This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Two Inspiring Single Mums, Parenting Under The One Roof!

Family

Life ain’t easy for one parent families, but when Stephanie Lane and Holly Thompson met, it was a match made in heaven. Steph and her daughter Frida (6) and Holly and her daughter Lola (5) moved in together, forming an unconventional ‘family’, and turning a shared rental house in Kew into a love-filled home.

The pair run Goodspace, a homewares and vintage furniture store that operates primarily over Instagram, born out of a shared love of timeless design and second chances.

We chatted with these two super mums about sharing the parenting load, going into business, and how two families operate together.

21st December, 2020

Holly Thompson and her daughter Lola (5), and Steph Lane and her daughter Frida (6) all live under the same roof together in Kew! Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Holly, Lola, and Frida having a play. Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Holly and Steph are the founders of Goodspace, a secondhand furniture selling business that allows them to work for themselves. Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

This little family are the cutest ever. Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Frida dancing in the living room. Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Steph and Holly describe their family dynamic as a ‘balance of togetherness and separateness’. Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Steph and Frida playing in the girls’ room. Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Frida and Lola think of each other as sisters! Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

A corner of family’s home. Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Lola and Holly hanging out in Holly’s room. Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Steph and Frida in Steph’s bedroom. Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Frida’s got the moves! Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Frida and Lola in the backyard. Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Holly and Lola outside at home. Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Ashe Davenport
Monday 21st December 2020

‘The world’s come a long way, but we’re also kidding ourselves if we think that there’s a lot of support for mothers in all workplaces, and particularly single mothers.’ – Steph Lane.

Steph and Holly are a modern, platonic love story for the ages. Both solo mums and Parents’ Group dropouts, they followed each other on Instagram for a while before deciding to take the plunge and arrange a playdate IRL. The timing was perfect, and the group chemistry was just right. From that moment, they knew they were going to be important people in each other’s lives. A few months after moving in together, Steph quit her job to run Goodspace – a secondhand furniture selling business – with Holly full time. The rest is herstory, and a triumphant one at that. 

As a child of a single mum, Steph and Holly’s story is close to my heart. The world can be a hostile place for single parents, and particularly for mothers, who make up the vast majority of the demographic. A recent report shows that solo mums in Australia are twice as likely to live in poverty as solo dads. The reality is, until there’s more support at a systemic level, solo parents have each other to lean on. 

“If living together has taught us anything, it’s that when we come together as a team we’re capable of just about anything,” Steph says. “The way that Goodspace took off after we started working together is truly a testament to that.”

I’m so interested to know how you share the parenting load. How does it work in your house?

Steph: We live and operate as a family, but are still two separate mothers with two separate children. The way we share the load is more about supporting each other; so we can then support our children. Holly and I work so well as a team, which at the start really surprised us because as people we are so opposite. I think the sharing of the parental and mental load is what initially drew us toward wanting to live together, rather than continuing to try and do it on our own.

Holly: In all honesty, bringing our two families together has been life-changing. We have all been able to thrive in an environment where we can really hold and support each other. It’s also really special for Frida and Lola, because there’s always another mama there to be physically and emotionally available in the times where one of the mamas needs a minute. There is something so magic about two mothers living under the same roof.

What made you want to go into business together?  

Holly: After watching Steph coming home every day totally burnt out and unhappy living out her corporate dreams (insert sarcasm here), over a nice big glass of wine, I proposed to her to quit her job and for us to do Goodspace together. We realised that for us the most important thing was to spend more time with the kids and also be able to make our own money.

Steph: Goodspace isn’t just a business venture for us. It’s an opportunity to build a life for us and our girls in a world that doesn’t usually create easily accessible working opportunities for single mothers. We feel so privileged and lucky to be existing in this space and are super excited for what’s to come.

Did you feel a lack of support in more traditional workplaces?

Steph: The world’s come a long way, but we’re also kidding ourselves if we think that there’s a lot of support for mothers in all workplaces, and particularly single mothers. As a sole carer, I felt the need to explain my situation in job interviews and overcompensate for my “hindrance” as an employee. I felt support in some spaces, but I definitely felt unsupported too. At my last job, if Frida was sick and I had to leave to pick her up from care, I’d be met with eye rolls. Right before I quit, it was brought up that my parenting commitments were “getting in the way.” I was glad to move out of that kind of work environment and into one where I was fully supported. And where I could make it work for me.

My mum was paid child support from my dad, but it meant she couldn’t work without being penalised financially. That was back in the 90s. Is it better now?

Steph: I don’t think much has changed in that regard since the 90s. Society likes to think of single mothers as less than, poor and uneducated however the truth is so far from that. I would say that single mothers are some of the most resourceful, strong and incredible people in our communities. The entire human population would not exist without mothers, but as a society we still have a long way to go when it comes to making space for them.

Holly: The system is set up in such a way that it does act to penalise mothers who are either trying to work or study. Then you’ve got to find a job that works around the kids’ school hours and supports you having to leave for the never-ending parenting commitments. It’s crazy.

