30+ Aussie Business Mums who turned their passion into profit
Fast forward 2 years and my first daughter was born. I took maternity leave from my job and never went back. I now have 2 kids and have been earning an income for about 3-4 years. I absolutely love what I do. I love that I can be around with my kids while they are little and that I can make a difference in the lives of other mums. Kid Magazine has grown beyond my wildest imagination and I recently published my 40th issue. Not bad for a reformed HR Manager!
We sold our first franchise within our second month of launching in April 2017, and we are now operating across three states, with our sites set for global expansion.
My business is Hamper Life and we are an online directory & marketplace showcasing some of Australia’s finest gift hampers and boxes for all of life’s occasions. We also specialise in Corporate Gifting to create those unique and memorable gifts for clients, customers and staff.
I came across a wonderful group called Business Jump Co where they offer tailor made or concept ideas for online businesses and we got the ball rolling. Within 3 months, a week after being made redundant from my Corporate role, I was handed over my fabulous website with all the bells & whistles and began running my own business.
Hamper Life launched in December 2016 and I received my first paid listing in January 2017…. So not long at all. It has continued to grow as I have introduced multiple income streams into the business besides just having a directory and looking forward to what the future brings.
I’m a graphic designer and illustrator with a passion for guiding women in business to create a branding identity for their business that is reflective of their philosophies, vision and attracts their ideal clients. This includes logo design, colour palettes, font recommendations, images, hand drawn branding elements, custom patterns etc.
Because I already had my setup in place (computer, software, skills etc) from my previous business, I have been earning an income from my first client engagement. Having said that, I am also reinvesting in my business as it grows (with software, reference books, training and other resources).
So I started to create costumes that were not only going to last the tough workout that my 4 sons were going to give them, be machine washable (a must when you have so many kids) and let my children explore their worlds of imagination.
Since our early days, Imagine For Kids has not only grown to be a market leader in custom made children’s costumes, but it has allowed me, personally, to realise that that I have more courage than I thought, more strength then I realised, more determination than I believed and more imagination than I dreamed – All qualities that I want to show by example to my family.
Whilst I was studying my Nutrition Degree, working full time adapting to life with a small baby and pregnant with number two, I was diagnosed with PNDA. Although this was a very dark time of my life, my recovery was actually the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I began blogging about my recovery and sharing my knowledge and experiences about Nutrition and Self-Care with other Mums. This naturally evolved into a fierce passion for helping other Mums to find them selves again and to learn to prioritise themselves.
I commenced my Life Coaching studies shortly after to bring all of my passions together and to enable me to really dig deep with my clients to enable them to get the best results.
At the end of 2018 I resigned from my day job in local government to prioritise my small business and I haven’t looked back.
I spent the first 18 years of my career working in sustainability education and facilitating transformational outdoor experiences – often in amazing wild places (hence my deep commitment to building in everyone a desire to preserve pristine environments!) But after having kids and finding myself more and more moving towards traditional education, and getting tired of feeling like I was investing more energy into other people’s kids than my own, I started looking around for something different.
To be honest, it took a while to work out how to bring all the things I cared about together in a way that felt congruently ‘me’. And I was lucky to have the financial support of my husband while I worked out how to do that. I sought out and paid for a lot of help to make it work and that investment has been totally worth it. It took me about 9 months to start making decent money and since then I have been able to be there for my own kids, work from anywhere we are in the country, and even have another baby – all while still working – which has been totally awesome (and a little stressful at times with the baby 😉 Not everything I do is online – building relationships and working face to face is a key aspect of how I do business too, but once the relationship has begun, much of the work we do together can be done without being in the same place.
I launched The Nursery Collective in November 2016. Previously I’d worked in Advertising and Marketing for 10+ years but took a long break while we tried to conceive (we suffered from unexplained infertility for 3 years). We were lucky to conceive two beautiful kids, but eventually after 6 years of “SAHM-ing” I was ready for a new challenge and doing something “for me” again. Starting an online business that could work around my kids seemed the perfect opportunity and I wanted to help other mamas along their motherhood journey! I’ve also been living as an Australian expat in Dubai for almost 10 years and being able to start an Australian business from overseas was a huge advantage of going into the online space! It allowed me to stay connected to home, and to build a business I could return home with. As it is, we are hoping to relocate back to Sydney later this year.
I started earning an income in my business around 6 months after I launched. When I first started the biz I just wanted to exercise and challenge my brain again – earning income was always secondary, however of course now it’s become more than that and I’m super excited to keep growing the business!
