Mother of two Jody Allen knows what it’s like to go without.
After being suddenly made redundant when she was expecting her second child, Jody had only $50 a week to spend on her family’s groceries for the next four years..
Many other young mothers would have been crushed by the dire economic circumstances, but not Jody.
It started her on a quest to make even more savings and eventually share her achievements with other like-minded mothers by starting a blog called Stay At Home Mum. Today, that blog has transformed into a successful business run out of her Gympie home.
And not only that.
Since establishing her blog, publisher Penguin, recognising the blog’s drawing power, offered her a book deal. She now has four on the market and a TV series in the works.
When SheSociety caught up with Jody this week she said Stay at Home Mum tackled all the no-go topics and helped Mums learn to cook, budget, manage their time and to better themselves.
She said she was a proud mum of two boys aged 9 and 10 – one of them on the Autism Spectrum – and was married to Brendan “who is not only the most patient man alive, but helps run the company.”
Brendan quit his job as a carpenter to become CEO of the online company.
“I am in awe of Jody and the Stay at Home Mum team on a daily basis,” said Brendan.
As well as being the CEO, Brendan also features on the site offering readers handy tips in a series of do-it-yourself videos.
Jody said she was “probably one of the most unbusinessy people you would meet”.
“I had no business experience when I started and really had to learn to ‘swim in the deep end’,” said Jody.
She listed the publication of her first book as a life-changing moment.
“I had promised my Dad I would always write a book and have it published one day,” she said.
“To have my first book in my hands was an unbelievable moment. I cried like a baby”, adding that in the future she would love to have a crack at writing a historical fiction novel.
“I have over 400 English History books at home (and a whole lot of English History tattoos) so that is an era I’m fascinated with.
Asked if there was anyone who had inspired her in her personal or professional life, Jody was quick to name “a lady called Danette who lives in rural Queensland”.
“She contacted me early on in my career,” said Jody
“She had been following the frugal tips and hints I’d been talking about on the Stay at Home Mum website. She had lived on $22 dollars a week with two young children and had been just about left homeless.
“I’m pleased to say Danette now has her own home, a university degree and her own small business on the side now. She still continues to be one of my heroes.”
SheSociety is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.