Meet The Owner:
Meet Renee Rooney founder of Mother Deer located in Drouin, Victoria.
Tell Us A Little Something About Yourself
I am a heartfelt creative, living in beautiful West Gippsland, Victoria with my ever supportive husband, 4 year old daughter and one old, grumpy diabetic cat. After completing qualifications in Illustration and Graphic Design and running my own small art business after graduating, I left the creative world behind to pursue what I called at the time "a real job". Oh how naive we can be when we are young! I always knew that my creative talents were something I would get back to later in life. How fast 20 years has flown though!
What Inspired You To Start Your Own Business and What does your journey look like?
In 2016 my Mum was diagnosed with cancer. A week after her diagnosis I found out I was pregnant. My Mum passed away 5 months later. What I felt should have been the happiest time of my life was actually the darkest time of my life. I really struggled with my mental health after the birth of my daughter. Through my journey of recovery from postnatal depression and anxiety, I came up with the idea for a business that would help support other new mothers experiencing perinatal mental health issues. With the ever increasing pull from within to create art once again and wanting to use my own experience to help others, I decided it was time to pursue my passion.
What Does Your Business Offer, And What Makes It Unique?
There is still a lack of awareness regarding Post Natal Depression and Anxiety and social stigma still exists around these conditions for new parents. Mother Deer aims to bridge this gap by raising awareness and to bring inspiration and a positive message into the lives of new parents experiencing these often debilitating mental health conditions. Mother Deer produces baby clothes that are printed with inspirational quotes and my own original artwork. There is a story behind every design to help uplift and support mothers. $2 from every item sold is donated to one of the main charities in Australia that supports postnatal mental health - PANDA.
What does your Journey Look Like?
The idea for my business had been "rattling around" in my head for a long time. At the end of 2019 I became very disenchanted with my chosen career and being a 9 - 5 working mother. In some ways 2020 and the whole Covid crisis was a blessing as it forced me to reassess my priorities and gave me the opportunity to launch Mother Deer. I applied for and was accepted into an Entrepreneur Accelerator program and spent the 2nd half of 2020 learning how to launch my business. I was honoured to be chosen for a Most Improved Entrepreneur Award during the program. My dream became a reality when I launched Mother Deer on the 1st of December 2020.
Did You Always Think You'd Be Doing This?
I always knew my creative talents and art would be something I got back to later in life. When I was younger I just didn't realise it would be 20 years later! I do regret it took losing my Mum and a mental health crisis to push me to bring Mother Dear to life but I truly believe our experiences shape who we are and there has been a deeper reason behind everything I have been through. If I can help even just 1 mother not feel the way I did after the birth of my daughter, that will be reward enough for me.
What Are The Most Rewarding And Challenging Parts Of Your Job And Owning Your Own Business?
I love that I can share my art with the world again and combine it with my experiences to now help others. The most challenging part is definitely trying to run a business while also juggling the demands of being a mother to a young child. But my daughter is my art buddy, drawing with me while I create and she critiques all my designs!
Whats Your End Goal? The Moment You'll Know You've Achieved What You Want To?
In the not too distant future, I am wanting to expand my product range to include children’s & adult clothing, art prints and home wares to enable our message to reach a wider target audience. My dream for Mother Deer is to become an online resource for new parents, with blog posts and links to mental health organisations.