In The Days of Our Lives we meet some fascinating and creative folk and take a look at what their typical day holds. Far from being about the mundane, it is a celebration of what it takes to juggle the day-to-day with big ideas, a successful business and a full home life. It’s about keeping all the balls in the air – what is important and what isn’t. It’s about (extra)ordinary moments that fill our every day.
This week I’d love to introduce you to Tracie Ellis, the clever and creative force behind one of my favourite Australian homewares brands, AURA by Tracie Ellis.
Years of inspiration from her very talented and creative mother and grandmother lead her to study textile design at RMIT. After graduating Tracie worked in the fashion and textiles industry, at Country Road, Myer, Davenport, Coats Patons and Pacific Brands.
In 2000, Tracie decided it was time to put her own stamp on a range of homewares and AURA was launched. Since then, AURA has gone from strength to strength and now includes bed linen, cushions, throws, rugs, table linen and for Summer 2014 a brand new bath towel range. Known for her love of colour and pattern, Tracie and her team design the range from her Melbourne base but she also spends a good part of the year travelling the globe for inspiration and visiting her friends and suppliers in India who she’s been working with for nearly 20 years.
This is a day in Tracie’s life…
AURA by Tracie Ellis
I get woken up around 6:45 am every morning by my alarm, his name is Max (my much loved pooch) and he wants his breakfast! Normally we go for a walk in the park but during winter I struggle with that! My husband delivers me a cup of tea and leaves for the day (he’s an early riser). I head into my study and go through all of my overnight emails, read and reply to all of them before I head to the office. Our graphic designer is currently travelling in France and we are lucky enough that he is working during his trip so I check in on what his been working on while I was asleep.
I’m in the car, usually with a travelling cuppa on my way to the office – I have a 45 min drive ahead of me. A morning call to my mum to check in on our bathroom renovation progress.
Arrive at the office, go through any more emails and check in with our customer service team about any overnight customer queries.
10.00 -10.30 am
Morning catch up with my team (the AURA team are all part time so its a different catch up each morning). Today our Marketing Manager, Jaine and her daughter Zara are in and we open new product samples that have arrived (we all love that bit) and catch up about our marketing plan for our new Summer 14/15 collection that is on its way.
Today we have an important buyer coming in so we spend a couple of hours in our showroom ironing & styling beds with our new Summer 14/15 collection. Our Visual Merchandiser is on maternity leave, and she pops in to go through the plan for the up and coming life instyle fair – gosh we miss her! Next week we will have our Spring Summer 14/5 launch to our independent retailers in Victoria, which I love as its great to get feedback on the range.
Lunch on the run with more emails and a life instyle meeting, also a team chat about the new design of our office space, we are all clearing out and cleaning up – we need to do this constantly as we have new samples arriving daily and have a large amount of media and retailer sample requests we need to meet.
Back to emails and planning, talking to suppliers about shipments and working on our new website which has just been launched. Answer queries. More emails, sometimes from guests booking our house in Kyneton which we rent out for weekend accommodation – more chances for people to sleep in AURA bed linen!
Meeting with one of our largest buyers on our new towel range which is arriving next week – we are all very excited to have bath towels in the AURA range and can’t wait to deliver it to stores.
Catch up with our customer service team on product queries for online and orders for our customers for next season. Make more tea!! I’m one of the few people in Melbourne who doesn’t drink coffee.
Try to finish everything I wanted to get done today, including this interview ☺ We were lucky to have Jaine’s daughter, Zara in today to help with all of our e-newsletter filing – thanks Zara!
Aim to leave the office to get to my gym by 6.30pm – I’m meant to be there earlier but I never am – I’m late again….
I have a personal trainer twice a week (or I would not go) I actually love the gym and am preparing for a big walk in Norway with my husband in August. My husband and two friends also see the same personal trainer so it is quite a social visit.
I try to get home for Masterchef, quick hugs and a play with my pooch, Max and we all sit down to watch it. I cook dinner in the ad breaks – I love cooking so each night my husband and I cook up a storm inspired by our iPads and TV – watching and enjoy it with a glass or two of nice red! After dinner we do some planning for our upcoming trip to Scandinavia so there is lots of googling and emailing in between work emails that pop in all the time. As our graphic designer is travelling he starts work when I am going to bed so I make contact with him for the start of his day.