Why the Mums & Co experience has convinced this member to give back to the movement that has lifted her up
Mums & Co Member & resident Expert Aoife O Connell, the female founder behind smart chatbots that not only automate the predictable but have also won a growing list of industry awards.
Australian Female Founder Case Study
Mums & Co Member & resident Expert Aoife O Connell, the female founder behind smart chatbots that not only automate the predictable but have also won a growing list of industry awards
A little over 10 years ago, Aoife O’Connell packed up her life in Ireland and moved across the globe to Sydney. At that stage, her corporate career in Digital Marketing and Social Media looked promising and life was good.
How quickly things can change.
Fast forward a few years and Aoife suddenly found herself in full startup mode.
Flung from her corporate career, new bub in one hand and the laptop in the other. She felt overwhelmed and lost in life. Her identity felt broken and Aoife came to realise that she hadn’t nurtured or protected it in the first place all those years living the ‘corporate dream’.
That was the start of Yarnly, the Sydney-based Chatbot and AI agency that’s become Aoife’s happy place. Yarnly is where she amplifies and supports purposeful brands who are wild cards, speak with brave voices and champion change.
Today, Aoife finally lives her purpose and manages a creative team of digital, chat and voice developers as well as designers who build chatbots for brands that want to automate the predictable and create better experiences for their customers. Because they care.
This unapologetic feminist, mother, ouchy kisser and tech-head has not only discovered Mums & Co as the ideal place to grow her #mumbition, she also has become one of the resident Mums & Co experts.
“Yarnly was born, so I could be the change I want to see in business. So my daughter could realise that opportunity doesn't make appointments. If you're willing to work for it, you can get whatever your 'it' is.”
Mums & Co connected Aoife with fellow business-owning mums ― just like her
Finding support, especially from like-minded mothers in business, was paramount to Aoife’s success.
Since starting Yarnly, she’s joined many business groups that support women in the early days of their business journey. What initially made Aoife hesitate about joining Mums & Co was the picture that society still tries to paint of bold women trying to harmonise their #mumbition, livelihood and wellbeing.
But the reality was far from what Aoife expected.
“As soon as I joined, the community got me. My fellow business-owning mums understood me and were able to provide much-needed support when it came to managing a family and balancing a business. I have met major powerhouses that are creating purposeful, meaningful businesses that I am inspired by daily.”
Aoife, which aspects of Mums & Co have supported you on your business journey to date?
“Mums & Co gave me the relationships, experiences and tools to invest in myself, upskill, connect and train to build an agency that I can support my family with.”
“For me, the 1:1 Expert Sessions have been phenomenal because they give you access to independent, valuable talent that you can't access easily otherwise. In fact, I’ve been getting so much out of them that I’ve since become a Mums & Co expert myself so I can support the Mums & Co movement with my expertise and return the favour.”
“Another great feature is the Mums & Co directory because it saves me time I already don’t have. It makes it super easy to track down a service provider or like-minded brand to collaborate with.”
“Mums & Co allows me to bridge the motherhood gap by hiring fellow mums in my business via the trusted member directory.”
What does being a Mums & Co Member mean to you?
“Mums & Co provide me with the community, connection and introduction to women―just like me―so I can build a future within a trusted network that I can turn to in times of difficulty. And creating a business definitely throws down some curly challenges.”
Are there any challenges within society that Mums & Co has highlighted for you?
“Too many women today are still unable to enter the workforce, suffer real challenges and as a consequence need to start their own business to balance a career with being a mother. Business movements like Mums & Co―and us business-owning mums―need to consciously empower women by providing them with the support they need to do their jobs and care for their families. Because no one should have to choose between their career aspirations and those they love. And this is not a female issue. It's a family issue.”
“I deeply believe there has to be a better way. A better way to run a company. A better way to deliver to customers. A better way to serve our communities. A better way to give back - an EQUAL way.”
Is there one piece of advice you have for #mumbitious women thinking about starting a business?
“The one piece of wisdom I want to pass on is to recognise early on that your relationships and your network are your net worth. Finding the right support from the right people can make all the difference to how you experience the early days in your business and beyond.”
Want Aoife or one of the other Mums & Co Experts on your #mumbition?
You can contact Aoife you can book a bite-sized 1:1 Expert session (or one of our 30+ other industry experts) and walk away with instant custom-made strategies for you and your business.