My Sun­day

Alexa White­head started tinker­ing away on ba­bieswear brand Buck & Baa in her win­dows of down­time af­ter the birth of her sec­ond child. She takes a quick breather to talk to Nicky Park about comfy clothes and home renos.

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - SNAPSHOT -

We al­ways stick to­gether on the week­ends. We’re a fam­ily unit, so if one per­son has to do some­thing, we all go with. Sun­days are very much a fam­ily day. If I can wran­gle it, I like to take a lit­tle bit of a sleep-in. A sleep-in is 8am – or 9am is ex­treme. We go for walks, we hang out at home. If we can steal some time, we work on our ren­o­va­tions.

I don’t re­ally like big cities. Feild­ing – it’s nice here, it’s just re­ally pretty. There are lots of trees. The peo­ple are re­ally friendly and nice. It’s a ca­sual, quiet place.

We bought this house know­ing it needed a lot of work done to it. As soon as they said we’d got the house I was like, what have we done? It was in Jan­uary last year, three weeks af­ter our third baby, Ezra, was born. I think your pri­or­i­ties change and you re­alise what you’ve got go­ing on doesn’t re­ally work for you any more. Our last house, the lay­out just wasn’t right and I never wanted to stay there.

I’m never go­ing to do a ren­o­va­tion again.

My hus­band, Ben, re­ally likes do­ing it. He likes do­ing all the bits and pieces but I don’t like the fact that it takes years, so hope­fully by the end of this year we’ll have it fin­ished – which will mark two years. We al­ways toy with go­ing on an­other ad­ven­ture or mov­ing some­where. But I think, once this is fin­ished, I want to en­joy it for a lit­tle bit.

I started Buck & Baa af­ter my sec­ond kid was born over in Aus­tralia in March 2015. When Holly was about 5 months old, I got a lit­tle bit bored at home. My el­dest, Sam, had started kindy, so it was just her at home. I had an ex­tra room with my sewing ma­chine and I just made lit­tle merino bean­ies and lit­tle moc­casins, so it was all hand­made when­ever I had time to make stuff.

Girls’ cloth­ing es­pe­cially re­ally both­ered me. I find it hard to buy stuff for Holly (now 3½) be­cause I don’t like all the big bright prints and the glit­ter and the frills and stuff like that. I just wanted to do nice neu­trals, nice prints, I wanted to have my lit­tle draw­ings on them. Sim­plic­ity. I’ve al­ways had a phi­los­o­phy of:

“Girls’ cloth­ing both­ered me... I don’t like all the big bright prints and the glit­ter and the frills and stuff like that.”

if I like it, if I’m go­ing to dress my chil­dren in it, then ob­vi­ously other peo­ple out there are go­ing to like the same sort of stuff.

Kids are kids. Holly does hand­stands and rolls around – ev­ery­thing that she wears needs to be com­fort­able. So I do have to make dresses for the girls who like to be girly, but in terms of Holly, she just wants to wear comfy pants and T-shirts. She’s al­ways been like that, so I will con­tinue to do that. I think kids just need to be able to do what they need to do and be com­fort­able. It’s all about prac­ti­cal­ity.

I’ll buy some­thing for my­self purely be­cause it looks comfy and it’s easy­go­ing and not ex­pen­sive.

If I’m shop­ping for my kids, I don’t have the same set of rules. Even my sis­ter’s like: “You’re crazy, you need to treat your­self and get your­self some­thing nice.” I just don’t re­ally care.

I love be­ing busy. I don’t like it when I don’t have any­thing to do. I’m the sort of per­son who al­ways has at least three projects on the go. At the mo­ment, when I do get down­time I just blob out, but I used to al­ways be draw­ing or paint­ing or cro­chet­ing. I couldn’t just sit and watch TV and do noth­ing. I’d have to do some­thing with my hands. I feel weird when I don’t have some­thing I need to be do­ing.

It was re­ally, re­ally scary at first when Ben quit his job to be a stay-at-home dad. I think for the first few weeks I was like, “I’m not sure about this,” and even some­times now I won­der if it was a good de­ci­sion. But look­ing back, it def­i­nitely was. He’s amaz­ing for do­ing it – he had a good ca­reer as a plumber/drain­layer, but he was like, “I don’t re­ally have any pas­sion for my job and I know that you re­ally love what you’re do­ing, so let’s try it out.”

We don’t re­ally fight, even though we’re around each other all the time. I’m work­ing at home, he’s at home. We just seem to click. We have cof­fees to­gether, we play cards if we have a lit­tle break. I never get sick of him, and hope­fully vice versa, even spend­ing all our spare time to­gether. It’s nice.

We’ve fin­ished hav­ing ba­bies now.

I think it’s sad say­ing that, be­cause I’d like to have an­other lit­tle squishy baby, but the lo­gis­tics of hav­ing a whole other hu­man be­ing in the house is a scary thought. We’d have to get a big­ger car and the sleep­less­ness, I just can’t go back to that. Three kids is good – it’s busy and it’s chaotic and it’s messy, but I wouldn’t change it for any­thing.

On Sun­day, it’s my son’s rule that we eat din­ner in front of a fam­ily movie and d not t at t the th ta­ble. t bl So S we all ll camp out t in the lounge and put a kids’ movie on… which they don’t re­ally watch and then I end up watch­ing it. I have to see what hap­pens at the end.

Alexa White­head with her hus­band, Ben, and their chil­dren Sam, left, Ezra and Holly.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.