Border businesswomen Rebecca O'Brien and Kat Rattray finalists in 2017 AusMumpreneur Awards

ONE-size-fits-all is, in fact, a fallacy.

Border-based corporate wardrobe consultant Rebecca O’Brien knows this better than most.

As founder of BRIE Corporate two years ago, Ms O’Brien has shaped a successful business on her own terms while raising two young daughters with her husband Brendan.

Designing workplace wardrobes from manufacture to maintenance, Ms O’Brien has doubled her client base – increasingly adding national clients – in the past 12 months.

But she has worked hard to balance the business with the needs of her children Isla, 6, and Emerson, 4. 

Free to pick up Isla from school during the working week, Ms O’Brien says she is conscious of carving out special time with Emerson before she starts kindergarten.

“I take Fridays off – they are Emy’s day,” she says.

“I might work all weekend at times but Fridays are for Emy; she waits all week for Mummy’s Day.” 

With 14 years’ experience in the corporate uniform industry before launching her brand, the Henty-raised businesswoman has urged other mums starting their own ventures to reach out. 

“You will need help and you need to be confident enough to ask for it,” she says.

“It is a challenge but a necessity in business if you are going to be successful, delegate.

“You also need to be super organised; you’re never going to get the work-life balance perfectly right but you need to prioritise your health and remember to eat!”

Wodonga designer and illustrator Kat Rattray has been building her business Kat & Fox since its launch late in 2016.

Now working on illustrations for her second children’s book and a matching range of bed linen, the mum-of-three says she has found strength in mumpreneur alliances.

She has done photo shoots with Riverina venture Little Hipster Kubby and is working on design collaborations with other mumpreneurs. 

“It has been a delight to see a dream come to life and grow,” she says.

While it can be challenging to juggle a fledgling business with raising a family, Ms Rattray cannot overstate the importance of networking.

“My strengths are in networking and collaborating with others to assist in building the brand and my knowledge, and for advice with coping with family versus work balance,” she says.

“Please join groups, attend business events, start locally through to nationally and make sure if you’re a Mumma, they are Mummas too.

“If you turn up, people will be there for you.”

Ms O’Brien is a finalist for the 2017 AusMumpreneur Awards in the Retail Business category while Ms Rattray is a finalist in the Network Excellence category.

The awards recognise the growing number of women who successfully balance motherhood and business in a way that suits their life and family.

The winners will be announced at Doltone House in Sydney on August 25.

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