Issy and I burst out laughing after I asked how her business started. She said “My husband told me; ‘It is so good working for yourself. You should try it and you never have to go back to work!”
Seriously – Issy Kerr is in love with her business and has a strong following on social media that are in love with her and her creativity.
Issy is the founder and owner of Seriously Milestones – the original milestone cards for real parenting moments. She is also a Bendigo mother of two with strong ethical values that drives her business development.
“Angus (Issy’s second child) was a bad sleeper, I was up six to twelve times a night and it is then I started dreaming up Seriously Milestones – I needed something to think about to keep me awake.”
“When my first child was born, Zoe, milestone cards weren’t even a thing – and when Angus was born I received a set. I kept on forgetting to use them because they were for developmental milestones like six-weeks old. It was all too hard to make it happen with two small children.”
“I wanted something to celebrate milestones, but also give you a break as a parent.”
“On Instagram everything looks lovely, but in reality, your kids are crying and you are probably crying too.”
Seriously Milestones is celebrating some serious milestones itself. Only eleven months after launch date Seriously Milestones was a finalist for the 2017 Bendigo Business Excellence Awards, has over 6,000 followers on Instagram and 2,500 on Facebook. The Seriously Milestones product is stocked in Australia, US, UK, Canda and NZ and has raised 3k for charity and their sponsor child recieves $35 each month.
“I just love it – I know people are over social media, but it has been the best platform for my business.”
“It means that my business can grow. I love what social media can do. I have collaborated with so many brands and I can’t imagine growing a business without social media.”
The Bendigo Business Excellence Awards introduced me to Issy and her creative approach to making business happen. I have to admit I spent quite a bit of time checking out her work on social media and being delighted by her energy and her playfulness.
With her good friend Emma Clohesy of Happy Hands Happy Heart, who was also a finalist for the business awards, they decided to fire up the rivalry and pretend to be enemies with an Instagram Story lip sync battle, during the week leading up to the business awards!
The lip sync battles I caught on Insta Story included You’re the one that I want – John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, and Karma Chameleon by Boy George. Viewers were treated with incredible outfits, hair and makeup to look like the original artists – I loved the passion of the miming – passionate facial expressions and dancing – just like the real singers! Hilarious.
“It really got out of hand – we ended up having two battles a day – and we got over 800 people watching.”
“I know this decision to battle with another business was totally unrelated to our brands and completely off beat, but it helped us to share with so many more people who we are and what we do.”
Issy reflects that she isn’t sure that she would do this again; “it’s just one of those wonderful spontaneous things that happen and connected hundreds of people.”
Creativity certainly is core to Seriously Milestones, but dedication and commitment has also been essential to see Issy’s idea through and being open and flexible to new approaches.
“My husband’s business is based at our home too. I really wasn’t sure if having a baby and him at home would work, but he was really flexible and comfortable. He worked out early that it is easier to let the kids in for five minutes rather than keeping them out of his workspace. I really think the more flexible you can be with business and whatever situation you find yourself the better you go.”
“I would not be in business if I couldn’t be myself. My followers know and accept me. I get lots of people who tag me with their kids and their cards because they know there is no judgement.”
Issy is just as committed to making sure her business creates an ethical impact. Every “Preggo Pack” Milestone cards Issy sells, one-dollar is donated to the Stillbirth Foundation of Australia, other charities her products support include OrphFund, RSPCA and Bendigo Health, and PANDA.
Issy has her heart set on creating new product lines with wine and chocolate makers. “I’m getting ready to expand my range, I’ve done everything I wanted to do for now, and now I am interested to get creative through collaboration.”
Follow Seriously Milestones on Instagram and Facebook or visit Issy’s website to check out her seriously unique milestone cards.
Tamara Marwood is the Creative Director of Create Business, delivering strategy and content for businesses to engage their audience and create attention. You can stay in touch with Create Business on Facebook and Instagram.