Emma Lovell really is a woman after our own hearts.
Balancing family life with a bustling and ever-expanding business, she is a fellow travel-addict with an infectious energy... and a 'hell yeah!' attitude to travelling with 2 kids in tow!
We gossiped over coffee on how she tries to sneak in family holidays whenever she can, what her top travel tips are, and why she’s so glad she ditched her return ticket to England 20 years ago to call Australia ‘home’.
Tell us a little bit about you! How long have you had business for? What do you like to do with your time off?
I’m originally from the UK and came to Australia for a six month backpacking holiday almost 20 years ago. When the time came to go home, I ditched my return ticket and decided I wanted to say in the beach suburb of Manly, Sydney. After a host of crazy-fun jobs — including being a Contiki Tour Guide and even a climb leader on the Sydney Harbour Bridge — I then had to start getting a little more serious! I become an Australian citizen, had my two gorgeous children, Aimee and Harry, and set up my own business. I appeared on Network Ten’s Shark Tank, winning with my innovative sleep and sun cover for airline bassinets and strollers. CoziGo is now selling through retail stores across Australia and I have taken the brand global via distribution partners in the UK, Sweden, Singapore, Hong Kong and the UAE.
In my spare time (when I have any!), I like to ski, swim and practice yoga – but most of all, I like to travel with my family!
What’s the most popular children’s product you’ve sold for family holidays?
CoziGo of course - but I’m totally biased! If you have a small child that needs to sleep and be protected from the sun during the holiday CoziGo is an absolute must; a safe sun and sleep cover that fits every type of stroller. It fits all airline bassinets too, really helping your baby sleep more effectively whilst on those dreaded long-haul flights!
What do you think is the MOST essential item is when travelling with children?
A great travel stroller that reclines all the way back — the compact ones that have come on the market since my kids were little are amazing. I loved having my baby carrier with me for when we wanted to get off the beaten track and I also used my fabric portable high chair a lot. My kids are eight and five now, and all I need to make sure we have packed to keep them entertained are a set of headphones and some great books!
What’s your best tip for parents planning a getaway with little ones?
Be organised. Be brave. Don’t stress too much!
Kids are incredibly flexible and the most important thing to them is you being there… so don’t sweat the small stuff and get out there and explore. On a more practical note — make sure you match your destination well with the age of your kids. Museums are great when you have a baby or kids are old enough to read and appreciate the finer things — but it would be a disaster for toddlers and young kids. Also, if your kids are young make sure you have really well-organised hand luggage. We have a packing list available on our website that makes it super easy not to forget anything.
What’s the best thing about your business?
The fact that it’s mine. Whilst you kind of end up working 24/7 (especially in the early days!), I love not having a boss and having the flexibility to be able to plan my week around my kids if necessary. I’ve learned the most important thing to me is life balance — this Thursday, I’m volunteering for four hours in my daughter's school canteen and she’s ready to explode with excitement that mum will be in school.
What do you think is the best age with children to travel? (or is there one!?)
Absolutely any age! Honestly! I love travel so much, the age of my children NEVER puts me off. I must admit though, it’s getting better now they are able to reminisce about previous holidays…. I love hearing their memories of fun stuff we’ve done together. It puts a skip in my step!
Where’s your favourite place in the world and why?
Ooooh, that’s a really difficult one! Every destination is special for different reasons! I was lucky enough to have a 7-week honeymoon where we covered London, Paris, Amsterdam, the Greek Islands, Italy, and Croatia. I have to say — some of my all times favourites were wrapped up in this single holiday. Greece is crazy fun, the history (and food!) of Italy blows my mind, plus what’s not to love about Paris?!
Tell us about your next holiday destination.
I have to go to Bangkok, Thailand for a Cabin Safety Conference soon – we have a stand to show CoziGo is safe to use on flights. Flight Crew and airline safety officials from all over the world will be there. My family is going to join me so that we can sneak off Phuket for a week of winter sun! Thailand is a really special place to us because it’s where we got engaged — so I’m especially looking forward to introducing my kids to its food, culture, and beautiful beaches!
The CoziGo sun protection & bassinet cover fits on all airplane bassinets and all types of strollers. To revolutionise the way your baby sleeps on the go, head to www.cozigo.com.