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LOCAL LOVE: Melissa Philipchalk
As part of our spotlight series on local mamas, we've spoken with Melissa Philipchalk who is a blogger (Petite Littles Everyday), mama of three, and small shop owner of Petite Littles, whose socks we are so happy to be selling here at Aster + Clove. On her blog she documents her family life and shares the joys that make motherhood such a wonderful journey. 

You have so many things on the go, with your blog and small shop, not to mention raising three kids. How do you organize your time?

I always feel like I wish there were more hours in the day! Most of the day is spent with my kids and doing the school drop off/pickup. I feel so fortunate that I am able to stay home with my little ones. I know it's a luxury and I don't take that for granted. We usually have some quiet time in the day where I can get a half hour of emails and admin work done. The rest has to wait until they are in bed at the end of the day. I am very lucky that bedtime is quick and simple at our home. And usually I'm working by 8pm. The shops do allow me to work my own hours, which is something I love!

You clearly love accessories - what was the inspiration for starting Petite Littles and The Prettiest Bow (Etsy shop selling handmade hair accessories - currently on hiatus but we have a few of her bows in our shop!)? 

I do love accessories! I've always loved being creative - even at a young age. I loved drawing, making necklaces and jewelry, crafting and working with my hands when I was younger. As I got older, I looked for new ways to be creative and use the skills that I loved! After having my older daughter I really wanted to do something more creative and girly accessories seemed to fit the bill perfectly!

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting up a blog?

I am still figuring out that part myself! One of the best things about starting my other two shops was the fact that I was able to connect with customers and other shop owners. It felt so special to be included in other families’ day-to-day routines through hair accessories and little knee socks. The blog seemed like a natural addition to what I was already doing - and I loved that I was able to connect with other mothers.

I feel like I’m still learning so much about the blogging world! I felt so honoured to be picked as one of the Top 30 Motherhood Bloggers this year. I think being able to write about things that you really care about and have a passion for is really important. I love being able to share with my readers what we do and where we visit. Most of my posts are about interesting and fun places around the city we frequent and the things we do to keep us entertained (these include books, diy, crafts, baking, etc.) I always think that sharing what interests you is the best because you can keep drawing on that for content. 

And I'd say photography is another important aspect of blogging. I've had to learn a lot from doing product photos for my shop. And once I started blogging, I was challenged to work on photographing my kids and the projects we work on. I'm always drawn to simple backgrounds and bright colours. But when people are looking at blogs, clear and concise photography really shines through!


What is your favourite thing about living and working in Vancouver?

Although we get a lot (and I mean A LOT!) of rain in Vancouver, I love where we live! I love that our winters are wet, but mild, which allows us to be outside most days. We make sure we dress for the weather (rain boots and jackets all winter long!) and often head out even for a little bit each day. We have such a wonderful variety of restaurants and shops in Vancouver to choose from. We are definitely spoiled. And there is an amazing creative community here, which I really appreciate. 

Anything else you think we should know about you?

I also teach piano one day a week on the side! It’s something I think is so fun and even though I don't do it much, I hope I can keep it up.

FIVE FUN FACTS

Favourite meal of the day? And what, specifically?

I love lunch - as it's one of the only meals I get to leisurely make. Breakfasts are so busy getting out the door and dinner is always a bit stressful trying to manage the kids and cook after school pickup. My favorite lunches often include simple baked toast (with tomato, avocado or eggs), dumplings (which are a favorite around here!) or sandwiches. 

Favourite thing to do on a rainy day?

We love visiting our favourite indoor places on rainy days. Art drop-ins at Collage Collage, Ikea trips, library visits and covered parks are some of our favourites. And even baking in the morning or afternoon is a fun activity to do with little ones.

Favourite designers?

There are so many! For my kids (because dressing the little ones is so fun!) I love Nest & Nurture, SeMari Handmade & HelloEllie Shop. These small shops have girly sweet whimsical designs for girls. 

I haven’t been doing too much shopping for myself, but I've got my eye on a dress/romper from June Isle Clothing. 

Last book you read? (and/or favourite authors/illustrators)

Lately the only things I’m reading are kids books! But some favorites of our family include Today, Julia Child, The Bad Mood and the Stick, and Lola Dutch. With my son, I love reading Professor Astro Cat. These books are so sweet and beautifully illustrated too! 

Favourite three products from the A+C store?

My three favorites include items we use daily! Coral + Cloud necklaces for both mamas and petites. Nailmatic nail polishes are perfect for special afternoons with the girls. And the books! The Suzy Ultman books we keep in our bag on the go and the girls love looking through all the little details. 

Thank you so much, Melissa! xx

{All photos by www.chicgeekphoto.ca/ except middle photo above of Melissa and the girls, by https://eveparisa.ca/)