Hello Lovelies!

We started the month getting to know Steph from Frenchie + Boss, and we’re ending it getting to know Tamara (Tam) from Betty Lane… what an awesome month!

I chat a lot with Tam, we share a love of ice coffee, our boys, fashion and social media… we also are both stay at home working Mums… it can be isolating so it’s always fun to chat with a fellow Mama throughout the day! Although she IS obsessed with Christmas carols in an almost cult-like way… but Tam is so funny, warm, loving and genuine that I forgive her for it… {wink wink}.

Grab a cuppa and get ready for a hilarious read, Tam is naturally humorous and I love her stories, and so will you…

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CSVP: What is the story behind Betty Lane?

BL:  It was a long time coming Betty Lane…. but I’ll start with the name.

Betty is the name of my Nana. Betty was the most beautiful, hilarious, hardworking, selfless and kind person on the planet. She always made me feel like I could do anything, and we often played dress ups when I was little too.

I would have called my daughter Betty, but ended up with two boys, so…I registered the business name a long time ago, just in case I needed it one day.

I have always worked in the fashion industry and loved merchandising and styling – basically all the parts of the job that let me be creative.

I was really lucky to work at a local surf shop for almost 10 years that let me do that. In my last few years there I was the manager and also the buyer for the two stores. That job was always fun, and never really felt like work. Sometimes I would think – one day I’ll do this for myself and not someone else, but I just never thought it would actually happen (it was more of a dream).

Even while I was working full-time, I was sourcing clothes and importing beautiful fair-trade products. I had my own little side project and would set up cute market stalls on weekends selling embroidered clutches, leather bags, and homewares; which was my way of creating my own shop and letting my creative flag fly.

When I fell pregnant I was also at uni studying to become a teacher, studying from home, pregnant and working 40 hours a week was HARD work. I persevered for as long as I could, but two babies later (and struggling), my markets became too hard to squeeze into my busy life!

So, I decided to get rid of all my market goodies, and just focus on becoming a teacher and being a mum!

I created a Facebook group (I think in 2013) which was called “Little Market” so I could have an online outlet to sell off all my left-over stock! Girls quickly started adding their friends into the group and after my market items sold out, I was getting messages asking to restock…and that’s when I thought – I could really do something with this, I need to expand on this somehow…

So, a few years later (end of 2016) Betty Lane started as a Facebook shopping group, I would spend many nights hunting for wholesalers, sourcing out clothes and getting ideas (all while I was supposed to be studying, I could only think of Betty Lane). Eventually I put Uni on hold and with a big push from my best friends and husband, I took the plunge.

My love for online shopping, and the fact that there really wasn’t much around to choose from in my local area, really influenced my decision as well. I relied so much on online shopping after I had my two boys. I didn’t want to drive to the nearest major shopping centre (almost 2 hours away) with my kids just to try on jeans. I thought, surely there are other girls who want affordable clothes a little closer to home too, so I started researching and picking out a small collection of clothes and shared them in my shopping group at a really affordable price!

I had no expectations, and honestly thought no one would be paying much attention, but surprisingly my first collection all sold out in the first night they were released. I still pinch myself at how lucky I was that first night, then everything snowballed from there.

Within the first 24hrs of starting my Betty Lane shopping group there was over 1,000 members and eventually it became so busy, I couldn’t keep up. I needed an easier way for ladies to shop and 6 months ago I created the website.

Betty Lane is still so young, and I have no idea where it will go next. Well that’s not entirely true, I have some ideas but who knows if they’ll happen?

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CSVP: Who IS Tamara?

BL: I am just a really ordinary, cruisey and friendly, talkative girl from a tiny town. I have actually never lived in a ‘big town’. I have never had a house with main water, you know just normal town water? Well I have never had that! I have always lived out of town, and relied on tank water from the rain haha (not sure why I shared that!).

I grew up on a dairy farm, and I am one of 5 kids. I have two older brothers, and two younger sisters and then there is me – smack in the middle!