In my business, I’m using the latest in legal technology to provide legal documents and services which are affordable and easily accessible. I work remotely from home around the needs of my family. So when we meet to discuss anything, it’ll be by video conference or phone.
I got started over 1 year ago now after needing to develop a business that would suit our family needs. Working long hours in a corporate office in a city just wasn’t practical for us. It took about 4 months to start earning an income, but there was about 6 months of behind the scenes work to establish the business before that. It was well worth the effort and we hope that when my young children are in school, the business will be ready for fulltime growth.
I started this business as I was very uninspired by the selection of shoes in the shops of main shopping centres. I have 2 boys and when shopping for my eldest son’s first pair of shoes there was very little on offer and what was not very good quality and stylish.
In regards to earning an income, it took me longer to draw an income out of the business than I would have had I worked in it full time. Shortly after opening to business I had my second child and wanted to be at home with him instead of putting him in child care so made the decision to employ staff instead of work in the business. I however still managed all the product ordering and marketing which I was able to do from home. This financial year is the first time I am now paying myself as well as employing 5 staff members.
I spent 20 years working as a marketing professional for many different businesses, managing the launch and development of many successful brands. When I left to have my second child I made the decision to leave the corporate world and become a business coach so I could help other mums succeed in launching and running their own business.
About 2 months after I launched my website I started to see some income! My initial focus was to build credibility and trust so I focused on my blog and social media, but once I started getting a name for myself, people began contacting me about coaching services and it all just went from there!
I was at a point in my life, where my kids had moved past the fully dependent baby stage, I had secured a low stress permanent part-time job, and had just completed two qualifications (where most of my spare time was spent studying). I was ready to do something for me, something that I was truly passionate about…and this is where I came across Business Jump!
My amazing coordinator helped me refine my business concept, and provided me with a beautifully designed website, along with my logo and social media accounts. Business Jump was able to fill the gap between having an idea and desire to create my own business, to creating what I knew I couldn’t do on my own.
My two girls aged 4 and 2, are confident, busy, love to learn, and a little bit cheeky! They are the inspiration behind Creative Mum Life. It is my goal to provide them with opportunities that encourage learning to stimulate physical, cognitive and social development. Being my own boss means that I can work when I like, so I can be there for my kids and life’s little activities.
I am a maritime engineer but after having 2 kids and being stuck at home with a sleeping baby and an energetic toddler, i quickly got sick of the clutter and all the toys that we spend money on but aren’t played with for more than 5 minutes! With so many parents juggling finances and time these days, I embarked on a mission to make life easier, by bringing back ‘real childhood’. You know, the kind of childhood we had ourselves where we made do with what we had!
This was when Jack and Lu’s was formed… it was created with a simple dream of bringing back real childhood; where the toys were simpler, the items were fewer and the imaginations were greater. My first product, the Real Kids, Real Play book has just been released and this will be followed by more products and resources for juggling parents shortly.
Even though I haven’t replaced my income yet, I have found something I love doing. This is the only reason that I have been able to work after the kids go to bed and to the wee hours of the morning on my business… it takes a lot to pull me away from MAFS!
My first pregnancy was a perfect storm of huge life events, redundancy from my long-term permanent administration manager role, terminal illness of a parent, and trying to find suitable work during my pregnancy to help with the financial stress that all of these elements were providing. Following the birth of my child, when he was about 5 months old, the financial strain began to show and I then started looking at re-entering the workforce. What I discovered was that there weren’t suitable roles to fit with my new life situation (being a career administration support person part-time is rare, because anyone who has worked in admin knows that you’re expected to be attached to your desk 40 hours a week). So in the meantime, I found myself leaning more towards temp roles which of course made planning day care and stability difficult. This went on for a good nine months doing the juggle, when by chance I met the person that would become my first (and still current) client. They couldn’t put me on in their business, but instead wanted me to come in and assist their then current administration employee with overflow tasks and setting up systems and processes to help their business. This was my lightbulb moment because I was so tired of making money for the recruitment agencies (and getting paid absolute minimum to do so) and having to drop my child at day care at the drop of a hat because roles would come up that day. I was witnessing a theme within the jobs I was working as a temp, where my skills were being underutilised; and I even had an agency tell me to work slower on one assignment so that they would receive two days worth of commission instead of one, because I had completed the tasks required of me sooner than they had liked. This was a huge red flag for me – I thought: Surely there is a much more cost effective way for businesses to obtain ad hoc admin support than going through recruitment agencies that they are paying a great deal of money to, for admin support they could be leveraging a lot more.
