As a career focused, hardworking 20-something banker in London, I thought nothing of the fact that I was pregnant and worked right up until 40 weeks. Yes, I literally finished a conference call with the CFO of EMEA as I popped into the maternity unit and had my baby. Up until that point, the thought of NOT returning to work was out of the question. Why WOULDN’T I want to go back to my well-paying, highly demanding job at RBS? Surely I could blackberry AND breastfeed simultaneously? How hard could this baby stuff really be?

Well, rumour has it that having a baby is life-changing, and that I can now vouch for. The moment I returned home with a bundle in my arms, the thought of returning to work was NOT an option. It was out of the question. I didn’t want to be away from my baby for even a micro-second.

Time went by and before I knew it, a year had passed. In that space we had moved back to Sydney and I started thinking about returning to work.  I had always loved working but the sad reality was I could not fathom returning to banking. That type of career does not cater well to the stay-at-home mum. It was at this point, as I was hanging washing on the line, the idea of Attipas Australia was born. A pair of shoes that I had casually purchased in Japan on a holiday had become the talk of the town. These shoe-socks, as I coined them, were unlike anything on the Australian market. Mothers were particularly in awe of how well my 14 month old was walking in them. I would start importing and selling those very shoes.

As a banker in London, I had little knowledge of the retail market aside from fluttering away my hard-earned cash on shoes during lunch time. But my career HAD taught me to be confident, perseverant, and most importantly, had given me that ‘Fake it ‘til you make it’ attitude (a necessity when one is blonde in a male dominated industry). So I bit the bullet and emailed the manufacturer.

Within a day I had a response. No, they did not have an exclusive distributor for Australia as yet, and yes, they were interested in working with me so long as I could meet their buying criteria. A quick call to the bank and a few minor tweaks to some numbers and I was certain we could do it.

Within a week, I had signed the exclusive distribution agreement and we were up. Or so I thought. My to do list was now reading like a mini novel and not even close to the finale. A business plan, a business name, a bank account, shippers, a warehouse, a fulfilment centre. To name but a few. Sheer excitement kept the momentum going but I still had one very demanding one year old to look after. And THAT workload certainly wasn’t lessoning.

Drawing upon my banking experience, I again discovered the key to success is outsourcing. And outsource I did. I outsourced babysitting to family, graphic design work to Pakistan and web development to India. I approached old colleagues to do photo shoots and friends for PR. I even had the local Australia Post team running around for me, knowing I was a local mum with a very small car and yet a very big business idea.

Time went by and I gradually I took the role of a ‘mumpreneur’ into my stride. It has been a hard slog, considering being a mum alone is difficult enough. On average I now work 6-8 hours a day, on top of minding a toddler. But with passion, enthusiasm, and a loving family, I have been able to achieve my dream. Our first batch of functional toddler shoes are now available online via (www.attipas.com.au).

I now wake up in the morning and am driven by passion, rather than caffeine, blackberry messenger and a daily rate. Life is good.

About The Author

Caroline Africh is a banker-come-mumpreneur who is currently learning how to juggle work, life and a one year old! Having spent the last 10 years building a career as a Project Manager in London, Caroline decided to pursue passion over corporate after the birth of her son Henry in 2011. Thats when Attipas Australia was born.

Attipas Australia produces functional shoes to ergonomically support toddlers’ first steps and thereafter (0-40 months), Attipas Australia shoes are available online at www.attipas.com.au.

Other posts by this author:

  1. alioop

    April 01, 2014 at 10:09 pm,

    MoM Rewards: alioop has a diamond MoM rewards level alioop said:

    Well done that is fantastic that you found something new and fulfilling to do that didn’t mean sacrificing time with your child. Inspiring

  2. sah13

    March 29, 2014 at 12:47 pm,

    MoM Rewards: sah13 has a diamond MoM rewards level sah13 said:

    Awesome read, thank you very much

  3. jenny9761

    March 06, 2014 at 2:14 pm,

    MoM Rewards: jenny9761 has a diamond MoM rewards level jenny9761 said:

    Thanks for the good read

  4. yyon4699

    January 30, 2014 at 1:18 pm,

    MoM Rewards: yyon4699 has a diamond MoM rewards level yyon4699 said:

    thank u for this article

  5. vikram77

    January 22, 2014 at 3:08 am,

    MoM Rewards: vikram77 has a diamond MoM rewards level vikram77 said:

    Thanks for sharing. Great article. I enjoyed reading it.

  6. ljsalomon

    January 03, 2014 at 8:53 pm,

    MoM Rewards: ljsalomon has a diamond MoM rewards level ljsalomon said:

    Enjoyed reading – thanks for sharing.

  7. bankstownbrats

    December 31, 2013 at 10:05 pm,

    MoM Rewards: bankstownbrats has a diamond MoM rewards level bankstownbrats said:

    Thanks for sharing these useful tips and ideas. :)

  8. meimei

    December 27, 2013 at 11:16 am,

    MoM Rewards: meimei has a diamond MoM rewards level meimei said:

    Interesting article to read. I enjoyed it.

  9. sonja_holness

    November 30, 2013 at 6:34 pm,

    MoM Rewards: sonja_holness has a diamond MoM rewards level sonja_holness said:

    I had friends that were insisting on going back to work, but soon changed their minds.

  10. November 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm,

    MoM Rewards: coppin85 has a diamond MoM rewards level coppin85 said:

    Thank you for sharing :)

  11. hopefullyheidi

    November 11, 2013 at 7:26 pm,

    MoM Rewards: hopefullyheidi has a diamond MoM rewards level hopefullyheidi said:

    Having a baby definitely changes your life. I’m so lucky to have my little son

  12. November 02, 2013 at 8:39 pm,

    MoM Rewards: coppin85 has a diamond MoM rewards level coppin85 said:

    Thanks for sharing this :)

  13. meimei

    November 01, 2013 at 11:33 pm,

    MoM Rewards: meimei has a diamond MoM rewards level meimei said:

    Cute shoes :) Thank you for sharing you story .

  14. catgrrl3

    October 31, 2013 at 3:52 pm,

    MoM Rewards: catgrrl3 has a diamond MoM rewards level catgrrl3 said:

    very interesting article, thanks for sharing

  15. rainbownerds

    October 31, 2013 at 12:13 pm,

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    A great read thanks for sharing

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