Stay at Home Mum website a mother of an idea
"IT'S the funnest way to make a living," says Gympie's own housewife superstar, Jody Allen.
The Pie Creek supermum, inventor of the Stay at Home Mum website, can hardly believe the brilliant success of the million-dollar internet monster she created three years ago.
She can remember the last time she was bored, but only just.
It was two days before she started the Stay at Home Mum website, January 2011.
From a practical home-based self-help blog, it has now become a monster success story, with 37 employees around Australia and fans around the world.
Intended to help cash strapped housebound mums save their money and their sanity, Jody concedes that sanity no longer comes into it; not for her anyway.
"It's crazy," Jody laughs (and she laughs all the time). "It's the funnest way to make a living.
"It's not like work.
"It's just us girls, here and on Facebook, talking utter rot - and that's where we get all our ideas.
"Lydia Williams is our food editor. She cooks everything she writes about and photographs it and we eat it.
"Kylie Gwilliam is my secretary/treasurer. She makes my life easy."
The site now has 370,000 followers around the world and charges $10,000 to $80,000 for its marketing packages. Customers include Suncorp, Disney and Ikea. Its credibility is backed by a personal guarantee from Jody.
"I won't promote any product I don't believe in.
"I love Ikea, and this is an Ikea kitchen," she says as we walk around her home, which is also her office.
"My kids haven't destroyed it, so I know it's good."
As the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Morning Herald reported this week, the one-time hobby blog is now a business estimated to be worth $3 million.
It won the 2013 Gympie Times Business of the Year award, sponsored by Bendigo Bank, and the Gympie Chamber of Commerce award.
This year, she attracted the interest of Melbourne investor Leon Sherry who bought the option on a 30% interest.
"I just had this bloke ring up out of the blue and he said he wanted to invest.
"I laughed and hung up on him. There's a lot of fruit loops on the internet," she said, still laughing.
"I told one of my advertisers and she said, 'That's my dad and he's got millions.
"So I rang him back."