JESSELOU AKA LOUIE LUXE
If you haven’t already stumbled upon the beautiful woman and creative that is Jesselou @louieluxe then you will appreciate this share!
I am kicking off my Inspirational Women features with my absolute favourite, Jesselou!
Jesse is an absolute shining light, her words resonate deeply with thousands and her positive outlook on life is one that I share.
Introducing Jessica Louise Windle! 'NO ONE calls me that except scary letters in the mail, My friends call me Jesse or Jesselou’.
Jesse lives on the beautiful Gold Coast, Australia with her Husband of almost 10 years and her two beautiful sons, Jayce and Raff!
Jesse, I stumbled across your Instagram just over two years ago after finding one of your quotes. It was ‘Dream Baby’ and it just spoke directly to my heart. Loui Luxe is one of my favourite pages to visit as there is just so much positivity and uplifting spirit that comes from your work. Jesse you have such a way with words and self expression, have you always loved to write and when did you decide to share it with the world?
My love of hand lettering, stationery and whimsy words started as early as I learned to write. I remember locking myself away in my room, writing my name out hundreds of times over, perfecting every flourish and getting lost in the way the ink danced with the paper. Having had quite a ‘colourful’ upbringing, it was a genuine escape over the years and my little writing desk became a safe place I could always rely on. Fast forward to today and I still use my artistry and words to express whatever it may be that I am going through. I’m so grateful for platforms like Instagram so that I can so readily send out whatever words, artworks and learnings I have found on my personal journey, in hopes it resonates with others. Dream, Baby is a very special piece to me and I’m so pleased it brings joy to so many mama’s out there.
How was Louie luxe born?
I was struggling with infertility at the time, it sent me a little mad. I was working a stressful events job, commuting 3 hours a day to get to said job, Jayce was in the early years of primary school and I was always rushing up and down the highway to make sure I wasn’t late to pick him up from after school care - quite often I was. I was a constant ball of nerves, guilt and anxiety and on a whim one day, I decided right there and then things had to change. I quit the safety of my 9-5 and knew that I would pick something else up - I just didn’t know what at that point in time. It was a complete risk - but my health was on the line.
From there, I decided to simplify things, strip my life right back and do the things that simply made me happy. For me this was cooking, sewing, dancing, painting and writing…
I created an Instagram page - separate to the personal page that I had, so that my friends and family wouldn’t dare know that I was on this journey of self expression and creativity. I wanted to be incognito - looking back it was just fear of judgement in a time I was already feeling a little lost. I named the page ‘Finding Louie’. Louie, a derivative of my middle name and also what I was called a lot as a kid as I was named after my Nana Louie whom I never got to meet but I was told I was similar to.
I wanted to find that simple, happy little Louie sitting in her room lost in creativity. I started posting pretty pictures on that page of recipes, DIY projects and snippets of my hand lettering. Before too long, I had a bevy of followers encouraging my work and asking ‘How can I buy this?’. I apprehensively created a little online store - and decided to call it Louie Luxe (.com), I’d officially found Louie and she was all grown up. I’ve had the business for 4 years now, I have two incredible staff, a commercial space, thousands of artworks completed for hundreds of customers around the world and it truly is my happy place. I’m also incredibly grateful that following my calling lead me to be able to finally be in a calm and content enough space to fall pregnant with our rainbow baby Raffy - the greatest gift of all. Safe to say, I never had to apply for a new job and I have never looked back
Where were you born and what are some fond memories of your childhood?
I was born in Canberra, but we moved abroad almost immediately for my Father’s work. We actually spent the first 6 years of my life travelling the world for his work and settled in Brisbane in time for me to start school. My fondest memories are of playing with my two older brothers and my little sister. We all had amazing imaginations and everyday we were on different adventures, being creative, filming funny video skits on a chunky 80’s over the shoulder Video Camera, playing sport, riding our bikes, listening and dancing to music or building intricate fairy garden’s in the back yard. They are the memories I choose to hold on to.
What were your dreams as a young girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I actually wanted to be an actress from a young age. I did go on to study acting for a little while after school but life had other plans for me. Actors and acting still fascinates me.
Can you share a moment/moments in your life that you feel shaped you into the woman you are today?
There are many moments, stories and layers - and all I will say is that my life so far has taught me incredible resilience. I have grown to be so readily equipped for adversity that when it does pop up in my life, I stare it straight in the eyes and use it’s energy to grow and be better. I hope my work is a reflection of that and gives other strength and hope when they are going through a hard time.
