We’ve stumbled across the gorgeous, vivacious, always smiling, always colourful Alexis Teasdale via multiple channels. As a journalist for our favourite local mum read @kiddomag & via her styling work over at @thefestiveco.
We can only dream of hosting the incredible, crafty & fun birthday parties & kid’s activities she posts. We also both wholeheartedly embraced moving home (at around the same time) to #Radelaide equally as much as living in Sydney. Snap.
We love her joie de vivre & wanted to capture a little of that for Easter school holidays.
Please give us a brief bio of your career and what prompted you to start the Festive Co?
I was studying a Bachelor of Media at Adelaide Uni when I decided, out of the blue, that I wanted to do work experience at a magazine. I emailed Cosmopolitan’s generic address and was so lucky that the staff member who answered was also from Adelaide and locked in some work experience for me. The stars aligned so that I applied for, and received a job at Cosmo during that week and I moved to Sydney at 20. I finished Uni online and spent the next 15 years working on women’s lifestyle magazines like DOLLY, Instyle, Shop Til You Drop and more. It was an incredible, exciting, hard and hilarious career and I learned so much amount about writing, styling and editing.
It was around the time of our wedding in 2013 that I started getting requests to style events and photo shoots from people in the media industry. I was still working full time during the week but did some styling on the side and thought I better make a website to house the content. That was the beginning of The Festive Co! I just let it simmer away, adding more content when I could, and when my husband and I decided to move back to Adelaide, the business was ready for me to really dive into. It’s now a sparkling and fun creative studio and I spend my days either styling events or shoots, writing content for clients, creating craft based art for brands and more. Every day is completely different!
How would you describe your style and how has it evolved since work life – mum juggle work life?
It’s very, very different now! My full-time work-life saw me dressed up every day and in a magazine publishing building, you can wear anything. Some days would be a fully sequinned blazer and jeans, other days a little black dress or bold, clashing, printed dresses. Always with heels of some sort. Now, I have a very, very full chest of heels that I rarely wear. They’re not particularly practical for school pick up, but I can’t bear to let them all go just yet.
I’ll admit, it took me a good year to really figure out my wardrobe post-mags. I was so used to dressing a certain way and it just wasn’t going to work with the amount of down-on-the-ground play I was doing with the kids and also the very hands-on, messy craft work I was creating for The Festive Co. Luckily, I had a lot of separates that I could mix and match, so I can still wear my fun shirts and blazers but pair them with jeans, or add a plain white tee to a printed skirt.
I’ve really been embracing loose dresses and baggy jumpers that can go over anything. A dress that is throw-on-able is my fave option because then I only need to think about shoes, and a soft jumper with a pretty print that can go over denim is perfect to go from work to school pick up in a jiffy.
Alas, the heels don’t get much of a run, so I look for cute sneakers and slides to jazz up my casual wear.
What did 2020 teach you?
Patience. Oh my word, did we need patience. I am by nature an extremely impatient person, but 2020 was having none of that! In the beginning a lot of my work was cancelled so during the day I was helping the kids with whatever they needed and at night I was figuring out what work had to be done - luckily I could fall back on writing editorial pieces and copywriting for brands.
The silver lining for my family was lots and lots of time with our baby girl Andie. I worked full-time when the boys were little, heading back to the office when they were around 9 months. But little Andie had us all around, with tons of mum and dad time, let me tell you, she loved every minute of it.
2020 also taught me to be resilient as i’m sure it did for everyone. I realised that panic doesn’t help, reflection certainly does though and just tackling one problem at time will get you to when you need to go faster. I always think of it like the laundry - the bane of my existence. If you let it pile up, it’s SO hard to get through it. But if you just keep doing those small, regular loads, even when you want to ignore the basket, it will be so much easier to manage in the long run.
What’s your Mum/ Life best time saving hacks?
Like all parents know, if you prepare things the night before, mornings run so much smoother. I also know, sometimes we just can’t be bothered! I’m a work in progress too!
But I do try and save some time where I can. I’ll put a banana, yoghurt, Weetbix or cereal into a smoothie for the kids in the morning to make sure they squeeze in some extra brekkie without realising. Inevitably they’ve asked for toast and only eat a corner of it before we rush out the door so that is the safety net.
When it comes to myself, I cut corners wherever I can like adding fake tan drops to my serum so I actually look like i’ve had some sleep and if I won’t have time to wash my hair in the morning, I brush it, add dry shampoo before bed to soak up oil, then pop it in a plait or low bun so it looks presentable the next day.
I also always make sure I have my headphones with me. I’m doing a bit of study at the moment, so I listen to classes in the car or as i’m running around, but this works just as well with podcasts or live workshops or even the news that you want to catch during the day. It’s pretty amazing how much work can get done on the phone in those little pockets of time, like pre-planning lunch orders, booking in appointments and scheduling things.I’ve learnt not to put off anything I can quickly do with a few taps on the phone. There will be a season in my life that is slower (I hope!) but this season isn’t it.
Favourite health/ beauty tip?
Where do I start! A game changer for me was switching to a silk pillowcase. I was hesitant because it sounded too luxurious for me, but the difference in my hair and skin in the morning is really noticeable. Curly, big hair gals will get how major that is.
Who or what inspires you?
Women! Whether they are changing the world, changing nappies or changing a policy in their local community or school! I just think, women are doing such a remarkable job in this current climate which has forced us to stretch, juggle, pivot and leap more than ever.
Favourite Instagram handle?
It’s like picking a favourite child! I love following fashion legend @iris.apfel and I follow SO many cake artists like @bonvivantcakes. You can’t help but feel happy when you look at cake! My Insta feed features a lot of bright and colourful artists.
Favourite Netflix show?
I still absolutely love the first two seasons of The Crown. What a masterful, visual treat. I watched Bridgerton with the rest of Australia and swooned over those dresses, and also the outfits in The Queen’s Gambit were a delight. I love documentaries and thought The Last Dance and Cheer were so compelling as well as Brene Brown’s Dare To Lead.
KIDDO Chats of course! I love co-hosting the podcast for KIDDO Mag; we get to chat to so many cool women and my conversation with Turia Pitt is a highlight for me. I also always tune into Unlocking Us with Brene Brown and she recently did an episode with Dolly Parton - I am a proper, super fan of Dollys. Definitely worth a listen.
Best book recently?
I listened to Untamed by Glennon Doyle on audible and I was nodding a long so much I was like one of those little bobble toys people put on the car dashboard. I don’t know if it was because it was Glennon herself reading it that made it so easy to digest, but I just couldn’t get enough of it. It was really powerful and moving.
Favourite party theme for kids?
I love the classics! I had so much fun doing a Teddy Bear’s Picnic theme when my son Teddy was little, and also Andie’s Candy theme, Gabe’s Grand Prix party… when there is lots to play with visually, I have an absolute ball.
Favourite party theme for adults?
I am a huge dress-ups fan (by now you’re probably not surprised) and the best themes are the ones that are nice and open so everyone can get involved in a big or small way. Say for my 30th I did ‘A for Alexis’ and everyone dressed as an ‘A’ themed something and it was easy for people to do just a hint. Of course, my friends and family went completely over the top with it! If you make a theme too tight, it’s hard for people to get organised and really commit to it.
And then, as a tribute to all our favourite Alexis’s out there.
Alexis Rose - "A Little Bit Alexis" [Official Video])
All images shot by @hellourbansafari.