The past nine years have been a whirlwind for TV reno queen Alisa Fraser. For starters there’s been her star turn on The Block: Sky High and The Block: Fans vs Faves alongside her twin sister Lysandra, the day to day running of their interiors business, and the launch of their successful hand and body lotion business - al.ive body - during the pandemic which went gangbusters. Somehow, she’s also managed to raise two boys Nate, 9, and Dash, 5, in her hometown of Adelaide. The sisters have now just released a new product - al.ive body baby - aimed at toddler and babies which features a hair/ body wash, body lotion and nappy cream.
“We are so excited to launch al.ive body baby because as mums, we found it was a constant challenge to find personal care products for little ones which are gentle on the skin, made of natural ingredients and free from harsh chemicals,” explained Alisa. Here she tells us more about her boys, mum guilt and working with her sister.
Do you wish that the skin lotions and washes you’re now putting out for toddlers were around when your boys were little?
I do, particularly as Nate has sensitive skin. He has outbreaks of dermatitis and at one point was just having hot baths with no kind of soap or lotion at all. He’s been using al.ive body wash which is naturally derived, vegan, free of artificial fragrances and are also free from added chemicals such as parabens and sulphates. However, he is growing out of it and has had no reaction to our products at all which is really gratifying.
Was it scary launching a new business during COVID?
Yes, it was a risk. With the country going into COVID lockdown and uncertainty, people questioned the timing of our start-up launch. However, we were confident we had the right product at the right time, given it was body washes and hand sanitisers! It’s been a crazy ride with lessons learnt long the way, but it’s done extremely well.
Your youngest Dash just started school this year – how are you finding it?
Personally, I’m loving it! I’ve had kids at home in some form for the past nine years, so I'm not going to lie, I feel like a new and very productive woman. It took him a few weeks to settle in and now he’s got a heap of friends. Although, I am sure when things at work settle down a little, I am going to yearn for them to be back at home.
How do the boys get along?
They get along pretty well. Nate is a shy, quiet observer whose level headed. Whereas Dash is just full of life, headstrong and really sassy! He’s also quite the smooth talker - he tells me every day that I’m beautiful!
What kind of a mum are you and do you ever get mum guilt?
I’m no nonsense – I don’t mollycoddle the boys! I’m also not really an arts and crafts type mum – I’d rather have a hit of tennis or kick of the footy with them. The mum guilt is very real. I’m always saying "quick quick quick" or "hurry" because there are a million things on the go at one time and I always feel such little time to get everything done. I definitely do feel guilty about never having enough quality one-on-one time with them, but I think most working mums probably feel that way. I also struggle with never having enough time to myself either, I can't tell you the last time that I watched tv, sat down and ate lunch in peace and quiet.
How do you manage the juggle?
Juggling running two businesses, kids, a hubby, and afterschool sport each night can at times be manic - well it's manic every day really! That’s why it’s so important to me that weekends are for family time. The weekdays may as well be a write-off but I truly treasure the weekends where I can switch off and spend time as a family.
What’s been the hardest part about parenting so far?
Probably since around the time Dash was about two years old, because I have been running two businesses whilst being a mum to two kids. It’s been a lot easier this year now that they’re both at school. I am really career driven and an entrepreneurial high achiever, but then again, I also want to be there for my kids. It’s such a juggling act but I try not to put too much pressure on myself as feeling guilty is counterproductive and really doesn’t change anything. My kids get to grow up in an environment where they see how hard you have to work for your dreams to become a reality and hopefully that rubs off on them later in life.
You and your sister have four boys between you – did you ever want a daughter?
Yes! My boys and Lysandra’s boys Emerson, 11, and Cohen, 9, all have so much fun together. However, there’s always going to be that little hole inside which gets to me when I see little girls in nail salons with their mums. Also, when boys get older their wives take over and the mother-in-law gets kicked to the side haha! Although, not always the case, I’d be lying if I said that doesn’t scare the bejesus out of me lol …
What are your best hacks for mum stress?
It’s so important that women make time for themselves as mums – it’s something that I struggle to find the time to do. I’m trying to find that time for myself as well as having date nights and fun nights out with your girlfriends.
How do you and Lysandra work together?
We can raise our voices a fair bit and are very blunt – there’s no beating around the bush. Sometimes there are arguments, but then we just move on. You can do that with sisters, with other people it may end the friendship! Having said this, I wouldn’t want to work with anyone else as we know we always have each other’s back.
For more information on al.ive body visit www.alivebody.com.au