Deb aka Bee-Bee to friends and loved ones has an energy and warmth that is infectious. With her husband Eugene Tan they are the founders of Aquabumps, the iconic photography lifestyle brand and gallery in Bondi.
I first discovered their iconic images which documents the beach from all angles, while I was living in London and have to admit that seeing those incredible photos made me want to move to Sydney. Bee-Bee and Eugene live in Bondi with their two boys Jet aged 8, and Spike 6, who shot the most beautifully candid photographs using a film camera at their out of town beach shack. We hope you love the interview as much as we did. Meet, Bee-Bee!
1. What do you love about being a mother?
The pureness of the love that children give you. I’m a heart girl and live for love, so only wished I had more of them to love! The opportunity to create good humans, kind respectful boys with good manners, an open heart and a passion for travel adventure and looking after our world.
2. What do you find the hardest thing about being a mother?
All of it. The Mothers guilt when I forget to put their news in for homework (that was just this week) and I remember at the grocery store. Balancing work and being there for them – and there for them, present, patient and at the same pace they operate at (slow and never in a rush). Being consistently patient is the hardest thing for me. I have to constantly check myself to say “Deb they are only little and they got up at 5 am, they are tired like you are” so the fact they are screaming at you and not listening to anything you say – take a breath and communicate calmly.
3. What are your go-to beauty products and any favourite brands?
Rationale for my skin! I’m 43 turning 44 soon and we live on surfboards and at the beach in the sun, so it’s my non-negotiable splurge for aging gracefully. Good skin means you just need sunscreen and go live life! I keep it simple, occasionally wear volume mascara by Kevyn Aucoin is the best, because you can roll it off in the shower.
If I go out, I love this tinted hydrating gel-cream by bare minerals
By day - it’s all about keeping my skin protected with a tinted sunscreen like this Invisible zinc SPF 30
For a fresh dewy cheek, I adore benefit cheek and lip tint
4. How do you manage to stay in shape?
I’m the weirdo that loves to exercise – it’s my moving meditation and I try to move my body every day for my mind and to keep up with my very energetic boys. I go to the Well in Bondi for classes and I train with my hubby once a week with Trent Knox training and power living is my happy place for yoga.
5. How do you find time to rest and relax?
I’m very bad at that – but we have a little shack up the coast and we are often the only people on the beach. I relax here, lunchtime naps – slow mornings. It’s the complete opposite of our life in Bondi and we need that, as a family and for my hubby and I and us personally. Other than that, it’s facial at Rationale every 8 weeks or so and yoga for me is also a time to slow my mind and relax. Swim before school happens most days in the warmer months and I find that far more relaxing with the boys than being at home. I sleep like a log too – my husband calls me the white Tongan.
6. Where are your favourite places to go in Sydney, restaurants, cafes, kids activities etc.?
We don’t go out that much at night – brekkie we occasionally have at our local UMU in Bondi, Love The shop and Lock Stock in Bondi. Our boys are mad skateboarders, so our weekends are spent at skateparks all over Sydney. I’m a surf, skate mum – will travel outside of Bondi for both!
7. What are your favourite things to do together?
Travel and surf or watch them do skate tricks, they are very good at it and I’m so proud of them. I love travelling with our boys now they are a little older. They don’t notice if it’s a $2 a night joint or a fancy hotel – they are constantly in awe of it all which makes me so happy. I hope they always see the beauty in things because I live for seeing the world through their eyes.
8. Any travel tips with small children or a new baby?
We were on a travel ban after a terrible flight back from Hawaii when Spike was about 18 months. I would never say don’t travel, cause it’s in my blood and I am happiest with my family on the move, but maybe don’t go off to Europe or far, stay local when they are little and save up for the big adventures when they can appreciate it and you can actually have a holiday with them. My boys are now 8 and 6 and are the best travel buddies ever. There are still meltdowns occasionally – but they are such good company to adventure with. We’re the yes family – you want to swim with whale sharks – yes! You want to go on the flying fox – yes!
9. Where is your favourite place to vacation with your family?
Hawaii, Mid North Coast, Byron, Cook Islands, we just did a road trip to WA – AMAZING and just got back from New Caledonia it’s a 2.5-hour flight away and we love New Zealand!
10. Who's your favourite fashion brands, and what's your signature style?
Brands: Bassike, Zimmerman, matteau, Matin, anything Isabel Marant and have a soft spot for bikinis – my go-to are Fella for cut and quality.
Style – is a little luxe boho, comfort is everything and prefers to be barefoot if appropriate!
Debs wears Love Letters JS necklace in 18k solid yellow gold.