(Photo credit: www.stuz-photography.com)
Boy oh boy do I have one freakin’, rockin’ young mama Boss Lady! I’m pumped to bring you Mady’s story. Over my back and forth messaging with Mady, I can tell that she is one ambitious woman who has tons of passion and zest for life and her career (and I can’t wait to meet her for a coffee and a big chat one day!) Not to mention, get her to do my hair (seriously, girl got some skill!)
I love, love, love all the amazing young Mummy’s I get to meet through Baby Mamas (whether it’s online or in person). You all inspire me so much and I’m proud to share your accomplishments with the world and to high beam your achievements to other young Mums who might want to be their own Girl Boss but don’t know where to start. Mady is no exception with how inspiring she is.
It took me awhile to put together Mady’s story as I wanted to make sure I did it justice! Becoming a first time Mummy at only 18 and working from the bottom up to become her own boss, nothing has stopped her from achieving her dreams of running her own Hairdressing Business (least of all having a baby at a young age!) Just the other week on Instagram she posted she had received over 111 messages when she announced 2 new days of business a week (becoming fully booked until July/August!) This girl is on fire. Without further ado….meet Mady:
On Meeting Her High School Sweetheart:
I met Luke when we were 14/15 years old. He lived one block over from me and used to walk home with me and a few other friends. We went to high school together and both left school extremely young and tender (about 15/16 years old). Almost immediately we started our lives and careers together, moving in with my gorgeous Mum. Luke started panel beating and I started hairdressing! The funny thing was, I didn’t actually want to be a hairdresser at first. But for a 15 year old girl who was too big for her boots, there wasn’t much else to do. So hairdressing it was! I was very fortunate to land myself a job at a beautiful little salon in North Fitzroy with a great group of girls (who became the big sisters I never had).
Stepping Up To The Plate:
Both Luke and I paid rent, bills and we were both saving up for our first cars (which we ended up getting once we turned 18!). Even though we were teenagers, we had already taken on a lot of adult responsibilities. I was working 40 hours a week in a trendy hair salon and Luke was working full time in a panel shop. We were living proof that leaving school prematurely wasn’t such a bad thing after all (because we were working hard to take care of ourselves).
When we were 18, I found out on Mothers Day 2012 that I was pregnant (I know right, Mothers Day!). The news came as quite a shock, but there was never any second guessing at what we were going to do with our unexpected curve ball.
I knew we could do it, I knew we would make the best of it, I knew we had it in us.
After a few weeks the news started to become more and more real. The nerves never left but we certainly got used to the idea very quickly of starting a family together.
We had our gorgeous daughter, Mackenzie Rose on January the 18th 2013 at 9 (o’something) PM.
Luke, my Mum (much to her protest), my beautiful mother-in-law and best friend were there to watch it all unfold.
The labour was awful, complicated, 40ish hours long, but pure magic.
The kind of magic I never even knew could have existed. The emotion and feeling of birthing our girl, having Luke pull her up to me and then holding her for the first time is an emotion I’ve never quite managed to match words to. And an emotion I’ve never been able to compare anything to before.
The surge of love was so incredibly intense, it was like my entire life flashed before my eyes and suddenly it all made sense why I was put on this earth.
I had never dreamed particularly strongly of becoming a mother, until I became a mother.
So there we were, now 19 years old, with a house, good jobs and a new little baby.
The first year was our easiest I feel – I was exclusively breastfeeding and was very very fortunate in how easy I had it. We never had any issues or hurdles whatsoever which I guess is what led me onto feeding her naturally until she was two.
I never intended on breastfeeding, I even took formula to the hospital with me ready for bottles, but the very instant I raised my newborn fresh out of my womb onto my chest (I will never forget this..) a surge came over me and there was nothing else I wanted to do other than latch her onto my breast. It was so natural and so easy, my maternal instincts immediately overrode anything else.
First comes baby, then comes marriage:
Luke & I married on our 5 year anniversary in my Uncle’s backyard with close friends and family. We had a BBQ and a juke box playing all night, it was the best night of our lives! And of course, Mackenzie was front row centre the entire time. After all, we wouldn’t have been marrying at only 20 years old if we didn’t have her!
A lot of our friends and family questioned our desires to marry so young.
They would argue “you’ve got your whole lives to get married, just enjoy being young and enjoy being parents” bla bla bla… but we didn’t care.
I find that there’s something so incredibly satisfying and empowering about the feeling of immense commitment to one another. I didn’t want to wait any longer! I always knew that Luke and I would end up where we were (and where we are today). I didn’t think it would happen so soon but I didn’t have a shadow of doubt about us becoming parents and I didn’t (and never have) had a shadow of doubt that he is the man who I will build my tribe with and grow old with. So, why wait! Hitched we got!
I had been working since Mackenzie was only 4 months old, although just on saturdays to begin with and Luke would stay home with Kenz so I could work.
Overtime it slowly increased as life’s expenses grew. By the time she was 6 months old I was working 3 days a week at a local salon.
People often questioned why I was working when I had such a young baby. And being a hairdresser, I very regularly got people’s (and client’s) judgements about having a 6 months old in daycare. But I didn’t really have a choice, we had to pay the bills right?
