Late last year, I connected with the lovely Carolyne from Shambhala House. I loved what she and her sister were creating and Carolyne was kind enough to share their journey into entrepreneurship. Check out Carolyne’s journey in our latest Tribe Talk Blog interview…

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am what one would call a trailing spouse or an expat wife. We live in Jakarta in Indonesia but I have to say that our life has been an adventure that has seen us move from Australia to West Papua in Indonesia to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia to


Our family on holidays: Nate, Jon, Dylan and me

Kalimantan in Indonesia, and now Jakarta.

We have two wonderful boys, Nate (11) and Dylan (9) and two amazing daughters, Shayla (27) and Billie (18) and two great son-in-laws, Tane and Merlin.  Our first beautiful granddaughter, Waiaria, has just been born. So it is a very exciting time for my husband, Jon, and I. We also have a very large and supportive extended family, and we have lifelong friends that are spread across the globe.

What was the moment that made you decide to stop living life the way you were and start chasing your dreams?

We arrived in Jakarta and were finally living in a location where so much was provided for. Our daughters are now grown, our sons are getting older and my husband’s career is going well so, that seemed to leave me with time to start thinking of myself.

In my first few months of living and exploring this city, I saw so many people doing amazing things, and setting up their own small businesses to bring to market everything from fashion, jewellery and accessories to bags and home décor items. In mid-December 2016, I had a sudden thought one night, “What if we could tap into these people and give them an export market.” I messaged my sister, Leica, in Australia.

Our business’ ethos is to support and source products from community-minded small businesses and talented artists from around the world. Our regular suppliers are building but we have now expanded to sourcing from four countries being Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. Our products are sourced from a wide range of people, including those helping to build families living in poverty, people with disabilities, disadvantaged women and much more. We also source from small business people just like ourselves.


This is the hearing-impaired workshop where we have started sourcing new line of products from. An amazing place to visit.

Our dream is to establish a network of small businesses that can support each other in their quest to bring their products to wider markets. It was some months later that we came up with our name, Shambhala House. Our business is based in Australia but we do consider the world our oyster and have customers in America and New Zealand too.

How would you describe your typical day?

I am in a different time zone to my sister, who lives in Gladstone (Queensland) in Australia, so I typically wake up about 5.00am to answer her messages that have been sent through. I then get my children off to school and will do some kind of exercise, meditation and journaling routine. Variety suits me otherwise I feel like what I am doing is just routine and has no meaning.

I then will often spend the morning doing work items and the afternoon often sees me at school for my kids’ sporting activities. My week also features a few social times with friends, some of whom have come on my journey with me around the city checking out what people are doing and going to the big bazaars that are held frequently. Having second, third and fourth opinions are great and I thank all my friends who have helped me along the way.


This is the first market I attended in Gladstone. Leica does the on-the-ground side of the business in Australia, while I focus on the online side.

This year, 2018, is the year we turn Shambhala House into our dream business!

I called 2017 our ‘Research and Development’ year where we learnt so much: product range and pricing; events that work for us and those that don’t; how to set up a website (; and the new world of social media marketing. I have a Bachelor of Business – Public Relations and had the start of a great career. Twelve years after leaving Australia. I am making my way back and into the new world of digital marketing.

How does it differ from how your life use to be?

I feel each destination we have landed in, one has to reinvent themselves and work out how it is they will contribute to the new communities they find themselves in. Now I have something that can take me to the next place, which may be home to Australia and New Zealand! My husband is from New Zealand so our dream is both.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

“You can do this! Just keep going.” Strangely enough, it came from a girlfriend when I first decided to train for an endurance event after I had attended one and witnessed the each person’s elation as they completed the triathlon.  I knew I wanted to be one of those people one day and feel what they felt as they achieved their dreams.

Applying this to business works for me too!

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far on your journey (either personal or in business)?

The beginning saw me sitting in my house with my laptop wondering how it is that we are going to turn this dream into a reality.  Then one starts to reach out to the world and it is amazing the people that have walked in from everywhere, and the opportunities that are coming our way.  So my biggest lesson is really that there are so many supportive people out there, you just have to believe in yourself, keep going and trust in your inner guidance.


Leica visited me in Jakarta in January at the end of her buying trip around Bali, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Oh yes, and messenger is a lifeline. Leica and I have just passed the one-year mark from when Shambhala House was merely just an idea. December 2017 and January 2018 was the first time we spent any time actually physically together!  We text and video just about every day all day about everything! So open communication is vital.

Have you always had a tribe? If not, what made you change from going it solo to connecting with your tribe?

Yes, I am pretty lucky in that way.  The tribe has changed throughout the years according to where I have lived, but so many remain from my Gladstone girlfriends to my travels in Australia and then overseas.  I am enjoying living in Jakarta where it is easy for us to get places and for people to visit us.  Now social media is bringing in a new tribe again. I am loving the support groups that are out there offering advice, educational webinars, daily interaction, presenting new opportunities, inspirational ideas and so much more!

What’s important for you in your tribe?

I think as I get older, I am starting to understand what is important to me: kindness, honesty and mutual respect are things I place great value on.  I love supportive and caring tribes that really do want the best for themselves and others, and have a desire to make the world a better place.

And to be grateful … so thank you, Emma, for this opportunity to write a blog post for your website.  I very much appreciate it!

For more information on Shambala House…

Shambhala House website:

Shambhala House Facebook: Shambhala House – Australia

Shambhala House Instagram: Shambhala House

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