By Melissa Grant
When Bec Connolly fell pregnant after four miscarriages and fertility treatment she knew she didn’t want to return to full-time work.
Determined not to have to rely on childcare to make an income, the professional skin therapist decided to establish her own business.
So she set-up a therapy room at the front of her Newtown home in 2015, six months after her first son, Ollie, was born.
This meant she could spend the day at home with Ollie and treat clients at night when her husband, Nato, had returned from work.
“We went through a lot of miscarriages and fertility treatment. We struggled to conceive and I thought we are not leaving him (Ollie),” Bec said.
“I was determined to stay with the kids at home full-time.”
Fast forward five years and Bec’s home salon, Luxe on Chester, is booked out eight weeks in advance.
The mum of two has also launched her own range of professional skin care, Botanicals by Luxe, which she has formulated using her knowledge of cosmetic chemistry and with the help of a cosmetic scientist.
She launched her first product in April last year and was overwhelmed by the response.
“I ordered 100 of them. I said ‘mum you will be getting serum for the rest of your life!’ But they actually sold out within 12 hours,” Bec recalled.
“I used to get five or eight orders a day and I would just put them on top of the pram and take them to the post office. Now I get so many orders a day that Australia Post comes to pick them up.”
Bec says looking after her boys Ollie, now 4, and Jack, 2, and the demands of a thriving business is a juggling act – but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“You have to juggle packing all of the orders and getting 100 DMs (direct messages) on Instagram when you don’t want to be on the phone all day in front of the kids,” she said.
“It’s hard because I do get messages on the weekend and late at night … so you are sort of on call of the time.
“But that negative is outweighed by the positives. I can’t imagine returning to a normal job.”
Bec encourages other mums thinking about starting their own business to give it a go.
“Just take the plunge,” she said.
“The small business community is so amazing here in Geelong. Just go for it and do something you’re passionate about so it doesn’t feel like work.”
Bec would also like to see more women – and men – open up about miscarriage.
“I think with miscarriage, a lot of people don’t talk about it,” she said.
“I try to talk about it as much as I can. We had four miscarriages and one of them was twins.
“We were so grateful to get our little boys finally, and that’s what’s really inspired and driven me to do what I do and stay with the kids at home.”