Red Ribbon – Lucy Donaldson & Tanya Webb
Happy Mother’s day to our readers. Lucy Donaldson and Tanya Webb are mothers of young children who have teamed up to be stay at home business women.
Tanya: how long have you lived in Armidale? And why did you move here?
We moved to Armidale almost twelve months ago for my husband, Joe’s, work; he works as an Agribusiness manager for NAB. We moved here with our two young children, Riley (3) and Sophia (now 17 months). It was a big change for the four of us to move here in the middle of winter from Far North Queensland, where the average temperature is 32 degrees.
But we have settled in well and met some lovely people. Everyone has been so welcoming; there are a lot of activities to do in the region, so we are rarely home! We really didn’t think we would live in Armidale again the day we left in 2003 after finishing university here, but we really love it here now.
Lucy: you left Armidale for a while. When and why did you return?
I returned to Armidale in January 2010, after living in Sydney and London for the previous 11 years. We were looking to get out of Sydney and relocate to a regional area and it was by chance that my husband, Trent, took up the Head of Sport position at my old school, PLC.
We wanted to relocate to a regional area like Armidale to start a family and not long after we arrived, I found out that I was pregnant with my first daughter, Lily, who is now 18 months old – and I am due with number two in just 2 weeks’ time! Although we miss our friends in Sydney, we have some wonderful friends here in Armidale, and I couldn’t imagine bringing up a family in the hustle and bustle of Sydney! I see it now as a great place to visit, but we are always happy to get home.
Tanya: how did you team up in business with Lucy?
I’ve really wanted to have my own business for a long time now. When I spoke to Kate Stephen, who founded Red Ribbon Gifts about her business, I thought this could be the opportunity I was looking for. However, I wanted to have someone else involved to be my business partner. I knew Lucy was looking to have her own business and work from home also.
I liked her attention to detail, and she has very similar goals and ambitions to me. So, it was a perfect match! We started talking about the business around July of 2011; we liked how the business was set up and really believed that Kate had done a fantastic job building a great reputation and name for the business. In February 2012, we took over the business – and here we are now!
Lucy: tell us about Red Ribbon Gifts …
Red Ribbon Gifts is an online boutique that specialises in well designed and high quality gifts for men, women and the corporate sector. We offer a total gift solution, so you get the right gift for your recipient with the least amount of hassle. Our gifts are chosen according to strict standards of quality. Although we are an online business, we are still a local business to the New England community. We have just added a baby range to our website and have some great new products on their way, which we are very excited about.
Our hampers are very popular; I guess they are a very versatile gift, as they are filled with delicious delicacies to suit all taste buds. We realise the need for flexibility and are only too happy to suggest different gift ideas to suit any budget.
Tanya: what are the benefits to you running your business from home?
I am at home for my children all day, so if I need to drop what I am doing, I can. Also, the flexibility of being able to work when the little ones are asleep. Because Red Ribbon Gifts is an online business, we can work on it at any time and really anywhere, as long as we have access to the internet. It gives me the flexibility of being able to be with my kids and also work.
Lucy: what is your advice to local businesses that are yet to go online?
Being online gives any business the opportunity to reach out to potential buyers from all over the world as well as their local community, therefore increasing their sales potential.
Tanya: Aae you accepting new stock lines?
Yes … we are so excited about new lines from Alimrose Designs, Pretty Little Things and Arbonne skin care products, which are free from harmful ingredients. We are also looking at stocking IT WAS ME, beautiful individual, unique handmade jewellery made in Sydney.
We are putting the final touches to a ‘Regional Hamper’ full of goodies, including olives, jams, wines, and more! We wanted to showcase what this wonderful region has to offer, and we are always looking to support Australian made products.
Lucy: what would be your ideal Mother’s Day?
Spending the day with my beautiful family. This Mother’s Day I will be the mother of two – well, I hope number 2 has appeared by then! I love to eat out, and I love presents, so a delicious lunch somewhere with my husband and 2 children and of course, my lovely Mum and Dad too, who live just out of town – with a few little pressies thrown in would see me a very happy mum!
Thanks Tanya and Lucy.
This story was published in issue 60 of New England Focus