I don’t tend to talk much about my family when it comes to work, yet because I am a mother I became an entrepreneur. I left corporate life (I had been in marketing for IBM, KPMG, Ansett Airlines and Apple) when I became a Mum. They were so cute as little things I wanted to spend all the time I could with them. However, I also did not want to give up my career. That is when I started doing my own thing and my first business was started. I thought that if I started a dot com – then I could play with my kids in the day and work at night. Clearly, that was not a sustainable model.
As RedBalloon passes it’s 15 year anniversary – my children are both at university interstate and off on their own journeys. My husband of twenty years, Peter and I separated in 2011. He and I still co-own RedBalloon and sit on the board as non-executive directors. I met Stuart King a few years ago, father of two adult sons – we are creating a home together in Sydney’s inner west and we are to be married in December 2017.
When my children were small – I never hid the fact that I was busy working, I just let them know what I was doing and why. They were very involved with the business. When we had the business at home, my daughter would help me blow balloons up before she went to school (she was in year 2) and my son would help me fold red envelopes and suggest new experiences.
At the beginning of each year, I would meet their teachers and let them know that if my children came to school and claimed that they had been in a tank, or been in a light plane on the weekend that they probably had… they really have experienced a lot.
My favourite moments are when I have the kids at home, we are in the kitchen cooking and laughing…
Dexter has been a part of the journey too – my beloved hound who was there right at the beginning of the RedBalloon story. It can be pretty lonely setting up an online business from home. Until RedBalloon generated the revenue to employ people and move into premises, it was Dexter the Spoodle who was very much part of the brand as the red balloon. He used to the office, welcomes visitors, loves photo shoots. Not so much anymore he too is now 15 and he takes it a bit easier but he can still be followed on Twitter!