Name: LuAnn Glowacz
Occupation: Owner, Austinables.com
Number of Children: 1, with another on the way in June
Current Projects: Besides Austinables, I’m an overprotective mom and a freelance writer/pr consultant
Tell us about Austinables:
What is Austinables?
Austinables is an online baby boutique that features “sweet baby stuff born in Austin.”
How did you come up with the idea to create Austinables?
When my friends and I started having kids, I was surprised that there were so many artists and vendors making world-class and undeniably cute baby gear right here in the Austin area. I realized there was a need for a one-stop shop to find this great baby gear. So I decided to do something about it…and that’s when Austinables was born.
Where do most of your clients come from?
Most of my customers are just like me: Austin moms who want to find something local and unique for our own children and for baby gifts. You can buy only so many Carter’s onesies off of a Target registry before yearning for something different.
What are some challenges that you’ve faced in getting Austinables up and running?
Finding balance between making this a hobby and a business. I’m just happy GIVING the products away because they’re so much fun. But my husband would prefer that I find a way to make a little money as well!
All of the products on Austinables come from local Austinites. How do you go about finding them?
It started with t-shirts by Will Heron Designs. I was so enamored by them. Then I realized that some of my other favorite products like ZoloWear slings were made locally, too. I did some Internet research and browsing at the local farmers markets and boutiques and came up with a list of more than 50 different possible vendors! I based the website on the strongest products of the bunch. And once the website was up and running and gaining popularity, other vendors have started contacting me about their own local products.
Tell us about yourself:
Where are you from? If you’re not from Austin, how did you end up here?
I was raised in Northwestern Minnesota. After college, my husband got a job working with a dot.com in Austin and we jumped at the chance to live here “for a year or two.” Of course, the dot.com went bust and he floated from job to job after that, like every other IT person in the city. But we loved Austin so much that we didn’t once consider leaving. And, seven years later, we’re still here and are proud to call our son a native Austinite.
What are some challenges that you face when trying to juggle a career and family?
Like every mom, I suffer from guilt. It took a year at home with my first son to realize that working part time makes me a much happier mom. And that’s OK. For many moms, being a full-time caregiver is so all-consuming. It can really zap your spirit if you let it. Plus, my son thrives on going to daycare part time and having that social interaction. But every day I have to convince myself that I’m not just being selfish or lazy by sending him off to school for a few hours.
What serves as your inspiration in life?
I just want my family to be happy and balanced. In the business world, my mantra is to “be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.” I’ve learned to carry that into my family life as well.
Tell us one of your secret indulgences.
Reality TV. Although I do have my limits.
If you had the power, what would you change in the world? What about Austin would you change?
I just wish everyone could be more tolerant and nonjudgmental. What’s the point in carrying all that baggage? Most Austinites seem to understand that.
If you could live anywhere other than Austin, where would it be?
Growing up in Minnesota, I dreamed of living in the Minneapolis area. In fact, the vibe is quite similar to Austin’s. But it’s just so darn cold up there. Plus, I’d have a hard time finding migas on Saturday mornings.
Who is your greatest influence?
My mom has always been a great mentor. She taught me that being important doesn’t have to mean making tons of money and climbing the corporate ladder. It has to do with making a difference – however seemingly small – in even one person’s life. And that has do with your character: being a good listener, helping out a friend in need or providing a consistent source of love and guidance for your child.
What is the one thing that you want your children to know before leaving home?
That they are loved unconditionally.
Why do you like living in Austin? What do you dislike about the city?
Austin makes it easy to lead a healthy lifestyle – both physically and spiritually. Pretty much everyone’s taken a yoga class or ordered a veggie burger at one time or another. In most other parts of the country, that’s considered very deviant. My one complaint about living here? Allergies. It’s hard to find a season in Austin when I’m not sniffling and sneezing.