Meet The Founder: Jacinta Francis of Decorate Lane
This week we were fortunate to sit down with Jacinta Francis, Mum of two gorgeous girls, as well as Founder of the home tablescape platform, Decorate Lane, and a full time employee of Meta. We discussed where Jacinta’s passion for tablescaping came from and how she manages to juggle two jobs as well as being a Mum. Watch out for great tips on how to style an eco-friendly child’s birthday party!
Hi Jacinta, please tell us a little more about yourself…
I am Singaporean, with Eurasian and Indian heritage. After I married my husband, we both moved to the United Kingdom where he is from. We were there for 3.5 years and had our first daughter, Sienna, there. We recently moved back to Singapore for good and welcomed our second daughter, Serafina, 16 months ago. I work full time at Meta as Agency Operations Lead for their Global Business Marketing unit and I also am Founder of Decorate Lane.
We love your online homewares boutique, Decorate Lane, and the beautiful tablescaping ideas on offer. What inspired you to start the business?
My late Mother was the Inspiration to Decorate Lane. She was a great cook and everyone loved her food. She could cook all kinds of cuisines to delectable perfection and I grew up watching her lay the table with her scrumptious food spreads, elevating the table lay with lilies, roses and carnations as the centrepiece. We would go shopping at Tangs for placemats, cutlery and dinnerware every year before Christmas as we hosted the annual Christmas Day dinners at our house. I was about 16 years old when my love for tablescaping started. I tag teamed with my Mother where she would cook and I set, decorate and lay the table for these annual Christmas parties where she would be cooking for 50 guests.
You are still working full time at Meta as well. How do you juggle your full time career, running your own business and being a Mother to two girls?
Women can do absolutely anything and we are excellent multi tasker's. I launched Decorate Lane whilst I was pregnant with our second baby girl and having a full time job. My career lifespan has always been in Advertising & Marketing and coming from the Creative industry, I knew from Day 1 on how to build up Decorate Lane.
In terms of juggling a full time career, running your own business and being a Mother to two girls under five, you just need to find the time to compartmentalise the things you need to do for the week. I usually use the weekend mornings, when my second daughter is napping, to do my own product photography for Decorate Lane’s social media channels and post them during the week at lunchtime or after work.
Packing for orders is also done over the weekends where my five year old girl helps out. I try to get her involved as much as I can with the business as it’s good for her to understand that Mummy ‘works two jobs’ and can still take care of them. Kids model after you, and want to be like their Mummy, so it is good to instil such values, “that you can be anything you want to be, if you just invest your time, put your mind to it and believe in yourself”.
I tablescape for when my five year old daughter has playdates over at our house. I like to decorate using what we have at home and lay them on the table for the kids. There are some velvet napkin bows from my store which are child friendly that I tie around their napkins, and girls love all things pink, so these really work and I get a lot of “ooh and ahhs” or “this is so pretty” from her friends.
My daughter had a Cinderella themed birthday party last year and I used what we have at home to elevate the Cinderella themed table setting. For instance I used my own Barbie doll gown which I have kept to this very day for my children, as Cinderella’s gown to be placed on the Mannequin - just like how it’s told in the fairy tale. I also used pebbles that I use for my vases to decorate the birthday cake table. Use what you have at home, you will be surprised at how these items you have can elevate and suit whatever your Birthday theme decor may be.
How does sustainability factor into your everyday life? How are you bringing up your girls to have a more eco-friendly mindset?
My five year old daughter has many cousins from Daddy’s side of the family and they have provided a lot of hand me down clothes and toys for her. I explain to her why it’s important to reuse, reduce and recycle and not to keep buying and buying, which contributes to landfill issues, and also clutters the house.
I have also kept her clothes and toys and have passed them down to her baby sister. I stop myself from shopping for my youngest daughter as her sister’s items are beautiful, quality pieces that I have invested in and can last for years on end. I have explained to my five year old the importance of caring for her belongings so that the next person, be it her baby sister or cousin can then have it when she’s outgrown it. Sharing is caring :)
She also sees that my husband and I send off our clothes to our Filipino helper’s family, so she’s slowly beginning to grasp the concept of reusing and recycling. She has recently learnt about the concept in Kindergarten and when instances like these are explained to her, she is realising how we as a family are contributing to reducing our Earth’s garment carbon footprint.
Where are your favourite places to eat in Singapore as a family?
We love Coastal Settlement, one of the best hidden gems the East of Singapore has to offer. This restaurant is surrounded by lush greenery and has a quaint outdoor area where the kids can sit and play on the old school double sided iron swing they have there.
This restaurant showcases antiques decorated with all things of the past - literally a mini museum filled with retro memorabilia, old paintings, vintage vehicles, nostalgic gadgets and antique furniture. It’s good learning for children to show them what Mummy and Daddy used to have around us when we were their age.
Coastes beach-side bar and restaurant situated along the stretch of Sentosa, is also somewhere we frequent with the girls for breakfast. We love getting a sun bed, then ordering their fav waffles that’s sprinkled with berries, with a pretty dusting of icing sugar. And once their tummies are full, it’s time for some sun, sandcastles and sea, which is just seconds away from the row of sunbeds.
Follow DecorateLane on Instagram here
Shop Jacinta's Closet on Retykle here