How Portuguese Home Decor Brand Luz Editions Grew and Developed a Devoted Following

Credit to all photos: Paula Franco, Luz Editions

I have known Paula Franco for many years and watched her trust in her creative instincts grow. 

When she launched her first collection under her brand Luz Editions, I knew she had created something special. I have been a superfan from the start, purchasing her products for myself and gifts for those I love. 

I knew she had great potential but I could see from the outside she was missing some of the key components that would take her where she wanted to go so I was delighted when she joined my original Walls of Love program in 2021, I have had the joy to get to know Paula and her products and to help her fill in the missing pieces and I am delighted to share where she is now and how she achieved it.

The name Luz means light and in this precise case highlights Portuguese heritage and know-how. Because Portugal is still rooted in its tradition but is currently experiencing strong changes, it is necessary to remember its history, to value its simplicity, and to embrace it.

Our desire to create small, limited collections is dictated by the human side of handmade and rarity. Each collection will have a specific theme and will be limited in quantities. They will not be reissued.

— Paula Franco on Luz Editions

What motivated you to open your shop and what was your vision for your work?

I was born in France to Portuguese parents so my heart belongs to both cultures. I wanted to create a collection of pieces whose storytelling is rooted in my origins.

Each piece we create invites you to travel in the traditions and know-how of Portuguese craftsmanship. 

Everything was ready to launch Luz at the beginning of January 2020. I had done my first photoshoot in February to be able to prepare a catalog and the site. And suddenly, in March, Covid arrived and stopped the world. At the time, I was already comparing designers’ quotes to launch my online store. So, as it was impossible for me to have direct contact with merchants and customers, I started to work alone on my website. At that time, I saw no other possible way out for the development of my brand.

My vision has always been to be as visible as possible, to give people the opportunity to buy when there are no physical stores close to them.

Where were you when you started the course?

When I started the course, I had just built my website for my brand and was almost at the starting point. A year before, I had done the Yes, Yes, Yes course and I had come to the conclusion that, even if I loved photography, I would certainly never live from it. At the end of this course, thanks to the introspection of the course, I had another project in mind… and I started to develop “Luz Editions,” my brand of decorative pieces for the home, based in artisanat.

A few months later, when Carla launched her Walls of Love course, I didn’t immediately join because I thought it was only for photographers. It was by speaking with participants and questioning Carla directly that I understood all the potential that I could draw from it.

What did you want to achieve?

I was looking for guidance and advice, sharing and, above all, group motivation because the loneliness of entrepreneurship weighed on me. In the beginning, I didn’t have many expectations but as soon as I discovered the content of the program, I was very motivated.

In the program, I was able to find a lot of resources, details that mattered but that I hadn’t taken into account and above all I could share my ideas on future launches and get effective and honest feedback from the whole group.

I found in Carla a great inspiration, a mentor who is always very frank and caring at the same time. She shares each time so much of her own experience… that it is very motivating. You understand that if you put in the hard work, you can be successful too!

What was a block that held you back and how did you overcome it?

The most obvious blockage in general is that of success. We always want it but to what extent? The point of not knowing how to say no? The point of paying yourself last, if you pay yourself? The point of working more hours than when you were an employee? Then comes the subject of freedom. We all want to be entrepreneurs to be more “free” but in truth, it doesn’t really happen like that because we are everywhere and nowhere. Lack of organization or procrastination is also our worst enemy. All these points, I managed to overcome them thanks to the program. Not that it never happens to me again, but today, I am able to identify where not to put my energy and on the contrary, where to put more effort. And thanks to that, I can say that success came gradually but surely.

Where are you now? What has changed? Prizes, big orders, books published, new product lines, sales, etc.

Almost three years after the launch of Luz and one year after the end of the program, I can say that I live my business with more serenity and confidence. My turnover has tripled and the growth is increasing month after month.

I followed the advice of the Walls of Love program which notably highlighted the need to surround yourself and delegate.

