We would all like to be our own boss, but half the time it’s not a viable option. However, there are some people who were fed up of working for someone, so they became their own boss. These are their stories.
Mala Salakas | The Party People
“30 years ago Mala Salakas was "Patches The Clown" catering for kids parties. Her passion for parties led her to start a small party store with her father Peter Nikolas. In 2007 her sons Dean (me) and Peter Salakas took over the family business so they could retire. At that time The Party People Shop had 2 employees in the shop. Today the business has over 40 employees, are the market leader for party supplies online in Australia and now have two bricks and mortar stores of which one of them is the largest bricks and mortar party store in Australia. We use to get teased at school because our mum was a clown and today we wear it with a badge of honor. I have the best job in the world helping people create the parties that they dreamed about. To make it more exciting we are currently preparing to raise capital to rapidly expand our bricks and mortar network to create a national party store chain.” Find out more about The Party People by following them on Facebook.
Chloe Kim & Isabelle Miller | IYC POP
“We love being our own boss because ultimately, we work to evolve. The beauty of being our own boss is our agility. At IYC POP, if we catch-on that a certain strategy isn’t working, we can change the approach that same second without a lengthy approval process. Likewise, when one of the team wants to experiment and take a risk by taking a different approach, we ensure that every voice in the team is heard; the more opinions expressed, and the more collaborative we are, the better the outcome. As our own bosses of IYC POP, we have been able to implement a collaborative work culture. No one works for us but rather they work with us. We stand by the ‘one-dream, one-team,’ mantra, where you’re bringing together passionate individuals who genuinely want to be there because they’re working towards a goal that they’ve personally shaped and built.” Find out more about IYC POP by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Helen Lock | Helen's Skin Therapy
“My journey into the world of natural skincare products began with my sister Wendy. Wendy was forced to leave her nursing job due to an acute case of eczema and I decided to take matters into my own hands. I could see there were already plenty of treatments available on the market, but I didn’t know what the long term effects of the chemical ingredients would be. Surely, I asked myself, there had to be a more natural and effective treatment? Armed with nothing more than a bowl and blender I took to the kitchen, bathroom and garden in the hope of finding suitable ingredients for a natural moisturiser. The winning combination was lavender, sweet orange, shea nut butter, witch hazel, jojoba and grapeseed oil from the bathroom, chamomile, sesame oil and olive oil from the kitchen and aloe vera from the garden. With my first concoction ready to go, it was time to put it to the test. I took it to my workplace at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, and there I handed out sample pots to hospital staff. It was a hit because it was clearing up their eczema and dermatitis. Soon I was spending every weekend making up to 20 pots of my newly named XMA cream for the Royal Brisbane staff. I continued to make the cream at home for over a year before an impending move to England prompted me to approach the hospital pharmacy to stock the cream for the staff. To my delight, the pharmacist said ‘get the TGA approval for the cream and I will stock it for the staff and the patients.’ And so the largest hospital in the southern hemisphere became the first retail outlet for XMA. Since its humble beginning, XMA has become one of the bestselling online eczema treatments creams in Australia proving that natural medicines can be just as effective – if not more so – than their chemical counterparts. I love being my own boss with home business taking orders and managing the social media side of things. I have just been asked to develop a new skincare range that features an ingredient that will have data released from 3 universities soon. Formulating and branding transdermal skin care products is so rewarding when you get life changing results.” Find out more about Helen's Skin Therapy by following them on Facebook.
Athina Bailey | Athina Bailey
“I am an online coach for spiritual entrepreneurs and I also teach courses and workshops across Australia. I run half of my business online and spend 2 days a week actually teaching in person and running workshops, the rest of the time I'm running sessions online with my clients. I love it because there’s so much freedom! In the past old bosses would take advantage of my work, underpay me, you know how it can be. I feel now like I'm actually making a difference in the world and this work is so fulfilling and inspiring! I'm super grateful to be in the situation I'm in.” Find out more about Athina Bailey by following her on Facebook.
Nicole & Lana Cappelleri | Poetic Gangster
“My sister and I started our streetwear brand, Poetic Gangster, at our mum’s house in Melbourne, over coffee one afternoon. Business was always in our blood and we often as a family would brainstorm business ideas at the dinner table. It's been hard and at times we have wanted to walk away but I have loved every minute of it from registering the domain, learning about Shopify, SEO and creating our logo. I love being in control and hiring freelancers and just creating something of my own managing all aspects of the business. Also, seeing the results slowly grow has been satisfying. But the best part is, you get what you put in, which is where I often felt let down in my 9-5 job and building other people’s businesses.” Find out more about Poetic Gangster by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Penelope Twemlow | Energy Skills Queensland
“I am a multi-degree qualified professional with 16 years’ experience in strategic and operational management, project and risk management, and governance and compliance. I also demonstrate people management, organisational culture and communications skills across a wide demographic and range of disciplines. During my 10.5 years of service in the Royal Australian Navy, I undertook strategic level appointments in project, human resource, risk and emergency management, as well as being a member of the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service. I can also boast the ability to drive an 8,500 tonne armed warship. From 2010 to 2015, I provided services for national and international clients in the government sector, mining and resources, oil and gas, public utilities, transport and civil construction as a consultant. In June 2015, I became the Chief Executive Officer of Energy Skills Queensland, the leading, independent, not-for-profit organisation providing innovative solutions to enable a skilled and safe energy industry. I am also the Founder and Chair of Women in Power, whose mission is to promote and improve the technical industries by the advancement of women within it. I am also the Chair of the Queensland Electrical Safety Education Committee on behalf of the Electrical Safety Office and a committee member of the National Association of Women in Construction. I continue to receive accolades for my vision and entrepreneurship, including being named the 2016 Queensland Telstra Business Woman of the Year for the Social Enterprise and Not-for-Profit category.” Find out more about Penelope Twemlow by following her on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Caroline Drury & Gareth Doran | Merino Shepherd Huts
“Myself & my partner Gareth Doran run our own company Merino Shepherd Huts manufacturing beautiful, traditional portable out buildings. It is an interesting and creative business that we founded in 2013. It enables me to work from home which means I can be around for the children before and after school. Gareth heads up the factory which is only a 15 minute drive from home so he is able to still help with the kids. We have been going for 4 years now and recently took on two new directors to the company in order to share the workload. We each have our own roles so I am still very much in charge of what I do. Working for yourself is hard and sometimes all encompassing but I would not change it for the world as I am in charge of my own future and I get to allocate my tasks around my lifestyle. If you have an idea for a business, just go for it- don’t wait! Trust me, there is nothing more rewarding than working for yourself!” Find out more about Merino Shepherd Huts by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Michael Ginsburg | MG Web Design & Social Media
I left a corporate job as a senior IT advisor to pursue other interests I had and to be more in charge of my time and my earning capacity (a.k.a "be my own boss"). The switch was challenging and at first, there was a significant dip in my income but I managed to overcome this. I am my own boss because I can choose how many hours I work, who I work for and most importantly, there is no limit put on my earning capacity by external factors (e.g a boss). Find out more about Michael Ginsburg by following him on Facebook and LinkedIn.
These stories of people who decided they no longer wanted to work for the boss and became the boss are super inspiring. Being your own boss means you don’t have to sit at a desk all day, you can get your work done on a bar stool, in a park or even on a hot air balloon (if you’re into that kind of thing). Who knows, maybe you’ll want to make the first steps to becoming your own boss one day! So if you’ve always wanted to be a chef, grab those utensils, head to your barbecue and make your dreams come true.