I met my husband at school when we were 14yrs old. He had a beach house not too far from where we grew up and we spent all summer there after we finished year 12. I think we were 17 or 18 and that’s when I knew I wanted to stay there forever. I fell in love with our little seaside town. We bought a block of land by the beach when we were just babies, we got married at 23 and we still live in the same house, in the same tiny coastal town – 11years married and 2 kids later. I have two long-haired, wild boys, who are 3yrs old and almost 7. They have aged me at least 10 years during these school holidays!

I love music and I am always singing! I don’t think I can go a day without music, it just brightens my mood. I usually put music on first thing in the morning and time my shower by how many songs I’ve heard!

I can play the piano, and started when I was around 5-6yrs old. I never have time to play anymore, but it’s something on my to-do list! I want to teach my boys to play one day. I have a massive obsession with Missy Higgins as well, I think that comes from my ‘piano playing, can’t stop singing’ side of me.

My husband says I talk a lot, after reading this interview I think I talk a lot too! I will just start chatting to anyone and its worse when I am nervous. I don’t even know what comes out of my mouth when I am nervous!

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CSVP: What sets Betty Lane apart from other brands? 

BL: I really don’t know? (this is hard to answer!) I try and present clothes in their simplest form. Everyone has their own unique style and can interpret, dress up and style our pieces however they want and feel inspired to.

I don’t want to style or market something in a certain way, that makes people feel like ‘I couldn’t see myself wearing that’.

I know my friends and I, don’t make it to kinder drop off or a coffee catch up in high heels and a full face of make up and perfect hair (but I wish I did sometimes haha).

So, I try and keep my models relatable, fresh faced or with minimal make-up. Tousled hair or a messy bun, sandals and sometimes even bare feet.

I want girls to stumble across Betty Lane and relate to our images and think ‘I can totally see me wearing that this weekend!’.

We are inspired by everyday girls, and I have had a range of models’ size 6-14, from my sisters, best friends, local ladies and almost all of us are mums and did it with little sleep and kids running around.

One shoot we were dealing with maternity bras and breast pads haha. Keepin’ it REAL!

Hopefully my customer service stands out as well, I really try and assist everyone as quickly as I can and in the best way.

I have been known to jump out of bed at 1am to measure the length of a dress and chat to customers who are up in the middle of the night feeding their babes. Or drive over to a customer’s house to exchange a size, so they can take their new overalls, skirt or whatever it is, on their holiday or have their order by the weekend.

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CSVP: What does your typical day look like?

BL: I don’t really have a ‘typical’ day. I run a busy online store and I also have a crazy 3yr old who comes everywhere with me. I like to think my days have a routine, but the truth is it changes daily. My little boy really keeps me on my toes and I work around him.

He does go to day-care 2 days a week though, and on those 2 days I get SO much more done. I usually like to head into the city and select new stock and have a look around at my suppliers. That’s a 5hr round trip in the car, and takes all day, so I don’t go too often and I try and plan those trips on days he is in day-care.

But usually, I wake around 6am and the first thing I do is check my social accounts and post to Instagram or start replying to comments and messages. Then between 7am-8:30am I am in mum mode, while I get everyone breakfast, dressed and off to school!

I run all aspects of the business, so during the day I pack orders, assist customers and manage my social accounts, reply to emails, maintain the website and update inventory, order new stock, arrange couriers, some days I am unpacking new stock and organising the next photo shoot.

Although, the last few months has been really busy, I have had to call my friend Sally to come in and help pack orders – which has been great!

Around 2-3pm every day I drive to the nearest post office to drop off everyone’s orders. Australia Post won’t collect my Betty packages because we are too rural, so I load up my car and do the mail run every day. Sometimes there is no room for passengers and my kids have to go to their nana’s house!

From 4pm I am back in Mum mode. After school I try and switch off and be with my boys and catch up on, school events, house work etc. Then when my kids go to bed, I am back to work. So, from 7:30pm onwards I usually process any return requests or exchanges, I will also pack any orders that might have come through in the afternoon, so they’re ready for the next morning. I use my nights to catch up on lots of things and stay organised for the next day. I can’t remember the last time I was in bed before 1am. I have definitely got used to using almost every hour in my day!