For me, everything accelerated from the moment I started working with a logistics platform.

Now I save my time for my genius areas and delegate tasks like managing inventory, preparing shipments, and shipping. Despite my apprehension at the start, I realized that the logistics center costs much less than renting a warehouse and paying an employee.

And now, with the time I save, I focus more on the development and launch of new products, visits to craftsmen, and customer acquisition. 

What have been some of the surprises and joys (possibly how you have grown, the relationships you have started with incredible people, companies, galleries, shops, publishers, etc.)

My greatest surprise – outside of sales – is the relationship I’ve developed with many people. First with craftsmen who help me to give life to my vision and to the products I design. I love how we find solutions and have open discussions. Right after them come the customers and the owners of physical stores that sell the brand.

Regarding customers, I have very moving messages about the purchase of certain products. Regarding the shops, a great respect and a good collaboration have been established with many of the owners. We work hand in hand to make every launch a success. I listen to their praise, their expectations, their disappointments too; I feel that the message I wanted to convey is understood. I feel that there is a real transmission and for me, this project would not make sense without this human part and all that it brings.

How would you describe your relationship with what you have created and your long term view for continuing your work? 

Today when I think back to my initial idea and the evolution that the brand has taken, I feel proud. First of all because my vision paid off and it was above all to meet consumers who, like me, are looking for decorative pieces with meaning.

The starting point was to maintain and make known to the world traditional Portuguese knowledge such as soenga, a talented photographer like Artur Pastor, and to push the work of traditional craftsmen on a small scale.

Now, I have the feeling that the more I advance, the more I refine the products that I create. My message is clearer each time and contributes to building a small loving community in the Luz Editions universe.

Actually, I can see me running my little brand for 10 years more and pass it to someone who has the same vision but who will come with new ideas. It would be like passing the torch to the next generation.

What would you say has been a habit, behaviour, or anything that has attributed to your success?

Contacting people, knocking on doors, canvassing even if it requires effort and overcoming a certain shyness. Because I really believe in my products. I also learned to accept that not everyone might be interested in selling them (shops know their ideal client). But the more I refine my research, the more I contact real future partners. The shops were essential for my visibility. Now, each time I travel, I always take products with me in case I see a shop that can be a good match.

Of course, this “sales” work is also a big part of the program because knocking on doors also corresponds to writing emails and newsletters. And to insist sometimes too… I have a lot of shops that read my emails but didn’t contact me but, seeing my success grow, they came to me. This is often the case with the flagship stores, they are the ones who come to you and not the other way around.

What’s your next big dream…or where do you see Luz in 5 years? 

I keep the dream of opening at least one shop. But it has to be a specific place full of beauty, history, meaning… and given the real estate prices today in Lisbon, maybe it won’t happen but I’m still hopeful. Who knows, maybe someone will read this interview and contact me?! You have to dream… always!

Huge thanks to Paula for sharing her story and for continuing to bring to life original objects with local artisans. Having the courage to follow your heart and take action means the world is a better place thanks to Paula. 


You can check out her shop here:

Follow her on Instagram here and on Pinterest here


Carla x

P.S.: If you would like to learn more about selling your photography and art online, you can watch my FREE training here.

lisa clifford books

What do Florence, Creativity, and Menopause have in common?

What do Florence, creativity, and menopause have in common?

Well, many years ago when I was still in my early forties I had the joy of sharing an honest discussion in Florence over multiple cappuccinos about life after menopause with women who were on the other side of menopause. 

I was curious about this phase of life and the good things they had to say about it.

Now you may think it’s odd as many women are sold the story that life after hormones, family, and menopause aren’t that great but these women were telling me another story, one that I tucked away in my memory for my turn.

They explained that once you learn how to manage the hot flashes (reduce anything that taxes your liver) something incredible can happen, your creativity literally explodes. 

I’ve seen close at hand many women thrown off course with the physical changes of menopause so I braced myself for my turn but I have to admit I was excited about the thought of newfound creativity so it took away a little of the fear.

