2016-10-04 - We speak to Carmen Folch and Fernando Ballesteros about combining a career with a large family - and their life as Bugaboo pioneers. “Our home life is wonderfully chaotic!”
Carmen Martinez Folch and Fernando Ballester live in Valencia, Spain and are entrepreneurs: Carmen has two high-end opticians and is about to open her third; and Fernando owns a pharmacy. They combine their busy life at work with an even busier life at home, as they have four children: Carmeta (12), Fernando (10), Alicia (7) and Blanca (4). Ten years ago, cutting edge Spanish lifestyle magazine NEO2 wrote an article about families as early adopters to Bugaboo. We hear from one of them a decade later to see how their lives have changed and how they remember their Bugaboo years.
First of all - you both have your own businesses - how do you balance your career with your family?
We have four very active children - and four is quite a lot! So our home life is wonderfully chaotic. As anyone with a large family will tell you, it takes tons of hard work, but it’s also incredibly gratifying. But you do need a lot of energy.
We took the plunge and started our family at the same time as both of us were setting up our businesses. Starting your own enterprise is incredibly exciting, but you also need a lot of time, commitment and focus. All of the things you probably don’t have when you have young children and babies!
So in the beginning it was quite challenging, but nowadays we are able to balance things much better than in the past. Our businesses have grown and are now established. Once we were able to hire people everything changed as we no longer had to do every single thing ourselves; we became much more flexible. Life is fantastic now but it’s taken us a while to get here.
What’s your secret to family life?
There is no secret! But we believe it’s all about staying true to yourself and your ambitions, being active, getting out and about – for example we’ve always spent a lot of time outdoors with our family, hiking and walking. Right from the beginning, even when our kids were tiny babies. And we try to have lunch together every single day. That’s our special family moment!
So did all four children grow up with Bugaboo?
Absolutely! That’s why we call ourselves Bugaboo pioneers: we were there right from the start. We got our first Bugaboo stroller over 10 years ago, for our first daughter Carmeta. That was a Bugaboo Frog, which we loved. Since then we have also had the Bugaboo Cameleon and the Bugaboo Bee. So we’re actually a three-stroller family! But if we had to pick our favorite it would definitely be the Bugaboo Cameleon, which we chose because of its design. We saw it in a magazine and instantly fell in love. We still have our Bugaboo Cameleon and we genuinely adore it – this may sound a bit silly, but it’s almost like it’s part of the family.
What do your children want to be in the future?
Our son wants to be pharmacist like Fernando. So he’s inspired by his father which is really cute and makes us quite proud. Although, who knows, he may change his mind yet! Our eldest daughter isn’t sure yet, but she loves painting and crafts - and the others all love music, so I think they may do something in the arts. The truth is they don’t know yet and they have all the time in the world to work out their own future. We would love them to continue the pioneering family tradition and set up their own businesses like we did… But the most important thing is that they discover their passion and find their own niche in life.
Check out the complete article about these Bugaboo Pioneers in NEO2 (in Spanish).
Interview: Sofía Dos Santos
Family Portrait: Javier Ferrer
Extract (images and text) from "Los pioneros" in Spanish Magazine Neo2 Magazine