By Abbey Cannan
From a moment of desperation, Sunshine Coast mother of three Kelly Lavery turned an idea into an invention and the Strucket was born.
The Strucket is the world’s first strainer meet bucket. The innovative system promises to modernise the way you soak and drain.
Kelly said the idea for the Strucket came to her after having her third baby, which was nine years after the last one.
“I found myself back in the land of dirty nappies and newborn mess again,” Kelly said.
“Having two older kids, life was busy and dirty laundry would often sit in buckets for days, going yucky and smelly.
“I just thought there had to be a better way to make soaking bodily fluids more hygienic. I started researching for a better option and couldn’t find one, so I invented my own.”
Kelly moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2002 after spending five years travelling abroad.
“The community feel of the Sunshine Coast is my absolutely favourite thing, the rapport I have established with all my favourite stores and shopping local is a favourite of mine,” she said.
“I have a wonderful, fulfilling life here and it’s truly my home.”
It took Kelly just three years to take her idea and turn it into a product, launching in December 2018.
“Strucket is the culmination of three years of research, design, prototype, tooling, testing, grant applications, sourcing funding, and sleepless nights,” she explained.
“I had to learn about patents, tooling, technical engineering and pitching, often the hard way, through trial and error.
“But each stumble led me to the next door that would open. I got really good at asking for advice and assistance from those who knew more about the process than I did.”
When Strucket initially launched it was targeted to the parenting retail market. But it turns out the appeal for the product was massive across industries including aged care, disability, incontinence and camping.
Kelly said the response from consumers had been amazing, with the product beginning to turn a profit in March just four months after its launch.
“When we exhibit at trade shows, we sell out before the second day.
“People are loving the simplicity of Strucket and how it just makes laundry life so much easier and more hygienic. We are being approached by major retailers to stock Strucket and are blown away by the stockists who want our product.”
A day in Kelly’s life begins like most parents, with the rush of getting everyone off for the day.
“My husband heads of to his Chiropractic Clinic in Buderim, the two older girls go to school and the little man heads to kindy, so I’m whizzing around Buderim getting everyone where they need to go,” Kelly said.
“I then head out to the warehouse in Coolum and my workday begins by 9.30am. It’s generally full of meetings and computer work and all things Strucket, I just love it.”
Kelly says being able to manage her own day allows her to collect the children in the afternoon and begin the homework and dinner routine.
“My husband arrives home at 7.30pm and I’m able to continue Strucket computer work until about 9.30pm.
“As Strucket has expanded there is frequent travel interstate and overseas. Luckily, I have my beautiful mum, husband and girlfriends who help me with the children while I’m away. It really is a team effort to get Strucket where it needs to go. It’s an exciting time.”
For Kelly, it has been a gradual progression to balancing her work and life commitments.
“With some forward planning you can absolutely follow your business dreams and be a good mother,” she said.
“Jude was only six months old when I had the idea. I started a time map with how I thought the next few years would look if I pursued it; I managed time and finances around it.
“I initially started with a nanny one day a week when Jude was one. The next year, I did two days with a nanny. When he was three, I started him in kindy and now he attends three days a week.
“We have had to sacrifice a few things along the way when finances have been limited because I’ve put it into Strucket but the family has thrived.
“The children are learning valuable lessons during this journey too. They are also seeing their mother shine with happiness because she is pursuing her dreams.”
Kelly’s favourite thing about being a mum is the laughter that comes from the funny things her kids say.
“It’s the moments where you look over at them and have an extreme sense of pride for how amazing they are and how fortunate I am to be their mother,” she said.
“They fill my life with so much love, I’m excited for our future as a family.”
Kelly’s top 3 tips for busy mums:
1. Your happiness is most important – it allows you to be the best mother you can. Make sure you allocate time to do the things you love. Even if it’s just sitting out in the sun and having a coffee. Make it happen.
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If the house is a mess and it’s all just too much, walk out the door and leave it all behind for an hour or two. When you return, you’ll cope with it in a better frame of mind.
3. Get down to your children’s level. They grow so fast. Most of the time the one thing they want is your attention. By getting down to their level and speaking with them, reading a book or playing for just 20 minutes you will have filled their bubble and they will be happy for the rest of the day.