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October 18, 2018 5 min read

In our monthly interview series, BOBO&BOO LOVES, we will be sharing and showcasing our favourite products and services that are changing the way we tackle modern parenting, and the rad mamas and papas who aren’t afraid to play by their own rules…

This month we interviewed The Little Homie, the brand behind the coolest kids books this side of Brooklyn, ‘A B to Jay-Z’ and ‘1, 2, 3 With the Notorious B.I.G’ (Warning: If you don’t have these in your bookshelf already, you’re going to want them soon enough!)
We sat down and chatted to Jessica Chiha, The Little Homie founder, creative mama and Hip Hop enthusiast about launching your dream business idea, juggling two kids, losing your identity as a parent, and being a cool mum. Because if Queen Bey can do it, so can we. *hair flick*

When people ask who are you and what you do, what do you tell them? Essentially, what is your elevator pitch?

The Little Homie is all about making learning cool for biggies and smalls. Our mission? To allow parents to better connect with their children through thoughtful products created for young and old.

So far, we have released two books: A B to Jay-Z’ and 1, 2, 3 With The Notorious B.I.G’, as well as a colouring in book range.

How many kids do you have?

1.5! I have an 18-month old daughter, Lola Willow, and I am currently seven months pregnant with her soon to be brother or sister.

What’s your brand/business backstory?

 The Little Homie was birthed from the concept of essentially not having to let go of your old self just because you’ve become a parent. Before having kids, I would see friends and family around me lose their identity in the process of becoming a mum (or dad) and succumbing to a life of The Wiggles and mind-numbing kids games, day in, day out. And I never wanted this to happen to me!

Hip Hop is a huge love of mine, and I really wanted to be able to incorporate my love of Hip Hop with my new life as a mama, so along came ‘A B to Jay-Z’! It was all based on the idea of creating products that adults could enjoy just as much as their children when it came to story time or play time with the family.  And the rest is history! 

You sound like a pretty amazing lady, lady. What is your favourite thing about what you do?

My FAVOURITE thing about what I do is that I am genuinely passionate about it (clichéd, I know, but it’s true!) I feel like I am living the dream, being able to grow a business that was birthed from an idea I had sat on for years (so if any of you out there have an idea you’re itching to launch, do it NOW!)

When I started The Little Homie and saw how well received it was all around the globe, it gave me instant confirmation that there was a desperate need for products that parents could connect with when it came to playtime. Seeing all the photos and videos of parents from all over the world laughing and connecting with their children over products I have created? There truly is no greater feeling.

Doing the work/life/mama juggle is dang’ hard most of the time. What are your non-negotiables when it comes to managing all the various parts of your life?

It really is hard to juggle – your life is NEVER the same again! But my non-negotiables is to find time for myself first and foremost, and for me, this is through exercise. It’s always been a big part of my life pre-babies, during pregnancy, and post babies! I find it helps me be a better mama as I have more energy, and it helps me refocus on what I need to get done throughout the day while feeling fit and healthy.

Apart from this, I LOVE to stay organised. I am a big fan of a good to-do list; you will find mine either scribbled on a notepad, or even in the notes section of my iPhone for easy, on-the-go access! The satisfaction of crossing things off that list is super satisfying. Slightly concerning what excites me these days – ha!

What is the best piece of advice you could give a new parent?

IT DOES GET EASIER. I would have refused to believe this when I first had my daughter, and with the challenges ahead of me – juggling two under two when my second baby is born – this will be my daily mantra that it really does get easier, and the hard days become fewer and further between. 

Who are your mentors and/or biggest sources of inspiration?
Without a doubt, my husband, hands down. He works like a maniac EVERY single day, is ALWAYS smiling, and ALWAYS up for helping anyone around him, no matter how busy he is. And he manages to do all of this without a single complaint.

He’s a modern-day saint and someone I aspire to be more like on the daily. He’s continually putting so much in perspective for me, as I do tend to stress at the best of times (so he’s my ultimate better half). 14 years together and I am still just as madly in love with him as I was from the start!

Besides making it through parenthood without too many grey hairs, what’s your biggest goal for the next five years?

My biggest professional goal would be to continue creating products for The Little Homie that both young and old can enjoy when it comes to learning and education.

On a personal level, it’s about finding a healthy balance for my own family and making time to stop and enjoy the simple things in life, like a day at the beach with my babies or a date night with my husband at the movies. Doesn’t get better than that!

Rapid-Fire Questions

Coffee or tea? Neither! I’ve never liked coffee or tea, but on colder days you’ll happily find me with a hot chocolate, and in the warmer months, a fresh juice!

Night owl or early bird? Early bird, for sure.

Favourite family holiday destination? Good timing to ask this; we’ve only just got back from a family getaway to Fiji. For Australians, it’s a no-brainer: short flight, hardly any time difference, and super tropical. Ticks all the boxes for my little family!

Must-have parenting tool/secret weapon? A tablet or iPhone within arm’s reach, dare I say it! I know most parents like to ban screen time, but it totally works for me when I need five minutes of peace! My parenting approach is #whateverworks. Oh, and a copy of ‘AB to Jay-Z’ of course!

Favourite meal to cook for the family? I would happily cook sweet over savoury any day of the week, so my favourite thing would be to bake a cake for the whole family to enjoy together. It’s not a proper meal unless you end it with dessert!

Favourite bobo&boo product? Besides stating the obvious? (Um, EVERYTHING!?) If I had to choose, I love the divided plate; it’s a great way to make mealtime fun, with lots of room for different bits and pieces to discover – which suits even the fussiest toddler (e.g. mine!)

Images: The Little Homie