Co-founder of Vanishing Elephant and now working on many other creative projects, Huw Bennett is the ultimate man about town. Now the director of Worktones – a new company that sources clothing for businesses in Australia, including merchandise for Gelato Messina – Bennett is busier than ever. But there’s always time to take his daughter, Violet, to the park, or to the kitchen for a coconut.
Broadsheet: Tell us about Violet, what's she like?
Huw Bennett: She’s almost 18 months old, which means she’s a handful and starting to challenge our theory of the dream child. She is incredibly determined, for the most part very happy and posseses a vast amount of energy. Naturally, I think she’s the best and can’t believe how much love fills my heart when she flicks me a little smile or, more recently, gives me a big cuddle around the neck.
BS: How has your work life changed since she was born?
HB: Dramatically. Initially when she first came along we didn’t really know what to expect but were lucky that our work offered a lot of flexibility (Huw’s wife, Holly Garber, is founder and managing director of PR agency, Golightly). It’s taken a while to find a new rhythm that allows work to get done but also one that still means I’m home for bath time, and other such milestone moments.
BS: How has your personal life changed since she was born?
HB: Personally, it’s incredible. Having a child has adjusted all social connections. Outings on my own are so special, just to have some time out, and then the adjusted personal time of having Violet is surreal! My weekends now involve playgrounds, sand pits and bike tracks. Hangovers and late nights are a real thing of the past, and for good reason.
BS: Is Violet showing any interest in what she wears yet, being the daughter of two parents working in fashion?
HB: She’s interested in dressing herself but not too fused about particular pieces. She does have specific favourites each week when it comes to shoes – her most recent pair was some vans with Mini Mouse prints on them. She took particular pride in these when they came home.
BS: Has anything surprised you about becoming a dad?
HB: It’s a full-time gig. I love kids and always enjoyed spending time with friends’ kids, but it’s totally different with your own. It doesn’t end with entertaining for a couple of hours. It’s all eyes on you.
BS: How are you spending Father's Day this year?
HB: Ideally a small sleep in before breakfast at Ruby’s Diner, the same cafe we go to each morning, then the day’s my oyster. I’m sure there is a good surprise in store for me.
BS: Your best piece of advice for dads with daughters?
HB: Don’t be afraid to spend time with your daughter at the playground. It seems during working hours mainly mums frequent the playgrounds, and this can be daunting for dads. It was for me and other friends of mine. It’s time to throw the stereotypes out the window and realise that parents are the new carers, not just mums.