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Self-Start Mums Interview with Founder of MUMMACTIV, Joanne Shepherd

Self-Start Mums showcases mothers who have created their own self-employed business. I’m very happy to share my interview with Joanne Shepherd, Founder of MUMMACTIV.

You can join the Self-Start Mums community, a supportive network for self-employed mums, here.
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This series includes sponsored content.

Joanne Shepherd Interview for Self-Start Mums

1. Tell me about yourself?

I’m a mum of three aged 20, 4 and 1. I’m a Teacher by trade but turned mumpreneur in 2015 after realising a need in the marketplace to create fashionable and functional activewear for pregnant and breastfeeding Mums.

Joanne Shepherd of Mummactiv - Love from Mim

2. Tell us about your self-employed business?

MUMMACTIV was launched in October 2015 creating a one-stop shop for pregnant and nursing active Mums. It was born after my stay in a Mum and Bubs Unit and exercise became my therapy.

Sitting in the back seat of the car changing the nursing bra for a sports crop, I thought to myself “there must be something better”.

After much research, I soon realised that this type of activewear was fairly non-existent and if it was hideous and non-appealing. A short time later I started drawing and designing my own line because I wanted to give something back to Mums to help them remain stylishly active.

3. How did you transition to working for yourself?

After realising the need in the market my passion drove my drive and soon I learned through googling what to do to start a business such as ABN, website creation, logo, registering a business name etc. Everything has been self-taught and sometimes it was a need that arose that I educated myself on or through osmosis it just naturally happened.

I honestly believe “where there is a will there is a way” and in this case I wanted t help make one mum’s life easier.

4. What was your previous career?

I’m a Teacher and am still teaching at a primary school two days a week.

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5. Describe a typical day in your working life?

I wake between 5-6am, check emails and do admin. Then I get the kids ready for the day, train at about 9am, post office and shopping and back home for admin tasks and packing orders.

In the arvo, I get my husband from work, 5-7pm is the witching hour, then dinner after kids. When they go to bed I work until 10pm. Intermittent emails/admin tasks are done in between with social media daily set up etc.

6. How many hours do you work per week on your business?


7. Do you supplement your income in any other ways?

I work as a Teacher two days a week.

8. How do you manage your family and working for yourself?

My one year old goes to day care for the days I teach and my four year old goes to Kindy on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

On a Thursday, I normally schedule my business meeting which my daughter attends with me because one sidekick is better than two.

Recently, my husband and I have started having a block of four hours on a Sunday (once a month) which I use to do social media forward planning and/or time-consuming tasks.

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9. What challenges did you face in setting up your business?

Set up IP from the start- this has cost my business about 30k and several hours trying to fight a trademark that was rightfully ours.

What didn’t work – stocking other brands: for us, it went away from our WHY and the stock has just sat there because the passion doesn’t sit behind it.

10. What’s the best thing about working for yourself?

You can work your own hours and you are passionate about the WHY.

11. What’s your best advice to another mum who is considering setting up her own business?

BE ORGANISED – it is a definite balancing act and sometimes it is frustrating to juggle all of the parts. Many mums eventually have to give up business because of the toll as the hours are not defined and you can just keep working….(currently writing this, whilst eating dinner at 9pm!).

12. What’s next for you and your business?

Globalising the brand further and using our 20k grant from the government for digital technologies we are excited about the next chapter.

You can visit MUMMACTIV here, and follow here on Facebook and Instagram.

 Are you a self-starter mum? Read more interviews with self-employed mums here.

Join my free Self-Start Mums Facebook community here!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my interview with Joanne Shepherd of MUMMACTIV.


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I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land I work and live on, the Awabakal peoples, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.
I thank them wholeheartedly and express my love and gratitude for the privilege to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world and for the opportunity for my family to be part of this vibrant and supportive community.