Mother of three and restaurant owner
Tell us about your business?
In its eighth year as one of Sydney’s most popular and award-winning restaurants and cocktail bars, The Victoria Room features a southern Mediterranean-inspired menu that is designed to share. Lush palms, bamboo beaded curtains, silk wallpapers and plush leather sofas evoke all the opulence of the British Raj era, providing the perfect backdrop for a memorable affair. Also known for its famous High Tea, The Victoria Room is open from 6pm Tuesday to Sunday for dinner and from 12 - 5pm for High Tea on weekends.
Why did you start your business?
After moving to Sydney from Melbourne in 2001, my husband Ashley and I wanted to create a slice of our home town. Basically we created the type of venue we would like to go to!
Has starting your own business lived up to expectations?
Yes definitely, and more! It allows me to be creative, gives me the opportunity to work with an awesome hand-picked team and, as well, it gives me the freedom to raise and be there for our three children.
What have you enjoyed most about running your own business?
Knowing that the business is successful and continues to grow is a huge sense of achievement. Having the opportunity to steer your own ship and create your own destiny is the ultimate in true freedom.
What is the biggest challenge?
Probably the old work v life chestnut: juggling the lives of three children in amongst running a business. Not bringing work home with us – Ashley and I have to be careful not to ‘talk shop’ too much at home. This is a challenge when you both live and breathe a business.
Do you have any children – what are their names/ages
We have three girls. Sunday Lily is 10. Piper Violet is 7 and Scarlett Primrose is 2.
How do you manage to juggle the running of your business with family?
I have an amazing team who work hard to support and run a business they love and believe in. it sounds clichéd, but we really are like a family at The Victoria Room. Also, I guess I have the ability to multitask. You know, answering emails on the iphone while you’re waiting for the school bell! The list goes on!
What is the hardest thing about being a working mother?
Feeling guilty about leaving my 2 year old at preschool 3 days a week and getting out the door, dressed ready for work/school, before 9am!
What do you think about ‘me’ time? And do you manage to fit some in?
I think ‘me’ time is very important and no I don’t get enough! Life with a 2 year old can be all consuming. When I have all 3 girls at school I will be able to catch up on some much-needed me time. I hope!
Have you ever thought about giving it up?
Never. I love what I do too much.
Do you have a favourite networking opportunity or event?
Definitely the annual Victoria Room Gold Lunch during Gold Week (the first week of June). Great women (and men), some career, some not, some mums, some not, all getting together for an amazing cause which is Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick. We are so proud to host the Lunch for the 2nd year in 2011, and we hope our guests will help us raise lots of money for a good cause. It’s also one that is close to my heart, because one of my girls has been a patient at the Hospital.
Do you have any advice for someone starting their own business?
Yes. Be vigilant with your market research before you start. Know your market! And do something you are passionate about. I know its an important aspect, but don’t make it just about the money. Run your business with passion, integrity and a clear vision and the money will follow!
Find more famous mums in profile in My Entertainment.