I think women often stay in bad relationships because of how punitive the system is. I’m so glad you guys found each other and are flourishing. What’s the chemistry like between Frida and Lola?

Steph: It takes a lot of work. We’d be lying if we said it wasn’t challenging at times to meet our kids’ needs and their emotional needs, while also being in an environment where we’re all together. It’s a balance of togetherness and separateness. We parent very similarly, which helps. And getting that time at their Dads’ houses is great, because it means the kids get a little break from each other. 

Holly: They think of themselves as sisters. They’ve got their own schools, which gives them their own space and their own lives, but they miss each other so much when they’re away from one another. It’s very sweet.

How does dating work? Don’t answer that if it’s too personal.

Steph: It’s challenging… Dating in the Melbourne circle is challenging on its own. Then you factor in being a single mum. Men are scared of mums. But the ones who are able to embrace the mum factor are generally able to embrace us as a family unit.

Holly: As long as they understand that we’re a package deal. And that we don’t need saving. Like, we’ve got it under control.

Family Favourites

Favourite cafe? 

Everyday Coffee. We like to go there and pretend to have business meetings. Sometimes real ones.

Favourite restaurant?

Cam’s Convent for dinner. Great with kids. Better without.

Go-to album?

Our disco playlist that got us through iso. It goes for 4.5 hours. Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, everyone you need!

Sunday morning breakfast ritual? 

Coffee and croissants at the park with the girls.

Weekend getaway?

Phillip Island for a local getaway. Also we like to get up to Queensland once or twice a year. Not this year, obviously, but hopefully in 2021.

Follow Goodspace on Instagram for a treasure chest of vintage furniture finds! 

This Week

Interiors

A Clever Reworking Of A 70sqm Cottage In Hawthorn, Melbourne

Despite being limited to this home's tiny frame, interior designer Rosanna Ceravolo has impressively made the most of its diminutive size.

Interiors

A Coastal Oasis Designed + Built By The Owners

Lauren Patista-Trickey and Jonathon Patista admit being both client and builder/designer was 'a journey', but the result made it all worth i...

Creative People

Meet The Small Melbourne Brand Reinventing The Humble Gumboot

From a humble farm in South Gippsland, Merry People has grown from a grassroots start-up, to a successful brand sold across the globe!
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

Designer Jordan Fleming Makes Playful ‘Creatures’ That Double As Lamps

Her handcrafted pieces are like towering, functional sculptures as tall as people – that look like they could come alive at any moment!
Christina Karras

News

A Summery New Collection By Australia’s Oldest Textile Mill

Shop Waverly Mills’ beautiful new range of blankets, rugs, and throws, with all fabrics made at their century-old factory!
Christina Karras

Homes

A Glamorous Update For An Exemplary Ernest Fooks Mid-Century Home

Modernist architect Ernest Fooks designed some of Melbourne’s outstanding mid-century properties, including the 1960s home of Ilana Moses

Sustainable Homes

A 1980s Bushland Home Built Entirely From Recycled Materials

A mudbrick home in Healesville, Victoria handmade by the owners using salvaged materials.
Amelia Barnes
  17 hours ago

Sustainable Homes

‘Future Ready’: Inside One Of Melbourne’s Newest Sustainable Developments

Mirvac are hoping to encourage sustainable living with their innovative 'future ready' display home in Melbourne's inner west.
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Renovated Fitzroy Home, Inspired By The Candied Colours Of Italian Dessert

This Edwardian brings a delectable taste of Italy to Melbourne with its stained-glass windows and peachy pink interiors!
Christina Karras

Architecture

An Architect + Interior Designer’s Coastal Home, Grounded In Nature

This Sydney family home is like a private treehouse by the beach, with views at every turn, and unexpected interiors.
Christina Karras

News

New Melbourne Brand Saule Have Created The Dreamiest Robes, Just In Time For Summer

Local creative Sally Tabart has designed the ultimate robe for the home, beach and beyond – and it’s all made here in Melbourne!
Christina Karras

Interiors

The Central Coast Home Of The Block Alumni Kyal + Kara

The Australian coastal meets Mediterranean family home of former The Block stars Kyal and Kara Demmrich, on the NSW Central Coast.

