Mama Meets...Zoe Chapman & Emma Buchanan

Zoe is Mama to Oliver (9) and Tobias (5) and owner of Ollie & Roo, a gorgeous handmade gift and homeware store.  Ollie & Roo products range from pencil cases to makeup bags, along with custom made cushions and lampshade - a must for any Xmas list!

Emma is Mama to Hollie (7) and owner of Little Mole Boutique - an online shop selling beautiful, affordable jewellery. From leather wrap bracelets to bold statement bangles, you have to check out Emma's jewels!

Together Zoe & Emma make up part of the Christmas Collective, an amazing group of ladies who will be hosting an evening of xmas shopping and socialising next Wednesday 16th November – with all profits going to the Pickering Cancer Smile Fund.

What time did you wake up this morning?

Zoe: 5.50am

Emma: 5.27 (and the exact same time for the past week, you know that weird feeling when you look at the clock and can’t understand how it’s exactly the same as all the other days!)

What was your very first thought of the day?

Zoe: Aargh, only a couple of days until my first Christmas fair and still so much more I want to make!

Emma: When will I get to lie in? If I get up now I can get my orders packaged up and get a head start on the day before my daughter wakes up and recites all the jokes from her book for the zillionth time!

What are your 3 essentials for getting up, out and at 'em?

Zoe: A large mug of tea, a hot shower and an iPad to keep the kids quiet!


1) Getting a quick morning snuggle with my daughter, getting her early enough whilst she’s dozy and before the crazy kicks in. Always gives me a happy feeling to get that hug.                             

2) Having clothes, school bag etc all ready the night before.                                                         

3)To speed my daughter along, reminding her every few minutes that by doing her jobs, ie getting dressed, brushing teeth, she will get a star on our reward app! It’s a god send.

Describe a typical working morning.

Zoe: After a frantic school run, I usually come back and grab a coffee whilst catching up on emails and any social media platforms.  I then head across the garden to my studio (once I turned the heater on and allowed it to warm up!).  I try to deal with admin first before I start sewing and cutting.  Depends on which deadlines take priority.

Emma: Drop my daughter at school, home to package up orders if not done already, head to post office, quick house tidy, emails, admin, liaise with suppliers, organise stock, generally run around like a crazy person until school pick up.

Your perfect local lunch spot would be...

Zoe: I love Beals Barn and tend to go for brunch with the school mums. They do a mean scrambled egg and bacon!

Emma: Mark Cross Inn, amazing food all cooked with local produce, great ambience. I should probably have shares in this place!

The happiest moment in your day? 

Zoe: I just love beavering away in the calm of my garden studio - a lovely girly space away from the house when I live in a male household!

Emma: I should say when I collect the light of my life that is my daughter from school......but in reality it’s when I’m able to get into my pj’s at 7pm, sit on the sofa and watch trashy TV before heading to bed to pass out. This is a rare occasion!

The hardest moment in your day?

Zoe: Ah, the kids bedtime!

Emma: Keeping my daughter happy and entertained when she comes home from school when I still have work to get done. Then the nightly battle of getting her to go to bed because she has a very important question to ask, she has a sore leg and wants a massage, she has a sore bum, she needs a drink, something very serious has happened to one of her Shopkins and the list goes on....

#1 tip for juggling work and family life?

Zoe: Try to take each day as it comes.  One of my boys has ASD so juggling can be extra hard for us with high anxiety most days.  Sometimes I have to accept that I just can’t do everything.

Emma: Have a list, a long one and then a list for that list, different colour pens for different tasks and lots of tick boxes to feel like you are winning.

Most overused word of the day?

Zoe: No or Stop! When the kids are home at least...they bicker and fight like crazy!

Emma: Calm down!!!

Once the kids are in bed I...

Zoe: If I manage to get the kids to bed at a decent time, I hand finish the linings of any bags I have made that day.  Every extra working minute counts in the lead up to the Christmas rush! Or I have my sketchbooks out drawing.  I am hoping to launch my own fabric range in 2017.

Emma: Hit the bottle!

Top 3 local gems?

Zoe: Jeremy's Home Store - I can always find something useful in here whether for the home, kids party bags or some prop for my stall when I am selling. M SaltmarshI am eternally crafty and can always find a new art product to try!  I think I know have the whole range of Tom Bow markers! Basil - Love hiding away in here on my own for the occasional breakfast or slice of cake and a cuppa (usually on my way to a fabric shop for supplies!).

Emma: I love the covered outside area at the Bar & Grill in Tunbridge Wells, fabulous cocktails. Tabitha’s Beauty on the high street, a little sanctuary for a good chat and some me time. Cote in town for a nice spot of lunch.

Best piece of advice for fellow Mum's...

Zoe: You rock!  Ditch the mummy guilt we suffer from juggling the family/work/life/home/career demands.  Take some time out for yourself even if it is just 10 minutes and remind yourself you are going great!

Emma: Don’t feel guilty about wanting to take time out for yourself. Us mums need some ‘me time’ so we can come back fighting.