Pep Oliver shares her before sunrise secrets in this week's Mojo Maker


This week's Mojo Maker is all about Pepita Oliver, or Pep as she is affectionately known. Not only is Pep a solid friend, she is also a creative wiz, a giving soul, and an incredible Mumma of two gorgeous kids.

I am sure you will agree with us, and get inspired by Pep as she shares her inner secrets for an adventurous and fun-filled life!

1. What motivates and inspires you? What keeps your mojo flowing?

Living by the ocean keeps my mojo flowing, just a quick cycle to the beach and a big breath of fresh air whilst looking out to the horizon always centers me, or in summer a quick dip.

It's having that blue space in front of me even with a cluster of confusion, stress, traffic, deadlines and kids tantrums behind me. I can always feel a release when I'm there.

And having a good coffee in hand helps too!

What motivates me are relationships with my people – family and friends and my business relationships.

My kids really do make me check myself and constantly make me aim to be more aware, interactive, happy & focused!



I can sometimes tune out and be thinking about all the things I have to do and I have to practice being in the moment. Which is SO important with kids.

I also like to give myself a big reality check, to keep it real.

If I'm feeling a bit materialistic or my motivations aren't quite right, I think back to my travels and the people I've lived with OS that have nothing and want for nothing.

All they have are their people, no money, and just enough food to survive on.

Then I'm back on track and grateful for everything!

2. Talk us through a typical day in the life of Pep (with those two devine children of yours)!

There's the working day and then the day with the kids.

It's a bit of a scramble to get the kids to day care, but they are fed, teeth cleaned (usually) and then dropped off to day care while I rush back to the house and plonk myself in front of my computer for 7 hours straight and try and bang out as much work as possible.

When I spend the day with the kids, we leisurely get up around 6, sometimes I will attempt to take them for pancakes down the road at Jellyfish, then it's off to the park, or to a play date.

Home for a rest and a sleep for Byron, more work for me, Lilli is either watching her fave shows or getting into her sticker book or drawing.

Then it's another play date, or park date. Usually when it's warmer or not wet, I'll put the bike trailer on and take the kids for a big ride to Shelley beach.

With a head wind, that's a great workout pulling an extra 40kg!



3. What are 3 things you do to nourish your body?

– I like to incorporate a bit of Isagenix into my diet, so I cleanse with wither lemon water or Isagenix Cleanse For Life, then I have my vitamin supplements with my isatonic, and then I have shake for breakfast.

– Have a big bottle of water on my desk that I go through twice a day.

– Hot magnesium salt bath and a good book.

4. How do you keep fit and healthy?

My hubby is home after working away for a few years, so this means I now have time to head out and exercise!

I've joined Manly Beach Running Group, and go for a run with my coach on Monday at lunch around Manly. We get some hill training in there too.

Tuesday night is boxing at the Fight Gym in Manly with a bunch of very sweaty people.

Wednesday night is Beach body circuit training. Lots of burpies/squats/planks and a whole lot of other exercises.

I've never seen before that reach those muscles I've never had before!

I like to do at least one yoga class a week to stretch my body out of it's computer desk worker posture.

I am also going to attempt to not drink on Saturday nights so I can get up for a 10km run on Sunday with the group.

5. What's your guilty pleasure? Honesty please, we promise not to tell :)

Red wine and stinky cheese!

6. Best-ever mojo secrets you swear by?

I wash my hair, blow-dry it and hide behind my fringe if I've had a sleepless night with the kids.

Pretend you're onto it even if you're not!

9. You live in Manly, is that right? What are some of your favourite things about this beautiful (not that I'm biased) Sydney spot?

There is so much to do and see here. On a run the other day I discovered a secret beach which has a waterfall!

There's just so many things for families to do and to see.



There's even fairy penguins that live under the wharf.

Manly has great folk living here too. And some fabulous restaurants and bars. I could go on...

10. How did you get into graphic design? Was there a defining point in your career, and if so, how did it shape you as a designer?

I studied Visual Art - sculptural ceramics when I left school and did a graphic design subject.

I think I was wondering how I'd make a living out of sculptural ceramics so went and studied Visual Communication.

Sometimes I really want to go back and do a degree in fine art!!!

The defining point in my career was when I moved from Brisbane to the Gold Coast and worked at Morrison Media designing an action sports magazine for girls.

They now do Frankie magazine which I also had the pleasure of working on recently. I went from dry corporate work to fun magazine living.

It really was an amazing lifestyle. I met heaps of bands, professional sports people, and my best friends.

I also got to go on free snowboarding and surf trips!

Working at Morrison Media sent me in the direction of the publishing industry which took me to London then Sydney.

11. Why are you now self-employed? Can you tell us more about your business?

I am self-employed and have been for 8 years because it's fun, diverse and I'm really self-motivated.

Initially I worked out of a studio in Surry Hills with a jewellery designer and an illustrator with fashion designers next door.

This was great as I met lots of different people in different fields which opened up my work scope.

There were lot's of collaborations and also some between other artists. They influenced me to get back into art and entering pieces into exhibitions.

Since having children I just work from home in the perfect scenario!

Sometimes I feel the need to get out and take on some freelance magazine work so I can be part of a team and join the rat race for a bit, but mostly I just have a few clients I work closely with who keep me busy.

My work includes anything from designing logos, posters, brochures, to creating kids prints, to re-designing magazines, designing books and a lot of wedding invitations!

12. You recently branched out into designing and producing your own children’s bed linen, did your children inspire you?

Yes, the kids have definitely inspired me! I want to make them things! I even keep paintings and drawings of theirs for inspiration.

I have always wanted to design bed linen and now that I have kids and also more experience with how things are produced, I feel like now is my time.

I'm just setting everything up at the moment, talking to my printer, getting quotes, designing patterns, creating the website, getting my head around everything.

There's a lot to set up! My company is called Before Sunrise. We create stories you can sleep in.

At Before Sunrise, we care about what little people cocoon themselves up in at night-time. Our bamboo fabric is as soft as the cheeks it cradles, and you can rest easy knowing what they’re nestled in has no nasties.

Designer Pepita Oliver has a passion for patterns and in believing a child’s creativity shouldn’t stop at the shut of an eyelid.

With a concern for the plight of refugee kids, an affinity with Sabah, Malaysia, and a hope to spread the dreams beyond the bedroom, every purchase over $100 will see an orphan and child refugee in the village of Sundakan receive a Before Sunrise t-shirt.

Before Sunrise: it’s more than just linen, we create stories you can sleep in.