Meet the Maker | Natalie of Pretty Brave & Crywolf

The concept for Pretty Brave was born in Spain where Natalie Meldrum, owner & creative lived for five years with her husband who is in the sailing industry & their two (very small at the time) children. With a background in graphic design Natalie rethought her career path & dove deep into bringing something back to New Zealand that the Spaniards did well. She found a gap in the market for fashion-inspired footwear, got to work & as they say - the rest is history.  

The final items of Pretty Brave’s “Hotel Bohemia’ collection has launched, it celebrates the free-spirited child & is filled with dreamy boho-inspired styles characterised by butter-soft (not a word of a lie) leathers, natural tones & woven details. I’m MOST excited for the Frankie & Rocco sandals. We’re really grateful that Natalie has given us some of her time - she’s one heck of a woman who paves an inspiring example for women in business. In case you hadn’t made the connection, Crywolf is also Natalie’s label, it’s headed into its 4th year now with a vision to get our children back outside in the greatest playground there is, hear hear to that! 

Thank you for answering these 10 quick fire questions Natalie & allowing us to learn a little bit more about you & your two outstanding labels - Pretty Brave & Crywolf;

How do you start your day? 

As a business owner I am lucky to run my own hours and mornings have always been really special with my kids. Instead of being rushed, we usually have time for some fun, chats and good food before they head off on their way. Being calm and happy sets us all up for a great day.

What are 3 things in your handbag you CANNOT live without?

My iphone, my new YSL sunnies and handfuls of puppy treats!

Can you share 1 piece of advice you’d impart to new parents?

There is no one instruction manual and I think new parents can get overwhelmed with the pressure of doing everything perfect. But people have been having babies for a while now and I think that as long as you give them plenty of love and teach them values like kindness and resilience, then they are going to turn out OK.

When we’re allowed to travel again, where would you go? 

I often say I left half my heart in Spain, so I would go back there in a heart beat. My favourite is the Balearic Islands for sun, beautiful beaches, amazing food, quaint shops and history.

If you're currently exploring our own backyard have you come across any hidden gems?

In between lock downs, I managed to sneak in a weekend to Martinborough with my girl gang. Only a short drive from Wellington it is the perfect weekend getaway for walks in the rolling hills, wine tours and delicious local cuisine.

Where is your favourite place to eat?

With a blend of so many cultures, New Zealand is spoilt with so many amazing places to eat. Last weekend my husband and I went to Isakai at Mount Maunganui where they bring together the flavours of Maori and Japanese - a match made in heaven! Closer to home, fish and chips at our local beach ranks pretty high. 

What qualities do you need to start a business?

Determination, a hard working ethic and an original idea.

What gets you most excited about your work, about your business?

Having your own business means wearing many hats, but it is the creative hat I love the most. I love dreaming up new products and following the design process from concept through to seeing Crywolf and Pretty Brave out and about on happy customers.

Do you ever suffer from a ‘creative block’? 

Not really, for me it is more a case of focusing the ideas! I have learnt it is important to stay true to the goals of the business, but as a designer I always want to do it all.

What do you do to get out of it?

I find a change of scene helps restore creativity. Inspiration can be found in the most unlikely places, so for me, doing something new gets ideas flowing.

Success - what is that to you?

Success is creating a happy, dynamic work environment that my team and I love to be a part of. Success is being proud of my achievements. Success is sleeping well at night knowing the goals are being reached.

Lastly, what does self-care look like for you?

Self-care falls down the list a bit after kids, a new puppy and business! But ultimately self-care for me involves balancing work/home life by putting away the laptop, spending quality time with my family and being outside.

Thank you again for your time Natalie, we love what you create for our little people & LMB feels privileged to be a part of your Pretty Brave/Crywolf family. You can view the Hotel Bohemia Spring/Summer Lookbook HERE & you can shop Pretty Brave with us at LMB HERE

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