Tinybeans Ten with Sarah-Jane Kurtini

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Our latest Tinybeans Ten interview features our very own co-founder, Sarah-Jane Kurtini. S-J’s experience as part of a long-distance family and a mother of two, brings a whole other level of passion to her job as Head of Marketing here at Tinybeans HQ – you’ll recognize it in most of the material you read.
Read on to hear what brought her to Tinybeans, some inspirational advice and her favorite things right now.

 


1. Tell us a bit about how you got started with Tinybeans and your role at Tinybeans HQ

Stephen and I started Tinybeans back in 2012. He wanted to find a way to help families stay on top of their children’s development after his own son struggled to overcome a speech delay. I’d recently moved to Sydney from England so finding a way to easily keep my Dad and sister up to date with our adventures was a huge thing for me.
Tinybeans is a way to combine those two needs – a milestone tracker and private social network.
For the first year Stephen and I did everything ourselves so we’re excited to now have an awesome team helping us grow Tinybeans. I’m Head of Marketing and spend my days trying to find ways to let more people know about Tinybeans. If you have any ideas, I’m all ears!

2. What’s your favorite part of working at Tinybeans?
The feedback we get from our users makes all the hard work worthwhile. Reading emails from grandparents who say their Tinybeans updates are the highlight of their day and we help them feel so much more connected to their family far away, brings tears to my eyes.

3. How does being a part of a long-distance family (England –> Australia) and being a parent of 2 young children influence the work you do at Tinybeans?
Seeing how much Tinybeans means to my family is a huge motivator. We have family in England, Greece and NZ and it means the world to them to see my kids every day.

It is how I stay connected with friends back home and in the US and I see my Goddaughter in England every day through it.

My daughter just turned 7 and she’s started putting photos on herself to show her Papa in England her achievements at school. One of our favourite things to do is go back through past years to talk about the stuff we got up to when she was a baby. Seeing how Tinybeans can grow with your family has given us lots of cool ideas for future development.

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And now for the Tinybeans Ten

1. What are you reading?
What Should We Tell Our Daughters? The Pleasures and Pressures of Growing Up Female by Melissa Benn.

I have a son and a daughter and it is full of so many insights that I hope will make me a better parent to both of them. I want both of them to live their lives free from many of the damaging stereotypes we transfer to young girls and boys.

2. What are you watching?
Scandal. Whilst I wait for Season 3 of Peaky Blinders to enter my life. I’m all about the box sets.

3. What is your favorite blog?
Fat Mum Slim was probably the first ‘mummy blog’ I started following and I still read it all the time. Chantelle is such a beautiful soul and I am full of admiration that she continues to blog despite some of the insane trolling she gets.

Woogsworld and Mommy Shorts are awesome and one of my new faves is The Pool. It is a little dose of England into my inbox everyday written by smart, inspiring women. 

4. What is your favorite Instagram account?
I fell in love with one of our user’s accounts so much that I asked her to manage ours. Katt’s is still my favourite but she’s a clever cookie and hers is private.

@crazyjewishmom cracks me up every day and @documentingdelight is a beautiful family account.

5. What’s the best piece of parenting advice you’ve received?
I wish I could remember where I saw it, but I read once that raising happy children doesn’t mean making sure they are never upset.

It struck such a chord with me. Children can get upset over small things and they’re not going to appreciate every decision you make on their behalf but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fundamentally happy and you aren’t going a great job.

I’ve started to write some gems down so they can be passed on to my kids when the time comes. I feel like I really missed out by not having my own mum around to give me advice when I became a mother. She died when I was in my early twenties. I’d never even thought to ask about that kind of stuff and so I got inspired to start jotting things down.

6. What’s the best toy your children have ever owned?
A little pink Vtech laptop. It pretty much taught my daughter to read in a week!

7. What’s your current guilty pleasure?
Bringing back cocktail hour. My husband has a bartending business and I am a very willing guinea pig. I should probably feel more guilty than I do. I see it as being a supportive wife.

8. Where is your favorite place to hang out with your family?
The beach. We live between two beautiful beaches in Sydney and it is our dream come true. We moved to Australia 6 years ago and I still walk out of our front door and pinch myself most mornings.

We’ve just got the kids wetsuits and we’re teaching them to surf. So much easier in the winter with less people around. 

9. What is the most useful piece of nursery equipment you’ve ever owned?
The Gro Clock is literally my favourite thing EVER! My kids have had one in their room since they were tiny and they still have one. They don’t come out of their room until 7am when the sun comes up. Best money I have ever spent.

10. What is the last thing you bought online?
A huge shipment of basics from Marks and Spencer. 30 years in England brainwashed me forever. I wouldn’t even know where else to look for undies. It was an emotional day for me when I discovered they shipped online to Australia for free.

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