By Hollie Harris
Powerhouse Collective founder Aimee Sheriff is pinching herself in disbelief at how quickly her business is booming.
In a Noosa first, women now have an inspiring and supportive space to make the transition back to work possible and they are able to take their children along for the ride.
In this light and funky loft in Thomas Street, women and mums are stepping forward into their careers complete with a creche, a beauty salon and all the buzz of a flourishing, dynamic office.
The mother of three originally sold up her interior design business in New Zealand five years ago and moved to Noosa. She initially felt isolated and uninspired when looking to return to the workforce after her second child was born.
“I wasn’t ready for my children to go into child care full-time. I wanted to be the first port of call if they really needed me,” Aimee said.
“I couldn’t believe there wasn’t an option for women like me and came up with the idea for a collaborative workspace just for women and their children,” she said.
Working from home was difficult and brought many challenges for Aimee. There was no support and a lot of doubt without anyone around to bounce ideas off.
“I knew I needed to build a network so I started fortnightly meetings for women from Buderim to Noosa and have kept this going for the last two years.
“I learned how many women were screaming out for networking and support in their careers so it became my passion to help women return to work,” Aimee said.
“I knew it was time to move forward with the collaborative workspace and everyone I had been networking with knew exactly what I was doing and what it was about,” she said.
“So many mums want to work. There are a lot of home-based businesses here in Noosa Shire alone and these women need support.
“I really want to make a difference in how women return to work. It has become a huge passion of mine. The way they return to work and how they can manage it. You don’t have to do the five days a week anymore. Children and business women can be under the one roof,” Aimee said.
Aimee also holds courses which give mums looking for a boost in their budding business the opportunity to undertake an eight-week Babyland to Business Bam course.
The first in this series was a huge success and the are the girls who completed the course were fierce in their pursuits. At the end of the course, they unveiled their new businesses in a pitch to a room full of key figures in and around Noosa.
One is about to launch her very own ’Curly Girl’ product. Claire Fermo Aussie Curls. She’s flew to Melbourne, met with chemists and has manufactured her very own product.
This is a nationwide platform that supports, encourages motivates and inspires mums across Australia in business.
“There is so much room for change. We need this change. When you stop working to have children, it really is difficult to move back into the workforce again and there are very few jobs that offer some flexibility to still be a parent.
Members don’t have to work every day. There are plenty of flexible options to suit varying needs.
“One of our mums comes in once a week and says her productivity on that day is so vital. She works from home on the other days but accomplishes so much on the day she is in here with us that it really sets her up for the week.
Members range from start-up business owners, to journalists, furniture designers, nutritionists, naturopaths, print designers and handmade designers, making a diverse group of business women working side by side.
Aimee’s background in interior design shines in this well-appointed office space. The boardroom is complete with pink velvet chairs and beautiful locally made art pieces carefully selected to enhance the space.
“The biggest compliment we get is the great vibe in here. There is a real buzz. Our members really do enjoy their work day in here.
“You are not just a bottom on a seat. It feels more like an instant family. We all want each other succeed. Our children are here, we care about each other – it’s just such a wonderful working environment.
Aimee has grand plans for the future of the Powerhouse Collective and said she feels like a bit of a bull at the gate.
“I hope to expand and make more space for the creatives to work and also introduce an incubator program. Women who want a business and have a great idea but don’t know what to do next will be able to come in and utilise this program. They will be able to get the business up and running and generate income for themselves,” Aimee said.
“Putting yourself around other women who really get where you’re at, who are able to lift you up and support you, finding your tribe, so to speak, is the first step to success,” Aimee said.
“There are so many amazing and capable women doing this. Being around other women achieving sparks something in us to succeed.”
Aimee’s enthusiasm and bright smile is contagious, perhaps because she seems to have found the key to juggling it all and she is offering it to you.
Find Powerhouse Collective and Pony Beauty upstairs at 10 Thomas Street, Noosaville, or call 0478 208 424.