The Carrier Diaries // The road to motherhood with Aimée Fischer-Gray

Posted by Alex Caisey on

Congratulations on the birth of little Max! We have followed your fertility journey and could not be more happy for you.

Its been a long road, but I think going through everything we did has gifted me with such appreciation and gratitude for this little miracle. Even the sleepless nights don’t feel as ‘scary’ because his little face is just pure magic! A true blessing.

Tell us a little bit about your journey to parenthood?

In 2021, we sadly lost a little boy at 14 weeks. It was absolutely heart-breaking and sadly, so common but rarely talked about. 

After this, we decided to freeze some embryos to give us a little more time & 'take the pressure off'. As a women in her late thirties - that ticking clock was always in the back of my mind.

It was during this process that I found out just how low my egg count was. We did two rounds and only managed to get a couple of eggs that were useable.

To put this into perspective, women can get 20-30 eggs per cycle. I got one during the first cycle and eight the second. Of this, only three were strong enough to be used.

By the end of this emotionally draining journey, Ben and I were able to freeze one embryo. But, I found happiness and appreciation in this - one meant there was hope.

We then started to look ahead, and planned our next year of adventures. We planned a month in Europe and also were starting to look at spending a year or two in Bali.

This is when our world changed forever...! Little Maximus was conceived (by pure chance!).

Amy and Max

Why is it so important to you to share your story?

I believe the more we share, the more we can help others going through the same heart-breaking ordeal. We as a society need to normalise that not all journeys to parenthood are easy.

Being a fitness model and professional, how did your day-to-day life change while being pregnant? 

Sadly, training was definitely a struggle. I always thought I would be able to train the whole way through, but every ‘body’ is different and I had chronic pelvic girdle pain. So, even the most simply training, would leave me not able to walk properly for days. 

Amy fitness

It was here that my maternal instincts kicked in - I had to surrender to my pregnancy and respect my body enough to know training wasn’t serving me anymore. 

What are your top tips to keeping motivated & active during pregnancy? 

My main tip would be to find what works for you and remember that every body and pregnancy is different - so never compare yourself to anyone else. Walking for 20 min a day (with music in my ears) was a must for me and my mental health. I used this time to be alone with my bubba, and really connect with this little human growing in my belly.

Amy pregnant

I would imagine having him in my Sia baby carrier and his little head on my chest! 

*And, I can is THE BEST feeling! 

Amy Sand

My biggest advice would be to embrace this time in your life, and all your  beautiful curves!

Launching a business is a lot like having a baby! Do you have any advice for any mothers out there who have big dreams and want to take a leap of faith to go out on their own?

Have confidence within yourself and know that every successful business started exactly where you are now! 

We're so excited to see you wearing our most sought after pint 'Sand'. What drew you to this print?

Easy, it will go with every outfit in Summer! It has the softest tones that are so versatile.Sand baby carrier

You love to cook, and have a range of beautiful healthy meals that you often share with your audience. What is your go-to family friendly meal?

Slow cooked Spaghetti bolognaise with grated zucchini and Carrot! Simple and delicious - a real crowd pleaser in our house!  

Follow Aimée's holistic approach to wellness and training here and here.

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The Carrier Diaries // Mind, Body and Soul with Meg Audrey

Posted by Alex Caisey on

We sat down with Meg Audrey to chat all things healing and self discovery post-partum, plus - she shares her top tips for travelling with a baby.
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The Carrier Diaries: The Nursing Intimates On Every Mum's Wish List

Posted by Alex Caisey on

As Jenna squeezed in boxes of disposable nursing pads into her luggage, she thought to herself - surely there was a way to create a leakproof maternity bra that was feminine & functional - all while being good for the environment...

It was here that Jenna had her lightbulb moment and decided to create exactly that - designing the must have maternity item: MUMMA MILLA.

From pregnancy, postpartum and beyond - Jenna has created a range of luxurious nursing intimates that are flattering, chic and allow you breastfeed with confidence.

So we invite you to sit back, pour a cup of tea and get to know our next mama muse //

~ Jenna Nelkovski ~
Jenna Mumma Milla Co-Founder

Your bralettes are known for being a real gamechanger, giving Mother's comfort, style, and functionality. Tell us how MUMMA MILLA came to life?

MUMMA MILLA was born during my breastfeeding journey with my first born, George. I remember my ‘lightbulb’ moment vividly. It was George’s first winter and I was upstairs in our bedroom packing  our suitcases for our trip away to Greece. 

It was six months into my nursing journey and by that time I was well into the breastfeeding and baby swing of things. I ran my daily checklist of things I would need to pack: nappy cream, wet wipes, breast pumps, nursing pads.

I remember trying to squeeze in boxes of disposable nursing pads into limited luggage space. I wished for a bra with some sort of built-in pad that I could wash and rotate while away and finally say goodbye to my all-time pet-hate – disposable nursing pads.

Not only did the copious amounts of empty nursing wrappers in the bin not sit with me well from an environmental perspective, but the functionality of them really annoyed me too –how they would show through my clothes, fold in half after nursing or magically fall out and disappear. I did make the switch to washable bamboo rounds, but these would also move around and show through my clothing.

Mumma Milla

Personally, I was never really a traditional nursing bra girl. I found the clips fiddly, uncomfortable but also disliked how they would show through my clothing especially when wearing cami’s during the Summer.

I lived in seamless bralettes when I nursed – I found that pulling them up, down, to-the- side, was the easiest, quickest and the most comfortable for me.

Breastfeeding can be tricky at the best of times, plus all the extras that come with it if you’re expressing milk for your baby when you’re at work too. I remember always having to pack a bag with of all the gadgets –the pumps, the cords, the sterilised bottles, the milk bags, the new nursing pads – it was a lot to juggle. Part of that drive was to create a product that would allow a mum to worry about one less thing – and for me that was a win!

A huge congratulations on being crowned the "Number One Maternity Bra" in the market. How have you managed to get it so right?!

Research and development for MUMMA MILLA happened for nearly two years after my first son George was born. At the time, my mother and I were running Kale & Co an online superfood meal delivery business. It was during this time my second little boy Maxi was born in March 2021.

It was fortuitous I could test this product out whilst breastfeeding Maxi for sixteen months, as it really gave me an idea of true product functionality. There was no better way to test the product first hand which was a real plus.

My prototype development had a journey of its own too. I still have the very first ones, when my mother-in law kindly sewed in my initial leakproof fabrics into a bunch of bras for me to test out. I still have those hand sewn bralettes and they remind me of where it all started.

How has MUMMA MILLA  evolved over the years?

MUMMA MILLA launched in May 2022 with two styles - The Leakproof Day and the Leakproof Night Bralette. I wanted to start small and simple.

Recently we released Collection 2.0 – our latest leakproof maternity intimates.   The newest items – the Leakproof Cami, and the Leakproof Bandeau Bralette complement our first collection, but also offer subtle points of difference. MUMMA MILLA provides breastfeeding mums with chic and comfortable maternity options.

The designs are to take you pre, post and beyond birth with soft and buttery fabrics that are sustainable and eco-friendly.

The feedback we have received has been so rewarding and a source of inspiration to continually improve our designs. It’s really exciting to listen to the experiences mums are having during their breastfeeding journey and to try and help them step out in confidence with MUMMA MILLA.

Jenna Mumma Milla Founder

What is the design process like for developing a product like yours?

The beginning of the MUMMA MILLA design process was tricky. At the time, there was no product like this on the market so it was very hard to find a manufacturer who could ‘see’ and understand my idea. Additionally, most of the product development happened during covid and lockdowns – so turnaround time was lengthy and there were a few unexpected delays.

For the designs, I used a lot of simple methods of hand drawing the shape, style, and functions I wanted the bra to include. Being a bit of a perfectionist, I knew exactly how I wanted them to be in my mind, so the hard part was to make those pieces come to life. I remember receiving my very first prototype and feeling very deflated as it was far from where I wanted them to be. I continued to re-design and fine-tune them and a few prototypes (and almost two years) later I was happy to head into bulk production with the very first collection.

Mumma Milla

You’re a mum of two beautiful little boys – what is your ultimate mum hack?

I feel very lucky that MUMMA MILLA was born along-side my two babies, who I just love to bits. Motherhood really is the hardest, most delightful thing I have ever done - some days I’m defeated, other days I feel productive and energised, but I know I’m trying my best so that is OK for me.

I’m lucky I have great family support around me, especially my husband who gives me great tips and guidance everyday. He pushes me, helps me think outside the box, and his media marketing expertise is wonderful. I also have my mum, who I ran our businesses with for  nearly a decade – her moral support, accounting and logistics mind are invaluable.

The boys are growing up so quickly – so prioritising as much time with them during the day is important for me. When it comes to work, my schedule is not a 9 – 5 one. Days and eveningsare broken up into very segregated blocks of ‘work time’. Whilst Maxi sleeps, and George is either at Kindy or involved in a game of Lego, I try to get as productive as possible.

Hmmm...hacks…I’d say getting dinner ready over lunchtime to avoid having to  cook during witching hour craziness is one trick I have up my sleeve. I’m a big fan of click-and collect groceries – add to cart, done!

Mumma Milla

Launching a business is a lot like having a baby! Do you have any advice for any mothers out there who have big dreams and want to take a leap of faith?

I agree, it’s a bit like having a baby! Just like a newborn, you will grow together over the journey,  learn more about each other, and realise you may have sweated over some small things.

Having children definitely teaches you to become very good at multi-tasking, so having a business with a baby is a plus, because you’ll be great at juggling.

My advice is start small -

  • Baby steps, think of a brand name, set up an ABN. Register your business name and also look into trademarks
  • Create an Instagram account – and post some ‘mood board’ pictures for your own inspiration and  direction.
  • If you have limited budget there are options for you to create your own website. Shopify or Squarespace are wonderful platforms that have beautiful templates that you.
  • Take a three day inDesign/Photoshop course. I did years and years ago,  and it’s one of the best tools I have in my pocket.I have a Media, Marketing and Communications background, so I have taken those skills and continue to do all my graphic and content design for MUMMA MILLA – which is something I really enjoy doing.
  • Take a skill you have from your previous line of work – and inject it into your new project, because no matter what the business, the foundation generally is the same.
If you don’t try, you’ll never know, so take that leap of faith.

    How has babywearing helped you during your motherhood journey?

    I absolutely loved baby wearing, especially with Maxi. It was a game-changer to have my two hands free, whilst running after Georgie.  

    Maxi in the carrier was useful at all times of the day – from going for a walk, hanging washing or vacuuming around the house.

    My favourite thing about baby wearing was  the minute Maxi was put  inside his little ‘cocoon’ he fell asleep instantly. A pretty special way to take him back to his womb days and being able to feel his heartbeat against mine - heaven. 

    Comfort should be at the top of your nursing bra list. Shop the gorgeous range of MUMMA MILLA's leakproof collection here
    + Explore their Bundle and Save options!

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    The Carrier Diaries: Anchoring down on Motherhood & Entrepreneurship

    Posted by Alex Caisey on

    It all started with a handful of unique swaddle designs...

    Fast forward a few years and Anchor & Arrow has evolved into 10 different product ranges, nominations across four stand out categories in the AusMumpreneur Awards, and a boutique in the heart of Freshwater Sydney.

    Bucket HatsIn today's Carrier Diaries, we chat with Lorna, the inspiring mum who amongst working full time in media, longed to tap into her entrepreneur side - and began designing a range of stylish, quality products for growing families. 

    So we invite you to sit back, pour a cup of tea and get to know our next mama muse //

    ~ Lorna Doe ~
    Congratulations on the birth of sweet little Harvey! How is the family transitioning to having a newborn in the house again? We are loving having little Harvey in the family! His older brother is obsessed. Having 2 kids definitely brings another world of challenges, especially whilst trying to run a business but we wouldn't change it. He is gorgeous! 
    From beautiful blooms, to sandy shells and sea turtles - we absolutely adore your signature prints. Tell us a little bit about your hand painted designs? The goal we work really closely towards is that we design prints that are unique and that we really love and fit with our own style. All our prints are hand painted to bring these visions to life. We go through trends of beachy and neutrals to limited edition bright colours like our watermelon and leopard prints. 
    Sleep sack

    Curating and creating beautiful pieces for children seems like a dream job for a mum! How did Anchor & Arrow get started? In my previous life ( before kids) I worked in media and advertising. I was the last of my friends to be ready to have a baby but I always struggled to find them baby gifts that were practical and weren't so baby in the way that they looked. I remember thinking I would go nuts surrounded by dinosaurs and polka dots especially living on minimal sleep and that products didn't have to look so baby so i set out to design my own prints. I found the best quality fabrics I could find and worked with a local artist to bring my visions to life and launched 4 prints which people really loved. From there I just started designing things that I loved and people seemed to really resonate with the style. We also pride ourselves on working with Aussie artists for all of our designs, it brings a unique element to every one of our products.

    Hooded towels
    Launching a business is a lot like having a baby! Do you have any advice for any mothers out there who have big dreams and want to take a leap of faith? Be passionate about what you are wanting to achieve, running a business is a lot of work and it can put a lot of stress on a young family. Make sure what you are wanting to build a business around solving a problem for your audience and find your point of difference. I would also be really clear on your own strengths so that you can outsource the other elements of the business to someone else. I tried to do it all for a while and it's just not possible. You need people around to support.
    Bermuda Carrier
    Take us through a day in the life of running your store in Freshwater? Having the Freshy store is equal parts hard work and rewarding. We love having such a community presence and meeting all of the local parents, grandparents and locals. We have an amazing team who manage the store. An average day includes opening the store up and making sure all stock looks full and gorgeous. We change the display regularly to keep the shop looking different. The team will work on customer online messages throughout the day and most days we will receive a delivery of new stock. One of the most important roles for the shop outside of providing an exceptional customer experience for our in store customers is changing the display to make our new products stand out. For example we are preparing to have the Sia Baby carriers arrive in store and have been shuffling things around to showcase the new product as best as we can.

    How babywearing has helped you transition back into work life? I couldn't have lived without my carrier. From a few weeks old I had Harvey strapped to me, he really didn't want to be put down so wearing him made it possible to work and do every day tasks. Many of our customers will have seen me wearing the Sia carrier with Harvey in it in store. It gave me my hands back to serve customers, respond to emails and we even designed a whole new range with him pretty much strapped to me the whole time. At home I would use the carrier just to do basic things like hang the washing out. The carrier is my most important baby item.

    What is your number one mum hack? Arggggghhhh I feel like there are heaps but they change with every baby. Always have your carrier in your pram, car or nappy bag. I often grocery shop now with baby strapped to the front of me and toddler in pram. It's the only way to multi task.

    Anchor & Arrow exclusively stocks Bermuda, Coral and Sand in their Freshwater Boutique.

    Boutique Location: Shop 24, Lawrence St, Freshwater, 2096

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    The Carrier Diaries: Re-inventing self-care with Elizabeth Hewson

    Posted by Alex Caisey on

    Say hello to Elizabeth Hewson. A recipe writer, cookbook author, head of creative at leading hospitality group Fink and most recently, a columnist for The Weekend Australian Magazine.
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