Lise Taylor, publisher of “My Child” magazine, talks to SheKnows about being a mother, running her own business and how she makes time for herself despite her busy schedule.
Lise Taylor shares her story
SheKnows: Tell us a little bit about My Child and how it got started.
My Child magazine came about after I gave birth to my son, Duncan, in 2004. My husband, Brian, and I were both in our 40s and had given up on the idea of having children so he really was a kind of miracle for us!
I’d never looked at parenting magazines before but when I fell pregnant, I found that none of those available at the time were my cup of tea. Their features were too superficial to learn anything substantial from and their design unappealingly busy.
I also knew I wanted to be around as much as possible for the first few years of Duncan’s life before he started school but I needed to work. So, with my wonderful husband’s amazing support — Brian manages our IT, website and accounts — I started my own magazine.
SheKnows: Why did you decide to self publish?
Brian and I chose to publish My Child independently because we didn’t want to be beholden to anyone. The whole point was to be able to live our lives the way we wanted to, in particular to have stay-at-home mum and dad time!
It has most certainly been a struggle to compete successfully with the “big guys” of publishing in Australia and while I just love my work I have to say that I’ve never worked so hard in my life.
SheKnows: What have been the main challenges you have faced?
We didn’t have enough money behind us when we started and that’s made things tough at times. But publishing a print magazine really is the best thing I’ve ever done and I’ve learned an incredible amount in the process.
There are new challenges every day, particularly in my role as advertising director. I have no sales background at all and so this really has been a steep learning curve!
Another difficult aspect is getting enough sleep. I used to be a solid eight-hour-a-night girl but now, to ensure I’m there for Duncan after school until he goes to bed, I have to work nights in addition to the school hours.
SheKnows: What’s your vision for My Child?
My Child is the sort of magazine I wanted to buy when I was pregnant and new to motherhood.
Its target readership is pregnant women and mums aged between 25 and 35, particularly more educated mothers who seek a balanced editorial approach and “yummy mummies” who love to be inspired by stylish design and gorgeous fashion, interiors and product ideas.
My vision is for the magazine to be respected by the medical community and enjoyed by mums-to-be and parents as a trusted, reassuring, warm and inspiring resource that they know they can rely on.
SheKnows: How do you find time for yourself as a working mother?
My life is one constant juggle, however, I find “me time” essential, particularly as we still run our business from our home.
My husband and I have always made the time for “date nights” and we take our son out for an early dinner one night a week, which we have done since he was a baby. We also entertain a lot with friends and neighbours and I love to let my hair down on a good night out on the town with the girls!
For exercise I try to walk our dog every day, and if I have the time I cycle once or twice a week. I’ve also started playing golf in a ladies comp.
SheKnows: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to every new mum?
Have faith in yourself and trust in your gut feelings about your pregnancy, birth and the way that you parent. There’s just so much advice and information available now, much of it conflicting. In the end we all can only do the best that we can. Every mum is different just as every child is different and you don’t know what “loads” other mums are carrying so be kind.
SheKnows: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to any woman wanting to start their own business?
Come up with an original idea and be passionate about achieving your goals. There’s nothing easy about running a business — you’ll never work harder — and don’t think you’ll be able to do it when your baby or child is around. You’ll need childcare or be prepared to work at night.
SheKnows: What are your three favourite things right now for babies and their mothers?
There are many wonderful new Australian-designed products on the market. Here are my three current favourites:
- Mimijumi’s baby bottles are super stylish and even the names are cute! There’s a Very Hungry baby bottle (240ml, $22.99) and Not So Hungry baby bottle (120ml, $19.99) and the designs are quite revolutionary.
- The Minti fashion label for boys and girls is so refreshing. It’s a quality Australian/New Zealand label creating super cool and quirky baby and kids’ streetwear with clever graphics.
- Isle of Charlie is a new Aussie company that designs contemporary soft leather nappy bags for modern mums. I just love their limited-edition Victoria Nappy Tote in Ice Blue ($295)!
SheKnows: Thank you for your time, Lise!
Subscriptions to My Child magazine can be purchased online at www.mychildmagazine.com.au. SheKnows readers can subscribe for only $9.99 (a saving of over $25!) by entering the code SHEKNOWS2012 at the checkout.