Why Laura ditched high-pressure role and took up ironing
AN ENTREPRENEUR was once considered a dream-like occupation for wealthy and tech-savvy corporates in suits.
But with a high demand for handmade products or helpful services and the standard nine to five leaving little time to do much else, 'living the dream' has become a reality for local business owners.
Figures presented to the council this week showed the number of registered businesses in the Bundaberg region fell from 6522 in 2017 to 6471 in 2018.
Laura Vee started the Bundy Iron Lady, offering efficient and affordable clothes ironing and steaming services to the region.
"I needed something to do from home and everyone always complains about ironing but I actually really enjoy it,” Ms Vee said.
"Out of all the domestic chores out there, ironing is by far the best and it's a clean job too.”
After studying architectural design at university and designing more than 80 houses for clients, the combination of work and life pressures started to consume Ms Vee.
"I really miss the role sometimes but then I think about how time-consuming it was and I would be having a conversation with someone and all of a sudden I would be thinking about stair ratios and it was just always occupying my mind, when finally I just thought 'I don't want this',” she said.
"There are challenges that comes with running your own business but I do think most people would opt for it if they could.
"Any kind of business is going to be a gamble, but it's all about your dedication and how much you put in.
"Everyone is struggling with the cost of living always going up, but if you can support a local business or buy handmade products, why wouldn't you?”
The Coral Cove resident says she loves the flexibility and simplicity of her job and loves that she helps her clients in some way.
"It's impossible with a family to always stay on top of all the uniforms and everything so I always really try to look at the clothes,” she said.
"If I notice there's a button missing or anything, I'll just send them a message and see if they want me to fix it.”
Prices vary depending on the size and contents of basket loads, but Ms Vee said adult clothes usually start from $3 each and $2.50 for kids.
Olive and Hazel owner Fawn Williams sells handmade products with an environmental focus.
Ms Williams creates aluminium wire headbands, organic and unbleached cotton bags designed to carry fresh produce at local markets and beautiful double-sided play mats that turn into waterproof drawstring bags, reducing the necessity for plastic bags.
"I believe small local businesses need to be supported more because we work so hard to make beautiful, good-quality handmade items that are ethically made in Australia,” Ms Williams said.
"It also helps us to be there for our children when they need us and spend quality and quantity time together.
"I think the Bundaberg region is starting to catch up with trends and opening up so many opportunities for others.”
When the Bundy local became a mum, she quickly discovered she needed a job that would accommodate her life.
"I started my business so I was able to work school times and do something that I love to be able to share with other people,” Ms Williams said.
"My goal is to be able to continue doing what I love and spend time with my family making memories.”
For more information on the businesses visit: bundy ironlady.wixsite.com/ironing services and oliveandhazel.net.