical health. Organising and labelling were essential for me back then to get through the hard times.
So, my house became the catalyst for Little Label Co! After many friends commented on my labelling systems, I saw a gap in the home organisation market and from my dining room table Little Label Co was established! I started selling our custom vinyl labels, followed by our first product, our bamboo glass 75ml jars.
Fast forward 6 years, we now stock over 200 organisation products, a showroom, 2 warehouses and 10 staff. Just under a year ago we opened the doors to our first retail store in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?
There is no typical day for me. First and foremost, I am a mum, so my days always start with the kids; getting them fed, dressed, house organised, off to school and then to the office.
In the office my tasks range from filming content for social media, responding to customer enquiries, product development, home organisation consultation, working with our amazing team of affiliates, and spending time in our retail shop. This is what makes what I do so enjoyable, the variety and ever-changing tasks.
The evenings are when I prioritise self-care, I try to fit in some form of exercise and spend quality time with family.
Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?
The first two years of running the business there was no such thing as work life balance. I worked 18 hour days and my parents were pretty much raising my kids. Although I was doing something I was so passionate about, I was burning out and starting to resent it. I knew that it wasn’t sustainable.
I made the decision over the last couple of years that a work-life balance is essential for my mental and physical health. With the style of work I do and being so involved on social media it is hard to switch off most days but to me it is about finding balance and peace between the demands of work and those of my personal and family life. To have flexibility for me is everything.
Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?
This is an ever-changing balance and I think if you accept that you must work at keeping the balance then you can have one. I know that when I don’t do things for me, all areas suffer. For example, something as simple as getting on the treadmill at the end of the day to clear my head is a must.
With the work that I do and the rise in demand for a social media presence, I was getting caught up working 24/7. Sharing my life was taking over my life, so I took a step back and evaluated what I was able to do and what I wanted to do. Once I was clear on this, I then was able to add in the things I needed to do.
Most of the things I needed to do revolved around self-care and time with my family. I have a fantastic family that supports me and the business that ensures no balls are dropped. I am lucky enough to have my husband and my mum working at Little Label Co, so they know what is going on in the day and they are there to lend a hand when I need it.
We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?
This might not be the answer you are looking for, but for me none of these ever help to fill my cup to feel a balance in my life, I have tried a variety but I always think to myself that I am trying to figure out the balance and not just getting the balance! But listening to my girls read at night, being on the treadmill watching trashy tv or simply spending time in my pantry organising gives my brain a time out to relax and reset.
Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
There is a great quote by Stephen Covey. He says, ‘The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities’ and that is exactly what I have done. I have made significant changes in my daily routine.
I used to constantly overwhelm my thoughts with ‘how do I do it’ or ‘how am I going to fit this all in in one day?’ Now I ask myself ‘how important is this?’ or ‘can it be left for tomorrow?’ Once I trained myself that it was ok to leave things and that not everything had to be done instantly I actually accomplished more in the time I made available.
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