I’m now a Mum of two (had my daughter in December 2017) and have been able to take some time off from my business for maternity leave and am relaunching in May 2018 with a full roster of clients. Luckily for me I instantly began earning an income from my business because it was tied to my skills as an administration assistant. I had very few startup costs associated with the business because I already had a computer and pretty much all of the software I need is cloud based now and have either free or very inexpensive monthly subscriptions and no products to stock. It was a case of setting up my home office and setting off on engaging on social media and finding clients.
A Facebook page that I had helped her build, and any leftover stock she still had laying around. She showed me her fave suppliers and has been like a mentor to me as I “rebirthed” the business. New logo, new website, new blood. It has been fabulous. And now it’s growing faster than I can keep up, I’m finally expanding! Getting others on board to help (including my gorgeous friend!) and I can’t believe my luck. All this ‘organisation’ from being a mum and my consulting background has given me all the skills I need to run my own business. And successfully too!
I had my first child and took maternity leave. One week before returning to work, with Sophie already setting in day care 3 days a week, I received the news that the company was closing the Melbourne office and moving its operations to Sydney. I’ve searched a lot, but couldn’t find a suitable job for my skill-set level on a part-time basis.
With a little child and out of a job, I decided the best move was to start my own business. So I started FAB Marketing, a digital marketing consulting agency helping women in creative industries navigate the world of digital marketing and grow their business with ease. I feel very strongly about empowering women to do what they love without compromising on the things that matter most to them. That’s my why. I started Fab Marketing to give women choices, not only in business but in life.
My first year was confusing and overwhelming, but slowly I started to navigate my way in the business/entrepreneurship world. I’m happy I’ve persevered. I love what I do. I love meeting like-minded people whose values align to mine, build relationships and know I’m making a difference in other people’s lives.
Since starting FAB Marketing I had another child, and I spent 2017 working around her needs. It was quite a juggle, but totally worth it. This year I’m more business focused, and have more time to serve more clients and grow the business, which is exciting.
My story – quite simply, I wanted to work and earn my own money. Being new in Australia from the UK, with no family support, a 3 month old baby and a 3 year old and a hubby in the Defence Force working away a lot, I needed to meet people, feel useful and be able to contribute to the household. But unable to afford childcare and knowing that a 9-5 would not allow me to support my kids and likely break me with the stress of juggling everything, I started to look for ways to earn money around my kids. And whilst connecting in FB groups, I discovered the answer. I realised that my love of connecting, customer experience and the media, could all be used to support small Aussie independent business owners, to market their business cost effectively and make them known and locally famous. And so my business was born – media and marketing for small businesses.
I didn’t have a penny to invest and with nothing more than a very old laptop and a mobile phone, I began helping one store owner and then another and another and before long I had a handful of clients. Still with no website, or social media presence, through partnerships and a strong WOM and referral strategy, I continued to build my client base until I could afford a day of childcare and as I grew, I added another day until I was able to afford 4 days of childcare, allowing me to grow steadily, yet always in profit.
I have continued this strategy to date and 3 years on and with a small team of 4, I feel like the luckiest mum around – I can work, meet people, support my kids, employ other mums, LOVE what I do every day and turn a profit whilst making a difference to other small businesses and helping to keep them in business.
With little around of matching mummy and me clothing pieces, I wanted to create stylish mummy and me clothing, that all mummas would feel comfortable and fabulous in, whilst also looking super cute on their mini babes. This led to the creation of my matching Mummy and Me Kimono range, because what is more comfortable and stylish than a good Kimono, right?!
Having had experience co-owning/running a previous online Children’s Gift Shop and attending design markets almost every weekend I felt I had the skills and knowledge to finally start my new business adventure and make my dream of creating matching mummy and me clothing pieces a reality.
Starting out with the dinning room table as my office, the sewing machine my mum had given me years ago for Christmas and a very (veeerrrry) small budget, I began to design my creations and the brand of Love Everley!
After a few set backs (mainly perfectionism of my designs on my part) Love Everley was officially opened in September 2017. In the short space of 6 months I have gone on to create a profitable business whilst doing something I truly love and enjoy!
Having the support of my partner and our family and friends I have been able to grow my dream business and expand my range of matching Mummy and Me Kimonos to other Mummy and Me clothing pieces, including adding my Daddy and Me Clothing range!
I am so excited to keep expanding my small business and continue to release my new designs and creations.
