Louise Forrest saving the trees

Leura's Louise Forrest with Arabella, her three-year-old daughter.
Leura's Louise Forrest with Arabella, her three-year-old daughter.

Leura's Louise Forrest mixes her life as a busy mum of one (with another on the way) with work as a successful businesswoman, running her own cloth nappy washing business. And it's that balance that has earned her a nomination in the 2014 National AusMumpreneur Awards.

The business, Lavenderia NappyCare, an eco-friendly modern cloth nappy washing and delivery service, started because "we were using cloth nappies at home but after a c-section I was struggling lifting baskets and hanging out washing. I just thought 'Wouldn't it be great if...' From there the idea just began to grow legs, then wings," she said.

The five-year-old awards recognise "mums in business achieving outstanding success in areas such as business, product development, services and innovation", a spokeswoman said.

Ms Forrest said what started as an affordable solution for herself and other families "quickly spread to catering to businesses including the health care, aged care and childcare sectors," she said.

"Lavenderia is now Australia's greenest laundering operation and provider of sustainable solutions to suit a range of budgets - even beating price on most popular typical products that end up as landfill.

"Our business is so committed to being green - this was, is and always will be, the backbone of our operation and the yardstick for all our decisions."

Ms Forrest said each nappy saved from landfill weighs about 300 grams. meaning they have "saved several thousands from landfill since inception and approximately 200 tonnes in the last 12 months".

She also buys trees to offset all their carbon emissions and is working on more efficient ways to treat their waste water.

The business started at her Leura home, but now is based in Blacktown.

"My family comes first, then my health and then my business. Funnily enough this business has thrived as a result - quite by its own magic," she said.

Her trick to balancing family and business is a simple one. "Whenever I look at picking up a new task I ask myself 'Do I really need to be doing this? Can someone else do it?' The answer is usually 'someone else can do it'. My next question is 'who?' because family is most important, this question ensures that those who matter most to me are never left behind," she said.

Finalists will be selected by a public vote at www.ausmumpreneur.com. Voting opens next month and the winner will be announced at an awards function in Melbourne in October.