Branding Meet the Maker Portfolio

Meet the Maker: Miss Milly

I first connected with Theresa through Barbara and the Creativ and Kin podcast (episode linked here). I just knew from listening to the podcast that I needed to connect with this beautiful woman and that I needed some of her beautiful products in my life!

I wasn’t disappointed! Connecting with Theresa has been such a joy, she is always ready with a kind word, sound business advise and an ear to listen. She also lives in one of the most magical places on earth; I won’t tell you how jealous my husband and I are!

On that note, let’s get into it.

Who is Theresa and how did your business get started?

I am the dreamer of the Miss Milly dreams. A lover of all things pink and the maker of the pretties.

I think life is all about God. Vintage floral washi tape. Being creative and happy. It’s about love. Pink ice-cream. Lace. Dreams. Sincere friendships and Vanilla Chai tea. It’s about peonies. Mondays. Pretty things. Afternoon naps. Vintage and the Karoo. It’s about Rhinos, baba bokkies and hasies. Percale linen. Gorgeous stationery. Carrot cake and forests.

These are the things that make my soul do ballerina jumps!

I dream of living a s l o w life. Making memories. Taking long walks, living in the moment and going to bed at night with a grateful heart.

Eight years ago my husband’s (then boyfriend) lifelong dream came true to work in anti-poaching. He is a true conservationist with an incredible passion for Rhinos and their protection. The first 3 years were endless goodbyes as he was deployed for a month at a time, many tears, long, lonely and stressful nights when he was leading his team to the battlefield. During the day I could keep my mind busy with my 9-5 but with night the enemy would come and I would pace around the house, restless and worried about his safety.

During this time I discovered washi tape and fell head-over-heels with the vintage floral design. I washi-taped everything because it was just so beautiful. It made for the loveliest brooches, earrings, etc. – transforming the ordinary into pretty. And suddenly the nights became shorter and my mind was still as I prayed while working.

In my stillness and prayers a new dream started to fill my heart – the dream of my own stationery range. I knew I had to bring the vintage floral print to life through my designs and at the same time, combined my love for paper with it. The first range was born and I called her Dearest Milly.

Since then, the design has been painted as the most beautiful watercolour flowers by dearest Jess from Watercolour Heart Illustration. Flowers filled with hope and grace and authentic hearts. If you look at them long enough you will see my Miss Milly heart in them. And if you look closely you will see tiny Sweet Pea flowers that were weaved into the design – to remind me of my beloved grandmother and her beautiful way of loving life!

Although we live under the same roof these days, he is still away from home 2 weeks a month and my hands and heart still seek beauty with my paper pretties.

Miss Milly is a meadow – filled with romantic flowers in soft colours – my refuge and safe place when I have to hide from the battle that is all around. It brings beauty among the harshness and reality and sadness of this war that they are fighting every single day. It is living with an authentic heart – a heart that has taken time to know what it means to be human. To live with feelings, emotions, hurts and joy.

Did you always want to be an entrepreneur or did it just sort of happen?

I can’t say that I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I believe the lessons I learnt, the people I met, the courses I studied, the things I love – all weaved beautifully together and at exactly the right time it all fell into place for me.

2020 has been a tough year for many people, especially small businesses. Were there any take-aways or learnings from this time that have changed the way that you look at business/do business?

2020 was the pivot year for me, as for so many other people and business owners. I was laid off from work for a year and during that time, I was able to focus all my energy on Miss Milly and it blossomed into the most beautiful, graceful and blessed business that I could ever hope for – leading me to resign from my my 9-5. What I have learnt in the last year is to really follow the dreams of your heart, that life is just too short, to not do what makes you happy. I bring that into everything I do, create and it becomes a way of living.

What is one piece of advice that you wish someone had given you when you started (or a piece of advice that you were given, but regret not listening to now haha)?

A friend of mine told me to ‘Just start’ – there is never a perfect moment. There will always be a product to shoot, copy to write, etc. but just start. I am a bit of a procrastinator at the best of times and it comes from being a perfectionist (although I can proudly call myself a ‘recovering procrastinator’ these days!) – you always want it to be perfect, and done and ready and and and. But I found that ‘Just start’ can also mean – plan better, make lists of what needs to be done, manage your time, so that you can ‘Just start’ in the middle messy if you need to.

What’s next for Miss Milly?

I always pray for Him to guide me where He wants His business to go and grow. I have really felt my heartstrings pull towards creating products that affirm – I think we need to tell each other more often: ‘You are beautiful’, ‘Worthy’, ‘Loved’ – I try and bring that into what I create for this next chapter. I love beautiful quotes and seeing it our house, I love wrapping gifts beautifully, gifting thoughtfully and these are all things that I create for myself, hoping that it will inspire someone else to do the same.

It’s all in the details.

Such a lovely touch with the handwritten note, it warms my heart when I receive handwritten notes with my orders!

You can find Theresa on her website, on Instagram and on Facebook – so make sure that you go say Hi!

You can see why I just had to include Theresa in this mini-series!

Besides the stunning products that I got to photograph, I got to work with an incredible human being! If this post gives you even a fraction of the inspiration and motivating that it gave me, you are well on your way with your next chapter in business!

Chat soon,

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