Well, ladies, I’ve made it to menopause and beyond and I remember that conversation. When a woman hits 50, look out folks, it feels like it’s our time. A woman in her fifties has an invisible sign on her head that says something along the lines of ‘It’s my turn, please get out of my way.’

When my hormones exited the room, many of my chains were cut and from listening to other women, theirs were cut too. Those endless years of serving others, partners, family, work, children, corporations, the right thing to do, and parents slowly come to an end. 

At 50, a fog slowly lifts, kind of like when you wipe a foggy window on a rainy day and you can see clearly. There is a healthy disconnection that I had never felt before, a chance to make decisions with more clarity and less emotional pull, and an intense desire to have time for myself.

lisa clifford

Photo copyright by Damien Anthony Avery-Rossi (@mrhollywoodinoz)

A woman in her 50s is full of stories, experiences, knowledge, and skills, and is in the perfect position to put all of her energy into something that excites her. 

Post menopause, just as those ladies promised, in flooded ideas and creativity.

These days, I wake up and all I want to do is make. I want to make things whether it is gardens, photos, ceramics, words, cat houses, bags, or whatever attracts me on the day. I feel this intense internal desire to create and often when my daily tasks take over and I haven’t had the chance to use my hands, a little Carla monster comes to life to remind me to make time for myself. 

I know I’m not alone. I hear it from other women all the time. 

If you’re reading this and you or your friends would like to start on a creative path or making time for yourself, my beautiful friend and author Lisa Clifford will be teaching The Art of Writing this Spring and Summer in Florence, and could there be a better place for a woman to sit down with a group of other women to explore her creativity, devote some time to herself and her story?

lisa clifford
lisa clifford books

Photos copyright by Lisa Clifford (@lisacliffordwriter)

Cappuccinos, history, fashion, culture, museums, art, friendship, and great food are some of the feasts I devoured when I lived in Florence, and on every visit, my entire being and creative well are refilled with inspiration and joy. 

If you feel it’s your time and you are just getting started on your path and feel like a creative workshop in Florence, you can learn more here.


Sending you love and creativity,

Carla x


P.S. Lisa and I created Naples A Way of Love together so I have had the honour of seeing her work in action!  x

TV Sensation Shaynna Blaze’s Place With One Of My Flower Girls!!!

Dearest Fellow Creatives,

What a joy to see in Domain this past week the beautiful home interiors of superstar interior designer and co-host of TV sensation The Block, Shaynna Blaze.

I’ve lived away from Australia for so many years and had only heard about this show on trips home but when my Father was dying, it was one of the shows my Mum, Dad, and I watched each week.

I stayed in Australia for four months that year and became a The Block enthusiast so it was super exciting to see that one of my flower girls, Going Places, was actually hanging in Shaynna’s beautiful home!

Photo: Natalie Jeffcott

The clever folks at Domain created a little tour video of Shaynna’s home with lots of beautiful surprises, which you can watch here:

In Shaynna’s words, “A home should feel like an oasis as well as an adventure, with elements of fun, personality, and the unexpected.”

Here is a little preview of her home with photos by the talented Natalie Jeffcott:

Photo: Natalie Jeffcott
Photo: Natalie Jeffcott

You can check out Domain’s feature on Shaynna’s 1880s Melbourne pad HERE.


If you would like to decorate your walls with a little joy and beauty, you can check out my shop here:

Loads of love and thanks to Domain, Shaynna Blaze, and Natalie Jeffcott. 


Carla x

Carla Coulson, Christmas Shopping Edit 2021, Susan Papazian

Carla’s Christmas Shopping Edit 2021

Carla Coulson, Christmas Shopping Edit 2021, Susan Papazian
Carla Portrait credit: Susan Papazian

One of the best ways you can share the love and keep small businesses in business this Christmas is to shop locally, support family-run businesses and artisans and creators. 

It is with great joy I bring to you a Christmas shopping edit of small, individual makers, creators, and photographers.

