I recently wrote a blog post about the Huggies MumInspired Grants and am delighted to have the opportunity to interview winners of one of the five grants, Lia Tonich & Rachel Cordina of toddler tintstm
Both aged 32 and based in Perth, Lia is mum to Maximus (just turned 2) and Rachel has two boys, Thomas (3) and Oscar (19 months)
They started their business around 6 months ago. Lia has a Bachelor of Psychology and is a qualified Naturopath. Before becoming a mum she owned and ran her own naturopathic clinic. Rachel is a primary school teacher predominantly teaching Year one and two.In their own words, this is how they came to begin toddler tints.
“The inspiration for our toddler tintstm was born out of frustration for the car shades currently on offer. Between the two of us we had been through five different types of shades in a couple of years. Finding something that fit perfectly, covered the whole window and didn’t fade and stretch in the sun was impossible. We were also concerned about safety as many shades create a blind spot because you can’t see through them. We were both convinced there had to be a better option. We were inspired by the advertising film used on buses – you could see the advertising from the outside but not from the inside. We thought, let’s reverse that! We tracked down a supplier, got a great design made up and six months later have launched the toddler tintstm product.”
Since having children Lia has been a full time stay at home mum and Rachel was working one day a week so far this year. Now with toddler tintstm up and running they say they are still learning to juggle our business and family life. Their working hours vary depending on orders and commitments with our children. Every day is different and both mums love having the flexibility to work around their children’s needs.
One tip Lia and Rachel give for aiming to achieve better work life balance is to try to allocate separate time for work and children so that you can give each your 100% attention.
Some of the unexpected surprises when starting up a business for the duo were the amount of time involved, the start up costs and the amount of research that goes into product development but found the Small Business Development Centre Perth was a great resource to turn to. Even if you’re not in Perth, there are some great online tools and information on this website. Both also have supportive partners who are involved in the business, and grandparents who help out with the children (who do not yet attend daycare or school).
The advice they give to others starting out in business:
“If you are thinking of starting your own business, passion for your idea or product will go a long way in helping you get through the challenge of the set up phase. We have found that having each other has been great for support and encouragement, so a partner is a huge help! Thorough research is really important. Search the web and shops to help you decide if there is a market for your product and get feedback from friends.”
Lia and Rachel are proud of winning the Huggies ‘MumInspired’ competition – and so they should be, well done and wishing you every success.