Profile: The Fourcard Family – Paz, Pablo, Toñito, Amare, Balthazar and Atticus
Originally from: Australia and the United States – We’re mixed French, Australian, Filipino, Spanish, Chinese.
Arrived in Bali: My husband has been in Bali back and forth since he was a child and we joined him in 2014 to live in Bali permanently.
What made you decide to MOVE TO Bali?
It was mostly because of the fact my husband’s work and business is in Bali. It was also just as important for me to raise my sons in a place that was more relaxed, more grounded and very close to spiritual nature.
Where is home in Bali and why did you decide to live there?
We live in Canggu because in the beginning it was more quiet and relaxed than other areas such as Seminyak or Kerobokan. As it got busy, it became the best place for us to reside since it was close to all our businesses. We have a few cafes in the area apart from Seminyak and Ubud. Seminyak felt more commercial and Ubud would have been too far from everything else. It was a combination of having convenience for work and the bustling center for families where we could enjoy as a family.
You have four beautiful boys, 20, 17, 6 and 15 months! How have the older three been educated in Bali?
We enrolled them in homeschool way before the pandemic. We came from a very structured system that kept the kids very busy – even post-school hours. While we appreciated the strong emphasis on academics which created a strong foundation in my sons. I felt it would be best for them to try something less rigorous and what would encourage them to follow their creative passions as well.
It’s important children have the balance of responsibility and fun so they practice their freedom and allow themselves space to just be. Bali would be the perfect backdrop for this with a more laid-back approach to life and an inclination to appreciate life in general on different levels.
Congratulations on your baby Atticus, now 15 months old, that would mean he was born during the uncertain times of COVID19. Please share your experience.
I had just returned from the US to see my family and learned I was pregnant during the time Covid-19 and didn’t have a formal designation or medical term yet. Though it felt quite urgent and dangerous, we just tried as a family to observe care and consideration as best as we could. Not going out to public or populated places, practicing a conscious approach to our movements to ensure we were keeping our children and ourselves safe.
I had a cesarean for all my sons so this would have been one as well. I wasn’t worried to go to the hospital as I only went for checkups and in those times, I was again conscious of my actions and limited my movements to make sure I kept the baby safe as much as possible. In terms of exposure as well.
I also maintained a healthy diet and attitude / mindset best as I could so the baby would benefit from all of that.
Our Obstetrician Dr. Kesumadana at Kasih Ibu is someone we completely trusted along with Dr. Gary Adhianto our Pediatrician – and we were so fortunate to have them by our side as my son was born premature at 7 months. They really did a phenomenal job in taking care of my baby and myself. When anyone asks me for recommendations, I say only their names. They saved us and we owe so much to them. We cannot express our deep gratitude and love enough.
Many families ask if Bali is safe to raise babies and young children – you are definitely experienced in this! What advice do you have? Is Bali safe and do you have everything THERE you need?
I feel Bali is one of the places in the world I feel truly safe because Balinese people are so kind and spiritual. There is a lot of consciousness in their actions and their beliefs properly affect their daily interactions. I feel cared for, supported and nurtured by the people around me – from our house helpers, team and friends who are Balinese. They are very loving especially to children and show respect to mothers.
We are lucky to have a lot of excellent schools with gardens and fresh air along with support from extended families and friends.
There is so much gratitude for helpers at home to assist us in day to day activities that would otherwise be too much for mothers who are working and taking care of their children at the same time.
I wish there were more public playgrounds and footpaths for mothers and caregivers to walk babies in the stroller. That is one thing I feel
Bali should have more of is sidewalks for people to walk on safely. More gardens or places in Canggu for children to run around in.
Over all though, there are a lot of places to take children here and it is so child-friendly. We are blessed to have places just an hour or two away – beaches and mountain areas – where kids can thoroughly enjoy nature.
you created Love Child Bali , a conscious clothing + accessories and everyday essentials for baby, toddler and mamma. How did this come about?
I already had the store Love Child in 2017. It was a store with different brands and items to help moms in Bali have the little luxuries that weren’t easy to find in Bali back then. Clothing, accessories and daily needs such as earth-friendly wipes and swimming nappies, skin care, rain boots and such.
