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Take 5, Toyah Attwell

Meet my Partner in Shine, Toyah Attwell.

Toyah is my friend, business partner and managing director of Boh Runga Design. The "left brain" to my right, Boh Runga Jewellery has made great leaps and bounds since the partnership. A timely suggestion by her at the end of 2019 to analyse and concentrate on the online side of our business meant that we kept our heads above water during what was to become years of great uncertainty and major adjustment for many SMBs facing the impacts of a pandemic.

A year on from the birth of her daughter Marlie, Toyah shares some of her learnings; the value of a shower and charm of Bobby McFerrin.


1. You have a beautiful little baby girl who has just turned 1! How have you juggled running a business and running your baby home-life over the last year?

Boundaries and help. I have home time and work time and I try not to cross them over. I’m in the office 3 days a week and home with Marlie 2 days of the working week. At the start I just tried to do it all, working and parenting simultaneously, sneaking calls in during naps and taking Marlie to meetings in a front pack. I was a working Mum cliché and I felt like I was doing a bad job at everything. Now when I’m in the office I’m focused on work and when I’m home I’m focused on being a Mum. I still sneak the odd email and call in during nap times, but when Marlie is up it’s our time together. I am very fortunate to have an amazing team around me at home and work which makes that possible. You can’t do it alone. 


2. What is the most important thing you have learnt in the past year of motherhood?

How to do everything with one hand! And that there are lots of things in life that are out of your control. Before Marlie I liked to be in control. Thatprobably why I run a business. Business is about planning and execution, and for the most part you are in control of when and how things happen. Babies are not like that. They are in control. Of everything. Letting go was a lesson I was happy to learn. I still like to be in control, but when Im not, which is a lot of the time now, thats ok too.  

3. What couldn’t you live without as a new mum?

Showers. You don’t get a lot of time for yourself when you have a new born so showering became the part of my day when I could just take 5 for myself, relax and reflect. When you’ve had a long night a lovely warm shower with a few cold bursts throughout can recharge you and get you going for the day too. 


4. What was a piece of advice that you wish someone had told you before having a baby?

That worrying about everything in the beginning is completely normal. I wouldn’t say I am a worrier by nature. I’m more of a ‘it’ll all be ok’ kind of a person, but I worried about everything in those early days. Thankfully I was continuously reassured that I wasn’t alone when the absurd search terms I was googling in the middle of the night were always top of the list. Also talking to other Mums, especially Mums that have more than one child, is so important in those times of worry. They’ve been there and had the same concerns and everything has worked out fine. It will all be ok.  

5. And finally… Can you share with us your top songs that you’ve found make Marlie happy?

Don’t worry be happy - Bobby McFerrin
Three Little Birds - 
Bob Marley 
Eye Know - De La Soul
Wonderful World - Sam Cooke 
I Say a Little Prayer - Aretha Franklin 
Rudy, A Message To You - Dandy Livingstone
Come Together - The Beatles
You’ve Got a Friend In Me - Randy Newman 

Listen to the playlist on Spotify here.

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