Zoe George (nee Velonis), also known as The Subtle Mummy, came second in the AusMumpreneur Influencer Awards that were held last week in Melbourne.
The award ceremony took place at White Night Receptions where talented mums from all over the country gathered to support and encourage other Australian mumpreneurs.
This is the ninth year the AusMumpreneur Awards have run, with the business mum community growing at lightning speed as mothers look for opportunities to join the ranks of small business owners in search of more flexibility, financial freedom and family time. There were 30 categories in this year’s AusMumpreneur Awards, with 26 judged and four open to public voting; there were 1,800 nominations this year alone.
Zoe, who also happens to be a Neos Kosmos contributor and a founding member of the Facebook group GMABs (Greek Mums and Bubs) – Melbourne, said she was thrilled to be the runner up in her category against such a talented group of women.
“Being a micro influencer, I was so extremely proud to even make top 10, up against some other amazing women with much larger followings,” Zoe told Neos Kosmos.
“I didn’t imagine I would get Silver! It really helps show businesses that engaging with your following is much more important that your number. It was lovely to have all my hard work recognised.
“I really admire the women who were up there with me, Olivia Anderson especially who placed in third has done so much with the community too and she really is a sweetheart and friend.”
It is for women like Zoe and her fellow AusMumpreneur Award winners the institution was created according to co-founders Katy Garner and Peace Mitchell.
“I was blown away by the entrepreneurial spirit of the award winners and I know that they will provide great inspiration for other mums considering starting their own business,” Mitchell said.
“These awards are all about recognising the growing number of mums who are achieving outstanding business success while balancing motherhood.
“We are delighted that Zoe George has won this award, she has an outstanding reputation and is an inspirational role model and ambassador for mums everywhere. We wish her and all our amazing AusMumpreneur Award winners every success in the coming year,” she added.
Indeed, Zoe couldn’t even begin to imagine how her life would change when only two years ago she started her blog after her second child Ambrosia was born.
“Until then I was an active member in a couple of mummy forums, also starting one of my own called Greek Mums and Bubs Melbourne,” she says.
“I became quite popular in these forums for my funny comments to the new mums offering terrible advice for fun. People began messaging me telling me I should blog because I was so funny, but I had no idea what a blog was or where to start.”
One day a complete stranger, Alana, who also happened to be a website designer messaged Zoe privately saying she would set-up her WordPress site for her for free because she had faith in her.
“The GMABs group helped me pick my name ‘The Subtle Mummy’ because I was ‘as subtle as a brick in the face’ and they all followed me as soon as I published my first post. Also, being an admin of the Greek mums group, which now has over 5,000 highly engaged members, means that most of these women also follow my pages and see me more as their friend than a random person on the internet. I’m very present in that group so they feel they know me and this means they are very engaged,” Zoe explains.
She started writing a few articles on women’s health issues with a funny twist and they went viral. Multiple news and lifestyle websites across the world republished them, which resulted in her following growing within weeks.
“You just never know what will resonate with the world, but being able to laugh at your misfortunes definitely helps,” she says.
Her authenticity and character is what differentiates her from other mummy bloggers, while she takes pride in not staging her content.
“I post real issues not just the sugar coated pretty pictures in fancy dresses. I do that too but not JUST that,” she laughs.
“Once Instagram stories became a thing I began sharing little videos throughout the day and it was funny to see what resonated with people the most. I posted daily videos of my daughter eating and the responses were crazy, people telling me how blessed I am and what an amazing eater she is and so on (…) Another thing I’m known for is the pranks I play on my husband. I am always up to mischief and he really takes it like a champion. I scare him, put hot chilli in his food and trick him with spiders. His reactions are so funny and people love how much I pick on him.
“I think I am just normal and relatable,” she says with certainty, although juggling motherhood, being a wife, a teacher, a woman and a mumpreneur at the same time doesn’t really seem like the most normal and relatable day-to-day for most of us.
“The most challenging part of it all is separating all those things. My students don’t know about my online presence, apart from the one time they spotted me cooking with Huey on A Current Affair, and I try to keep that part of my life quite private,” she stresses.
“Being a mum is what has lead me to where I am, sharing my journey through motherhood one poo explosion at a time with the world!”
However Zoe admits that she would not have been able to get this far had it not been for her very supportive husband, Robert, who has always stood by her side even when it would mean he had to bear the brunt of her pranks.
“From coming to events, to taking photos of me and the kids… He never loses his temper or gets upset with me having to fly interstate for clients or all the nights I’m attending events with or without him. If I had to pick the most challenging thing I would have to say it’s people with old fashioned mentality. The ones that comment how lucky I am that my husband ‘allows’ me to be away from home so much, or the ones that call him a saint for … well … parenting his own children.
“We are partners; we both work and we both have a social life, together and at times separately and that works for us.”
To get to know Zoe George better and stalk her day-to-day parenting struggles, go to thesubtlemummy.com
For more information on the AusMumpreneur Awards, visit ausmumpreneur.com