This week, we explore fatherhood, work-life balance and family rituals with Nathan from Mr & Mrs White and Ryan from Addition Studios.
NATHAN WHITE FROM MR & MRS WHITE
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and Mr & Mrs White?
Sasha and I got married when I was 23, we live on the Northern Beaches with our 3 beautiful daughters. When I have the time, I love to surf. Mr & Mrs White is a family business crafting hand made furniture and home furnishings. Together, Sasha and I design and make the furniture in our Dee Why factory and showroom. We have a small but great team.
How would you describe your personal style?
My style is pretty simple. I like my clothes to fit well and to be of high quality. My wardrobe mainly consists of black, white and grey with occasional splashes of muted colour. My interiors are much the same, less is more. I like the way natural products age over time too. My approach to both is to try to have fewer items and focus on better quality.
In what ways has being a father changed your life?
Being a father is amazing. It teaches you to be more selfless, being responsible for another life is very humbling.
How do you strive for a work-life-family balance?
This is a very tricky one when you run a business. My goal is to be a part of all of my kid's little achievements whether that's at school or sport, I will make an effort to be there. Also, doing school drop off a couple of mornings a week is always nice to do. I always try to switch off from work when I’m with the kids.
Can you tell us about your favourite weekend morning routine as a family?
We live next door to an epic cafe in Avalon called Graze n cakes so we often send our eldest daughter Selah down to get us a morning coffee. Then if it’s netball season I will take the older 2 kids Selah and Oak to netball and then to work with me if I need to.
In the afternoon we love to head down to north Avalon (yellow brick road) and ride skateboards/scooters and just run around together.
Lastly, if you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself as a new father?
Relax and enjoy every moment. Kids grow up so quick and it’s so special being part of every moment possible.
RYAN HANRAHAN FROM ADDITION STUDIOS
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your brand Addition Studios?
I'm the owner and creative director of Addition Studio which is a design label that focuses on furniture, lighting and home objects, with a particular emphasis on wellness and the act of daily ritual. We started in 2010 and have been obsessed with the study of how best to relax ever since.
In what ways do you strive for a work-life balance?
I’m always planning for this, but to be honest it is super hard. My goal this year has been to have weekends off, which I have reasonably achieved, however, anyone who owns their own business will understand that it's pretty much impossible to switch off from work-mode.
Kate and I try our best to have things we do together which removes us from the work structure each day. Even walking our dog Molly in the afternoon, really helps to transition from work-mode to home life. You can get some fresh air, vent about the days struggles, get excited about upcoming projects, and then arrive home feeling a bit clearer and more relaxed for the night.
In saying that, we do have a lot of fun at work, so I can’t complain too much. Both Kate and I have our businesses under the same roof, so we are one big family. We work with some awesome people and have great cafe’s next to us in the industrial estate in Byron Bay like McTavish that we can have multiple daily coffee breaks at. I actually feel pretty blessed with it all. I love work.
How would you describe your personal style?
I like things to be simple and functional. Things which aren’t visually clear and balanced give me anxiety. That's sort of a joke, but slightly true, and I guess why I do what I do. I love creating simplicity through design. I find it really calming and get great satisfaction from it.
What has the journey been like to fatherhood?
Well, this is a question you will have to ask me next week, as we are currently counting down the days.
They say the female is a mother from the day she is pregnant, while the male becomes a father when the baby is born. I believe this is the case. For me, it's just been this 9-month race to set up the most organised work/life balance possible to make the next step into fatherhood easier. Its been all function and organisation from my end, however the thought of having our very own miniature human is becoming more and more exciting as we get closer to the due date.
Are there any family traditions you are looking forward to creating together?
Funnily enough, Kate and I were just discussing this the other day. We are really excited to begin family traditions. When I look back on my childhood these are the best parts. I want to have all-day beach weekends, yearly camping holidays, Sunday dinners, pizza and movie nights. All the fun stuff! Basically, it's a chance for me to be a kid again.