My husband was still an apprentice until March 2015, so his wage unfortunately wasn’t enough to keep me at home. Also, aside from that, I am a work-a-holic! I live and breathe my passion of hairdressing so I was quite excited to get back into the swing of things. I also really enjoyed the fact that I was contributing to our finances and we were no longer reliant on our generous governments benefits.
After working in this local salon for almost a year and Mackenzie being 15 months old, I started to crave more.
Because I live and breathe my passion of hairdressing, I wanted to up my game and I felt like we were in a great position for me to seek further training for my skills.
I weighed out all of the pro’s and con’s of me going back to study, the biggest con being (as always) losing more time with Mackenzie, but the biggest pro that won us over was a permanent pay rise.
We figured, if I’m going to be a hairdresser for at least the next 15 years I might as well be the best and highest paid hairdresser possible.
I started training to gain the Cert. IV in Advance Hairdressing which was 2 days a week.
I then dropped a day at the salon to compensate. So I was working two days and studying two. I feel for me, this is the perfect work / life balance. Four days working/studying – three days at home (or vice versa if you can afford to only work three days).
So things were great!
I had optimal job satisfaction, I was being challenged, I was learning, I was being inspired…but now that I was only working the two days – money wasn’t so flash.
But I wasn’t at all ready to give up my study as I just knew it was what needed to be done. And I wasn’t ready to work more days as I didn’t want to lose any more time than I had to being a mummy.
After paying for childcare fee’s, we were only walking away from my pay check with $20.
It just wasn’t cutting it. I was SO pissed. I pour everything into my job, my work and my clients because it comes so naturally for me. I was so angry at the world that I had chosen to work, I had chosen to not sit on governments benefits, I had chosen to leave my daughter every day so we could get a better life, I had chosen to contribute to society – all for $20 at the end of the week. It was infuriating.
Again, me and Luke found ourselves sitting there weighing up our options of what we can do to get a better outcome for our family.
Luke thought of stopping his apprenticeship and becoming a labourer (so he wasn’t on shitty apprentice wages) and even thought about getting a second job (even though he already worked 40 hours a week). We had thought of everything but we were so stuck. It was like every option we came up with just didn’t work for us.
I can’t remember exactly how it all happened, but we made the decision it would be best for me to leave the local salon and just concentrate on studying. We figured – “we’re already broke as hell, we might as well be broke and at least i’ll be having more time with Mackenzie.” But, after about a month, we got REALLY broke. I think at one stage we had $4k worth of bills on our fridge. It was terrifying.
Everyone had always tried to talk me into working from home, but I just never thought it was for me
UNTIL I DID IT!
Everyone kept saying to me – “Mady c’mon you have this great skill – put it to use!”. So I figured I had to. I had to help provide for our family. I thought, even if it was just $50 extra a week – hell that’s $50 we didn’t have before!
So I started, of course with a Facebook page!
It was infectious – the moment I started thinking as my own boss I couldn’t get enough! The response I immediately had was so unexpected and overwhelming. People where pouring out my ears with requests for appointments. It was nuts!
I saved up a few thousand dollars, went and bought myself a chair and a basin and a whole bunch of colour and just started! Mady Does Hair was born on October 2014. It took off immediately.
Some examples of Mady’s work:
I was working 2 days from home, and making THREE TIMES the amount I was making from two days in the commercial salon.
Plus I was still studying and still having plenty of time with Kenz. It was fantastic. And I haven’t looked back since. It was the best decision we have ever made as a family to do.
The flexibility that working for myself provides is next to none.
If I need an afternoon off for Mackenzie, or for anything, I can have it whenever I want! If I need to do washing, I do it while my clients colours are processing! It’s just fantastic. I say to my clients everyday – “I really struggle to call this my job”.
I feel like all I do all day is catch up with girlfriends and drink coffee!
I have now been operating at home for almost 6 months now, and have literally JUST finished and recieved my advance certificate of hairdressing (as of the 15th of April), and we’ve found myself in such a great spot. My gorgeous hubby is now QUALIFIED (yay!!!), my clients are great and business is stronger than I ever could have imagined.
It’s hard work but it is so rewarding.
We are setting solid examples everyday to our daughter that nothing worth having comes easy and if you want something there’s nothing you can’t achieve without a good attitude and dedication.
My inspiration everyday is exactly that – proving, teaching, and setting solid examples of hard work and a positive attitude.
If you want something – if you have a dream, CHASE IT. Go for it. I hope our daughter and our future children take on every inch of that within their own lives.
I hope our children know that you have to work hard in life to get what you want and to get where you want to be.
Despite being teen parents, having all of the odds against us, we have prevailed tremendously.
And again, that is all thanks to being committed to each other, working hard TOGETHER, and staying focused and positive.
People often comment to us, “oh you guys are so lucky, you have a house, you have nice cars, you have holidays” etc, but I immediately think to myself, “Lucky? Mate we aren’t lucky, we work hard to get what we want!”
As for my advice to fellow Baby Mamas with big, Girl Boss dreams?
I live by these two mantras:
“Nothing worth having comes easy, and nothing that comes easy is worth having”
and my favourite;
“There’s no such thing as luck. Luck is dedication and hard work meeting opportunity”.
You can find Mady on Social Media here (plus a link to an awesome blog post on her biz):
AND checkout this video of Mady telling us more about herself (and her mad hairdressing skills) here:
Thank you SO much for sharing your inspiring story Mady! Wishing you tons of luck, love and blessings on your awesome Girl Boss journey!