The model recently had the chance to combine her work with family time, designing a new range with Fisher Price. Drawing on inspiration from her home surrounds in beautiful Byron Bay, Elyse’s collaboration includes a six-piece capsule collection of products in a custom-designed fabric of soothing earth and sky tones.
We caught up with Elyse to find out more about her first six months as a mum and how she worked on the range with her own bub in mind.
You’re well into your first year as a parent! What have been some of the unexpected challenges of being a first-time mum?
The adjustment to waking up each day with no real idea of what’s going to happen is always a little tricky. I still work and therefore I have daily meetings and calls. Not knowing how Sunny’s naps will go makes planning and scheduling very difficult. Bubs come with their own agenda - and nothing gets in the way of it! Asking and accepting help is so important.
Can you tell us the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
I’ve learnt to not sweat the small stuff and just enjoy life for what it is. I've become more patient and less reliant on super strict schedules, as let's be honest... with a baby a schedule can go out the window in a second! Sunny has taught me the importance of being content with life's simple pleasures. Smiling, laughing, being with loved ones, growing a family. Life is complex but when you have a baby in the house, everything reverts back to simple joys. I really adore that.
What have been some of the greatest joys of becoming a mum?
Watching Sunny start to giggle when the dogs run for a ball! It makes Josh and my day. There is so much purity with babies, it’s incredible. I love that I now have someone who I will always put ahead of myself. It’s humbling.
What would be your best piece of advice for expecting first-time parents or parents to newborns?
Go with your gut, never underestimate your strength and capabilities, and be kind to yourself. Newborn life can be challenging at the best of times, and it can be easy to lose your sense of self. Just remember new mums, you are still you. Your baby is here to add joy and true meaning to each and every day!
You said you were ‘inspired by the beautiful scenery we see every day’ when designing your new Fisher Price collection - how did your local surrounds in Byron Bay inspire you?
Native Australia was the key inspiration for this collection with Fisher Price. We live in one of the most incredible countries in the world, so honouring the most natural elements was always my intention. The colours and shapes are calming and peaceful. They represent innocence and such a lovely connection to home which you’ll see come through in the patterns and fabric design used in the range.
You recently enjoyed your first family holiday around Australia, are you excited to share more of those experiences with Sunny as he grows up?
This is something I honestly cannot wait to do as Sunny grows. Joshy and I live for the outdoors, so I think Sunny will naturally become very similar. Australia is one giant playground for kids. The sights, the stories, the insanely beautiful coastlines … there is a never-ending list of places to explore and uncover. I feel hugely privileged to be an Australian and I plan on making sure Sunny knows just how special this country is.
Did you have fun combining work and family time to create this new line?
It’s perfect timing because Fisher Price helps new parents – like me – with simple solutions so we can focus on what matters most, our beautiful babies. Like every new mum, I’m so excited to experience every moment with our little guy Sunny. As a parent, you know the time you spend with your little ones in those early weeks and months is so precious, so I hope my range offers a simple and stylish solution for parents, so they can focus on the moments that matter most.
I’m so proud of the collection and how it was curated with both style and space-saving in mind. It’s designed to complement - and not invade - your living space and with six essential products that would be at the top of every new parents must have lists. Fisher Price is about fun. Josh and I are big believers in making your own fun by exploring and using your imagination. The saying, ‘life is what you make it’ is so true.
Has Sunny been road-testing the products? Which ones are the favourites?
He loves them all, of course, but if I had to choose, my pick from the collection at the moment is the Baby Bouncer– it’s been a game-changer! Sunny loves being a part of everything we’re doing, whether that’s working on our new projects during the day or cooking dinner at night, so with the Bouncer he can be right there with us happily watching and playing and I know he’s completely safe and secure at the same time. Like all Fisher Price products, safety and durability are at the forefront of each of the pieces in the collection
How did your own experiences inspire the products you chose to work on and design for Fisher Price?
The aim was to create pieces that would evoke a sense of calm, peace, and joy. While Sunny hadn't come along yet during the design stage, I think everyone knows a newborn brings sleep deprivation and a little chaos! In the most lovely of ways, they certainly add an element of go-go-go. So, my aim was to make sure the home felt settled, safe and happy. Colours and shapes can have the most incredible effect on our moods. When you surround yourself in comfort, you tend to feel more in control.
And it was so important for me that the products would not only look beautiful but be really practical for new parents – it’s why the range includes items like bounces, rockers and highchairs – items that means you can go about your day and know bub is safe and secure. As a new parent, these things become your must-haves.
You can shop the Elyse Knowles x Fisher Price Collection at Target.