WHEN Adamstown cardio sonographer Amy Stanton's first child began walking at nine months and was "in to everything", she found herself running around everywhere trying to keep up.
She quickly realised the nappy bag she had slung off her shoulder was not going to keep up with her, or her son.
"The bag was quite big and it kept falling off my shoulder and it was heavy even when it was empty," says Ms Stanton. "I was looking for something different that converted to a backpack because then your hands are then free and you can do whatever you need to, it just makes life easier.
"I could only find some where you had to unclip straps to change the bag around, but there was nothing practical."
Despite having zero experience in design or running a business, Ms Stanton set about sketching her ideal bag and trialled a few manufacturers in China before coming up with a roomy bag that converts with the pull of two straps from a tote to a backpack.
Her design and company - Arch Bags - were recognised at the recent AusMumpreneur awards, where she was named the gold winner for emerging entrepreneur. Two other Hunter women were also recognised - Kathy Myers (Wishing You Well) and Bernadette O'Connor (Emotional Energy Exchange).
Ms Stanton, who is now pregnant with her third child, says her bag is handy also because it has lots of inside pockets for things like baby wipes and bottles.
Sales of Arch Bags (the name is from her first son Archer) have grown from a couple a week to about 50.
Ms Stanton's decision to do an online course on social media and marketing assisted her in boosting her sales and word of mouth has helped her build a six-figure turnover. Not bad considering as a busy working mum she hasn't got a business plan and is "flying by the sea of my pants".
"It's amazing to think when I look back that I have started this from nothing and it's grown way bigger than what I expected ... and I'm really proud of it," she says.
Ms Stanton plans to grow her business, with plans to tap the US market, and has a new bag in the pipeline.
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