bonnie hindmarsh for three birds renovations and the tuckshop

River Bennett (Photographer River Bennett)

"Hello!” I heard Bonnie call out the driver's window as she pulled into the driveway in her dark Mercedes van.

“Hey, did you want the dogs for photos?" she asked as she jumped out of the front seat and headed to the boot as two British bulldogs scrambled out.

"Oh my gosh - look at them! Yes, totally!" I said laughing.

Bonnie came around the corner of the car with the two dogs on separate leashes. She looked beautiful. Deep purple and burgundy patterned play suit, long, wavy, highlighted hair and a tan to die for.

She looked fit even though she claimed later she didn't even workout. Yep, she was one of those :) She had one of those smiles that lit up her face and made it's way to lighting up yours. She was confident, and I liked how she felt in charge, yet completely down to earth. She opened the side door of the car and told her boys to jump out. Buster, (7) was first, then sweet little Rowie, (5) while Archie (8) who was on his ipad in his own world took his time getting out.

"He is such a dreamer that one. Gosh, they are all so different."

We walked into the house and I found myself standing into a newly renovated home. I could smell the fresh paint and new carpet. It was beautifully dressed in neutrals and whites. With splashes of leafy, green indoor plants and artworks I would kill for.

"So this is it!" said Bonnie.

"You should have seen it when we bought it! It literally was a dump."

Bonnie had recently left her job at The Parramatta Eels running high profile events to finally pursue her dream of renovating houses.

"Two of my girlfriends (Erin Cayless and Lana Taylor) and I decided we didn't want to just work to earn money anymore. So we decided to start a company of boutique renovations we called Three Birds Renovations. We are passionate about quality and craftsmanship and attention to the details that make a house a home.

We wanted to work and do what we love. So we all resigned from our jobs and took a risk in buying this home. Renovations started 6 weeks ago. It was insane and I can't believe we did it! The auction is in one week time. I keep telling the girls I don't think I can be there when it happens. I'm so ridiculously nervous."

The house, in its entirety, was all class. I could tell it was a quality job. The kitchen fit-out had been perfected. The floors and open-plan living, the flood of natural light and simple, yet elegant, bathrooms. The outdoor space was stunning. This house had been renovated with family in mind. Bonnie had been in charge of styling. This house definitely felt like a home, and a functional home at that.

As we sat down to talk I kept thinking... Geez this took guts ... Did I mention the fact that Bonnie also, in collaboration with some friends, had opened a cafe in her local area? The place is killing it of course. She is a gutsy woman. And I loved everything about her. I wondered what would evolve from our conversation.

What did the start of your life look like?

We were a typical Aussie family. We grew up in Victoria and I had one brother. Our parents had an open door policy so our friends and mates were always at our house. There would often times be 6 or 7 kids running around while listening to Fleetwood Mac. We would often go to the beach for holidays.

My parents were always passionate about renovating houses. So we would move a lot. We would often start in a rundown old place and live through the Reno. We would cook on a random stovetop in the garage. We would finally get the place looking really nice with furniture that was magnificent, and just when everything was perfect, we would move.  So I guess you could say that renovation is in my blood.

Your are a highly motivated woman. What is it exactly that drives you, and why?

I always, always, wanted to teach. I had a love of sport and went to university and majored in Physical Education. I then got offered a job in PR (Public Relations) for The Parramatta Eels.

I guess you could say I came from a highly bussiness orientated environment but my passions also lied in the creative space. 

My business partners and I had to get this particular renovation done in 6 weeks. Financially, that was the model we structured, and to be honest if we were doing it just for fun, we would have taken a bit more time.

Motivation? I guess the simple answer is that I just decided that I wanted to build the life that I loved. It was about me having a balance in my life. Spending more time with my family and creatively being about to express that. It's so easy for us to get caught in a rut. I did, and I realized at the age of 37 that the things I dreamed of doing as a little girl weren't a reality. I needed to change that. I needed to do something I absolutely loved and needed to take a risk to do it.

What's life like in a house full of boys?

