BUSINESS: How to make motherhood earn its keep

Partnered with Life Instyle/Kids Instyle

They say that being a mum is the hardest job in the world, but many an Aussie mama is proving they’re not afraid to throw running a business into that mix as well – with the results benefitting us as a mama community as a whole. It makes sense. Mothers know the market for kids’ products better than anyone, so why not make motherhood earn its keep?

With reports showing that kid’s parties are now costing anywhere up to $15,000, that the market for baby and child specific products continues to grow, and that childrenswear appears immune to economic fluctuations, it is arguably the ideal time to be getting creative in the marketplace.

In fact, a key component of the highly anticipated Life Instyle trade event is the Kids Instyle boutique sub-event specifically focused on the ever-growing kids’ retail market. An invaluable tool for mothers launching businesses or with an already established business in the baby/child space under their belt, Kids Instyle has been such a success, in fact, that Life Instyle has become known as one of the country’s leading events for anyone within a design-focused retail space. From apparel to toys, from homewares to accessories, it’s about creating a platform for the independents, with Kids Instyle understanding that this kind of support is crucial to the success of small business.

Minnow Design toddler beach shoes were created as much to prevent the two mums behind the business from going back to corporate work as they were to protect tiny feet from the rocks and hot sand of Australian beaches.

Similarly, Play Pouch was the result of a frustrated mama tired of constantly trying to carry everything she needed for active outdoor kids, with the product recently shortlisted at the Innovation Pitchfest in Hong Kong.

And The Beach Skirt was created after its designer realised that no clothing available could actually be worn in and out of the water, then to the shops, or lunch, and back again – for both mothers and kids.


Such women and their businesses are not only solving real problems faced by mums, but they are also part of a growing group that is significantly contributing to the economic landscape. According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, home-based businesses are now one of the fastest growing segments in Australian business, and mothers of young children are up to three times more likely to be self employed than other working women. Now that’s cool.

Small Business Minister Bruce Billson has even praised mums going into business for “leading the way in navigating new technology, new business opportunities, and the perennial challenge of balancing economic and family goals.”

And the impact of mums taking business into their own hands is not just local. In the UK, research by eBay has predicted that the mum economy will be worth £9.5bn by 2025, supporting over 217,000 jobs. There is a clearly gap in the market that sassy brave mamas are filling.

As demand for design-lead kids’ products continues to grow, and as the combined giftware and homeware sectors reach a value of $6.6bn, Life Instyle has also pledged to remain the most relevant event for boutique retail traders, supporting mums whatever stage their business is at. Renown for refreshingly demonstrating selectivity when it comes to exhibitors, the trade event has confirmed it will never compromise on its unique boutique focus or the quality of its exhibitors, putting value for its participants first – just when they need it. With a focus on driving business, 65% of its visitor base (largely made up of retailers and interior designers and stylists) currently purchase on the show floor, with hundreds of thousands of dollars of business done as a result of event attendance.

Life Instyle & Kids Instyle Sydney, February 2017:

When: 16 – 19 February 2017
Thursday 16 February: 10am – 7pm
Friday 17 February: 10am – 7pm
Saturday 18 February: 9am – 5pm
Sunday 19 February: 10am – 4pm

Where: Royal Hall of Industries, Hordern Pavillion, Sydney

Sign up to exhibit here. Sign up to attend here.