Meet Linda George. Mount Martha Mama of two and boss lady extraordinaire at Stina’s Style which Linda started when she noticed a lack of quality, beautifully designed baby playmats “I could not find anything that I felt fit in with my home décor, or anything that suited my children or myself on a personal level. So came the idea for Stina’s Style”.
Talk about a mumpreneur light bulb moment! A well loved familiar face on the peninsula, Linda recently took the time to chat to us about all things playmats, life as a working mama and how she likes to spend her down time on the Pen.
MLTS: Linda, we have admired your work for years now and we have known you for a very long time! (Helen was the photographer at Linda’s daughters 1st birthday!) But for our readers at home, let’s start with you telling us a little about yourself and your family.
Linda: I moved out to Australia 15 years ago. I was born in Sweden and when I was 6 my family moved to Austria. I studied Kindergarten teaching, but never got to work as a Pre School teacher as Stina’s Style was created just before I graduated.
I’m married to Ben who has lived on the Mornington Peninsula for most of his life. Nine years ago our son Brodie was born and 2.5 years later, our daughter Stina (6) made her entrance into the world. We live in Mount Martha and absolutely love it here. Such a beautiful spot.
MLTS: Well we have to agree with you there, Mount Martha is a gorgeous part of the world. And you’re boss lady extraordinaire at Stina’s Style, tell us a little about the brand and what inspired you to start your own business?
Linda: Well I sort of fell into my business. When I was pregnant with Stina, we had just moved into our newly built house. I wasn’t keen on having a zoo themed, bright orange and green play mat in the middle of my new living room floor. When I started looking for a play mat that would suit our house, I just couldn’t find anything that I liked. So off I went to Spotlight and found myself some fabric that I liked and came up with the design of our PlayMats.
Quickly my friends and family were jumping on board and were ordering products from me. Before I knew it I had a stall at the Mornington Racecourse craft market and my waiting lists grew and grew. The demand was ENORMOUS to the point where our waitlists were 9 months long. At that point I was trying hard to find a solution on how to bring our waitlists down.
A couple of years ago I found a seamstress (another local mum) who could help me work on stock levels and we finally managed to have luxury ActivityPlayMats in stock and ready to ship as well as a one month wait for our custom ordered ActivityPlayMats.
MLTS: That’s just so cool Linda, we love “mumpreneur” light bulb moment stories! So tell us about your work space, do you work from home or do you have an office?
Linda: I was working at home till about 2.5 years ago, when my friend Stef opened up Co.Co Place in Mornington. Co.Co Place is a funky co working space with a few offices as well as some hot desks for businesses to come in and smash out some magic. We have an office in here and are loving it. The collaborations, the business banters, the fun and jokes, it all helps you to stay motivated and do your best.
I also have my beautiful back bone Petra, who is my creative operations and administrations manager here at Co.Co. My two dynamic seamstresses are also local mums who help me with our Custom ActivityPlayMats as well as our in stock items.
MLTS: That sounds like fun! I think Mama loves to share needs to hot desk one day to gain some boss lady inspiration! Speaking of inspiring women, how important is it to surround yourself with supportive/encouraging people when starting a business? Who are your biggest supporters?
Linda: If I didn’t have supportive friends and family, Stina’s Style would have never existed and I would have kept my PlayMat designs all to myself. So for me it was a necessity!!
My biggest supporters, besides my family and friends, are my loyal customers. Many come back and order for their friends and family after receiving the quality product. I love seeing photos pop up on Instagram and Facebook of customers having had their first, second and third baby on the mat.
I don’t think I have seen someone tag me with their fourth baby on it yet. There’s a challenge! 😉 I love how customers come up to me and thank me for their product and how much it’s used.
MLTS: It’s so important isn’t it to have cheerleaders in your life and positive reinforcement, happy customers… we are feeling all the warm and fuzzys! Do you have any tips for other Mamas who are wanting to start their own business but don’t quite have the confidence to start?
Linda: Just do it. Don’t think too much into it. Just start.
MLTS: That’s exactly right, I think as women we tend to just think far too much into things when really, if we just got started, we would realise that we didn’t need to over analyse everything, it just happens! (Hmmm need to take my own advice here!) So you’re a busy boss mama with two small children and a successful business to run, what does a typical day look like for Linda George?
Linda: I would love to write how I have this well organised and planned out day every day, but reality is, I wake up and drag myself to make my children’s school lunches (this is one of the most uninspiring things), then after brekkie I try really hard not to scream to get Brodie and Stina out of the house. Once they are at school, I fit in a quick exercise (at the moment boxing or pilates) before heading off to Co.Co Place.
I haven’t done a lot of sewing lately as my time is usually spent replying to emails, ordering of materials, planning and designing new styles and marketing. Around 2pm I head to the shops to get stuff for dinner and then head off to pick B & S back up. After school sports are ballet, jazz, karate, basketball and footy, so there is always something on (except Fridays, because they are for Rosé and platters at South Beach cafe in Mount Martha with other mum friends). Then it’s home for homework, dinner prep and getting kids ready for bed.
SO MUCH FUN!
MLTS: Do we hear a hint of sarcasm in that last sentence?! Especially when it comes to the ground hog day daily grind of school lunches and shopping for dinner! Waaaa! Rose and platters sounds like a great end to the week though! Might have to get our husbands to read this interview! Haha! What are some day to day to day challenges you face with being a mum and a business owner?
Linda: Hmmmm TIME! Trying to make sure you can divide your time up sensibly and accept that sometimes your days aren’t as organised as you may like it. I still struggle to accept that.
MLTS: We hear you. That would have to be the number one struggle for all mums we are sure! Ok so downtime, what’s your fave activity to do as a family on the Mornington Peninsula?
Linda: I would have to say one of my favourite activities on the Mornington Peninsula is checking out new family friendly wineries. Our kids are at an age now where it’s easy to take them anywhere.
MLTS: Sounds like bliss! And lastly, tell us something about yourself that other people may not know?
Linda: I LOOOOOVE building Ikea flat packs.
MLTS: That’s amazing. You’re probably the only woman we know who would know where the Allen Key was kept! haha! Thanks for a great chat Linda, you are definitely one inspiring mama who is More than a Mama xo
To view Linda’s beautiful PlayMats and other products visit –