Supporting the journey of motherhood, in style

Portier Founder Lia DiMingo: “My Goal Is To Instil Confidence In Other Parents”

Meet Lia DiMingo, the founder of portier, the brand behind Australia's most coveted baby carrier. We spoke to Lia about the inspiring journey behind her company and what it's like juggling a thriving business with raising her two children.

Lia DiMingo’s parents taught her the importance of hard work and perseverance. Growing up in Melbourne, Lia’s father was a business owner in the hospitality industry, while her mother was a hairdresser by trade and “creative at heart”, who spent all her free time sewing.

“Persistence, hard work, and tenacity were the cornerstones of my upbringing,” Lia tells THE INARRA. “I was taught that success doesn’t come easily and that you need to work hard for it. These principles have guided me throughout my life, both personally and professionally.”

The business mind inherited from her father and the creative spirit of her mother enabled Lia to establish her own business, Australia’s leading parenting brand portier. The idea for the company first came about during the Covid-19 pandemic when Lia was on maternity leave awaiting the arrival of her first child Xander. 

“The business was born out of a personal need to create a product that made me feel good during my postpartum journey, when I needed it most,” Lia reflects. “At the time, I was a first-time mum in a pandemic, and my only freedom was to walk within a 5km radius of my home.” 

“I had a baby that hated being in the pram, and I desperately needed a carrier that was easy to use and instantly elevated my activewear, which was on high rotation at the time.”

“My goal is to instil confidence in other parents. On days when leaving the house feels impossible and activewear is the only option, our carrier is a game-changer. It's the instant boost you need - a piece that elevates your outfit and lifts your spirits.”

As a self-proclaimed lover of all things fashion and design, Lia struggled to find baby carriers that reflected her style. So, over the next two years, she worked tirelessly to create a product that would change the face of the industry: the Limitless Baby Carrier

A far cry from the traditional options on the market, the Limitless Baby Carrier is a modern approach to functionality. Crafted from lightweight natural fabrications, it’s designed to give parents the freedom to lean into their new lifestyle, without losing their sense of style.  

My goal is to instil confidence in other parents,” Lia says. “On days when leaving the house feels impossible and activewear is the only option, our carrier is a game-changer. It’s the instant boost you need – a piece that elevates your outfit and lifts your spirits.” 

Available in a range of premium prints and colour ways – we love the neutral houndstooth option – the  Limitless Baby Carrier is like nothing else. It’s as practical as it is stylish, suitable for breastfeeding on the go with three ergonomic carry positions, whether you prefer front carry facing inwards, front carry facing outwards, or back-carry. 

“Our design choices and overall aesthetic are influenced by the portier customer – and to be honest, that’s me,” Lia says. “As the founder and designer, I’ve crafted the product and brand with my own needs and preferences in mind. Staying true to my vision guides our design decisions.”

“The Limitless Baby Carrier stands out from other products on the market due to its seamless integration of style and functionality,” she continues. “I’ve dedicated considerable effort to perfecting four key aspects of the product: three-way carrier functionality without the need for inserts or accessories, high-end yet affordable pricing, premium fabrications, and a stylish design. I firmly believe we have successfully delivered on all four elements.”

The product launched just one week after Lia welcomed her second child, Maxim, in June 2022. “Crazy, I know!” Lia reflects. “Starting portier presented countless obstacles, making it one of my most challenging endeavours yet.” 

“My journey from concept to launching the online store was a lengthy one, filled with valuable lessons. I embarked on this during Covid-19, which naturally extended timelines,” she continues. “Initially, I worked with an Australian pattern maker to achieve our product’s design. Once perfected, I used the tech pack to procure samples from various manufacturers. After assessing workmanship quality, we selected a manufacturer and continued refining the pre-production sample.”

“Simultaneously, building the website and crafting our marketing strategy – from defining the tone of voice to establishing our brand – was an extensive process. Reflecting on it now, I’m amazed at how I managed all of this while caring for my baby boy.”

In just two years, portier disrupted the parenting market. The brand recently expanded to include the sell-out On The Go Nylon Pouch, a slick accessory that can be worn over the shoulder, crossbody, or as a pram caddy. But juggling a growing business and a young family isn’t easy. 

“I always knew I wanted to have children, but I was also deeply enjoying life with my husband, travelling the world,” Lia admits. “Initially, I thought that having children would bring an end to our adventurous lifestyle. However, it has enriched our experiences in ways I couldn’t have imagined. While our lifestyle looks a bit different now, it’s a different kind of wonderful.” 

“But balancing motherhood with managing a business presents immense challenges that I haven’t fully mastered yet. The juggle is intense, and I struggle with it daily,” she continues. “The biggest challenge is being fully present for my children while also showing up for my business – which often feels like an impossible task. I’ve learned that something inevitably has to give. I set realistic expectations and prioritise what’s most important to me at any given moment.”

 To make tough days more manageable, Lia prioritises self-care, whether that’s exercise or a quick blow wave. Her wardrobe is also important, no matter how little time she has in the morning to get dressed. 

“I think it’s crucial that personal style doesn’t take a backseat after becoming a parent. Though my body has changed postpartum, I now opt for clothes that fit comfortably rather than squeezing into my old jeans,” Lia says. 

 “I’ve learned that I can still express myself stylishly while juggling motherhood. Dressing well instantly boosts my mood and so spending an extra five minutes in the morning putting an outfit together sets the tone for my day.” 

 And Lia is busier than ever before. The mother-of-two has plans for new products in the pipeline, designed to help parents to feel confident on their new journey. 

“We remain committed to creating products that blend aesthetics with functionality and plan to expand our product range,” Lia reveals. “Exciting opportunities lie ahead for portier.”

For fellow mothers who dream of starting their own business one day, Lia is nothing but encouraging. “Don’t hesitate! Instead of waiting for the ‘perfect moment’, dive in and adapt as you go,” she advises. “Women are resilient and formidable individuals capable of achieving anything.” We couldn’t agree more. 

 

Visit portier online or follow @portier.australia on Instagram.

 

Words by Danielle Fowler | Photography supplied by portier

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