Melissa Soutar – Founder, SPARK POP
SPARK POP is your go to for experiences, gifting and parties for children and families in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast. Coming soon to Sydney, Melbourne + Perth!
Our vision is to free playrooms, landfill and oceans from harmful plastics by making it easier for people to choose sustainable ways for children to play, be inspired and create lasting memories. Helping busy parents untrash playrooms with a one stop shop for Experiences. Gifting. Parties. Let’s make it POP!
When did you start your business?
What was the inspiration behind starting this business?
A playroom full of unused and broken toys which ended up in the bin. Immediately ensued by three birthday parties within six weeks, I just couldn’t bring myself to gift another toy and contribute to someone else’s clutter!
What are you most excited about in your business?
That we are not only reimagining the gifting and experiences market for kids, but also supporting working parents with a timesaving platform which supports those who want to travel while supporting social and cultural sustainability.
Taking on the $1.5 billion toy market in a bid to create positive impact through initiatives to reduce plastic pollution while also helping disadvantaged children.
What has been the most challenging thing about starting your business?
Starting from scratch, not having any funding, having to trust my instincts and look for opportunities to provide funding to build and market our platform.
What advice would you give to other women thinking about starting a business?
INVEST – Make sure you invest in yourself by allowing yourself time to truly know yourself, what’s important to you, your why, which should set you on a path to find purpose.
TRUST – Reflect on your why, trust this and your instincts to guide you.
PERSISTENCE – Don’t give up, believe in your why and your purpose. Stay on the path you set for yourself, and lookout, be open to those willing to help you along the way.
BE WILLING – To accept help to serve you and ultimately your purpose.
Why did you enter the AusMumpreneur Awards?
CONNECTION – The opportunity to connect with other amazing likeminded women who are striving to make a difference through business.
SUPPORT – As a startup and a mother of two young boys, I knew I needed to have access to some community around me, plus some support to know that I am on the right path.
AWARENESS – As a new business created to serve working mothers like me, what better way to test our service than to share it with a national audience of AusMumpreneurs!
CREDIBILITY – As a mum we look for reviews and recommendations from other mothers, and I’ve often chosen award winning products and services, including AusMumpreneur Award winners.
What did you enjoy most about being part of the Awards?
Learning and being inspired by other AusMumpreneur journeys.
What surprised you most?
The level of openness from the group, the comradery, the genuine connections I’ve made with other AusMumpreneurs was something I didn’t expect from entering the awards.
How did the awards help you in your business?
It gave me a reason to speak about my business in public. Both during and post awards, I’ve had several opportunities to share and refine my story. It’s given me confidence, and motivation to keep on the path!
What advice would you give to other mums thinking about entering the awards?
Just do it. Take the opportunity to invest in you and your business. It’s a great way to reflect on your achievements, and keep yourself motivated to do it again next year.
What has been the best thing about starting your own business?
There are many great things about starting your own business, but I think as a Mum, it’s not feeling guilty for the way I spend my time, whether that be with my family or with the business.
What’s happening next in your business?
We’re in the process of activating activities and attraction listings in Sydney and Melbourne which will see over 300 listings available to book and or gift via www.sparkpop.com.au. While this happens, we’re preparing to secure investors to support our technology development and expansion.
What are your big plans for the future?
To have a global platform that provides a quality service tailor-made to families looking to discover, book, and gift experiences. Ultimately fostering connection, resilient children and sustainable futures for our people and planet.