Design Eye

Balancing Form + Function In Garden Design, With Peachy Green’s Frances Hale

Landscape designer Frances Hale of Peachy Green shares how outdoor furniture can turn garden spaces into useable living areas, immersed in g...
Christina Karras

Apartments

This Sunny, Yellow Building Is One Of Melbourne's Most Revolutionary Apartments

Tour the newly built ParkLife by Austin Maynard Architects - a super-sustainable complex by Nightingale Housing in Brunswick!
Christina Karras
  1 hour ago

Shopping

Bonnie & Neil's Sunny New Collection Is Inspired By Mediterranean Beach Clubs

Bonnie & Neil are bringing the colours of the Italian coast and Grecian-style prints to our home with their new summer collection!
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Family

Cormach Evans and Coco Eke On Aboriginal Excellence, Pandemic Parenting And Their No Dickheads Policy

We visit the inspiring pair of not-for-profit leaders and their young family at home on the sun-soaked shores of Jan Juc.
Ashe Davenport

Family

Artist Maggie May & Musician Josh Kelly Are Parenting And Running A Business Through COVID And Cancer

2020 has been an exceptionally crappy year for all, but especially for Maggie May and Josh Kelly, parents to 18-month-old Remy and founders
Ashe Davenport

Family

BE. Founder Grace Dlabik On Smashing Stereotypes + Parenting A Child With Disability

Grace's son 17-year son Elijah was born with a complication that led to quadriplegia Cerebral palsy. Despite the significant challenges they...
Ashe Davenport

This Week

Architecture

An Architect + Interior Designer’s Coastal Home, Grounded In Nature

This Sydney family home is like a private treehouse by the beach, with views at every turn, and unexpected interiors.
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Clever Reworking Of A 70sqm Cottage In Hawthorn, Melbourne

Despite being limited to this home's tiny frame, interior designer Rosanna Ceravolo has impressively made the most of its diminutive size.

Sustainable Homes

‘Future Ready’: Inside One Of Melbourne’s Newest Sustainable Developments

Mirvac are hoping to encourage sustainable living with their innovative 'future ready' display home in Melbourne's inner west.
Christina Karras

Sustainable Homes

A 1980s Bushland Home Built Entirely From Recycled Materials

A mudbrick home in Healesville, Victoria handmade by the owners using salvaged materials.
Amelia Barnes
  17 hours ago

Apartments

This Sunny, Yellow Building Is One Of Melbourne's Most Revolutionary Apartments

Tour the newly built ParkLife by Austin Maynard Architects - a super-sustainable complex by Nightingale Housing in Brunswick!
Christina Karras
  1 hour ago

Shopping

Bonnie & Neil's Sunny New Collection Is Inspired By Mediterranean Beach Clubs

Bonnie & Neil are bringing the colours of the Italian coast and Grecian-style prints to our home with their new summer collection!
Christina Karras

Design Eye

Balancing Form + Function In Garden Design, With Peachy Green’s Frances Hale

Landscape designer Frances Hale of Peachy Green shares how outdoor furniture can turn garden spaces into useable living areas, immersed in g...
Christina Karras

Interiors

The Central Coast Home Of The Block Alumni Kyal + Kara

The Australian coastal meets Mediterranean family home of former The Block stars Kyal and Kara Demmrich, on the NSW Central Coast.

Studio Visit

Designer Jordan Fleming Makes Playful ‘Creatures’ That Double As Lamps

Her handcrafted pieces are like towering, functional sculptures as tall as people – that look like they could come alive at any moment!
Christina Karras

Creative People

Meet The Small Melbourne Brand Reinventing The Humble Gumboot

From a humble farm in South Gippsland, Merry People has grown from a grassroots start-up, to a successful brand sold across the globe!
Christina Karras

Homes

A Glamorous Update For An Exemplary Ernest Fooks Mid-Century Home

Modernist architect Ernest Fooks designed some of Melbourne’s outstanding mid-century properties, including the 1960s home of Ilana Moses

News

A Summery New Collection By Australia’s Oldest Textile Mill

Shop Waverly Mills’ beautiful new range of blankets, rugs, and throws, with all fabrics made at their century-old factory!
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Renovated Fitzroy Home, Inspired By The Candied Colours Of Italian Dessert

This Edwardian brings a delectable taste of Italy to Melbourne with its stained-glass windows and peachy pink interiors!
Christina Karras

News

New Melbourne Brand Saule Have Created The Dreamiest Robes, Just In Time For Summer

Local creative Sally Tabart has designed the ultimate robe for the home, beach and beyond – and it’s all made here in Melbourne!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Coastal Oasis Designed + Built By The Owners

Lauren Patista-Trickey and Jonathon Patista admit being both client and builder/designer was 'a journey', but the result made it all worth i...

Similar Stories

Family

Cormach Evans and Coco Eke On Aboriginal Excellence, Pandemic Parenting And Their No Dickheads Policy

We visit the young family at their home on the sun-soaked shores of Jan Juc.
Ashe Davenport

Family

Artist Maggie May & Musician Josh Kelly Are Parenting And Running A Business Through COVID And Cancer

Maggie May and Josh Kelly, parents to 18-month-old Remy and founders of Think Thornbury, share how they've gotten through this exceptionally...
Ashe Davenport

Family

BE. Founder Grace Dlabik On Smashing Stereotypes + Parenting A Child With Disability

Grace's son 17-year son Elijah was born with a complication that led to quadriplegia Cerebral palsy. Despite the significant challenges they...
Ashe Davenport

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net