Fabulous Mum: Amber from The Throwdown November 27 2015
It is not often that I find another Mum with four young boys and when I do, we either talk for hours or just share a knowing and respectful look. Earlier this year on my trip to Bali with my boys, I met this week’s Fabulous Flat Out Mum Amber Gourlay.
She had all four of her boys in six years and from our evening together (with 11 boys, all 8 years of age and under!) I could tell she was made to be a Mum of busy boys. Petite and fit (in her previous life she was on the pro surfing tour!) and with eyes in the back of her head, Amber personified the phrase I often use “embrace the chaos”.
She told me that in their short lives her boys have already given her many scary moments. Including when her oldest was lifted up into a fan (8 stitches to the back of his head) to her second oldest getting a surfboard through his mouth (same deal - stitches!) and her third boy once pulled a fish tank onto himself! She is grateful that her fourth has not yet been in any scary situations, but he is only 14 months old!
Living what many would perceive as the ‘dream life’ between Perth and Bali, her days are spent outdoors. When she couldn’t find a durable rug that also had style to suit the needs of her young and adventurous family, she went ahead and founded “The ThrowDown”, a truly multi-purpose and easily transportable mat which is made with a water resistant PVC underside, inbuilt pocket and handle carry case. Such a great idea (we use ours all the time).
So I took ten minutes of Amber’s precious time to suck as much wisdom out of her as possible.
With so many young children and living abroad, did your friends think you were crazy starting The Throwdown on top of everything else?
Yes, but my life runs on chaos so they expected nothing less!
When you have so much on your plate already, what drives you each day to run a business?
Just doing what I love, I love the challenge of it and the love of my boys that I breathe in every day makes it worth it.
What is your best time saving tip?
I have a window of about four hours a day in between big boys school drops and quality time with my little ones. So just Focus Focus Focus… I have a million things going on at once but in that four hrs I just try put my work hat on!
What is the best thing that you outsource?
I have a Production Manager who is on the ground running in between our factories and suppliers. So that allows me to be at my desk and drive the sales and marketing side of the biz. Occasionally sourcing new materials and launching new products I have to be on the ground but we are at a stage now that I can have someone reliable running around for me and that is a time/life saver!!!
Have you discovered any indispensable household products that you can share?
Sard wonder stick!!! My boys are crazy messy and this a must in my house. I bring it up from Australia by the bucket loads. LOL!
Have you managed to get your boys to help in any way with your business?
Yes I guess they help by smiling and posing in some of my marketing material.
If you could teach your pre-baby self one thing, what would it be?
Contraception!!! LOL no kidding… I would not change a thing and I guess I would want to appreciate all the spare time I had and make the most of travel as that is hard with a little tribe.
Do you have any tips for other ‘Mothers of Many’ on how to juggle everything?
Just go with the flow, choose your battles and be mindful that they are not kids for a long time, so enjoy the mayhem!!
What about things specific to raising a tribe of boys?
Routine, structure and whole lot of sport and outdoor activities!!! Basically keeping them busy!!!
Is there anything that you hear yourself saying (that you never thought would come out of your mouth)?
I’m going to wash your mouth out with soap? I’m like OMG its that my mum talking?!?!?
Best thing about raising children overseas?
The experience of a different culture and the extra languages they learn and the extra helping hands ;)
Hardest thing about raising children overseas?
No trusting in the medical system up here (Bali). I forever find myself second guessing a doctors opinion and I know I would not do that at home???!
Hardest thing about running a business overseas?
Probably exporting stock and the logistics on the other end!
What is your favourite every day wardrobe essential?
My One Teaspoon Denim shorts.
What are your favourite flat shoes and why?
Well I'm a lover of bare feet so do my fav shell crochet ankle jewels count???
Make sure you check out Amber's awesome Throwdown products here and support another Fabulous Flat Out Mum in business by shopping small this Christmas.