Five Central Queensland businesswomen have been named as finalists in the AusMumtrepreneur Awards for 2018.
AusMumtrepreneur is a community for Australian mothers in business, supporting women managing families and businesses. Their annual conference, including the awards ceremony, is coming up at the end of the month in Melbourne.
Let's meet our local contenders:
Naomi Arnold: Queensland Business Excellence finalist
Yeppoon-based writer, life and business coach Naomi Arnold has a background in psychology, health and human rights. She's co-creator of the Gentle Business Mastermind and the Conquer Coach Certification Program where she trains and mentors entrepreneurs and coaches in strategically building successful and profitable businesses in a gentle, socially conscious and sustainable way.
When Naomi realised her life's calling was helping others live happy and purposeful lives, she was so happy she went skipping down the street with a huge smile on her face.
But the week she launched her new businesses' website, her father was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She also had a young baby, and was juggling study and a day job. Rather than put her dreams on hold, she pushed forward faster than originally planned: leaving the security of employment, moving interstate to be closer to family, and getting stuck into business full time.
Tanya Rutherford: Business Services finalist
Through her business TMRutherford, Tanya works in adult education. She helps teams and individuals build confidence in their abilities and realise their potential.
The Rockhampton-based businesswoman has experience in coaching and facilitating learning experiences in leadership and personal development, and Tanya has most recently developed an online program to assist students to develop their own learning skills for adapting to the unstructured learning environment of university.
As well as her own business, she's taking care of her own young family, and is in paid employment four days a week. She says her girls help her focus, to put aside doubt and uncertainty and focus on the wins and getting the job done.
Lisa Lilleboe: Retail Business finalist
USA-born Lisa overcame learning disabilities and poverty to survive and thrive. The search to find the perfect place to raise a family in a similar environment to where Lisa grew up brought the family to Yeppoon in 1991. Her career includes many business adventures, from a construction business in Colorado that Lisa is still a partner in today, to working her way up from receptionist to general manager at a remote area land surveying company.
Finally the mixture of opportunity and capital investment presented itself, and she took on the Seabreeze Servo & Takeaway in April 2013. The family branched out in late 2016 and bought the Sail Inn Motel.
Lisa's main business driver is to build financial security for her family. She's working to establish passive income for retirement, and daughter Samantha and son Pat are both working in the family businesses.
Daniela Norton: Retail Business finalist
Daniela Norton was inspired to found Lil Puppet, an online babies' and children's clothing shop based in Agnes Water, after her daughter was born in with severe hip dysplasia. Unable to find suitable clothing or sleepwear, she started sewing sleeping bags designed for babies with the condition.
She started selling her goods at markets, and now two years later Lil Puppet has become a fast-growing online retailer.
Madeline Avery: Business Services finalist
Mackay-based Madeline worked in boutique marketing agencies for many years, and identified a need for specialist services for small businesses. Particularly, she realised the traditional marketing agency model didn’t support the needs of startup and small businesses - many of them other mums running home businesses - which might have limited cashflow.
The decision to work from home was initially a practical one to deal with series of challenges: Madeline was pregnant with her first child, had just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and didn't have a budget to hire working space.
But now, it's a conscious decision to work from home, build a virtual team, and keep overheads low while working with clients around the country.