Chaotic, fun and hilarious. I always wanted three boys and even though I hoped for a girl somewhere along the way, I now happily realise that I am meant to be surrounded boys.

Football has been a huge part of your life. Now that Nathan is retired from playing would you want your boys to follow in his steps?

What I want for my kids is whatever makes them happy. They play heaps of sports - from cricket to soccer to touch. They love it.  Archie my eldest is highly artistic, so honestly, whatever makes them happy.

What if 'Three Birds Renovations' doesn't go the way you had hoped?

Yes, there is risk. There is always a risk when starting something new. But to be honest, I've already got what I wanted out of it. I'm proud of what we have done and we are big believers in always looking forward.

How did the 'Tuckshop' come about?

The area we lived in was lacking in the café department. I went to my husband Nathan (former Australian and NSW Origin professional rugby league footballer who captained The Parramatta Eels in the National Rugby League) and said,  “We need a place for families in the community to come to, where they can feel welcome, have a coffee and some good food." Nath just simply said, "Here we go again!" Haha. He's the best, and has always supported my ideas and had confidence in what I do.

We found the perfect place for the cafe right near a park and school. My brother, Casey, had some mates who own 'The Baron' (a thriving café in Sydney's northwest) Matt, Michael and Rikki. We approached them and asked if they wanted to go into business partnership with us. They said yes. And the rest is history. We are all so proud of what we have achieved.

The Tuckshop has your style written all over it. What was it like collaborating with the boys?

The boys all have a strong sense of style. I trusted in everything they did. They are three of the most clever boys I know. Our working relationship has been amazing. And our vision has always been the same.

What have you learned so far in the Renovation industry?

Communication is essential. Timelines are things everyone needs to be good with. You need to build good relationships with tradies. And just because it's expensive doesn't mean it's always worth buying. Research everything!

What's a normal day look like??

It's always chaos in the morning with school drop off and trying to get three boys out of the house. I head to the Tuckshop and grab a coffee and green juice, and chin wag to anyone that's there. I then meet up on site with the girls from Three Birds Revovations, for a business meeting. We split our tasks and get to it. I source the look and feel of the property and usually duck off to various suppliers.

What are some of your plans for the future?

Keep doing what we are doing! We are loving it.

Are you a big believer in taking your kids on the journey?

Yes, absolutely. The best part of changing my career has been to have them watch and learn from us. Rowdie is often on site with me with his hard hat and goggles on. He often asks if we are going to the Reno house.

What was the hardest thing while birthing this company?

Believing in myself. I had a great job. A career for 14 years, yet I knew this was my passion and I always wanted  to do it. I had to risk losing, and I had to be prepared to back myself. I knew I was good at what I did before, but I wasn't sure I could do this. So I needed to trust myself and also have complete faith in my partners ability.

Give us some of latest style advice. What's hot for summer?

I have an eclectic style.  I love mixing things that I love. I have a borderline obsession with white! But I also add that pop of color with furnishing and art. And warm it all up with timber.

What's your everyday: Jeans and t-shirt, workout or glam ?

My old life was heels and makeup! Now its jeans, Converse and t-shirt. And I'm pretty happy about that.

Favorite candle scent?

Mango and papaya

Thoughts on white couches when you have kids?

I'm a sucker for punishment. It's an everyday goal to keep it clean.

Favourite artist's work to fill your home?

Abby Mc Culloch

Summer girl or winter?

Summer.

Night at footy, night out on the town, or night at home?

I am the opposite of a homebody, so a night out anywhere I'm happy with.

Any advice for The Wolfpack Mrs. community who may be wanting to take a risk and do what they love?

The hardest part is actually jumping.
I always loved the saying "Don't die with the music in you." And that's how I felt. That's how I knew I had not actually taken the step. I understand how hard it is to leave your comfort zone, but for me it would have been so much more heartbreaking had I not given it a go. Success is in your journey, whatever that may be.
 

 

If you would like to see more of Bonnie's renovations head to:

Insta:

@threebirdsrenovations

or her cafe head to:

http://tuckshopcoffee.com.au

Insta:

@tuckshopcoffee