An Interview with Nikki Bardis, Founding Director of Silky Tots

We thought we'd kick off this exciting new chapter with an interview with our very own founding Director, Nikki Bardis - the face and brains behind Silky Tots! Read below to find out more about Nikki, how she got started and how she manages to juggle motherhood and her booming business!
  • The juggle is real! Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, your brand and how you found yourself in the juggle!
I’m Nikki, the founder of Silky Tots and I am the proud mum of two girls. Ollie is 4 yrs going on 15 yrs and Mia who at 2.5 yrs, enjoys bouncing back and forth between the terrible twos and three-nager stages.
I had the idea for Silky Tots when Ollie was a baby, I would find clumps of hair on her sheets and she was beginning to develop a baby bald spot on the back of her head (we’ve all seen it). I  knew silk would eliminate the friction but I couldn’t find any products online; so I made my own! I didn’t actually launch Silky Tots until after I had Mia but it was in the back of my mind the whole time…. I had to do it!
  • Mum motto you like to live by?

 Instead of saying ‘I have to’ swap it with ‘I get to’. It changes your whole perspective and makes those trying times a little easier. 

  • Before you were blogging/owning & running your own business, what were you doing?

I was actually an account manager for a global mobility company; we managed corporate relocations for companies like ANZ, Woodside, KPMG etc. I did study event management and marketing but fell into that through a friend.

  • What does success mean to you? What does it look like? 

Success to me is being able to support, but more importantly, be there for my family. As much as I love Silky Tots and working, my girls are my priority. It’s easy to get caught up in work and new opportunities but like a lot of mums, I started ST so I could be there for my kids while they are young, so it’s nice to stop and breathe and remember that everything doesn’t need to be achieved yesterday.  

  • Has your idea of success changed since having bubs?

I always knew I wanted kids and always hoped I would be able to be there for them and work from home in some capacity. I have never been very motivated by money.

  • Are you working full time on your business? If not, how many hours per week are you working? 

Ollie is in kinder 4 days and Mia is in family day care 2 days, so these are my main work days. I have recently taken a permanent desk at a co-working space 2 days per week, I am loving getting out of the house and being in a really cool, dynamic environment! As great as it is working from home, it can be isolating. I try not to work on Wednesdays, when I have both girls at home as it’s the last year before Ollie starts school and I really want to savour this time together!

Apart from my two main workdays and Wednesdays, I’m always on my emails so it kind of never stops!

  • What are your secrets for keeping your head above water?

Blocking out time. As women we are programmed to multitask and we are good at it BUT in the end something has to give. I have found I am more productive when I schedule time for work, down time with the kids (no phone) and also, importantly, time for self care!

Tip; if you find it hard to put your phone down get yourself an apple watch. Worth more than it’s weight in gold, I now find myself far more present when I’m with the girls as I am not tempted to check my phone every second.

  • Do you think it is possible to achieve balance in work/mum life?

I am still trying to figure this out, I constantly have that feeling of not being good enough in both aspects but I think we all need to be kinder and stop putting so much pressure on ourselves.

  • What is your favourite Silky Tots product and why?

I have to say the cot slip, this was the original and the one I’m most proud of… but watch this space, I have an exciting new range dropping soon and perhaps my answer will change!

  • What is your best parenting purchase (2nd to Silky Tots, obviously)?

I’m a big fan of the Love To Dream swaddles, I used them on both girls from birth right through. 

  • What’s your fave Disney or kids movie?

MOANA for the win!

  • How do you best recharge from work and mum life? 

I’m a really active person and need to get moving to clear my mind! I used to ride horses 6 days a week and complete in eventing but that’s been put on hold due to the girls being so young. I am currently doing F45 and love it, it’s so much fun and being quite competitive I find it motivation doing the group sessions, I hate going to the gym on my own.

  • What’s next for you? Do you have goals and dreams for your business? If so, what are they? 

We have recently launched Silky Tots UK and being from Glasgow, this is really exciting for me. I am heading over to the UK for a few months mid year to focus on the UK branch of the business and I can’t wait! We do have a USA store and who knows, we may set up an office there one day too but for now I’m focusing on Australia and the UK!

  • Tell us something that no one else knows about you?

This is quite a personal thing and something I thought hard about sharing but in doing so, I hope I motivate others to trust their gut and back themselves.

Although I had made a silk cot slip for my first daughter, I didn’t actually really think about turning it into a business until after my second daughter was born. Mia was just 12 weeks old when my husband and I separated and having no family in Australia I was faced with a choice, go back to work full time and put the girls in full time care or back myself and give Silky Tots a go.

It was a long, long road but I believed in the product (and myself) and worked my ass off to finally launch around 18 months later. There were so many times that I questioned myself and felt like I should give up but I reminded myself to ‘Trust The Process’ and keep going. Long story short; if I can do it, anyone can you just need to start.

(Oh, and husband update; we got back together after 18 months and things are better than ever!)

x Nikki

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