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Welcome to the Nature Baby Journal, a thoughtfully curated world of information for parents and parents to be. Inspiration, products and ideas that will nurture you, your baby and the environment.
We chatted to the lovely Lia-Belle King from beautiful Worn Store. She shared with us a little bit about her life managing Worn, as well as her journey as both a wife and mother.
*beautiful images taken by Victoria Aguirre for Pampa.
My wife Lotte Barnes and I own sustainable lifestyle and design brand, Worn Store...
We design and produce furniture and clothing sustainably and ethically, and work in partnership with small Indonesian villages in our production to help create economic stability within their local community. Our daughter Ophelia is the center of our universe, and together the three of us live in Byron Bay with our dog Gray.
We live in a beautiful mid-century modern style home in Byron Bay, designed by local architect Alan Mitchell. It’s a retreat-style home with three of the four sides of our home consisting of floor-to-ceiling windows, we live amongst the trees and natural forest landscape. It’s quite calming to live in a house where the views of the outside are your constant backdrop, it helps to keep all of us connected to nature and Ophelia loves the ever-changing weather, landscape, and visiting wildlife.
Worn Store started when Lotte and I lived in Bali and were taking a sabbatical from our 10 years of working in the fashion and retail industries...
We travelled from Bali to India to Sri Lanka and back, and settled in Indonesia. Worn came about as we were having furniture made by local craftsmen for our own villa, we thought it was rare for a furniture brand to offer a beautifully made product that was completely practical – as well as beautiful with a design feel but still easy enough to own and house in a family home, that was sustainably made, improved the lives of others, free from any type of chemical treatments, and ultimately affordable. We believe in the energy exchange that occurs when people buy products that are made by other people. The happiness and joy you infuse into your purchase then fills your home. We advocate thoughtful and sustainable consumption habits.
The biggest challenge I’ve faced since becoming a parent is time management and surrender...
The emotional expansion that comes with having a baby is all-consuming, and for the first year of Ophelia’s life I had to completely surrender to her. At first I found this so easy, but then around the six month mark as she began to express herself and her independence a little bit, I found myself wanting to do the same but wasn’t able to due to being a mother. The process of surrender meant stepping back from Worn for nearly two years, it’s wasn’t easy for me to do but I learnt many great lessons from my daughter during this time, lessons about my old self, my new self, my role as a mother, a wife, a daughter and a business owner. Ophelia taught me, and continues to teach me, who I am, who I am growing to be – and challenges me to bring all of my faults and strengths to the table to be the best version of myself that I can be.
I have just started working in Worn 3-4 days a week and Lotte has stepped into the primary carers role and it’s been the most effortless and positive transition for all of us. My current lessons are around time management but I like to think I’m not doing too badly. I’m also practicing positive self talk because as mothers we are so hard on ourselves and we shouldn’t be. Our bodies, our capabilities are abundant.
Nobody knows better than you, parent in the way that suits you and your baby, and nobody else...
Every child is so completely different that not one piece of advice applies to all. Support women, support other mothers, stopping judging and comparing and practice compassion. Nurture meditation and quiet in your children, nurture meditation and quiet in yourself. Teach your children the origins of the food they are eating and read books always.
Lotte and I moved back to Australia when I was about 4 weeks pregnant. We moved to a small rural town called Clunes, 20 minutes from Byron Bay and lived on a 22 acre farm until Opi was nearly 2. At 10 weeks I chanced upon an encounter with another women who lived in Clunes. She was selling beautiful vintage Japanese work-wear from her converted church that she lived in with her partner. We clicked instantly, she was 12 weeks pregnant and from our very first meeting we became firm friends. Two first time mothers living in a small town, what are the chances that we found one another, the universe definitely had a hand in it! We journeyed along our pregnancies together, the births of our daughters, teething, walking, talking and now we have two year olds. Having her there the entire time, feeling and experiencing the same things but in slightly different ways has been the biggest positive impact in my journey to parenthood. A true sister mother in every sense. Our daughters are best friends and the joy that comes from their friendship runs so deep. We both wish that every pregnant woman gets to experience the same bond of support and understanding that we have.
I think my wife also deserves a very notable mention. She has given me and our family 200 per cent of herself from the first day I met her. All in with love, with experience, with support and exploration and joy. I’ve never known someone to be such a devoted and generous partner and mother. I don’t think there is anything I could ask her that she wouldn’t do for me or for our family. In fact I know there isn’t.
My biggest wish for Opi in the future is...
That the earth is still green, that the eco system is still intact, that equality for women and for all people is a given, that women hold the governing powers, that she is well travelled, well read and that she loves freely and generously.
A day in the life
I LIVE…in a constant state of growthI AM CURRENTLY READING… The Celestine Prophecy (for the third time), The Akashic Records by Linda Howe, A Rage to Live by Mary S. Lovell.I’M LISTENING TO…podcasts by Lacy Phillips and GoopMY WEEKENDS START WITH…coffee, pancakes and Crowded HouseONE ITEM I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IS…water
Thank you so much for sharing some of your incredible and inspiring stories with us Lia-Belle! xx Nb
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