Hayley's first Mother's Day

Our founder's first Mother's Day

We sat down with our founder, Hayley Worley, to chat about her first Mother’s Day, and how she manages running a successful online business with her 10-month old baby, Jake, by her side.

Describe the first six weeks of motherhood in three words.

Haha oh, just three? Magical, educational, and painful.

How do you balance being a mum and running a successful business?

I’m actually really enjoying having two separate lives!

Building the business over the past three years, I was so deeply invested in growing The Sheet Society that I was just living and breathing it on the daily. It was such a weird thing leaving the business and going off on maternity leave; going from one job that I kind of didn’t really know what I was doing but I was getting there, only to start a new fresh job (motherhood) that I had absolutely no idea about!

I made the call to shut myself off from the business completely for the first three to four months so I could give Jake my full attention, which I am so glad I did. I just didn’t want to be feeding in the middle of the night thinking ‘Oh, I need to get back to that customer on Instagram,’ or trying to schedule meetings when scheduling is pretty much impossible with a baby! It was a hard thing to do, but I was lucky to be able to hand over the reins to my husband Andy. We made an effort not to talk about work too much at home and focus on our new little squishy.

It’s been so exciting coming back into the business that has grown so much. I almost feel like I exited a start-up and returned to a small business! It’s nice to have had that break and shift in thinking too.

What does your ideal Mother’s Day look like? #newlinen or a sleep in?

Ideally, it would have started with brunch at a fave cafe, but (due to the current climate) we’ve been ordering UberEats breakfast to bed which is so naughty, but also, we’re justifying it by supporting our local cafes!

Definitely new sheets are on the agenda this year! You wouldn’t believe it, but I actually have the saddest looking linen cupboard. A lot of our styles have been sold out or are on pre-order, so I just can’t justify taking any home as I want all of our customers to make sure they get their orders before me! Mother’s Day sounds like the perfect excuse to up our bedroom game at home.

How has The Sheet Society changed since launch?

It has, and it hasn’t. The branding has evolved and come a long way which is a credit to our amazing team. Day-to-day operations have scaled massively. I remember packing away deliveries of 20 or so boxes by myself in our first office thinking, ‘Wow, this is so much stock,’ but now we’re sending 700 boxes at a time!

We still send handwritten notes out with every order and are just so appreciative of every order we get. Those are things we won’t ever change. I’m often still replying to customers on Instagram in the evenings and chatting to customers in our store. Our customers are honestly just so important to our business. They are the reason I get to do this every day, and I’ll never take that for granted no matter how much things change.

Is self-care something you can do as a mum and a business owner?

That's such an interesting one. Becoming a mum really made me think about what self-care meant to me and what ‘filling my cup’ looked like. For the first few months of Jake’s life, it was just eat-feed-sleep-repeat, and I really struggled to enter into that lifestyle coming from the constant hustle of building a start-up business. This really made me realise that self-care is fundamentally about finding what makes you happy and doing more of that.

I’m not really a massage or facial person, and I realised that I actually loved working. And to me, self-care was giving myself the sense of accomplishment that working gives me. I jumped back into work two days a week when Jake was around six months old, when I had initially planned to take a whole year off. It was a hard call to make at the time, but I couldn’t be happier. I feel so fulfilled being able to work again, and that makes me a better person, which makes me a better mother.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I’m pretty lucky to have a flexible working arrangement and have been able to transition back into work three days per week, at the moment.

Our day starts with our dog Jasper insisting on being the first to greet Jake every morning which is just the cutest way to start the day. Luckily, Jake isn’t one of those babies that loves schedules and routines, as every day always ends up being fairly different. We’ve started to put more emphasis on family dinners which is a lovely way to end the day, and then Andy and I usually alternate the bath/bottle/bed routine.

I really tried to nail the whole parenting thing by the book and be quite scheduled, but I quickly realised that being a mum is just about what works for you - there’s no right or wrong.

How does Jake work in with your work?

I drew a line between working and home which is nice. It made me more productive at the office knowing that I’ve got a window to fit work into. Before I had Jake, days in the office would flow into nights working from home and checking in on weekends. Now that my time is more split, I actually feel more refreshed and energised.

What’s next for you and The Sheet Society?

We’re looking to expand our product offering, build-out our collections a bit further, and launch our kid’s collection. I’ve really struggled to find items for Jake’s bedroom that aren’t over-the-top childish (i.e. that match my style, not his!) so we’re really excited to launch that. We also have some amazing new linen stripes coming out for summer, that I am dying to get my hands on.

As far as the business, we are also looking to expand into international markets and growing our retail footprint. We opened our first store in Abbotsford a few weeks ago, and even though the COVID-19 restrictions have made it difficult to operate as normal, we’re hopeful that we can potentially open a few more stores in Australia.