From the corporate world to opening up an online children’s bookstore – Debbie believes to be an successful entrepreneur you need ‘Determination, Time Management, Problem Solving’
Meet Debbie from Story Mama!
Story Mama is an online children’s bookstore. We specialise in a curated range of picture books for children age 0-7. We read and review every title we stock. We advocate strongly for parents taking the time to read aloud to children. We want to make shopping for kids books really easy for parents, so you can shop on our site by your child’s age, or by whatever your child is currently into.
We also believe that books can help kids deal with first time events like starting school, moving into a big bed, or getting a sibling. We have carefully selected great books to have handy for these situations in our “shop by milestone” category.
We can help you find the perfect picture book to get your child excited about books and reading. We hold our titles on site, so we can also offer quick delivery.
We are an Australian online children’s bookstore, based in south eastern Melbourne.
Can you tell us what being a business owner means to you, and what motivated you to start your business?
I left the corporate world and financial services 4 years ago. I was lucky to receive a redundancy and wanted to make it life changing. I wanted to work with something timeless. I wanted to build something myself, my own brand, my own flexible working life.
I loved books and wanted to ensure kids had access to classic and great quality picture books. I found it frustrating that books were not always categorised or labelled in a way that helped a consumer know the approximate age range they were appropriate for. I wanted to know which books were the great ones – the ones that other mum’s recommended. The must-haves for each age. So that is what Story Mama does, curates and classifies the pictures books in a way to make it as easy to buy a great recommended book for a child as it would be to buy a toy.
I found very early on that I loved being my own boss and setting my own priorities and challenges. I love the flexibility it gives me and my family.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Getting appointed to the National Board of the Children’s Book Council within 2 years of opening Story Mama’s website.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success. (Biz Stone, founder of Twitter)
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
I have found digital advertising more effective than print advertising. I also like that I can track the return on my investment electronically and measure the traffic that comes to Story Mama directly from another site.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the year?
Social Media has played a big part in Story Mama’s success. Our online community is really supportive. Taking the time to learn Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram has helped with this. Twitter has also been helpful in connecting with other players in the industry.
Are there any resources or tools that you would like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
I use so many free resources every day!
- Mailchimp (for managing our e-mail database)
- Buffer (For scheduling social media)
- Feedly (for curating content)
- Google analytics (for measuring traffic, conversion rates and return on investment of any marketing initiatives
What are your upcoming projects?
We just celebrated our 3rd birthday so that was exciting. We are due to exhibit at the Baby and Toddler show in Melbourne in early April, so that will keep us busy
In your opinion, what are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- Time Management
- Problem Solving
What do you like to do with the family when you are not working?
I have one son who is six. I think if you asked him what is his favourite thing to do with me he would either say Watch Star Wars or go to a musical. If you catch him at bedtime, he would say reading stories together. To relax I like to hang out with my son and husband, read, go to the movies or theater and travel.
Connect with Story Mama – Online Children’s Bookstore
Story Mama WBS listing for all business contact details
We hope you were inspired by Debbie. If you want WBS to interview your business email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Womens Business Society Team
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