Lou Fogg is based in Melbourne, Australia and runs SmartyPantsKids.  She has cool online names for her children – Dreamer (9), Driver (5) & Dancer (3).

How did you come to start your own business?

My son, Dreamer is exactly that, a dreamer. So our mornings were often chaotic trying to get out of the house in time as he was mostly lost in his own little world of thoughts. So being a graphic designer, I designed some cute routine charts. They started helping so I moved on to pocket money and homework organisers. In a household of 3 kids, I was then “forced’ to create some charts for our girls. So along came the reward charts and family organisers. Given the designs were cute and I loved the whole experience I thought I’d see if others were interested. They were, so SmartyPantsKids began. It’s been bubbling along ever since.

What was life like “before children”?

Life before children was work hard, play hard, sleep hard. I had an excellent job and I was earning a bucket but we decided it wasn’t the long-term life for us. We started our own graphic design firm, DesignDuo, a lifestyle business, and we’ve never looked back. It’s served us well and we’ve enjoyed the balance of being able to stay in our industry and have an expanding family.

Compared to life “after children”? 

Having experienced a lifestyle business already I’m prepared for the long haul. Slowly slowly – nothing ever happens quickly when kids are involved.

Approximately how many hours a week do you work?

Up till now I’ve only been able to give 10 hours a week which isn’t really enough to get it going well. But I’m now aiming for 20 hours a week.

Tips for family work balance?

With kids, there is never a balance. Only one thing can take priority at a time, everything else gets managed around it.

Your own favourite products?

Routine and family cleaning roster

Professional qualifications/training?

Studied teaching and graphic design

Are these still useful now you’ve become a parent?

Definitely

Something unexpected about becoming a parent?

Not being able to get anything done

Something unexpected about running a business?

As above

Greatest wishes for your children?  And your business?

That both will thrive

A recent challenge you have overcome?

Learning about social media AND being consistent

 Advice to others starting out in business?

Always count on it taking longer than you anticipate

Useful resources to share?

Websites in general and other blogs

What kind of work does your partner do?

Graphic design/marketing/communications

Describe your office

Hmmm – the house (one for the To do list)

 What’s a typical day like for you?

Not typical at present but with my upcoming blog and more time allowed for the business I’m hoping to have a ‘roster’

What do you love about being in business?

I’ve always loved being in business. You get the best of both worlds. Something for you and something for the family.

What do you think is a myth about being in business?

You’re always working.

Do your children go to school/daycare/alternate care?

2 kids at school. 1 in childcare, kinder, friend and grandma – 3 days total over 5 days

 

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