Blog

Our Story

Hi guys! If you have found yourself here, I guess you are wanting to know a little about us and what has lead us here. Well here it goes, our or should I say my first blog post. (ahhhhh scary! Please be kind.) 

So, let’s start from the beginning shall we? Our names are Kaitlyn & Louis and we are a husband and wife duo team who began our journey together back in 2011. We fell in love, moved to Sydney (hated sydney! Sorry if you love it!) and quickly decided it wasn’t for us, we moved back to the Central Coast and moved in with my parents (Hi, its Kaitlyn) After a couple of years (Sorry mum and dad, we were longer than we thought!) we both decided that we wanted to purchase our first home together. By this stage I was only 20 years old and had always dreamt and had a very strict goal on myself that I would purchase my first home (or block of land) before the age of 21. After lots of research and a lot of persuading from me we decided we were going to build our first home. I just snuck in with only 2 months to go till I was 21! 

When we purchased our block of land, it was a total fluke to be honest. I have been doing lots of researching and found some land development on the northern part of the central coast which was about a 40 minute drive from where we both grew up our whole lives. However it was affordable, reasonable and had major room for growth. After I convinced Louis to just come take a drive and take a look we went up on Saturday with my parents to check it out. We drove around the estate and pulled up to the land. We instantly felt excited and like it was going to be the one. We went straight to the real estate office and sat with a sales consultant talking about the block. Before we knew it we were coming back to the office with our .25% deposit and signing a contract for our first bit of real estate. Want to know the crazy part? We hadn’t even gotten pre approval, but typical to us, we just went with the flow and took the chance. 

Luckily, we had a great mortgage broker and he got us our much needed loan approval, in a blink of an eye we were now going to be home owners! This was a first real home together, it was our first major purchase and was scary as all hell. We thought this was going to be our home for a long time, at least 5 plus years before we even thought of moving, so we decided to do certain upgrades that cost a bomb but we didn’t care as we were going to be in this house a while right?

Well as all new home builds go you always miss things (I will get into this in another blog post) and as we didn’t come with any furniture we soon found ourselves trying to find entertainment units to fit our niches as we didn’t even think to adjust them to suit furniture (rookie error!), Of course they weren’t standard sizing. This became really difficult so Louis being Louis thought he would give it a crack and try and make his own. I was very skeptical but remained positive and encouraged him to give it a go, and boy did he deliver! It was exactly what I had in mind and it looked like we had just bought it from a store. This is where his love for timber started, before we knew it I had two entertainment units and 2 handmade vanities in my parents lounge room waiting for our house to be finished. (Thanks mum and dad!) 

We moved into our new home, and I loved being able to decorate and style our house to suit our style, I always had a passion but it was now that our love for home decorating and design was really taking off, it grew so much so we started making items to fill our home and decorate it (I was spending too much money – oops!).  One day I had the brilliant idea for Louis to make some Blackbutt Timber Shelves to match our entertainment unit he made to which he thankfully mis-measured one shelf  this resulted resulted in our first ever Bath Caddy. This is when our business Essie Living (formally Neek&Co) was born. 

Whilst we were enjoying living in our very first home and excitedly trying to build our business our once massive 4 bedroom home was becoming very small. You see it was about 6 months after we moved in that my parents sold their family home of over 21 years to build their dream home on the waterfront in Lake Macqaurie. Since they had let us stay with them for over 3 years we felt it was only fair we allowed them to stay with us whilst their home built however this was all happening only 2 months out from our wedding.  

About 6 weeks before our wedding, my brother has a terrible car accident which involved him being trapped underneath his car for some time, he suffered terrible injuries which meant he was in hospital for weeks without being able to move, when we was finally released from hospital we wasn’t able to return to his family home due to him needing to learn to walk again and his house being 2 stories. So our “large” 4 bedroom home soon became home to Louis and I, my parents and then my brother, his wife and their 2 beautiful children. Our house was now feeling very small and crowded. 

Before we knew it, they were ready to go back home and it returned to some normality with just us 4 being at home. We were still plugging away with our business but our garage was being completely taken over by orders. Our house was being taken over by our business and we were struggling with what we should do with ourselves and our home.

We found ourselves back to just being us, however our home very quickly lost it’s “new” feeling and the sense of it just being something special between us. After only 1 year we decided to sell our home and buy somewhere bigger for our business and a different area. 

In this time crazily we decided that we would also build another home as an investment in Newcastle. Whilst this was being built we were getting ready to put our house on the market whilst looking for another home to purchase. Nothing was really catching our eye until we found a property we both loved, we thought it was perfect! We found a buyer for our place and everything seemed to be falling in line perfectly, until our buyer had to pull out of the purchase for unforeseen circumstances. We were devastated and we didn’t want to miss out on this house so we asked for an extension and had to try and get the bank to allow us to have 3 mortgages! Crazy I know, at only 23, I was about to try and get 3 mortgages, just as I was about to get the call for our approval (within the hour!) the real estate agent called to advise the owner actually needed the property herself so she wasn’t able to sell it anymore. We were gutted. We pulled our house off the market and waited. 

We still continued to look for that perfect house and after lots and lots of searching, I seen a house come online and the layout and design of the house seemed perfect!! I convinced Louis that we should go take a look even though our house wasn’t on the market and to our amazement we instantly fell in love. We knew it was the one and we just had to have it! Again crazily we put in an offer and paid a .25% after our offer was accepted (after going back and forth with someone else trying to buy it!) we then had to hurry and get our mortgage broker to amazingly get us approved for 3 mortgages, again! We also quickly got our house ready and put it on the market within the week. Thankfully we got a sale really quickly after we thought we were going to have to rent out the new house and before we knew it we were moving in to our new home. 

This home was perfect, with some changes to the floor plan and some amazing renovations, it is going to be our dream home. It has allowed us to bring our business back home after we rented a warehouse and opened our first store, which meant more time home together and a better work life balance, well kinda. As of today, we are now 25 and 28 (he is soon to be 29) both working full time, renovating our dream home, running a business and crazily taking on another build. 

It has been a crazy, mammoth 4 and half years but I really don’t see it slowing down. We have so much planned and so many ideas that we can’t wait to share with you all. 

Stay tuned, I will be sharing all our tricks and tips on building a new home, what it is like renovating and the progress of it all. 

I hope I didn’t bore all of you 🙂 until next time. 

K & L xx