Tell us about about your family background:
Caroline is a married mum of three boys, aged 9,8 and 6. Clare is also married and has two sons aged 8 and 10. Both ladies live in Sevenoaks, Kent and met in the school playground.
What did you do before coming up with your business idea?
Caroline worked in digital publishing for 15 years, for companies including Virgin Media, Trinity Mirror and Archant Newspaper group. Clare worked in marketing and events prior to setting up her own digital marketing business.
Now both Caroline and Clare are working as freelance digital consultants, and decided to build on their extensive experience to start their own business to help fellow professional mums.
What was your ‘eureka’ moment?
After enjoying far too many cups of coffee discussing how there simply aren’t sufficient opportunities for professional women to work flexibly around a family, we decided to see what we could create to address the issue.
We quickly realised that there was the opportunity to build on local expertise to create a welcoming, collaborative environment for working mums to come together and find advice, inspiration and most importantly, a hearty welcome. And so, mumswork.co.uk was born.
The site brings together the collective savvy of entrepreneurs from Kent and the South East, including business and life coaches, career advisors, legal and HR experts and image and welfare consultants.
There is also an ‘Expert panel’ which allows MumsWork visitors to pose questions on specific issues to someone who can help them directly.
The Local Directory lists companies targeted to those running a business or returning to work, with opportunities for local businesses to advertise in standard or featured positions.
Mumswork.co.uk also features a comprehensive collection of inspirational stories from local businesswomen called ‘How they started’, which gives some great insights for people thinking about setting up on their own.
Finally there are franchise listings and business opportunities for those who are looking to buy into something more established.
Coming soon will be a membership section offering discounts on targeted local products and services, aimed at helping mums in every aspect of their working lives, as well as a VIP Facebook group and other expert advice.
What’s your favourite thing about running your own business?
Caroline had been commuting to London and was spending many hours a week on the train, stressing about being back home in time to pick the children back from after school club. Starting MumsWork means she has the freedom to pick and choose the hours she works. She also really enjoys working with Clare, and having a sounding-board for ideas and site developments.
Clare loves the opportunity that MumsWork creates to collaborate with other women in business, working with some truly inspiration ladies.
Where do you hope to be in five years time?
We hope that the site will have grown to be an indispensable resource for working mums who are looking for work with ‘flex appeal’, and a genuinely useful and collaborative environment that helps people find a happier balance in their lives.