Mumpreneur Interview with Rebecca Lush
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We spoke to Rebecca Lush, owner of All About Amber, about running her home based business and raising her beautiful children. Here’s what she had to say:
What did you do before becoming a WAHM?
I was a single mother at the age of 19. At 22 I went to Tafe to re-do my HSC as I wanted to attend university to study Paleoanthrolpolgy. To be able to study and support my daughter I worked as a Promotional Model. I then went on to start my own Modelling Agency 12 years ago. I closed the agency at the end of 2011 as I started All About Amber in 2010 and the workload was getting to be too much with both businesses and 3 Children.
What inspired you to start your work-at-home business?
I originally wanted to work from home because when as a single mum it was really important to me to be able to be there for my daughter since she was lacking in a parent. Working from home gave me the flexibility to be able to do that. I was able to work my own hours and to still bring in money to support us both. When I started my new relationship and went on to have two more children it became even more important to be able to stay home with my children so I didn’t miss out on anything. I also am a long term Breast feeder so being at home with my children was crucial to be able to breastfeed for 3-4 years.
Did you find it difficult starting out?
In the beginning when I started the modelling agency I found it very difficult because I did not have any business skills. I had never used a computer nor had I completed any courses or actually even worked full time in any field. So it was definitely a learning experience for me. I based my business on old-fashioned values and ethics, which worked well. With All About Amber it was not as difficult to put the business structure together, because I had been working for the previous 11 years in business already. I did find it difficult to delegate between a modelling agency, family, pregnancy, birth and starting up the new business.
How many children do you have at home and what are their ages?
I have only one child now at home – Tallulah is 2 years old. Tobias started Prep early this year so attends 5 days, and Jessica is turning 17 in July so is on her 2nd to last year in High School.
How do you juggle family and your business?
Well we have our good days and our Bad days. I have a great support team (family and friends) and I have learnt to delegate a lot more in the last 6 months. As the business has grown so much I have struggled with a few health issues due to overdoing it – but am training myself to not be such a work-a-holic. I do struggle with things in my head and beat my self up for not being the perfect mum that I would like to be – but Im getting better at that. Im very good at multi tasking and you will often find me breastfeeding and knotting a necklace at the same time.
What are your biggest challenges?
My biggest challenge was/is learning to stop. Working from home is hard because you don’t set yourself hours and you never leave the office so to speak. Like now its 9.45pm and I started work at 9.30am this morning. I find it hard to sit back and relax, as there is always something to do. In business I would say that doing expos has been extremely hard with children, lugging the whole family all over the country and having to work between breastfeeding babies has been a struggle on everyone.
What advice do you have for mums wanting to start their own work-from-home business?
Do your homework first – work out how many other businesses are doing the same thing and find a way to make yours different and to stand out from the rest. Don’t compete with other businesses in your field, as they are much better to have as allies than enemies. Make sure you set your hours to work each day and don’t work 12hrs plus like I do.