Doing business at home
DOROTHY Ticknor and Annie Zorzo are two mums making the most of their time at home while caring for young ones.
Both Mrs Ticknor and Mrs Zorzo have started their own home-based businesses - one specialising in custom made jewellery, the other in lifestyle accessories.
Known as Sweet Pea Silhouettes, in her business Evans Head based Mrs Ticknor makes pure silver sweet pea jewellery and also fingerprint charm jewellery.
"I am a stay at home mum at the moment, so I tried to find a way I could work from home and make things people could have from the time when their kids were little," Mrs Ticknor said.
She explained that she uses a special precious metal clay into which her customers leave a fingerprint impression. The clay is then turned into a charm, permanently recording the fingerprint.
"I think there are a lot of people who are looking for something a little bit different and something they will be able to have forever and which is a keepsake for when your kids get bigger," she said.
"You can start from six months old for the baby fingerprints, and they make a nice gift."
Mrs Ticknor also uses photographs and applies a special photo polymer to produce photographic silhouettes.
Mrs Ticknor has three children aged from three to seven, as well as three dogs.
Home-based business started for Annie Zorzo of Evans Head when she needed more baby bibs for her youngest child, who is now seven months old.
"I made him some bibs and they were easy to do," Mrs Zorzo said. "So I thought I would put them into mass-production - as much as I could mass produce them, anyway."
From those beginnings Annie Zorzo Lifestyle Accessories grew.
Mrs Zorzo studied at the London College of Fashion during an eight year period she and he husband lived in the city.
"My ultimate goal was to make bags, admittedly leather bags, but they take a bit longer to do and time isn't something that I have a lot of, so I started making fabric bags," she said.
"At the moment I am doing beach bags because it is summer and being a mum of three you can't find a beach bag big enough.
"So I decided to make one and within maybe three days of putting it on Facebook I had 16 orders," she said.
Mrs Zorzo recommends any stay-at-home mum who wants to start a home-based business give it a go, but she is realistic about the challenges.
"Give it a go. It is hard work, there is no denying that and in the initial start-up phase you family may have to take a little back seat," she said.
"But if you have a supportive partner you can make it work for the good of the whole family."