I have created this little gift guide together with some of the beautiful creatives from around the globe who I’ve had the pleasure of working with as they bring their work to life and share it with the world.

Drumroll, please…

Paula Franco has created a unique lifestyle brand founded in the transmission of Portuguese tradition, in her words, Luz Editions is borne out of the desire to create quality goods for everyday life. Without memory, there is no future.”

This Christmas I am hankering after one of her amazing candles in a clay-blackened vessel created in the soenga firing process. Its name is Alegria (happiness), and the candle fragrance starts with Petitgrain and then blossoms into a seductive blend of floral accord and orange blossom!!

Paula Franco, Luz Editions
Paula Franco, Luz Editions
Paula Franco's Alegria scented candle

Hello, don’t we all need one or two of those under the tree this year? Speaking of happiness, I am also in love with her linen tea towels and I have gifted them to many friends with her uplifting words of happiness, family, faith, and hope (that run across all her different products) and the images of Portuguese photographer Artur Pastor. This year you can’t go wrong with a little happiness.

Paula Franco, Luz Editions
Paula Franco's Alegria Tea Towels

I love Australia and sitting on the other side of the world this Christmas makes me love this great land even more. Mandy Robb’s photography is twisting my heartstrings this season as we hunker down for the winter. I love this beautifully wild beach photograph of a surfer dwarfed by the beauty of these sculptural rocks that fall into the sea. Wild is what we need in the home and Mandy lends such a gentle and feminine hand to the country around her home Esperance in Western Australia. If your home needs like twenty kilos of sage after 2020 and 2021 and a little refresh on the walls, check out her beautiful collection here.

Mandy Robb
Mandy Robb's fine art print, 'Chilled'

Here’s one for the boys of all ages in your life including the big ones! Photographer Scott Gould lives and breathes trains and he is now sharing his work with the world. I love his photography including collections from Europe and Canada but this season, I’m loving seeing the trains passing through the Australian landscapes dotted with cows and his beautiful black and white that feels like it could have been taken 50 years ago. My dad once bought a train set for Christmas for my brother, and I remember him and his mates loving it almost as much as my brother did. I think the boys are going to love a little railway photography this year as the fascination with trains never ages. You can check out his beautiful work here.

Scott Gould
Scott Gould's As The Crow Flies
Scott Gould
Scott Gould's Smoke Trails
Scott Gould

Documentary photographer Rebecca Carter is one to watch, mark my words! Yes, folks, this glorious Australian photographer is doing very special work and was recently selected as a Finalist in the Bluethumb Art Prize 2021 and I promise this is just the beginning. 

I second these words about her work: Carter’s work is timeless and breathtaking, a fine example of excellence in Australian Art.”

So lovelies, my recommendation for some magic and beauty on your walls this season that may just become a collectible in the future is this image from her series, “Newcastle,” it feels like Monet and Norman Lindsay were whispering in her ear as she was framing this photo. Don’t walk — run to her site and check out her beautiful work of the Omo Valley also.

Rebecca Carter
Part of Rebecca Carter's series called 'Newcastle'.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love! These words just keep rolling around in my head and every time I glance at a sunset, the sea, a paddock, a field, a flower, a tree, and our world, I realise this is what we need more of. Nothing beats bringing Mother Nature inside and this image titled “Wanderlust” from New Zealand photographer Julia Lochhead is like putting the love of Mother Nature on your walls. And, of course, Mother Nature is so amazing. This is her on a regular day out before she gave us water, free food in the form of vegetables, and dazzled us with flowers, bees and birds, and a little sunset magic! She really does it all with so much grace and ease!!

Julia Lochhead
Julia Lochhead
Julia Lochhead's 'Wanderlust'

Millie Brown has a heart as big as the environment she photographs. Millie takes her craft seriously and has wrapped her love of the environment into her work. I love her series on Cradle Mountain, part of the wilderness protected area in Tasmania. You can feel the crisp air and the quietness as though it were you walking along the creaking wooden footway amongst the Pandini trees and the great outdoors that fills your heart with wellbeing. 

