Interview with Shelley Mason, Lime Tree Kids
Shelley Mason is one of those inspirational mums who is able to see positivity and opportunity in life’s challenges.
By responding to a personal challenge with an open heart, she’s managed to build a business that helps not only her own family, but many others as well.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m very blessed to be married to my best friend for the last 13 years, we are parents to two very spunky and lively little ones ( a boy and girl) who came to our family through intercountry adoption.
I am also the owner of an online children’s lifestyle store called Lime Tree Kids www.limetreekids.com.au which keeps me busy! My son has some needs that require him to be gluten, dairy and “numbers” free .
This is a huge part of our lifestyle now, sourcing great food for us all to eat that doesn’t affect his behaviour or health! I’m also an avid believer in play and that all great things start with fun! Bonding, learning, growing in all areas are so much easier when it’s in a relaxed manner.
Why did you create Lime Tree Kids?
Basically I started Lime tree kids as a way of bringing all of the products I had searched and located for using with my son and his play therapy. When he first came to us he had some attachment issues and needed help learning to trust and bond with us as his main caregivers (parents).
We did this by spending hours of time playing with him every day and developing a relationship through fun and eventually laughter! He learnt to trust us as we developed a relationship through play and meeting his needs continuously.
When I was searching for toys and items to play with it was so hard to find toys that were wooden and long lasting rather then plastic and flimsy. I found that things like sleeping bags and baby carriers and anything else I needed like sandwich cutters to help make eating fun etc where spread all over the internet and that no one store had everything I needed .
So I decided to start a “hobby” out of my bedroom and opened an online store that sold most of these products. It pretty quickly grew into what it is today. We just turned 2 and have just moved into our first office warehouse facility , have over 250 brands and 1500 products lines. I’ve bought on board my brother as a business partner and he looks after the warehouse and packing of orders , my niece is in charge of Customer Service / Admin and we have another lady , Louise as well helping out doing accounts .
Why is play important for kids?
I believe that children learn through play and it’s all they need for that stage in their time. Play is like children’s work, they learn skills like interacting, sharing , communication , how far their boundaries can go , that they are safe or unsafe , encourages fine and gross motor skills which in turn help them with every day skills we use as adults every day.
There are so many reasons why just playing is important. Its impossible to list them all! I remember being shocked when I learnt that the reasons that things like chalk boards and children using them and painting and drawing on a board using up and down strokes, actually taught them to use the strokes that they use when learning to draw and write .. things like that amaze me !
What does healthy eating mean for you & your family?
Healthy eating to me and my family generally revolves around my sons dietary needs. We have managed to keep him off behaviour medication and turned around his ASD diagnosis by tweaking his diet.
We eat organic when we can, fresh vegetables and meat. We don’t eat anything with preservatives or additives if we can help it. I’ve learnt to cook a lot better and search the internet for resources ! If there are skin issues we address what food he has been eating and try adding or deleting that food. It’s a constantly evolving thing as I wasn’t raised thinking of food as a source of nutrition and goodness. I’m also a terrible cook so those skills are being tested as well !!
What are 5 of your kitchen pantry essentials?
Almonds (for flour or cooking)
Rice cakes for snacks
What do you indulge in?
Coffee – I’m trying to give it up at the moment but I just LOVE coffee !!
What are some of the things you value most in life?
Some of the things I value most in life are my husband and our marriage and relationship. My children and their needs, my good friends who are always ready to hear my crazy stories! My family, and creating memories with them as well as my friends. And SLEEP !!!
What is your favourite quote?
Everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid ! – Albert Einstein.
Do you find time to nurture yourself? What does this involve?
I am very, very bad at this. My idea of nurturing myself at the moment is to take a bath, to go to bed early with my son (whom I lie down with each night and listen to sleep music) . I am about to start Yoga though so I can take some time out from everything !
What do you and your kids like to do on the weekend?
We lead a very busy life, so generally on the weekend, we will hang out around the house and just chill out, staying in our pj’s and slothing around. We will also go to the market and get some fruit and vegetables and do grocery shopping (woot woot!) . Every second weekend we catch up with extended family and have lunch and a play together.
Would you like to share one of your favourite healthy recipes?
One of our favourite family recipes is from Quirky Cooking Jo’s blog. http://quirkycooking.blogspot.com.au/2009/08/thermomix-fried-rice.html
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Shelley as much as I have.
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