I first 'met' Lisa back in 2011. She was a Bloomer Queen and a true 'Handmaiden'. The Facebook handmade businesses were taking over the world (back before sponsored posts and algorithms!) and Lisa was there, a headliner in that world that I was slowly breaking my way into.
I was a Doll Maker (my business was called Ruby&Mud) and had the absolute privilege to be involved in several collaborations and handmade market nights with Lisa and her stunning work.
At the end of 2015, I began planning a 'Princess' party
for my (then) almost two year old girl. I found a 'BNWT' (brand new with tag) pair of Princess Lou Lou's for sale on a handmade buy and sell page. I snatched them up for maybe $20, and they were 'vintage' (circa 2012/2013) as such, because I remember Lisa had closed her virtual Bloomer shelves (she shares about that in the interview, below).
I took a few party shots for my Instagram feed, and one shot had the Bloomers in it.
I thought of Lisa, and decided to hunt for her, but was unsuccessful.
The sweet Princess Bloomers that I scored!
A month or so later, she was back. Some how I got a glimpse of a Bloomer that someone shared, and I knew they were hers. I tagged my image (and freaked Lisa out - as she had no idea who I was and what this tagging was - haha!) and the rest - was history!
After much encouraging (ok begging) her to believe that the "new Facebook" (aka Instagram) would love her and her Bloomers, just as much as the oldies did, she had to come to terms with it - and she's GONE FOR IT!
Check Lisa and her amazing Bloomers out here
, and her Instagram feed here
Ok, lets do this!
~ Lisa "Lou Lou" and her incredible Bloomers ~
1. Introduce yourself in a sentence or two. Who are you? Where do you live? What do you do?
My name is Lisa AKA 'Lou Lou' or 'Lisa Jane' when I'm in trouble! 😉
I'm 34, living in a small country town in Qld with my hubby, juggling my mumlife of two gorgeous kids & my small handmade biz 'Little Lou Lou'.
2. What has been your career/creative journey up until now.
Like so many mums, motherhood has really changed the trajectory of my career path and made me really examine my priorities and the direction my life was heading.
I was actually studying psychology at University when I first stumbled upon the Australian handmade community in my Facebook feed way back in 2010, and I became really enchanted with the idea of having a small creative biz while still being able to stay at home with my daughter.
I was in awe of all of the other hustling mamas & the thriving creative community and I just really wanted in! Which, looking back, was kinda cray because I couldn't sew a stitch, but the thought just wouldn't let me go, so I convinced my hubby that I needed a sewing machine and started teaching myself.
Somehow my new hobby turned into a little biz that was taking up a lot of my time and I decided to take a study 'break', and although I loved Psychology, Ive never really looked back!
3. What made you decide to make and sell your gorgeous 'Bloomies'?
I had bought a pair of beautiful handmade Bloomers for my baby niece and I thought they were the cutest item of clothing I had ever seen!
It's funny thinking about all of the things I could have chosen to make, why I decided on Bloomers, but they were really popular at the time & a relatively quick sew so I decided to just have a crack at it!
My first pairs were awful, real shockers! Lol! But I persevered and tinkered and eventually found my own distinctive style and tens of thousands of pairs later I still love making them.
They're just so versatile, I love pushing the limits and seeing how fancy I can make them! They're not just Bloomers to me anymore, they're my creative canvas!
4. Can you share with us a win, within your creative journey?
After having my son in 2013 I took a long break from my biz and in the time that I was away the whole small biz landscape changed and to be honest, when I first came back to work it almost felt like I had been left behind.
Many of my peers and biz social network had moved on and I felt isolated and out of my depth like the old lady of handmade who couldn't keep up with the changing trends ,let alone get her head around social media changes.
My design aesthetic is far from minimalist, monochromatic or Scandinavian, I had never even heard of a 'Brand Rep' or 'Flatlay' and like what the heck was a Loop Giveaway anyway? It was terrifying for me & I had a lot of insecurities and self doubt...
But after a lot of self talk and some real talk with a few old friends who had stood tall in their biz through the winds of change (not mentioning any names *cough* Holly *cough*), I finally realised that I really did have something of value to offer and that all of this change that I had been resisting and resenting actually offered an opportunity for my biz to grow and thrive.
I accepted my piece of humble pie and took my place as a 'new' biz on the scene and honestly just made the decision to suck it up and learn from those around me.
I relaunched in Feb 2016 and 9 months later my biz has never been better! I'm as busy as I ever was, but more importantly I've rebuilt my biz in a way that has created a lifestyle for my family that I really love, that's a huge win for me!
5. What about a loss or experience that challenged you?
Before I took my biz break in 2013 I experienced what could only be described as a mental health crisis. Juggling a newborn & a small biz is challenging enough - but throw in mental health issues and you've got yourself a perfect storm.
I knew that I needed to take a step back from my biz but i was so caught up with comparison and FOMO (fear of missing out), all I could see around me was other mums who seemed to be rocking their biz and perfecting the art of the mumlife/biz mum juggle, and all I could think was 'I don't know how she does it' and more often 'why can't I do it too?'.
I pushed and pushed myself until I couldn't push or pretend any longer, something had to give, and unfortunately that was not only my biz but also my sanity. I walked away from my biz feeling exhausted, ashamed and broken hearted, not sure if I would ever find my way back to it. But here I am!
The reason I chose to share this story, my story, instead of say a funny little anecdote about that time I sent someone a Bunny Bloomer and the bunny tail disintegrated in the wash (totally happened by the way!), is because I know my story isn't unique. I've seen other biz mums fall abruptly off the radar over the years in times of crisis in their lives and I just wanted to say to ALL biz mums that it's ok to take time out, the world will not end, your biz can survive, take the time that you need to look after you and yours!
There will be absolute QUEENS willing to reach out an pull you up when you return. And that woman you see magically balancing all of the balls in the air? The reality is she's dropped one under the couch and its covered in dog hair and sultanas and she probs doesn't even know it's there...
"You are enough. You are so enough. It is unbelievable how enough you are.
- Sierra Boggess
6. Where do you find your inspiration for the next piece/collection?
Oh inspiration is everywhere! Literally, because I'm a very messy human! It's in a piece of ribbon that just happens to fall onto a pretty cotton print by accident, in a bunch of blooms my hubby brings home and even in the work of other handmaidens. And calm your farms, I don't mean copying! I mean that I will see a colour combination or texture on a doll or floral crown and I feel compelled to try it out on a Bloomer.
I'm not particularly trend driven in my work but I also do try to be aware of what is popular, like the obsession with boho right now, and try to find my own interpretation of the style and subtly incorporate it into my work without selling my soul!
7. Who inspires you, and why?
Well, without being wanky, you (Holly) do. I am in awe of the way you confidently throw yourself into new things without overthinking, I think you're super brave and have a great attitude!
But also Jess Van Den from Create & Thrive/Epherielle. I love her approach to her creative biz, she's hugely successful in her biz but seems equally passionate about creating and maintaining that elusive work/life balance that fulfills her. That's exactly what I strive for too!
Gorgeous Christmas Bloomers + Matching TopKnot Girl Christmas Bonnet
Poppy in a pair of Pom Pom Lou Lou's
Some of Lisa's lovely styling, alongside our Lilac Bonnet
A HUGE thanks to Lisa for being so open, raw and fun in our interview. I hope you've enjoyed this as much as we have in putting it together!
More soon x x Holly