If you were a lovely Danish lady living in Australia making necklaces with your children to support another child with cystic fibrosis, what do you think your biggest challenge might be? For Paulina Eaborn, can you believe it, it’s abusive emails from would-be customers. I bet there’s some other e-tailers out there who can commiserate. Read on to see how she manages to fit a healthy Aussie lifestyle in around making her products and raising bona fide Aussie grommets. And as if the pics of the kids wearing her Pray4Trax necklaces don’t make you go HNNNNNGGGGG.
I’m Paulie – a Danish girl married to an Aussie, Matt – and together we have two sons, Tyson 5 and Rixen 2. We are a super fit family never sitting still, – daddy surfs and mummy runs and most days we run together as a family.
I started The Little Vikings in 2013 as a little Etsy Shop making creative stuff in my spare time as a stay at home mum. The most popular thing I made was a dream catcher – until september 2013 when I was planning Tysons’ birthday. Together with Tysi we made a little animal necklaces for the friends who were supposed to come to his party – but instead of using them at the party we decided to sell them locally, with all proceeds going towards a little boy named Trax who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
I came across Trax’s mum on Instagram, and although living in two different countries and never having met I felt a connection to this family who loved surfing and outdoor living just like us. I was Pregnant with Rixen when Kassi (Trax’s mum) was pregnant with him and his twin sister. I followed her story and her grief and fight once her twins were born and baby Trax was diagnosed. It was so sad for me to watch how something so beautiful as a celebration of birth and life could turn into something so sad as to be praying for this little boys life. So when Kassi and Daniel set up a go fund account to ask for donations to support Trax’s big medical expenses I knew I wanted to help somehow. Little did I know that when I started selling the Pray4Trax necklace in 10 or 20 at a time it would quickly become an international success and I wouldn’t be able to keep up with demand.
It means the world to me to be able to help a family/a little boy whom I have never met. It means so much to me to teach my children about what we are doing and why we are doing this – to help someone who needs it. In the start Tysi would help me make the necklaces. We would chat about colours and animals and about helping, about cystic fibrosis. So in sharing this special time I also had a chance to teach Tyson some beautiful knowledge not a lot of 4 year olds usually learn. Another important thing I’ve done by selling this necklace is to spread awareness about cystic fibrosis. – not a lot of people knew anything about this terrible decease (including me) – spreading awareness can hopefully lead to one day being able to find a cure.
I’ve never seen the actual work as a challenge. I think for stay-at-home mums it’s a breath of fresh air to be able to work and be away from your kids once in a while. It makes you a better mum. The biggest challenge has been to deal with this product and company and taking the good with the bad. A lot of people get upset of angry if they can’t get their hands on a necklace (because they sell out so fast). I receive tons and tons of emails daily about making special orders or even abusive emails with some angry customers. It’s been a challenge not just giving up and saying its not worth all the effort we put into it – especially since we’ve also had to deal with a lot of copy cats. Now that makes me angry. Because people copy a product to cash in for their own benefit and that’s so wrong.
My inspo has always been my kids. Hands down. They are the ones who gave me the idea to do this in the first place. The special thing about the Pray4Trax necklace is that it has a magnetic lock so it automatically opens if the necklace is being pulled or stuck on something. I made that because I know how wild my kids can play and how dangerous it can be to put something around their necks. – so everything I make is with them in mind. – they inspire me to keep going and to forget about all the negativity that comes along with running a successful business. – there’s just no time for that. – and same goes for people who don’t support you. You realise who is still around even though you have changed. – because who doesn’t change? The world changes and we change with it. – as long as your heart is still in the same place.