Margaret River businesswomen Emma McNeilly, Tini Quinlan and Nat Russell headed to Melbourne at the end of August to attend the the 2018 AusMumpreneur Awards, where Ms McNeilly collected the Business Excellence Award on the night.
For McNeilly – founder of tea towel fundraising company Expressions Australia – simplicity, community spirit and hard work were the keys to the success of the business.
“We began in 1999 as a one-woman operation and have grown into a thriving business of working women who are proud to help raise funds for community organisations across Australia,” Ms McNeilly said.
“We have close to 3 million tea towels, aprons and bags in kitchens and keepsake boxes in every corner of Australia and around the world.
“Over 1300 schools and childcare centers trust us each year with their precious artwork, ranging from large city schools to tiny remote communities.
“They’ve become a tradition for so many of our clients.”
Ms McNeilly said a focus on retaining customers and delivering top level service year after year were vital to the Expressions Australia model.
“We really focus on customer service, and I understand from first had experience how precious volunteer’s hours are,” she said.
“Fundraising plays a vital role for grass roots communities, so we strive to ensure our projects are easy to run, everything is supplied, and in turn everybody loves them.
“Over half of our annual workload is repeat bookings and hundreds of coordinators and organisations have worked with us over many years.”
The AusMumpreneur network aims to connect and support women establishing and operating their own businesses while balancing family life.
Co-founder Peace Mitchell said Ms McNeilly was a great example of what the awards represented.
“We are delighted that Emma has won this award, she has created an outstanding business and is an inspirational role model and ambassador for mums in business everywhere.”