Meet Maddieson De Caux, a Toowoomba local, who is smashing it out of the entrepreneurial park! This lady boss is killing it by running not one, not two, but essentially three businesses! When she’s not managing the social media and photography for her mum’s business; Field of Twelve (formerly known as Sunn & Laic), she is running her own photography business Fleur & Mae Photography; add to that her latest innovative creation The Loft Toowoomba, a beautiful studio located in the heart of the CBD; Maddie well and truly has her hustle on!
Want to know why we think this woman is incredible? Because she does all of this while raising two adorable little girls, Poppy and Frankie! We were lucky enough to sit down for an interview with Maddie and ask her a few questions, on running her businesses, and how she manages the juggle of it all.
What are your businesses and how did they come about?
I Manage the social media, photography and design side of Field of Twelve (formerly known as Sunn & Laic), which is my mum’s business making children’s clothes. From that I started my Influencer and Brand Rep account, @Poppy and Frankie (on Instagram), and from that stemmed the photography business, Fleur and Mae. Then I decided one day that I needed a natural light studio; and now I have The Loft Toowoomba!
What is it about photography that you love?
It is a creative outlet for me without being messy, like painting for example- I don’t think I could handle the cleaning from that. It also gives me a break from just being a mum and from my girls (as much as I love them). I also love being involved in other people’s (clients) ‘firsts’, and photography allows me to be a part of that.
Where did the idea of the loft come from?
I’d been doing photography for not even 12 months, but I was finding that my clients were wanting lifestyle family photos in their homes and not outdoors. Ideally, I liked to photograph outdoors, but people were wanting them indoors. Unfortunately, they wanted ‘instgrammable’ or ‘social media worthy’ homes, which they didn’t have. They wanted natural light and dark walls just didn’t mesh well with getting photos and editing.
I looked around Toowoomba and there was nowhere like that and I didn’t want them coming to my house for photo shoots (Maddie’s house has beautiful natural light). I started talking to a few people and they all said it would be good if there was a space that other photographers could use as well. The Loft pretty much stemmed from there. When I found this space in the city, I just had to do it. Everyone has loved The Loft Toowoomba.
Where do you see the Loft going?
We are still doing renovations on The Loft and trying to get it all finished. When we opened, it kind of took off and we hit the ground running, so we haven’t had enough time to get everything done due to bookings. We do want a bigger space eventually, hopefully in the next 1-2 years. Don’t want to give away too much, but we would need a bigger space to cater for more people, so that we could add another component to The Loft Toowoomba.
3 top tips for other mums wanting to start their own project or business:
- They literally must do it! Just do it! If you overthink it, you will just stress about all the stuff that could go wrong. So, if you want to do something (start a project or business), just do it.
- Have a good work/life balance, which I am still trying to nail.
- I don’t do this myself yet but outsource where you can. I read in a blog that the number one thing that you should try and outsource is a cleaner. If you can spend your money anywhere, spend it on a cleaner. A friend even said to me that she either spends the money on day-care or on a cleaner, and for the time that she spent cleaning each day, it was well worth it to spend the money on a cleaner. So that is advice that I need to take right now!
Favourite part of motherhood?
It would have to be watching them (my girls) do all their ‘firsts’. Their first words, first steps, and even watching them make new friends for the first time.
How are you handling the juggle?
My husband Nate works away, two weeks on and two off, so I try and work my schedule around him. When he is away, I designate all my time for editing while the girls sleep, either at night or during day naps- sometimes I get lucky and a family member can take them. I try and schedule all my shoots for when he’s home. It does mean that I can’t take as many bookings for photo shoots, but its okay because I’d probably be drowning if I increased my work load anymore.
Social media wise I try restricting my time when I’m with the girls, with posting or scrolling. Some days I do struggle and get lost on the scrolling, so I do need to work on that. I try doing everything that I can while Nate is home, but I do have a 2-3-week turnaround for this reason. I am also working on other stuff to make my life easier, for example, easier entry into The Loft for clients.
What is your me time? When do you take time for yourself?
Shopping. Mostly online shopping, or even just being able to duck out to the shops by myself. Being able to take just one kid with me to the shops is easier than taking both, but only when Nate is home.
I know that I do need to take time out for myself; they do say that during the first one to two years of business, there is a lot of work and not a lot of downtime.
What is one of your favourite things about living in Toowoomba?
Everything is so close. I just like how close everything is compared to that of Brisbane. Coming from there myself, if you wanted to get to a certain space or shopping centre, you would have to drive from the other side of Brisbane just to get there and it would take ages. I also think it has been easier to make friends here; everyone just seems to be more inviting.
What would you like to see from Toowoomba in the next few years? What would you like to see happen here?
The whole social media presence hasn’t taken off as much here, as it has everywhere else. Social media is the back bone to any successful business (all my businesses run off social media), Toowoomba just hasn’t embraced it yet. But it needs to get going.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
I would say seeing my mum and seeing how much love she has for making her clothing (Field of Twelve), and then photographing her clothing on my girls that started to inspire me. Then Nate bought me a camera and the passion for photography came from all of that. I wanted to help my mum run her business and see her succeed, and I guess that lead me here- my businesses came from all of this.
Maddieson recently hosted ‘The Loft Launch Event’. We, and 30 other women were invited to attend this event- and what an amazing night it was! Being surrounded by like-minded women, who all connected and mingled with one another. It was a space filled with inspiration, respect and just an overall sense of fun. Maddie did an amazing job of not only setting up and organising the space for the launch, but also inviting guests who just connected with one another so well. Not only had Maddie organised a Launch party for her business, but she had organised a fabulous collective of inspiring, creative and entrepreneurial women.
So, when are we doing it again?