My #showtherealyou girl this week is a #girlboss, a #mumma to two boys, a #basketballerswife, a #traveller… and I could go on and on with the #hashtag titles for Mrs Lou Carter.
From the first time I spoke to Lou (over email), I was inspired straight away. She was so professional about collaborating together for her business Baby Luno, yet she had such a calming, nurturing, aura about her and was so supportive to a hormonal pregnant mumma (in my first trimester) like me. I instantly clicked with Lou and we have continued to grow and blossom our friendship since that very first email over 6 months ago.
I haven’t actually met Lou in person because she has been running her business from Europe (even though it is Australian based), while her husband follows his dreams as a professional basketballer. I cannot wait till she returns as we can have a wine (maybe post breastfeed though haha).
I know you will love learning about how Lou manages her online business, deals with the everyday mumlife challenges and travels Europe.
I introduce to you all …
Favourite hot drink?
COFFEEEEE! I get way too excited when I about to have coffee and I drink way too much of it. I like it strong a completely black. The coffee is terrible in the UK (sorry UK readers) and I miss my Melbourne long blacks dearly.
Can you tell me who the REAL Lou Carter is?
Wow! Tough question! The short version – I am a mother of 2 boys (1 and 3 yrs old), wife to a professional basketball player, living in a different city every year and founder of online baby shop, babyluno.com
Here is the longer version…
I am originally from Sweden but I have hardly lived there. From age 2, I grew up in Luxembourg (a small country in the middle of Europe) then went to Sweden for 3 years of high school and then went to Australia to travel and met my (now) husband. I was head over heels so I decided to move to Australia for University at UNSW in Sydney.
My husband is a professional basketball player and usually his contracts are about 8-10 months so we move around a lot for his career. In the past 10 years we have lived in Sydney two separate times, Melbourne three separate times, twice in Adelaide, a stint in Perth, a year in Auckland New Zealand, three different cities in Sweden, lived in Spain for a few months and are currently living in Plymouth in the U.K. If someone asked me where my home is, I wouldn’t be able to give them an answer. My blood is Swedish and very proud of that beautiful country but when I am in Sweden, I feel like a little bit of a tourist. I probably feel more at home in Australia now but I definitely feel like a tourist there too. I do have 2 little Aussie boys now though who have that beautiful Aussie accent :). I am pretty good at just making wherever we are, our home. Home is definitely just where the heart is.
My two sons are 3 and 16 months. I am absolutely loving being a mother. There are definitely tough days, especially when dealing with sleep deprivation and we live far away from family and friends so we don’t get much of a break but seeing these creatures, that I made, develop is the coolest thing in the world. To be honest, I had no big interest in kids before I had my own. I was very career driven, loved traveling and loved a party but now I feel that children are the most important thing in life – both mine and other children. So that is one way how the REAL me has changed a lot in recent years.
My newest baby is my online baby shop called Baby Luno babyluno.com, which is based in Australia. My career background is in marketing and especially online marketing so I decided to make use of that and joining it with my passion of babies. It is only over a year old so it is still taking off but I love having my own business especially as a mother. I have something that is mine and something to do other than just being a mum and I am continuously learning new things about having your own business. Running the business having two toddlers around comes with some challenges and running a business from overseas is also challenging at times. The time difference means that the best time to chat to customers and suppliers is in my morning but this is usually when I have the kids. I do have a lot of mum-guilt as I hate being on my laptop or phone in front of the kids so I really try not to be, only for a few urgent matters. However, my husband does help with the kids a lot. Just as I am supportive of my husband’s dreams, he is incredibly supportive of my dreams and goals so we make it work quite well.
These are the things that make up the REAL Louise Carter but other than that I am quite open-minded and go with the flow, but also quite passionate about things I care about. I try and always look on the bright side of life, I laugh quite easily (so my husband thinks he’s the funniest person ever), I am very close to my family even though we are all spread out, love meeting new people and love sports!
What drove you to create your Instagram account and online business Baby Luno?
I have my personal Instagram account @mrsloucarter that I created mainly to keep in touch with all family and friends around the world and to keep them up to date with what we are doing. Since we live so far away from all our friends and family, it is a nice way to share with everyone what happened that day since I don’t have many others to chat to.
When we were living in New Zealand when my first boy was just a baby, I found it so difficult to find the baby products that I wanted and I would try to find them online but only American websites would pop up that didn’t ship to where I was so the idea for Baby Luno was born. I finally launched the website when I was 7 months pregnant with my second baby. It was maybe not ideal timing but also because of that, I was my main audience so I would market the way that I would find attractive and bring in products that I loved. I run the Baby Luno Instagram account myself @babylunoshop. I try and add a few bits and pieces that are not just marketing, like some blog posts from, for example, the amazing Alice in Healthyland :). You want to give your followers some extra value. It’s all a learning process.
