Warwick entrepreneur breaks boundaries, inspires others
Warwick is full of incredible women who inspire, mentor, teach and pave the way.
On International Women's Day today, Warwick Daily News is highlighting one of those women – a business owner who built an empire and is inspiring other young women to accomplish the same.
For owner Karyn Mills, Story Book Cakes started from a place of “devastation and heartbreak”.
Struggling with the shock death of her mum from swine flu, Mrs Mills turned to baking as a way to “get out of bed and move forward.”
Mrs Mills’ superb talent then turned into a catering business and demand was growing for an alternative product customers could snack on outside of special occasions.
It was then she decided to embark one of the most nerve-racking decisions of her life – launching her own mud cake mixes.
“I was scared to death when we did them, we had no idea if they would be received well,” she said.
Now her mixes are sold in over 50 stores across Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Western Australia.
The journey is one Mrs Mills “wouldn’t change” despite long hours and tireless work.
‘’How hard you work is what you reap back,” she said.
“It’s your own baby you can grow and the reward is when people come back and say they absolutely love what you do, or that it’s a daily part of their lives.”
Her story had also inspired young entrepreneurs to step up to the plate.
Neighbour Chloe Lowrey was only 17 when she approached Mrs Mills about starting her own business.
Now Chloe’s protein ball business Confier was available in range of flavours and places across Warwick.
Mrs Mills’ daughter Hope, at 13, was also the proud owner of earring business Epitone.
“It’s really lovely to have already trodden that ground and stand behind them and say ‘just do it’,” she said.
“I love seeing them grow and seeing what both girls can do next to take that business a little bit forward, to grow a niche.”
Owning their narrative was something Mrs Mills hoped burgeoning businesswomen could take away this International Women’s Day.
“There are so many women even I look up to in business and it’s inspiring to see their businesses growing,” she said.
“It used to be men that were the business owners and women that were employed, but more women are becoming the brainchildren of their businesses and standing on their own two feet.
“You have to have the confidence to push forward.”