We get up close and personal with creative powerhouse Lisa Furuland, mum of two and founder of DockATot.
How did you come up with the idea for DockATot?
When my first son, Ilias, was born, I got inspired to create something new in the baby and children's industry. I searched unsuccessfully for something more snug and at the same time more versatile and safe. The well being, safety and happiness of our babies are the objectives and inspiration of my creation.
How is DockATot different than other baby loungers?
It’s different in every way! It’s a multi-functional lounging, playing, chilling, resting and snuggling pod you can take anywhere. It’s the perfect tummy time prop, too. The covers are interchangeable, which allows for parents to make a design statement. We’ve selected the best Oeko-Tex certified materials from quality suppliers. It’s washable and provides a perfect and hygienic micro climate. It’s made in Europe with love. There’s simply nothing like it on the market.
What were your favourite ways to use DockATot when your boys were little?
It was the all around the house aspect. Simply a great place to dock your tot anywhere and any time you need it.
How would you define DockATot?
The hallmarks are a combination of design, superb functionality, innovation, exceptional quality and value for money – which is something that DockATot celebrates and embodies. Innovation is inventing solutions to everyday problems and simplifying life. Superb functionality is to be multi-functional.
How did becoming a mum change your perspective?
I have realised that it was bigger than changing my perspective; it made me. Motherhood is the pinnacle of my career.
How do you keep your very busy life in balance?
I don’t, but I try. As much as I can, I prioritise family time before work. I know that these precious days when the children are young won’t come back. When they are teenagers, I know I won’t be thinking ‘Oh, I wish I had gone on more conferences and business trips when they were young.’ On the contrary, which sets the agenda for our lives and work at this point in time.
What’s your mum uniform?
I love fashion! I have a wardrobe that probably would allow me to change outfits three times a day every day throughout the year, but around the house—from where I do a lot of my work, from our top floor office—you’re most likely to find me in a pair of skinny jeans.
What’s a typical Saturday with your family?
The whole family likes to ease into the weekend gently. We’re usually in PJs still for brunch. We make up for it later, as the typical Saturday usually turns out rather action-packed, with soccer and tennis practice for the boys. My husband Costa and I are both keen on cooking, so we’ll plan, shop for and cook dinner together. We both exercise regularly, but in my case I usually cover it Mon-Fri, so that I don’t have to do it during the weekend. That being said, I get tons of exercise from activities with the boys, gardening, shovelling snow, cleaning—simply through the act of managing a family and a home.
Favourite part about living in Sweden?
It’s so child-friendly! We have a sporty and outdoorsy lifestyle with easy access to nature. It’s got that small town feel. In our case, as we’d like to think of ourselves as a cosmopolitan family—with the English/Greek/South African/Swedish mix—we are fortunate to be able to mix Swedish life with a fair amount of travelling. That makes this setup perfect for us.
What is your parenting style?
Nurturing and allowing. To give my kids the tools to enable them to stay individual. We always try to give them opportunities through which they will grow and develop to the best of their abilities. Always with good manners, though!
Any hard and fast rules you make your kids follow?
Be mannered. Thankfully, this is second nature to them.
When you get a few hours to yourself, what do you do?
Photography is my passion. But I generally incorporate this activity into every day life. I’m an addict. I see everything as if I’m watching it through a lens. My second biggest interest is architecture and interior design. I spend a lot of time thinking of houses I want to build or do up. I love floor plans!
How do you help your boys incorporate health and wellness into their lives?
It comes naturally. They do various sports as well as dance, thankfully without us having to nag. We’re an outdoorsy nation, so there is a plethora of activities, including skiing, skating, cycling, which are a natural part of everyone’s lives here.
What do you love most about your job?
The total drama. Being 100% responsible for all aspects of a children’s brand. You have total control and no control at all. There are so many decisions to make in a day. But the sense of satisfaction when you launch a new product or win a design award is hard to describe. All your hard work has paid off. The greatest gift of all is the fantastic customer reviews. When you realize that your product has made life a lot easier for thousands and thousands of families, how can you not but feel incredibly proud.
Where’s your favourite place to travel to with the family?
Greece no doubt. Costa is half-Greek and speaks Greek. We’ve got lots of family and friends there, too. We have a very close connection with Greece. In addition, the whole family adores the sun and the ocean, and what better backdrop for a family day than a sun-kissed beach, cicadas chirping, the silvery leaves of the olive trees moving gently in the warm breeze from the Aegean Sea?
Favourite children’s book?
Pippi Longstocking and all the other books by late Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. She wrote the most amazing stories that now form part of the children’s books heritage globally.
What’s your must-pack travel item for your kids?
In this digital era, the whole family agrees it will have to be iPads. Great for long waits and transfers!
Favourite parenting advice you’ve heard?
Yelling is no good. The child hears your voice, but not your words.