Hello, I’m Courtney, the Biz Mum behind Belle & Co Living.
I thought it was about time I shared a bit about us and where and why we started, so here goes…
When I was pregnant in 2016 I discovered this whole new world of Instagram Mumma Makers and women with incredible style, and I immediately wanted in! I didn’t know what I wanted to create or sell, but I knew it had to be something for children. I threw around a few ideas with my husband but nothing stuck for long.
Along the way I had started following a few European #inspo accounts, a couple of them had these beautiful vintage storage cases. I noticed that every time a photo was posted of those cases there would be a heap of questions asking where they were from. I couldn’t find them in Australia, and I even struggled to find them overseas.
A few months past and I was presented with an offer by a long-time friend to “start a business” pretty much doing whatever I wanted. Immediately I knew what I wanted to do, I started writing a business plan and found a manufacturer to make a more modern version of these storage cases for me. Negotiations with the manufacturer took months and were super hard work. I started working on the business plan in September 2016, I received samples of the cases in January 2017, and then we didn’t receive our shipment of stock until we launched on the 20 th June 2017 – 1 week after my Daughter Macey’s first Birthday, and 18 months after my first “I want in” realisation.
I still remember the night we launched – we were launching at 7pm on the 20 th June, my train home from work was delayed and my phone battery was about to die. I sent a text to my web guy at 6:45pm saying “I won’t make it home for 7pm and my phone is about to die, please go live at 7pm for me”. That drive home from the train station was the longest drive ever, I got home at 7.01pm and raced to turn on my laptop – by 7.05pm we had received 4 orders for our cases, I got emotional and remember saying to my husband “it’s actually working”.
A few weeks went by and we would receive a couple of sales and a few new Instagram followers each day. Then on the 2nd August 2017 I was working from home with Macey and received an order, I opened the email and found that the order was from Rebecca Judd. I screamed and danced around like a goose, then googled “where does Rebecca Judd live” to make sure it was THE Rebecca Judd, it was (I realised after googling that she had started following us on insta, so it was definitely her)!
I sent off her order and prayed she would share them on her insta, that Sunday afternoon I woke up from a nap to find hundreds of Instagram notifications, I scrolled to the bottom to find “@becjudd mentioned you in a
comment”, I got emotional again and watched our Instagram grow substantially over the next 48 hours and our cases sell out before my eyes. I still have no idea how Bec found us, but I will forever be grateful for that one post! Later that week I placed an order with our Manufacturer for a 20ft container.
Our first full container order took months and months and had constant delays. The container finally arrived in December and we scrambled to get all of our pre orders out in time for Christmas, we did it…just!
In 2018 our little business continued to grow, our Insta following grew and our cases started popping up in bedrooms all over the place. We added baskets & rugs to our range, took a scary trip overseas (by myself) to visit our manufacturers, and worked with some amazing Mumma’s and influencers on Insta.
2019 brings our biggest year yet, we have become the Australian Distributor for our cases, added a new colour and a new size option to our range, and expanded our wholesale business.
As for our little family, Macey is now 3! We added a new Puppy to the family, named Pepper, and my husband Ryan is the man behind the scenes that sends all of our orders out daily, manages our stock levels, and answers my 100 questions per day. I still continue to work 4 days a week in my corporate job, and manage the business in between everything else!