Australians have had the joy of growing up in this incredible landscape and our environment needs us and Millie is doing a beautiful job in bringing attention to it using her camera. As I’ve said before, there is nothing that will wash away the heaviness of 2020 and 2021 like refreshing your space and beautifying it with images of the wild. You may be able to put your order for the 20 kilos of sage on hold and just grab one of these beauties instead. 

Millie Brown
Millie Brown's Pandani Family (left) and Valley Wilderness (right).
Millie Brown

I love all the work by Artist Laura Horrocks but this little sweetheart keeps on whispering to me! Laura’s recent work creates magic out of thick brushstrokes, beautiful colour palettes, and innocent flowers. This one titled ‘By The Window’ is a little different and is reminiscent of one of the interiors of Matisse and transports you to a window maybe in the South of France and the beauty and fascination that a single bloom and a sea view can hold. Laura has a range of work that will mesmerize you so my advice is to pop on your running shoes and run, don’t walk, to the link below and explore this Australian artist (who resides in Paris) work ASAP.

Laura Horrocks
'By The Window' by Laura Horrocks. Acrylic on canvas.
Laura Horrocks
Other original artworks by Laura Horrocks. Left: Blanc Bloom; Right: Flower In The Morning Rain.

Dear Expat, this one’s for you! If your heart is hurting as you glance outside your office window in New York listening to the icy winds howl, or if you are throwing another log on the fire in upstate New York or in the mountains of Italy, you are going to love the work of Laura Reid. Award-winning photographer Laura Reid trains her eye on the quintessential things that make our collective Australian heart long for summer in Australia at this time of year. Laura brings her love of modernist architecture with a human element in it to create iconic images of Australians at play in her unique way, like famed photographer Max Dupain once did. You will love her joyous work of Australians at play.

Laura Reid
Sun Worship by Laura Reid
Laura Reid
Summer Joy by Laura Reid

What I say about the work of Jilly Bennett will never be as tender or express the intricate stories that she tells in her images of the daily life of dogs and their owners.

They are chronicles of the love, care, and joy taken in the South of France and Italy in the great tradition of documentary photographers such as Elliott Erwitt, always with a dash of humour and a huge dollop of warmth. They are the perfect gift for your dog/European/street photography-loving friend who doesn’t need another plastic toy for their pooch or a box of Calisson from the South of France. They will light up their walls and their hearts. Some of my favourites are these:

Jilly Bennett
The Best Treat by Jilly Bennett
Jilly Bennett
Backstreets of Bari by Jilly Bennett
Jilly Bennett
Patience by Jilly Bennett

For those who have resisted meditation and need some peace and quiet on their walls, American photographer Janice Murray specialises in whisper-quiet images. Her images are so peaceful and calm you could hear a pin drop. So if you feel like you can’t make it down to the yoga studio or meditation group, simply pop one of her beauties on your wall this Christmas and glance at it every time you feel stressed. Her love of small coastal towns on the American New England coast means you may also be able to find a glorious sailing image for hubby’s pool room or boathouse this season! Bring on the calm.

Janice Murray, JLM Photography
Janice Murray's Rockport MA Chaloupes
Janice Murray, JLM Photography

Photographer Karen Alderson has a secret weapon of not only being a talented photographer but also a florist which means her work has the eye of someone looking at flowers every day. Karen doesn’t photograph just any type of flowers, she has developed a love and sensibility for flowers that are delicate, romantic, and pastel, you can imagine them in an English or French garden. Every image is imbued with romance and her soft touch. If we needed an image to go with the definition of pretty in the dictionary, we could simply pop in the photography of Karen Alderson. Her work will give a feminine touch to your home.

