Welcome to the first in our new ‘Coffee With’ series! We’re hoping these articles will give you a chance to grab a virtual coffee (or tea, wine – what ever floats your boat!) with some amazing mamas you know of or introduce you to some new faces!
Carly Abrahams obviously doesn’t like to sit still. She worked in Communications for over 15 years and in 2012, whilst looking after her toddler, she started an online community (Mums the word-Aus Facebook Group) for Australian mums and mums-to-be. Her network quickly grew to the thousands and in 2017, after noticing a need in the market, Carly expanded online to a full service marketplace, The Kids Post which she now runs alongside her successful Facebook community and being a mum. Carly has been very supportive of Mama Tribe since we first started, which we are so grateful for! We sat down with Carly and asked her some of our burning questions.
1. Thanks for letting us interview you! So you have a young son, a huge online mothers group and a new successful online business. Do you ever sleep?! How do you find a balance between work life, mum life, and everything in-between?
The last few years I definitely didn’t sleep enough, running a popular Facebook Group properly is almost a 24/7 job, if you don’t manage and moderate a group well, it can become problematic for the administrators and for members, so between the group and my young son, who I care for mostly on my own, and building TheKidsPost.com.au, there wasn’t a whole lot of sleep happening but I decided this year I would make sleep more of a priority. It affects so many aspects of our body and life that I now do get more than I used to. The juggle with everything else is a daily balancing act, I make sure I am available for my son as much as possible and try to be at all school events, pick up and I take him to activities etc so what I do is split my workday in half and go back to work once he’s in bed. It’s not ideal but as all working mums know, you do what you can, when you can and do what works for you and your family. The major sacrifice has been my social life, it’s pretty dismal at the moment. I would have loved to have found a business partner to share the load but it just hasn’t worked out that way.
2. What was your motivation when you set about to create Mums the Word – Aus and what are the biggest challenges of running such a large community?
At the time I created Mums the Word – Aus, there weren’t many Facebook Groups around. My son was almost two so I was coming out of the baby stage but I had a friend who was pregnant and not from Australia, she had no family and little friends here and having so much support from my family and friends I wondered what mums like her do when they have questions….and there are so so many questions in those first few years! I also still had lots to discover myself and didn’t want to post things on Facebook for every ex colleague, boyfriend and family friend to read and I didn’t really enjoy the local mothers group I was slotted in to in my area, so I created a closed group just for Mums, added a few mummy friends I knew.. and it just grew from there. I think the reason it’s continued to grow and the Mums love it, is because I moderate it so heavily to keep out spammers and controversial, offensive or problematic posts. We also limit the amount of business promotions, so fundamentally the group is there for its intended purpose and doesn’t sway too much from that. The biggest challenge is keeping it that way and ensuring all members respect the way our group runs.
3. You started the Kids Post to help mums find local services and products they could trust, tell us how it all came about from idea to where it is now?
There were two reasons, firstly as a Mum I felt that sites like Airbnb, Air tasker, Meunulog etc have this sophisticated, easy and quick search and results capability but in the Mum space, it was all old school directories with lots of pull down menus, slow results times and limited information on offer. I wanted to create a quick and simple marketplace for Mums to connect with Businesses and Service Providers near them, wherever they are in Australia, I also want to give Mums the peace of mind that The Kids Post is built by Mums for Mums, every listing is checked and vetted and as we grow, Mums will be able to read real reviews from real Mums to give them that added assurance over something like Google. On the flip side the other really important reason I wanted to create The Kids Post was for the amazing mums I discovered in my group running great businesses. Until now they have had limited and unaffordable places for them to advertise their services. They started approaching me to promote in the Facebook group which works well to a point but for a business a Facebook post doesn’t give you a whole lot of data. On The Kids Post every business that joins gets their own backend panel where they can constantly check their Leads, Views, Impressions and Rank. They can also add Blogs, Specials, Videos and lots more and our basic listing for them is completely free. For small businesses it’s a great mini website without having to create your own.
4. As a mum, how does the Kids Post work? Can I search and add my own business to the listings for free?
Listing your Business is super easy and as I mentioned a basic listing is completely Free so there’s really nothing to lose. You just go to our homepage www.thekidspost.com.au and click ‘List your Business” follow the easy steps from there and that’s it, you can also add a host of extra features if you like to make it like your own mini website. For Mums we have multiple ways you can search. The simplest is just to type what you’re looking for like Soccer Classes and your Suburb. We also have categories you can search. As we’re only new we have a long way to go to cover all of Australia but hopefully Mums will support each other and get on board.
5. What’s your experience of creating your own tech start up been like? What have been the greatest challenges or wins you have had along the way?
OMG super difficult, I first started this journey three years ago, there have been lots of broken promises, false starts and unmet expectations, many times I was close to giving up but I really believe in it and have to keep going. The biggest challenge first was finding the right tech partner that could build what I wanted, to completely have everything I want on there would cost millions so I also had to learn to be happy with most of what I wanted, you’ll never find the perfect solution if you’re star8ing out with a limited budget. Another major challenge is finding investors so we can spread the word about The Kids Post and expand, this has been harder than I anticipated.
6. For a lot of mums, the transition into becoming a mum can bring a lot of unknown challenges and situations. What has surprised you most about being a mum?
I really loved the first few years of being a Mum, I was lucky in that everything came pretty easy and my son has been very healthy and happy without many issues. The surprise has been how much everything changes once they start school. I still love being his mum, but it’s a new phase, you never get that time back when they were small and your days were less structured and routine. With school, lunches, washing etc and extracurricular activities it can feel a bit like groundhog day but like every mum I wouldn’t change it for the world and being his mum is a gift I’m thankful for every day.
7. What’s the latest book you read that you would recommend to a friend?
Unfortunately these days, the only time I get to read books is when we go away on holidays which isn’t very often but recently we travelled to Fiji and I read Big Little Lies. I recommend reading it before watching the TV Series.
8. Do you have any daily mantras, rituals or quotes that you use or would recommend?
Trust Yourself, when it comes to parenting… and business. You know your child better than anyone so trust your instincts when it comes to being a Mother and don’t get overwhelmed by the unsolicited advice, media or other mums. The same in business, go with your gut.
9. Describe being a mama in 5 words.
A journey like no other.
If you want more information about The Kids Post check out their website here.
Want to grab another?
If you have some suggestions on mamas you would like us to interview drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to make it happen!