Meet our 2012 AusMumpreneur of the Year Award winners, Toni & Nikki, the two best friends have successfully created an internationally recognised business and a lifestyle that works for them and their families.
In an attempt to find the elusive balance between motherhood and owning a business, the pair launched tonic, a venture to source a complete range of gift products for retailers.
“We both had significant careers prior to having our first kids. We wanted to be great mothers but quickly realised that as people we needed more, and we both missed the intellectual and creative stimulus of business. We also saw a real opening in the market for good-looking, high quality gift items, beautifully packaged at an affordable price. Then tonic was born.” Nikki explains.
Over time, and as their business concept expanded, tonic adapted to the market and evolved into the beautiful home fragrance, bath and body range that it is today.
Toni and Nikki recently celebrated 20 years in business. With common values of family, creativity and entrepreneurship, the pair attributes their longevity and success to their determination to be true to their initial vision for tonic: to provide a range of luxurious, unique and quality Australian-made products.
“We believe having a core idea supported by strong values to drive your business are essential to success. We have never waivered from the things we value – honesty, value, family and integrity. Plus, the ability to laugh when things get tough never goes astray!” Nikki explains.
Toni adds, “tonic has evolved into a business that we are even prouder of today. Knowing our products are stocked in hundreds of stores around Australia is testament to the dedication we’ve shown, but not to the detriment of balancing our work and our lives outside the business.”
Nikki adds, “That’s been key for us – ensuring balance. This was one of the main reasons we wanted to own our own business. 20 years on, we are so thrilled to reach this milestone and also proud to still be 100% Australian owned and made.”
The pair celebrates the milestone following their latest accomplishment; being named 2012 AusMumpreneurs of the Year at the AusMumpreneur Conference in Sydney last month. Recognising successful women in business, the awards received over 200 entrants, and aims to acknowledge entrepreneurial Australian ‘mums’.
The panel selected Toni and Nikki from an impressive line-up of finalists, unanimously agreeing that the pairs ability to build a successful business while consistently balancing the demands of their families over the past 20 years was an inspiration for other mums hoping to find the at times elusive work/life balance.
The pair work in the business 3 days a week and have always agreed that family must come first.
Toni explains “The secret is being able to compartmentalise. When we are at work we are 100% focused on the job, and when we are at home we give our full attention to our families. As our children are growing up, we are really noticing the demands at home are changing – in a good way. We can proudly say that from the very beginning, with the help and support of our husbands and kids, we’ve been able to work efficiently and effectively.”
The authentic tonic ethos of beauty, simplicity and quality explains how the brand has achieved ongoing success over the past two decades. With a range of items to revive, relax, renew and refresh, tonic offers essentials for the individual and the modern home. From fabric gifts to home fragrances and beautiful body products, tonic encompasses seven superb ranges – Merci, Heritage, Gallery, Graphic and Liberty.
All tonic products are proudly 100% handmade in Australia, are not tested on animals and are made with the highest quality, locally sourced materials and ingredients.
This story is featured in AusMumpreneur Magazine, read the magazine: