In our latest interview, we caught up with friend and successful online business owner, Louise Carter. Louise is founder of baby luno, an online baby store selling an extensive range of baby products sourced by Louise herself, from some of the best small and large baby brands across the world.
Mum of two boys, Louise’s idea for baby luno came from her own frustrations of not being able to find quality baby products in Australia and New Zealand after her first son was born. This led her to see a gap in the market. She wanted to create an online store that she wished she had as a new mum with everything in one place. This also offered exposure to different brands that might have trouble getting their products out there, many run by amazing mumpreneurs.
In her interview, Louise shares more about what inspired her to start baby luno, three tips for anyone thinking of setting up an online business and her upcoming trip to South Africa, to visit the Under Four Trees Schools to help children in the nearby community attend these schools.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and baby luno.
I am a mum of two boys and am originally from Sweden. I have lived in many different places around the world including a number of years here in Australia now.
My background is in media and marketing with a lot of focus on online marketing so when I became a new mum, starting an online baby shop came somewhat natural. Baby luno is an online baby store focusing on everything you need in the first year of motherhood. It is the store that I wish I had as a new mum with everything in one place, innovative high-quality products, located in Australia and free shipping.
What inspired you to set up your business?
When I was a new mum, I was frustrated that I couldn’t find the things I was looking for in Australia or New Zealand. I would pay loads in shipping to purchase items from the USA or Europe. I am also someone who wants to find things quickly and want it all to be in one spot.
There is an online baby store in Sweden that everyone shops at multiple times for everything baby related. I took that idea and wanted to bring it to Australia as I found that it didn’t really exist. Eventually I found lots of beautiful clever innovative products from small local businesses that I want new mums to find. I like to be able to help small businesses to get their products out there and to help new mums find the best products available to make their life easier.
What do you feel are the baby essentials every new mum needs?
There are so many baby items out there now that can make motherhood so much easier but it depends on what your lifestyle looks like. I would say being comfortable and having a happy baby would be most mums’ priorities. Therefore, I would say the essentials are a supportive nursing bra, comfortable breastfeeding clothes as well as a baby carrier as that is where baby is happiest and you can have your hands free and get things done. Our best-sellers are our nappy bags, so finding a really good bag that can last you for years is a good priority too. I focus on longevity and only choose products that can last for years and are of very high-quality.
What’s been your biggest highlight / achievement for your business?
There have been a few financial goals along the way that have been real highlights. One would’ve been when I got back my initial investment that I put in to the business. Another big highlight was that I recently hired my first ever employee, which is something I have been striving towards since day one.
In October, you are travelling to South Africa to visit the Under Four Trees Schools to help children in the nearby community attend these schools. Can you tell us a little more about this project and why it’s important to you?
I have always wanted to help give back to the community and have been striving towards this in my business. It is difficult to know when you are ready and what cause to choose but this one is personally dear to my heart. It dates back to when I travelled to Tanzania in Africa for the first time when I was 13 years old. It was an amazing experience for a teenage girl who’s biggest issues were gossip and boys. My mother had brought pens and notepads to give to little kids and I have never seen anyone get filled with more joy than these kids. I still remember their smiles as if it was yesterday. I told my family that one day, I want to return to Africa and build a school for kids to attend for free and get meals and loads of pens. Education is a gift that keeps on giving and with an education they can earn money and live a good life and buy their own pens.
I am not quite in a position to build a school yet. However, in October 2019, I am travelling to South Africa and am going to help the Under Four Trees Schools to help children in the nearby community attend these schools.
By law, in South Africa, students must wear a school uniform to attend school but many students cannot afford this and therefore are unable to attend school. In addition the school also feeds the children. So I will be travelling there with my mother and will buy school uniforms myself and hand them out to the children. I am fundraising towards this cause and a percentage of every order placed on babyluno.com from the 1st September to the 20th October 2019, will go towards this cause.
What three tips would you give someone who is thinking of setting up an online business?
- It depends on the type of business but just be prepared to not make a profit in the first three years. Marketing and building a brand takes time and money. Be in it for the long haul.
- If you are by yourself, be sure to connect with others and get help. Whether it’s an agency to help with Public Relations (PR) or marketing, a business coach or a business partner. It is very difficult to do it completely on your own. It is great to outsource tasks and have someone that is in your corner trying to help you. It is great to just have someone who understands your business to bounce ideas off. Not only will you reach your goals quicker but having your own online business can be quite isolating and lonely so it is great for your mind and well-being too.
- If you’re an online business then stick to online marketing but it is a jungle out there and it is difficult to be everywhere so be sure to focus on certain marketing channels to start with and get really good at those, after a while you can add more channels or outsource. I currently focus on email marketing, Facebook ads and Instagram, while I outsource Google Ads and SEO.
We know you have lived and travelled different places around the world but what is your favourite thing about living in Australia?
I absolutely love Australia and have now actually lived here longer than anywhere else in the world so I am starting to feel quite Australian, especially since having little Aussie kids too. I love how Australia is a country that’s sports orientated, as I love sports myself and I also love how it is very multicultural. There are many different backgrounds and being international myself, I love learning about other cultures, their ways of life and especially eating different cuisines. Also, being from a very cold Sweden, the climate in Australia is beautiful even though Melbourne weather has been a bit crazy lately.
Finally, what’s next for baby luno?
I want to grow, expand, bring in more products, more brands and more staff, which is all on the horizon. The thing I’m most excited about is that I will be dipping my toes into manufacturing my own products in the near future. After years of knowing what products work well, I feel that it is time to create something of my own so stay tuned.
My name is Louise. I am a mum of two and founder of baby luno. I am currently located in Melbourne, Australia but am originally from Sweden. When I was 18 I came to Australia where I met my husband and now have a 6-year old and a 3-year old, both boys. The idea for baby luno really came from my own frustration of not being able to find the things I was looking for in Australia or New Zealand as a new mum. This led me to see a gap in the market. I have worked hard to collect the best baby products all in one spot from some amazing small (and large) baby brands. My goal is to make motherhood easier for mothers by having quality products that make mumlife better and also to give extra exposure to different brands that might have trouble getting their products out there. I love working with small businesses, many run by amazing mumpreneurs that we try and grow our brands together. Baby luno is for mums by mums supplying over 30 baby brands. We sell tried and true quality products that last.