We had the pleasure of hanging out with the incredibly talented Carly from Lucky Sew and Sew (and her super lovely mama) a few weeks ago, and we got the opportunity to interview her for our new series - Project Enough.
We will be bringing you words from some seriously inspirational men and women, people who we admire for a huge variety of reasons, asking them what inspires them, what keeps them going, and what helps remind that they ARE enough. Trust us, you don't want to miss this!
Carly and her mum Diane founded Lucky Sew and Sew in 2013, inspired by their joint loves for lingerie and all things vintage. The business went from strength to strength, but really took off in 2014 when Carly had her daughter Rori, and realised how hard it can be to find nursing bras that weren't frumpy and boring. The Lucky Muthah nursing bra was born, and quickly became a must have for plenty of breastfeeding mamas.
Carly now lives in rural Spain with her family and spends her days sewing beautiful items for her lovely customers and raising her children Rori and Logan with her husband Tricky who's also pretty bad ass. She's genuinely one of the kindest, loveliest people I've met in a long time, and the empowering business her and Diane are running plus the childhood they are giving her little ones is truly inspiring.
Read on to find out what inspires Carly, how it all began and what she thinks about motherhood. Her words brought tears to my eyes, her light really shines through. Thank you Carly for being a part of Project Enough, you are an incredible lady.
What inspires you?
It sounds cliché and predictable, but it’s my children who inspired me and who continue to inspire me. I had already been designing and sewing lingerie before Rori came along (I learnt to sew after I’d had Logan), but I never really felt that I was on to ‘the right thing’ for me. It didn’t click. Once Rori was born and we started on our turbulent breastfeeding journey together, I had that penny-drop moment. I designed myself a nursing bra because I couldn’t find a nursing bra that fit me well and they were all boring as hell. I was more embarrassed about someone seeing a flash of my gross beige nursing bra when feeding Rori in public than a flash of boobie flesh. The Lucky Muthah nursing bras were born. I wanted to give other Mum’s who felt the same as me about normal nursing bras the option to feel confident and beautiful in their nursing lingerie.
Now that Logan and Rori are growing up (too fast!) it’s started to hit home how what they see me doing now will shape their perceptions and views as they go into, eventually, adulthood. If they can see me using my creativity to create something meaningful for people and bring joy to others, then I hope they can embrace that and turn that into something meaningful for themselves. I hope they learn to harness their ideas and run with them just like I have.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love being able to do something so creative. I have always had a restless mind and I always feel so at ease when I’m working on a new design, or sewing away in my studio. It’s my happy place. Being able to use my creativity to bring happiness to others is so satisfying and fulfilling.
What keeps you going on a bad day, what motivates you to carry on?
The messages I receive from people that I have made lingerie for, that’s what keeps me afloat when I feel like I’m drowning. I don’t always get everything right and I make mistakes sometimes – I’m human. When everything seems to go wrong, I think about giving it up. What’s the point? But when I get a message from a Mum and she tells me how tough her breastfeeding journey has been and how wearing a bra that I have made for her has given her the confidence to nurse in public, and to face up to the haters who don’t particularly agree with breastfeeding. That’s the cherry on the cake right there. That’s the reason I do what I do.
What makes you feel empowered, where do you find strength?
If you’d have asked me this question 6 months ago, I’m 100% certain my answer would have been a very different one...Lately I’ve been on a personal journey for several reasons. As a family we’ve uprooted our lives, moved to a different country and are completely changing our lifestyle in the hope of building a better future for our children. I’ve also tried to consciously be more kind to myself and make more time to connect with myself. As a result, I have found my strength from within. I’ve learned that I don’t need to rely on anybody else to make me feel good, or to wait for someone else to do something first before deciding it’s probably OK for me to follow suit. I am a Woman, I am Strong and I am unapologetically ‘Me’. I have allowed myself to acknowledge that it’s OK to do things because I want to do them and not because everyone else is, or because people think I should. This revelation has been incredibly empowering for me. I mean come on, I’ve grown, birthed and nourished a baby – surely that means I can do anything, right?!
How would you describe motherhood, and how does it fit in with everything else you do? How do you stay ‘you’ as well as being ‘mama’?
Motherhood is one really long rollercoaster ride with a lot of big and scary loop-the-loops along the way. There’s a lot of unknowns and a lot of uncertainty but also so much unfiltered joy. It’s the hardest and most difficult thing I’ll ever do, but it’s also the most satisfying, gratifying and will be the biggest and best achievement in my life. Luckily for me, Motherhood and the rest of my life gel together easily and as I work from home it’s simpler for me than it is for some. I couldn’t imagine having to go back to a 9-5 job whilst having tiny children and I fully commend those that do. It’s got to be tough.
Keeping your own identity is one of the biggest challenges that having children will bring with it. When you spend so much of your time devoted to another, it’s not surprising that you loose yourself sometimes. It took me a long time to feel comfortable with myself once I’d had Logan and Rori. When I had Logan I was an impressionable 21 year old and I spent too much time listening to other people’s opinions of what a Mum should act like or look like that I forgot to be true to myself. Now I’m not afraid to be Me – to dance to my own beat. In fact, I think it’s even more important now to be unapologetically myself and be comfortable with it because I want to pass on to my children that being themselves is far more enriching than pretending to be someone else.
How do you remind yourself that you’re enough, or who reminds you?
When I look at my children. Even if everything feels like it’s going wrong and that the world might crumble down around me, I look at them and remember that I am their world, and I am enough for them. I have enough kindness, enough love and enough strength to be everything they will ever need or want me to be.
What would you tell your younger self if you could get a message to her?
I would tell my younger self that it’s OK to make mistakes and nobody is perfect. It’s the little quirks that make something unique and beautiful. I’ve spent too much time trying to be faultless in my work, my life and mothering before I realised that I was striving for the impossible. Learning to embrace the mistakes and celebrate them is where you learn valuable lessons and grow.
What advice would you give someone struggling with their self worth?
It’s not the label inside your clothes, the number on the scales, how many followers you have, how many retweets you get, how many likes your pictures get. That’s not what matters. It’s irrelevant. Those things will not be remembered. Those aren’t things that define who you are. What matters is your compassion, your passion, your actions, how you treat people, the lessons you teach your children. Things that will linger on and imprint on peoples hearts and minds. That’s what matters.
You don’t need to justify anything to treat yourself with kindness and love. Be kind and love yourself often and freely. You are worth it, always. You Are Enough.
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Photography by Mr. Adam Robertson