Business

Joanne Kennard – Reaping the rewards of ‘jumping off a cliff’

Joanne Kennard, Director, Mums and Kids Enterprises Pty Ltd

What is your business and how did it start?

Mums and Kids Enterprises started in 2005. The idea was to solve a problem I had with sheets, sheet bags and all the bits I had to remember to take to and from Childcare! This was the start of the Kozy Koala™ Sleepmat which is an all-in-one padded mat with attached sheet that folds into a pillow. We now have two brands Kozy Koala™ (www.kozykoala.com.au) and Kiddysac™ (www.kiddysac.com.au).  Kozy Koala™ has a range of new bedding solutions for children and the newly purchased Kiddysac™ range which are storage bags for busy little people and their treasures!

What were the pitfalls?

Not having local knowledge of where to find suppliers, manufacturers and retail outlets.

Are you self-motivated? What inspires you?

Yes, I am self motivated! I am up very early in the morning (around 5am) to start my day around 5.05am (that is enough time to put on my dressing gown and the jug for coffee!) I have owned my own businesses for over 12 years in a couple of different industries and love the challenge of getting out and not relying on others to give me work. I have worked in offices throughout the world and although challenged I have never felt in control of my destiny. Owning my own business gives me that control. Without sounding big headed, I get a kick out of customers buying and loving our products that we have designed. We have a lot of repeat customers who bring their friends along to show them our products. Word of mouth is essential in any business!!

Kozy Koala™ Sleep Mats

Where is your main market?

Our main market for the Kozy Koala™ range, are parents with young children. Our products are focused on children in daycare, as well as sleepovers and camping. The Kiddysac™ range is directed towards preschool and primary school children where we provide them with storage bags for toys, swimming gear, library books etc in bright and fun colours.

What advice would you give to someone who believes they have a great business idea?

Make sure you do your research first! Then go for it—jump off the cliff!! You only have one chance at life and if you really believe in your idea—no matter how crazy—then go for it!

Kiddysac™ - Takes their stuff places

What do you love about what you do? Dislike?

The flexibility of working for myself is great, as it gives me time with my family as well as with the business. I love to create new designs and work through the process. You have to remain focused—not everyone can work from home. You can get distracted easily—like doing the washing, Oprah is on … you get the idea! I try and have every thing done before I sit down to work. I also try to dress like I am off to work and not stay in my PJ’s ‘til noon—it’s a mindset thing! I like my little office— it is a place for me to think! I have no dislikes!