Kristine Brown Co-founder and Creative Director SOH MELBOURNE

Kristine with her youngest Florence

Kristine with her youngest Florence


Name of business:


What’s your business all about?

We are a Bespoke Fragrance House based in Melbourne creating luxury candles & Perfumes

How and when did you start it (before or after a family)?

My husband & I started SOH in 2013, 9 months after we hand our 2nd child Helena.

Who’s in your family? (Age of kids, any pets?)

There is a lot of us!   Ava (6), Helena (5), Jude (2),Florence (1) & our beloved Samoyed (5)

Who is your support? (Nannies, grandparents, partner, any?)

About 6 months ago we hired an Au Pair which has changed our lives!Our family are also amazing support with massive points going to my brother Jesse for all the SOS calls he takes from me!

If you started your business before a family, how did things change once you started a family?

We started our business in the middle of all our 4 kids, which was utter craziness!  The first 2 years of building a business you have little sleep and you throw all your spare time in to the brand and research, which you need to do it around raising 2 little ladies.  I learnt a lot about time management & always having my priorities right.   

If you started your business after having a family, how did you get it off the ground? Where did you find the time?

About 2 years after having business I was pregnant with my 3rd ( my son!) and was so working hard and being a mum & wife.  Tough times as I continually felt stretched.  I became more focused then I ever was to achieve what I needed.  “My moto was work smarter not harder” as cliché as it sounds I looked for better ways to do things and was always looking for new recourses to improve my business and myself.

I learnt if I didn’t have a plan I would spend my day going around in circles and feel like I never achieved anything.   

What is the biggest hurdle of your day?

The mornings.  I loooove my bed and a sleep in but those days are long gone.  Since having 4 kids my body is tired and I no longer jump out of bed like I used too (confession session!!!)  

What is your favourite part of your day?

I make a point just after bath & dinner to dim all the lights and put all my candles on, at that moment the day is done and its family time or as the “Danes” put it “ Hygge”.  All the craziness of day stops, cleaning stops and its just family time.. Kettle goes on , blankets come out & we lay on the couch and just be together.   I love that now my eldest daughter will say “ Mum time to put the candles on” .


How do you balance home-life, work, kids?

After much trial and error, Sunday I plan out the week and block out the time that I work and family time in so that we make sure we are spending quality time with our kids & our business is getting the input it needs to thrive.  We recently started date nights with our girls which has been incredible which opens up more one on one time with our kids.


Do you give yourself/your partner any personal time?

Absolutely.  Just as I think its really important for my kids to watch their mother with a strong family & work ethic, its also important to for them to see that mum values herself and looks after herself.  If I need to I schedule it in, or on some days that I’m working I’ll finish work ½ hour earlier and do something special for me.


What advice would you give any parent starting a business with children?

If you have your family as the nucleus of your home you will find that its much easier to achieve your work when you kids are happy and have had their Mum or Dad “ tank” filled.   Its so much easier to sit down and bang out emails or be creative when you have poured out love & peace in your home and the balance is right.    Also be prepared that you will work very hard and you will need to be a champion at time management.   Before I started my business I thought that it would be so much easier than working for someone else (ha!) I’ve worked harder than I ever have, more hours and given more than I ever had. 


What’s the best advice you have been given with your business?

Have a vison for your business and a reason for doing what you do.

Who picks you up when you’re having a bad day or week?

My wonderful friends & family. 

What is the best part of running your own business?

I get to be around for my kids & all the candles I want!!

Favourite family dinner recipe/cheats meal the family loves to eat?

My kids are always hungry, I never seem to give them enough. I always have a batch of Banana cake made on the table which I’m happy for them to eat away at.

DANISH BANANA CAKE – Makes 12-16 Slices

150g Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature

250g / 1 ¼ Caster Sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp cardamom

2 tsp cinnamon

300g / 2 1/3 cups plain flour

5 ripe Bananas

23cm bundt pan

23 cm springform cake pan

Preheat oven to 180c & prep your bakeware

Put the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Add the eggs one by one, whisking well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, sift the baking powder, salt, spices and flour together, then fold into the egg mixture.

Finally, add the mashed bananas and mix well

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan and level the top with the back of the spoon

Bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 min or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  The cake tastes even better after a day or 2

Ava, Helena and Jude

Ava, Helena and Jude

Christine Virgiotis