You are a business woman, wife, homemaker and mother. I also see you cooking beautiful meals for your family. How do you do it all? What are your tips for mothers at finding a healthy work, life balance?
Oh gosh - there is zero balance. I do try my hardest across the board, but earlier this year I realised it’s all about accepting that there are different seasons in life - and whilst it’s natural to want ‘it all’ at once, it doesn’t work like that. I know what my values are and what I hold high in importance. My family, friends, my work, my health (both mental and physical). But the trick is to accept that you can’t simply have it all happening at once - not for long anyway. I believe in giving it a red hot go, not being lazy, seizing the day, backing yourself…. but I also believe in self preservation and listening to your body and mind when it tells you to slow down.
It’s not for lack of wanting to be spread across the board - if us Mama’s could divide ourselves to be in 8 different places at once, I’m sure we would! It’s so important to take off the pressure and lift the veil of guilt and realise that as long as you are trying, day by day, on whatever you have the energy to focus on that day, then that is all that you can ask of yourself. I’ve also recently learned to say ‘no’ a little more (I’m a chronic yes girl from way back) and I think it’s really healthy and important in this day and age when everyone is so easily accessible via social media and the infinite avenues to be reached (especially when you have little eyes watching you and wanting your attention) to draw boundaries and have the strength to put the phone and laptop down and just politely say ‘no’ or even a ‘not today’.
How old were you when you met your hubby and how did you meet?
I was 20 and most certainly wasn’t looking for love. But my best friend, Brooke (who was dating my hubbies best friend and now they are married too), introduced me to Matt with the best of intentions and we just clicked from the get go.
How old were you when you had your first son and what was becoming a first time mother like for you?
I was 23! A baby myself! Matt was playing professional rugby at the time and we just secured a contract in Japan for him to play and us to live for a couple of years. He had to pack up and leave when Jayce was just three days old. Due to our Visa’s, Jayce and I joined him six weeks later. There I was moving country with a newborn, solo, 8 hour flight, two trains and a bus ride (20 hours of travel in total) later… full on. We lived there for two years without any family support and looking back now, I’d love to go back and give myself a high five and a hug for doing first time Mum-life under those circumstances. At the end of the day, I was absolutely besotted with Jayce and being a Mum so it didn’t matter where we were or what craziness or confusion was happening around us - I was just so happy for the life we had created together.
When did you welcome your second son and what was motherhood with two like?
Second time around was very different… We knew we always wanted more kids and tried on and off over the years. But it wasn’t until I went through a miscarriage, followed by a near fatal (ruptured) ectopic, the loss of one side of my tubes and one ovary in emergency surgery, that the pain of being so close, yet so far to another little love was all too much to bear and cemented the fact that we desperately had so much more love to give. We decided to seek help and I started my IVF journey just after my 30th birthday. Which brought us our beautiful Rafferty. There may be 8 years difference in age between our boys but their bond is from another world and seeing them together now, miraculously has made sense of all that heartbreak.
What motivates you and where do you draw your inspiration from on the testing days or the times you feel flat? How do you drag yourself out of a funk?
I’m a big believer in being in control of your mindset. I’ve spent most of my life choosing happiness and demanding my worth when circumstances wanted lesser of this world for me. I believe in waking up and promising yourself to make the best of another day. Day by day. Life is an honour and I’m in constant awe of it’s magic and light - even though I’ve seen my fair share of darkness. When I am in a funk, I simplify, I take the pressure off and just remind myself to do what I can, with what I have and it will all turn out okay.
What motivates me is the belief that with hope, passion, kindness in your heart and a tonne of hard work, anything is possible.
You have such a positive and warm spirit, it shines through all that you do. What is something that you can leave us all with that you’d like people to keep in mind when it comes to how we treat one another and the impact we have on the world?
I think it is really important to be kind, open-minded and open-hearted because you never know what someone has been through or is going through. I also think it is really important to love yourself unapologetically. When you truly learn to love yourself, you obtain boundless energy to share that love with others. I’ve been told I’m annoyingly positive but I truly believe in two things: love makes the world go round and life is worth celebrating. I will happily spend the rest of my days advocating that through my poetry and ink and I’m beyond grateful for the amazing community who believe in me and allow me to do so. x