I guess you could say I fell into this role after posting an ad offering VA services to support another home based business venture I was on. It turned out, I loved the creativity of building websites and managing my time around my son, so I decided to take control and work on my own business. I am generating an income (and have been since starting in this business) and contributing to our mortgage all whilst still being able to stay at home with our son. It’s amazing how things turn out and how the path you think you are on can change so dramatically. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I love supporting small business, finding those unique products that I know are made from a place of love, when I first had my son last year I spent hours scrolling through Instagram whilst breastfeeding, getting lost in the rabbit warren and finding some AMAZING small business mummas. The problem was I could never find them again in the light of day, and in my sleep deprived state would often forget to like or follow them, so I thought how great would it be to have a one stop shop – a go to place to make it easier for mums to purchase from these amazing small businesses. The flip side was when I started investigating further there was nothing available to suit the budget of a startup business, there are plenty of marketing places to suit those with larger budgets, but that isn’t always achievable when someone is trying to start up. Mumma Wolfpack follows the McDonalds principal, offering services at a lower rate to make it more accessible to a larger audience, because there is always strength in numbers.
We have only recently opened the doors to welcome businesses to join offering Free membership for 3 months which has obviously delayed receiving income (my focus is on ensuring people can see value for money first) but we have big plans for our launch to the public in a few weeks, and being commission based, I receive an income when the businesses make a sale. I have big plans for this business and really want to make a difference for mums who want to start a small business but not sure how to get their products out there in an affordable way, and I want to provide them with tools to grow and support (because we all start from nothing and know what it is like raising a baby and building an empire).
In October 2015 I received my first ever copy of my picture book ” Daniel and the Dummy Fairy”. I was so proud and excited to have written a children’s book dedicated to my two children Daniel and Sophie, however, my excitement soon turned to concern as over the next year I struggled to be found on the internet and make sales. The realisation hit that free websites are not free and that the cost of running a small online business while sharing my revenue with distributors and retail stores was outweighing my tiny profits.
With 12 years of Business Advisory experience while employed in the Travel and Pharmaceutical industries, my alarm bells were ringing as I had realised that this was a poor business model for me. I had vast experience working with buying groups and franchises so I knew that working with like-minded people was the answer to negotiating better postage rates, sharing Marketing expenses and creating a profitable business so I set about researching and developing my concepts to create the Little Kids Business marketplace.
We launched to Creators in December 2017 and to the Public March 18th 2018 at the Essential baby and Toddler Expo so we have only been trading for a short while so there is currently more money going out as I have staff to pay however we are confident that we are building something amazing.
We currently have 377 live gifts for sale from 49 small business partners with another 60 business partners registered yet to set up we predict that we will have 500 items for sale by June 30th and 1000 by Christmas.
Clients starting asking me to make a logo and stationery to match their blog bling and it went from there, I worked evenings those first two years and after realising I was earning a consistent amount (the same I was earning in my part time day job) I quit my job and went full time as a graphic designer, I also create patterns, I then was contacted by a web design company in LA and started collaborating with them and doing work for their clients, then came another 2 web design companies in Australis and now I also collaborate with the female social network company in north Sydney doing their graphic design and social media! The best bit is this all fits around my boys so I still drop them off at school and pick them up after and take them to their after school activities !
So with my mum and sister I created Cheeky Boys Boutique. Currently I am still building up stock, getting my name out there and getting customers so it’s a hit and miss with actually making a profit but for me right now it’s about giving parents another choice of clothing for their little man and not having to settle for making their boy fit into that ‘traditional boy’ image.
I grew up all over the world, thanks to my father’s work and thanks to my mums’ insistence that we accompany him in his travels, we ( my kid brother and I) got the chance to taste multiculturalism at its finest – the seasons, the foods, the traditions, the languages everything – and while sometimes we did face bigotry, racism in spades – these ‘experiences’ became the launchpad to who we are today – world citizens…global travelers .
We moved to Australia a couples of years ago, and when it came to the stage that the babies were going to kindergarten/school….and did not need mummy ( a lil’ cheer of joy, but also some tears) I decided it was time to do my ‘own’ thing – something that defined me, used the skills and the experiences that shaped me – into a business. And thus, Dual Nation was born.
I started first by searching if there were any other businesses that were doing what I was hoping to do, and then learning how to master photoshop! Creating designs, making my own website, learning about the different ways to market the product – all these were huge learning curves. Once the designs were created, there was a test run to see how they would actually look once printed on cloth. And then..a love affair began for me – seeing the designs printed, getting them to those who were investing in my idea and hearing their stories – this was validation, this was love !
I launched Dual Nation in January 2018, and have yet to pay myself a wage however – there is some amount of profit from sales, that I am hoping to plough back into the business for further promotional material, banners etc. Keeping in mind income for the business – it started within 3 weeks of launch.
I’m Madeline – Freelance Graphic designer and most importantly wife and mother of 2.