Not many people know this about you, but you run your online boutique Baby Luno, you are a mumma and you support your husband by living overseas with him while he chases his dream? Tell us more how you do this with children? This blows my mind! What a life! Amazing Lou!
Aww, thank you! Well we started moving around due to my husband’s career before kids and before Baby Luno. It was exciting getting to live in different places so I was loving it. It was maybe not ideal for my career. I was lucky enough to get jobs everywhere we went but we did decide to have children when we did since that way I didn’t need to work for a while and could just focus on raising them.
Of course, moving around does get more difficult when kids are involved, especially when you throw in different time zones. Sleeping routines are not always easy to follow and I am one sleep-deprived mama. Right now we are in the process of moving again and I am starting to sell and give away a few of the kids’ toys and it is not easy but I am so impressed at how well they are taking it. My 3-year old is now really excited to give away his toys and the other day he said “the boys who don’t have any toys will get happy”. That melted my heart. We may be raising a little minimalist. We have also started telling him how he will start at a new Swedish Kindy soon and he is so excited about it. I am amazed at how adaptable children can be – probably more than us adults.
There are definitely some challenges to living like we do but we just choose to focus on the amazing positives. We get to live in different parts of the world – really become a part of the culture, connect with people that we would have never met otherwise, see how a country really works and have very different life experiences. We love taking advantage of these opportunities especially when the kids are young before they start school. In the end, it is all about your story.
My husband’s career will not go on forever so we will settle down in one place soon but being from different parts of the world, I am sure we will always be travelling a little bit. It will eventually be nice to have our own place and decorate the kids rooms with our own furniture that we love and most importantly make really deep connections with people, be able to attend our friends’ weddings, birthdays etc that we have missed way too many of.
What is your favourite quote or mantra?
My favourite quote/mantra is definitely “The happiest people don’t HAVE the best of everything, they MAKE the best of everything”. It doesn’t matter what you have, where you live or what the weather is like, you can still make life into the best adventure by just deciding to be happy and making it the best. It is all about your attitude.
My husband and I also always have this saying when crazy things happen or offers come up from teams in cities far away, we always just say “It’s all about your story”. Make life the best story you can. When you are lying on your deathbed, that is what you will remember.
How often do you find the time to move your body?
I go to the gym at least twice a week where I either do a Body Pump class or HIIT class and take my boys with me to the creche there that they love. This is a booked in time that I never miss so no excuse. I get in to different routines in every place we move to. It depends what is best accessible to me – sometimes it’s bikram yoga or playing sports or just running but I have never felt in better shape than what I am in right now, which I am quite proud of. I may also have my boys to thank for that since I am constantly running after them (who are both sports crazy) so I hardly stop moving my body.
I almost only wear SIX30 activewear.The company was started by one of my friends and I absolutely love her designs. She is also one of the people that inspired me to start Baby Luno because she also runs the website luxefitness.com.au which is a one-stop activewear shop collecting the best activewear. I love supporting small businesses and especially when it’s someone I know. I also loved Cadenshae’s nursing sports bras while breastfeeding – this is why I started stocking their products on babyluno.com.
Something you practice daily that promotes self love?
I try and listen to a motivational YouTube video every day to get my mind straight. My favourite is Tony Robbins. He talks a lot about how you are in control of how you feel – it is a decision. The thing that always lifts my spirit though is just putting on some great music and dancing around. It usually turns into a family dance party since my two boys love to dance and sometimes hubby joins in too.
Favourite product/outfit currently on Baby Luno?
I love every single product on Baby Luno. That is why I bring them in because I want to make my favourites more available to other mothers because I had trouble finding all the things that I wanted when my boys were babies. I am so impressed at all the mumpreneurs out there that have created these amazing innovative products. The nursing activewear is definitely a best seller. Also I am really trying to collect the best baby bags out there and have brought in my favourite Swedish baby brand, Elodie Details, to make it easily accessible for all my fellow Aussies :).
What advice would you give to other people out there wanting to start a blog/business?
Just decide to do it and decide that it will be a success! You don’t have to have all the answers before you start, you can figure it out along the way. Just make a decision about something and go 100% – if it is the wrong decision, you will either quickly realise it or you will be so invested in it that you will make that the right decision in the end and you will be a lot further than if you hadn’t made a decision at all so don’t be afraid. Everyone makes mistakes but you just make sure that you learn from each mistake so the more mistakes you make, the better you will be because you will have learnt so much.
It is also great to have a mentor. Talk to someone that has done it before and get some tips rather than trying to reinvent the wheel on your own. They would have already made some mistakes and learned from them so then you don’t need to make those mistakes again and you can learn from their mistakes as well.
Want more from Lou?
Thanks for reading,