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CSVP: If you could only wear ONE beauty item every day, what would it be?

BL: One beauty item…as in make up? We have chatted about this Rachael and I am terrible at all things beauty! (cue crying and whinging about plucking all my eyebrows off in 1999)

Ok, right now its summer so I’d have to say my NATIO SPF.50+ tinted moisturiser. I wear it every day!

Oh, and my eyelash curler!

I don’t wear mascara unless I am going out, but I actually don’t feel awake until I’ve curled my eyelashes in the morning. Now I’ve said two items, sorry.

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CSVP: What is your coffee/cafe order?

BL: Always a double shot small latte, no sugar. Sometimes a triple shot. Except on really hot days, I love a sneaky maccas run for a small latte frappe (no cream please!)


CSVP: What is your must have piece from Betty Lane?

BL: I think every wardrobe needs an amazing pair of jeans! You know the ones you live in, that are faded and perfectly distressed from lots of fun weekends and non-stop wear and love.

For me that’s our Bowie Jeans, they sit a little higher on the waist and have just the right amount of stretch in them – which I need, bending over and tackling an active 3yr old all day, I want to be comfy and not too restricted! The Bowie Jeans come with rips or there is the non-ripped option, and they’re just a great wardrobe staple you can wear all year round.

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CSVP: What do you to relax?

BL: This is something I don’t do much of, but I really enjoy simple pleasures.

I love my morning coffee while I am still in mum-mode and just hanging out with my boys before the rush of the day starts.

I love weekends, my favourite (really simple) thing to do is, grab a take away coffee with my husband and snacks for the kids and we just get in the car and drive, listen to music and all talk. Talking in the car is always so much nicer. We take the boys exploring near-by beaches, bush or up to the light house.

I also love chilling out on a Sunday afternoon, and just putting on a movie or binging on Netflix allllll night long.

Right now, its daylight savings and when my husband gets in from work, I literally race the sun and try and squeeze in a walk, usually I go up to the beach and try and catch a sunset.

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CSVP: What is the best thing that has come out of running Betty Lane? 

Finally having more control over my time and being able to see my family on the weekends. I worked weekends for 10+ years, public holidays and would often fill shifts when no one else could work (because I suck at saying no to people). So, my husband and I would sort of high-five each other as we crossed paths occasionally, and didn’t get much quality time at all. While I still work weekends now, I can pick and choose my hours, and try and get work out of the way at night or first thing in the morning, so I can switch off and be with my family on the weekends.

I also think running Betty Lane has slowly given me more confidence. I would never had said yes to this interview 12 months ago, and to be honest I am still freaking out about people reading it ha-ha.

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CSVP: Favourite colour? 

BL: Ooh hard one…I do love a splash of mint green (currently eyeing off the retro SMEG fridge!). I am so boring though; my FAVE would have to be white. My house used to be full of beautiful linen sofas, and white rugs but then…kids happened ha-ha. Same with my wardrobe, I love a fresh white tee, blouse or white cotton dress! But only when I am not about to share a punnet of strawberries with my kids or spend the morning racing them down sand dunes.

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CSVP: Cocktail, champagne or wine? 

BL: I am actually the worst at picking drinks. I don’t drink much at all, I can probably count on one hand, how many occasions I drink throughout the year. So, I tend to stick with a gin and tonic – what’s that…haha a cocktail? I had one with lemon myrtle and a gum leaf in it at a Missy Higgins concert that was seriously AMAZING! I tried to re-create it at home, but it just wasn’t the same. (I recommend washing your gum leaf and avoid the ones with bird poo).

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I hope that you have enjoyed getting to know Tamara, the Babe Behind the Brand: Betty Lane.  I know I have! Next time you’re online looking for some cute pieces go check her out! (See below for a slideshow of some of the awesome BL Clothing pieces I own!) x

Rachael xo

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