It's no secret we have a slight obsession with all things luxe and all things baby (as well as a fairly strong online shopping addiction...) AND we are ALL about making mum life simpler wherever we can (hence why shopping online is, in our mind, essential ;) So when we first came across baby luno and met Louise Norell Carter it was the answer to all our dreams; finally an expertly curated (and personally tested) range of products for Mums, Mums-To-Be and baby all online, in the one place, with free shipping AND the kind of customer service that is one in a million.
Today we chat to Louise (remotely of course, whilst we are all in lockdown)! Where we get this baby product guru's tips on the products you REALLY need, new favourites and keeping sane and successful in the current climate.
TNS: What inspired you to start baby luno?
Louise: I first became a mum December 2013 and at that time, online shopping was not that big in Australia and New Zealand (I sound so old). I am originally from Sweden where online shopping was huge at the time and I saw all these beautiful and practical baby things there but they didn’t ship to my location or shipping costs were very expensive. I became very frustrated with the limited shops that I had around me geographically so with my background in online marketing along with my new found love for baby products, I paired these two together and started to find the best baby products on this side of the world and make them easily accessible to new mums with everything in one spot and FREE Shipping. Along the way, I have come across some amazing brands that I love to help get their products out to more mums too.
TNS: What do you think is the most underrated product for Mum or bub? (that one item that never makes the headlines but should!)
Louise: There are so many but I reckon my top three are a comfortable baby carrier. There is a little bit of a misconception that a baby carrier is just for when you go out in places where the pram won’t fit but a comfortable baby carrier is so good to have just at home in the first few months. Baby has been inside you for so many months and so they feel most comfortable when they are on you, hearing your heartbeat. If they are having a little bit of a tough time, pop them in the carrier and they will most often settle plus you still have your hands free to get things done. It can seriously be a life-saver.
I also highly recommend a sleeping bag at the appropriate TOG rating, which can really help your bub sleep better and we don’t want to mess with sleep. I am also a big believer in dummies and don’t think I would’ve survived the first 2 years without one but many babies are different in this area.
TNS: What are your current favourite products at baby luno?
Louise: I love the BabyDink carrier. Following on from the above, the BabyDink carrier is a really comfortable and easy carrier that you just pop on like a t-shirt. You can wear it all day and slide bub in and out when you need to.
Of course I am also so excited to have created my very own product - the nordic footmuffs, based on a Swedish product, which you put in your pram to keep your baby really warm when you are out in winter. No need for blankets or really warm clothing and you really don’t have to worry one bit about bub being cold. The less worrying we can do as mums, the better.
TNS: What’s the most important item to splurge on when expecting?
Louise: This is different for everyone depending what their priorities and needs are. I am all about making mumlife as easy and comfortable as possible. A practical nappy bag is something I personally prioritised. I thought I could just make do with my regular backpack but when I finally splurged on a proper nappy bag after a couple of months in, I was in heaven and understood why they are a bit more pricey than other bags. Even though I don’t technically need a nappy bag anymore, I use my TNS inserts in every tote that I have because they keep everything so organised and are the best “work bag” with the most perfect laptop pocket I have ever seen and I’m not just saying that because you’re interviewing me ;)
TNS: And the thing that you can save on?
Louise: To be honest, I feel that there is not much difference in the really expensive prams to the mid-level range. They all have different benefits depending on your needs but also you can get a pram half the price if you buy second-hand and many have hardly been used.
TNS: What are your secrets to managing the juggle of running your own business AND being mum of two?!
Louise: I wake up early and work after the kids go to bed. It truly is a tough juggle, especially at this point in time during the pandemic, when I have to fit in homeschooling, entertaining the kids with activities, cook, shop, laundry and all other housework as well as the business and fit in my husband as well (he is a really big help around the house though and my biggest supporter). I try and prioritise my kids during the day and then work in the evening after they go to bed. Of course things come up during the day that I have to do and I do get mum-guilt all the time but when they’re a little bit older you can explain that I have to work for us to be able to live.
You need to be easy on yourself though. Your children are only young for such a short time. I opened the shop when I was 7 months pregnant with my second child, so the first year of the shop, I was new mum-of-2 so I only did a minimal amount in the business but just enough to keep it alive and my goal has always been to keep it running until they got older and I had more time. Next year, both my boys will be at school 5 days a week and so then I can crank it up another level.
I don’t have much time to watch TV or other leisurely activities but I don’t need to. I love working on my business and I am so grateful to have a business that I can work around my kids. I love that I can pick them up from school and be there for them whenever they need me and I focus on that gratitude all the time, which then makes the juggle easier ;)
TNS: With the current state of “lockdown 2.0” in Melbourne, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. What have you learnt/what have been the positives to come from the COVID-19 challenges this year (so far!)?
Louise: I am a very positive person and always try to look at the positive in every situation - there is always at least one! I can’t be a good mother or a good business woman if I am not happy so I try to stay away from things that bring me down like the depressing news and many things that are shared on social media at the moment. It is good to be informed about what is going on in the world but you don’t need to watch the news every day to be so. There’s a fine line between being ignorant and optimistic but sometimes it deserves to be walked for the sake of your mental health. I try and focus on the positives in this recent situation like this amazing family time that we are getting that we didn’t have before, my husband is home helping out so much (I’ve only cooked a handful of times during this lockdown), we still have our health at the moment, I have taught my kids things like geography, languages and sports skills and see them develop every day.
I have to exercise to stay sane and I make it a priority to talk to my family in Europe every day. I will freak out a bit if we go to stage 4 lockdown as that most likely means a loss of income for both my husband and I but we have friends who are in that situation already. Of course, I still get anxiety and down about things but I work really hard to find the positives in every situation and surround myself with people that do the same.
Thanks so much for chatting with us Louise!
Nothing keeps us more positive than knowing we have an online shopping order on its way. So let's go shopping