A desire for work/life balance and unique individual challenges has resulted in two local mums joining together to make that dream a reality.
Anna Bay mums Jodi Warburton and Joanne Hoy met through their children’s shared interest in dancing.
Both were looking for work, but it was difficult to find a job that would fit in with their circumstances.
For Jodi, a medical condition that prevents her from driving limited her options.
“It impacts on the sort of work I can apply for,” she said.
“Most of my employment has been home-based or voluntary; I really wanted part-time work that would get me out of the house.”
2016 ABS Labour Force statistics confirm that females are far more likely to work part-time than males (31% compared with 6.8%), but finding the ideal part-time job can be difficult.
Joanne Hoy needed a job that offered flexibility for her two children with special needs.
“I’ve been within the dance industry for 13 years. I wanted to do this five years ago, but that’s when [my son] was diagnosed with autism,” she said.
The vision was put on the backburner, but ongoing discussions resulted in both women realising that it could be achieved if they worked together.
Skills were pooled, Nelson Bay premises secured and they got down to business. The name was the easiest part: Jo’s Dance Wear & Supplies.
Their shared commitment is obvious. “We can’t do it without each other,” Jodi said.
The aim has also been to help parents in similar circumstances.
“We struggled with getting into Newcastle. For working parents it’s hard to get supplies within work hours. Now we are able to help the parents here,” Joanne said.
The business opened in October. Jodi and Joanne balance the workload so they can fulfil their outside commitments.
“We are independent suppliers and not affiliated with any dance studio,” Joanne said.
“We are very keen to hear from parents so we can make sure that we are meeting the needs of our local community,” Jodi added.
By Jo FINN