I am the founder of Scripted Love which I started back in Feb 2017 as a hand lettered serving board business, in hope to gain some extra income for our family.
In the past 7 years, I have started a combined total of 10 businesses, a few of those include pyramid scheme sales businesses (Tupperware, Scentsy etc) and a few include some home businesses of art and photography amongst other things.
Some will tell me that I failed 9 times out of 10, but I see it as those were learning experiences and stepping stones to lead me to my 10th business, where I am (finally) succeeding.
Although I don’t make a steady income, when I made the switch to freelance graphic designing, despite having no qualifications, and taking a long time to work out set prices so I wasn’t undervaluing myself, but also respecting the designers with qualifications, I started to earn a little side cash for the family finances almost instantly.
Although it isn’t consistent (YET!) it still allows us the freedom to take the kids on family outings, or have a little morning breakfast date together on the one morning a week we are kid free, without breaking the bank.
Both of my twins have a lot of medical appointments. I was lamenting to a friend that “I need to find out what this ‘online business’ is all about as trying to find a job that was flexible enough to work around their appointments was impossible. I truly had no idea how to start looking into it and decided it was all too hard. Three weeks later another friend tagged me in a post from Business Jump about a new online directory for twins that they wanted to set up and sell. I contacted them and after one discussion with them I signed up, less than 24 hours after being tagged in the post! It was a brand new business, so I was able to mould it
into the direction that I wanted it to go in. I was already a massive advocate of multiple births, having volunteered for the multiple birth association for the last six years. I saw an opportunity to extend on this and do things differently and went with it.
Twinfo has been operating for 7 months now. I have a mix of paying vendors on board. However I have not “gone out to the markets” so to speak as protecting the integrity of the Twinfo brand is very important to me.
I honestly don’t think I would have started Saint Copy PR if I hadn’t of been made redundant. It was the universe giving me the kick up the backside that I truly needed. The thought of not being able to work or having to find a job that was going to throw my whole families equilibrium out was something that I wasn’t willing to do – so my own business felt like the only viable option at the time.
The biggest thing I have learnt about being a mother is how resilient women are. We are strong, we power through colds and flu to get up in the morning and get the kids ready for school, we multitask like nobody’s business and we can simultaneously have an adult conversation while little monsters are literally pulling us in different directions! It’s because of this very resilience and ability to pick ourselves up when things are not so great, that women thriving in small business ownership. We just DO, all the things. I get such a kick out of working with creative women in business to help them be seen, heard and felt by their ideal audience.
The business has been running for two years now and this year is turning out to my busiest by far. It took me about six months for me to start earning enough to pay myself, but in the early days, I used some of the money to reinvest in the business and myself. I did a course with a business mentor, that was practical and goal related. That has paid off in dividends and I highly recommend it. I force myself to try and spend as much time IN my business as I do ON my business. Sometimes that balance is out of whack but it’s a constant juggling act and one that you get used to as being the norm!
In 2013, a few days before I would be on maternity leave (and two weeks before my second daughter was born), I was made redundant from my job at a major media organisation. While getting to know my new baby, I decided to explore the options of starting my own business. To begin with, I ran an eCommerce online store for a year. At around this time, I also discovered the VA (virtual assistant) world. I started researching the VA industry. I begun as a general VA who had a few author clients. My business has evolved over time and has morphed into a publishing house and marketing support business.
In the early days, the profit figures were not fantastic. Even nowadays, I can only run my business in a part time capacity. As the years go by, and with more time on my hands to devote to the business, the profits will keep on increasing.
I was on maternity leave when I decided to do a couple of writing courses from the Australian Writers Centre. I’d always wanted to write and being at home with a newborn finally gave me the chance.
I started earning an income 2 years into freelancing once I started writing copy for corporate clients. It wasn’t a huge amount each month but enough to make me feel confident about getting a proper website.
Whilst in its early stages, I have a day job, however the goal is to leave and work on Zest One Admin full time. The business isn’t making an income as yet as I have been focused on working on potential clients at this point. I am looking forward to making Zest One Admin the best it can be.
Thankyou so much to all the Business Mums who participated in this article, it was truly inspiring to read your stories and see your businesses. Its incredible how so many of you have managed to build a business while also doing everything else we have to do as mums. I know many hate the term #bizmums, but the reality is that we are a different kind of entrepreneur and face very similar challenges.
And for those of you thinking of starting your own business around the kids (or just to do something different) then please get in touch with us and see how we can help.
If you are not already, don’t forget to visit our social pages to be kept in the loop, I have loved doing this article and may again call on some Business Mums to share their stories.
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