I also had makeup and accessories for moms to enjoy that were hard to access on the island. It did very well – but I was also working full time as the PR, Social Media and Marketing Director for the group – our cafes under Good Food Brotherhood.
We were working very hard for a few years that I didn’t have much of a break or a vacation, working even on weekends. I did all our social media for multiple accounts. So I closed Love Child for about a month or so with the intention of resuming when we returned from a much needed family holiday.
The one time we were able to really spend quality time as a family. It was much appreciated. We came home earlier than planned and the next day our beloved Milk & Madu in Berawa caught fire and burned to the ground. I focused on helping my husband, our business partner and team rebuild Madu.
I had immersed myself even more until we had more cafes after that. I simply had to decide to maintain the work I was doing for our family business and be a hands on mom – nothing else. It was already a lot as it is and I always want to give my family my best. I knew I would have the chance later on if it was meant to be.
I gave birth in 2020 and it was time. So I rebranded Love Child solely as my brand without others alongside of it. To create a brand that mirrored what I would give my child – as pure as possible and with the sweetest intention. I wanted to design clothes and accessories I loved and would use on my baby just as I had my own -and give other moms in Bali and around the world something thoughtful and conscious as I know other moms would like and appreciate too. The response has been good and I am happy to grow the brand into something that gets better with every item created and shared.
It is not a baby brand alone. It is a brand for Mammas and Babies – with everyday essentials in mind made in small batches, working together with local families and communities to share the magic of Bali.
Speaking of businesses, you and your husband have set up many in Bali! Please share these wonderful ventures with us!
Our restaurant group is called The Good Food Brotherhood – the name says it all.
The concepts all revolve and center around good food experiences and we share with the community. We take care of @watercressbali – Seminyak and Ubud, @milkandmadu – Berawa, Ubud and our newest one in Batu Bolong called Milk & Madu Beach Road, @ulekanbali, @thecommonbali, @bangkokhustlebali
Is it difficult to set up a business? Do you have any advice for those who are keen to do the same?
I believe regardless of any country, always do your research and due diligence. It starts with a dream of course, then you work with feasible logistics. You work with that dream and reality together. It’s one thing to want to create and establish something but it’s all about the process. Follow the right steps, from doing all the paperwork, having a healthy amount of presence and involvement in the business, having a positive and consistent attitude and focus.
Being hands on makes all the difference and hiring a good team – no matter how big or small your business is. If you really believe in it – and it is a sound business – there should be no reason you won’t succeed.
Please tell us what it has been like living in Bali during COVID19?
For me, it has truly been something challenging not only for us but for the entire Bali community. On one hand, we are so grateful to have the support of the community and our businesses. Yet it was and still is heartbreaking to see so many strongly affected by the pandemic.
We have been busier than ever – in building the businesses, maintaining the businesses. I opened 2 new brands in the pandemic, seeing the opportunity to redirect focus towards online businesses which have had a significant increase during this. I did this to help my husband.
My 4th son is my last child. I am happy to have 4 children. I thought I would be able to have maternity leave and thought about this when I was pregnant.
When it was clear the pandemic would just have worse ramifications, I decided I planned on a much shorter maternity leave to help our restaurant group.
Instead, I opened Love Child, my mamma and baby conscious clothing brand – and Bebinca. Handwoven bags created in the islands of Bali with a strong foundation in nature. Everything is handmade and again, like Love Child, in small batches by family communities making them for generations. I want to inspire a more minimalistic and thoughtful approach to everyday fashion.
What advice do you have for other families making the move to Bali?
My advice is to keep things simple. Don’t go all out immediately. Build. Dream your dreams and make them real but start one by one. Make your plans but do them in a way that you have something properly thought of and planned out. Plan the basics, have savings. Don’t do things hastily or without considering situations. Especially for those with children, do your research. Take what you hear and make your own decisions. Don’t limit yourself to one person’s misfortune or bad experience. Have a good balance of practical reason and ambition.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
You live your life once. Listen to that voice that tells you to venture out or start that business. You won’t live with regret because you followed your heart – but be smart at the same time. Always exercise caution along with your goals.
You are an inspiring hands-on mamma running so many successful businesses whilst looking after your boys. Thank you so much for taking the time and sharing your Bali life with the Our Year in Bali community.
Thank you for your patience and your time too. It’s so good to know you are there inspiring others.