Karen Alderson
Karen Alderson's Etienne de France
Karen Alderson

Artist Erica Diazoni’s tender touch and respect for mother nature are evident in all her work including her selection of watercolours. Using the same subtle colour palette reminiscent of her love of natural pigments you also see in her weaving, Erica has brought her poetic and feminine nature into her art. These sensitive watercolours of a Swiss Mountain, a piece of lichen, and a Rowan tree in winter make you love Mother Nature and all her subtleties even more. They would be heavenly for a treasured corner of your home or to brighten a space that needs a little poetry. You can contact Erica via her Instagram and make one of these fine art prints yours this holiday season.

Erica Diazoni
Erica Diazoni
Erica Diazoni

And last but not least, I can’t tell you how much joy it brings me to share with you Filippo Carbonari’s idea to produce hiking shoes in his natal village of Fratte Rosa in Le Marche with Franco Cesarini, one of the descendants of the local shoemaking atelier that has been making shoes since 1870. I am beyond excited to see this photographer friend of mine create an amazing product that not only helps people like us get good-looking and comfortable hiking shoes but keeps a tradition alive in his village in the mountains of Le Marche.

Le Frattesi, Filippo Carbonari
Left, Filippo Carbonari; Right, Franco Cesarini (Image Credit: Le Frattesi, Filippo Carbonari)
Filippo Carbonari, thetownfratterosa
The town of Fratte Rosa (Image Credit: thetownfratterosa on Instagram)

Good news for the ‘big feet’ amongst us (me), they make all their range to measure. These folks at Le Frattesi make my wide foot that has been tortured its whole life dance with glee as we walk off into 2022 with a whole new view of the world. And who wouldn’t want to buy shoes from peeps that have this as their mission statement: “Our commitment is to continue to work with humility, fairness, and passion, to guarantee all those who buy from us a pair of tailor-made shoes that rock and a pleasant and carefree experience.”

le Frattesi
Le Frattesi, La Fighetta
La Fighetta (Image Credit: Le Frattesi)

I want to send you much goodness, kindness, generosity, and love this Christmas and holiday season.

I want to remind you that you count, you are enough and that simply by staying open, kind, and compassionate you are filling the world with your light and that is what we need right now. Keep beaming your light and all the light will gather and fill our world with good.


From me to you, much love always.


Breathe with Us + Shine Your Light

Dear Lovelies,

There is a lot going on in the world right now and one of the easiest ways to do your bit is to shine your light! But one of the questions I keep getting is how to focus amongst the chaos. 

Fear is a powerful mechanism and what it does is throw us into confusion like we have done a couple of hundred rounds in the washing machine. 

When we are confused, we can’t make decisions from a place of confidence, we forget what we really want, start searching for the ‘right decision’ by polling others and the result is anxiety. 

Sometimes it can be hard to find the light amongst the uncertainty.

I am joining together tomorrow on Instagram Live with my lifelong friend Athalee Brown of Madly Calm, (we both have always been more on the ‘madly passionate, excitable, wild side’ than the calm one) to show you how amazing you are through the power of your breath.

We have available to us one of the greatest tools, our breath, that can calm our nervous system in a matter of minutes, go from anxious to calm, and instantly access all the benefits that being calm brings to our lives.  

Athalee, a Certified Instructor in both the Buteyko Clinic International and Oxygen Advantage, and a trained Breathing Coach from Yoga Teachers College, will share with us some simple breathing techniques that we can do together so that you can start to bring peace back into your life, reconnect to yourself, and get that beautiful light of yours shining like a lighthouse tower for all to see. 

I will also share my story of how breathwork helped me heal my sleeping tablet addiction in my 20’s and 30’s.

Let’s get madly calm together.

When: Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 8:30 AM Paris / 6:30 PM Sydney (Check your local times here.)

Where: My Instagram

How: If you have my Instagram open and refresh shortly after the time above, you will be able to join us. 

What you need: Your nose and a quiet space.

See you tomorrow,

Carla x

If you are tired of living a life you don’t love and are no longer willing to ignore your desires, you may like to start reconnecting to a new vision for your life – Download my Free PDF Workbook here.