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Local stars! The NSMs nominated for Local Business Awards

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We’re delighted that North Shore Mums is a finalist in the Local Business Awards for Specialised Business, but we’re not alone! We decided to take this opportunity to introduce you to some amazing local mums running their own businesses, who are also in the running for a prize.

Kristina from Decluttering Diva

Who are you? Kristina Duke


Kristina Duke, Decluttering Diva

What’s your company? Decluttering Diva, Hornsby Heights (sole trader). We work with people struggling with chronic disorganisation. 

Why did you start the business?  I have a passion for helping people but wanted it to be in a practical way. With 3 young kids of my own (Bri 15, Mikaela 12, Nathan 11) I understood that mums can feel overwhelmed with busy schedules and too much stuff around the house! I knew I could help.

What’s been your biggest challenge? My biggest challenge would be following my own advice of not taking on more than I can manage and setting limits. When your business is growing fast, you want to take it all on – but you can’t give your 100% to your clients if you are overwhelmed yourself.

What do you love about running your business? I love meeting awesome mums and hearing their stories, I love seeing their shoulders relax a little and their contented smiles when I leave them after a session. It’s satisfying to know I have made a difference.

How do you balance work and family? My first job is a mum. I remind myself of that and limit my face-to-face client hours, and save my admin time until after the kids are in bed. It can be a challenge but I think when we’re working hard in our businesses we are able to model self belief, perseverance and creativity to our kids.

What advice do you have for any mums thinking about starting their own business? Have a plan but don’t overthink it – if it’s your true passion you will succeed. Set boundaries from the start – know your limits, set goals and work with what you’ve got.

Why does your company deserve to win at the Local Business Awards? In the 3 short years Decluttering Diva has been in business, I have grown from a little hobby to a full time job, changing the lives of hundreds of people along the way. I have also donated more than 100 hours to support various charities and used my skills to help educate others of the benefits of living a decluttered and organised life.

Louisa from Zippy Finance

Who are you? Louisa Sanghera


Louisa Sanghera, Zippy Finance

What’s your company?  Zippy Finance, North Turramurra. Zippy Fianance are finance brokers specialising in areas like property vehicle and asset finance and have four team members.

Why did you start the business?  I have an extensive background in finance and after having a career break to raise my young family (my son Luke is 12 and daughter Lauren is 10), I decided it was time to get back to my roots. I created Zippy Finance to provide the local community with a truly customer-focused and experienced finance broker, and also to create a career for myself which would allow me to work in an area I love and allow me to work flexibly around my family.

What’s been your biggest challenge? My biggest challenge was starting up a new business in a new area. I had only recently moved to the Sydney when I started Zippy Finance and I hardly knew a soul. The North Shore Mums community was amazing then (and now). It allowed me to make local friends and business connections and really helped me to understand the needs of the local community.

What do you love about running your business? I love the flexibility. I am able to take my children to and from school and schedule client appointments when they are at school or in bed. It allows me to be here for them when they are unwell and I love that I can attend school assemblies etc while my children are still young enough to actually want me there!

How do you balance work and family? Well, my husband would tell you I don’t always manage this! It’s a struggle and I won’t deny it as sometimes work just has to be the priority, and thankfully my family completely support that. But at the end of the day my family are my main passion in life, and the reason why I do what I do is to make sure we spend as much quality time together as possible.

What advice do you have for any mums thinking about starting their own business? Be ready for a rollercoaster – life’s about to get busy! It’s about so much more than having an idea that you think might work. You must be prepared – emotionally, physically, educationally and financially. You must surround yourself with a great team you can trust. And get yourself a fantastic mentor, and learn, learn, learn.

Why does your company deserve to win at the Local Business Awards? We are truly a community-focused company. Aside from the work we do finding the best finance for our clients, we also run the local North Shore Business Support Group ‘Connect For Success’ which now has a reach of over 1000 small business owners. We work with the members of Connect For Success to help empower them to support each other and help each other grow.

Donna From Westwood Conveyancing

Who are you? Donna Westwood

Donna Westwood, Westwood Conveyancing

Donna Westwood, Westwood Conveyancing

What’s your company?  Westwood Conveyancing, Hornsby (sole trader). We provide conveyancing services at an affordable price to anyone that wants to sell or purchase property in NSW

Why did you start the business? I couldn’t have thought of anything worse than returning to my 9 to 5 rat-race job in the city after being on maternity leave for 6 months with my first child so I decided to start a business and go out on my own. I also wanted to have the freedom and flexibility to have a good family-work balance. I now have three children,  Brendan 8, Karissa 6 and Sienna 3.

What’s been your biggest challenge? There are pros and cons of running a business from home. Thank goodness for calls going voicemail especially when the kids are in the background. It means you can call back at a later time. I find I am at my brightest when I wake up early to work before the kids rise. This gives me ample time to have uninterrupted hours.

What do you love about running your business? Buying property can be one of the biggest financial decisions people make, and it can be really stressful. Therefore, I get a sense of achievement and fulfilment when I telephone a client to advise them that settlement has just taken place on their new home! The freedom and flexibility is also good.

How do you balance work and family? I find that a set routine is key to a successful work and family balance. It helps also to have a good network of people around you, from after-school carers to family to help look after the children when working hours are required.

What advice do you have for any mums thinking about starting their own business? Just go for it and take the plunge! A good time to do it is when on maternity leave and you have the time to put the wheels in motion. Just be prepared for some long hours and be prepared to have a lot of drive to push your business in the right direction.

Why does your company deserve to win at the Local Business Awards? Westwood Conveyancing has a proven track record of jobs well done, which is our repeat business from many happy clients. From its inception 8 years ago, our company has grown to be at the forefront of the community with an extensive network of local agents, banks and other professionals related to the property industry. Trust, honesty and integrity are we values and this is reflected in each matter we undertake. 

The winners will be announced at the prestigious Local Business Awards Gala Presentation Evening attended by local business people, sponsors and dignitaries on Wednesday 9 November. We’ll be sure to keep you updated! 

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