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Melbourne mums take out top title in 2012 AusMumpreneur Awards – StartupSmart

Melbourne-based businesswomen Toni Joel and Nikki Horovitz have taken out the title of 2012 AusMumpreneur of the Year for their lifestyle brand Tonic, which took them 20 years to build.


The AusMumpreneur Awards, launched by online community Connect2mums, recognise the achievements of Australian mumpreneurs. This year, the awards attracted more than 200 entries.


The winners were announced at an AusMumpreneurs conference on the weekend. Melbourne mumpreneurs Toni Joel and Nikki Horovitz were named the 2012 AusMumpreneur of the Year.


Joel and Horovitz are the creators of Tonic, a range of Australian-made home accessories, candles, fragrances, soaps, hand balms and fabric gifts.


Tonic was born out of a desire to turn everyday items into “magnificent essentials”. Since 1992, the range has been sold in major department stores and boutiques in Australia and overseas.


Joel and Horovitz said they were thrilled to accept the award, but it didn’t come without plenty of hard work.


“After 20 years of building Tonic, and loving every minute of it, this is just the icing on the cake,” Horovitz said at the event.


“It’s quite humbling given the quality of the finalists… I’d like to thank Connect2mums for recognising the important role that women and mothers play in our business community.”


Meanwhile, Katrina McCarter took out the 2012 title of Best Customer Service for her business Bubbler Deals, which offers deals on kids’ products, family activities, and pampering for mums.


Bubbler Deals began in WA but is now nationwide. With every deal sold, a 5% donation is made to the customer’s nominated primary school, playgroup or kindergarten.


“The voting process allowed my customers to give me some feedback about how we’re going, so it was a really wonderful affirmation that we’re on the right track,” Katrina said in a statement.


“We have just launched nationally, and actually winning the award gives me a great sense of confidence that I’m doing the right things.”


Peace Mitchell, who foundedConnect2mums with Katy Garner, said she was inspired by the “incredibly generous and supportive” nature of the mumpreneurs who attended the conference.


“They are wonderful role models for their children and other mums out there thinking about starting their own business,” Mitchell said.


The other award winners for 2012 are as follows:

  • Koolaman Designs Rising Star: Tina Harris of Lah-Lah
    • Emerging AusMumpreneur: Elise Easdown of What’s On 4
    • PBC Expo Product Innovation Award: Dyna Predebon of Adoorable Toy Company
    • Service Business of the Year: Kristen Semmens of Nitpro & Ziggetty Snipits
    • Favourite Eco-Friendly Business: Dalal Ozdemir of EarthyMamma
    • Favourite Blog: Jasmine Boothey of Bargain Mums
    • Favourite Handmade: Michelle Jeanes of Wicked Soy Candles & Melts
    • Favourite Boutique: Amanda Edwards of Inviteme
    • Favourite Product: Kelly Northey of Bamboo Bubby Bags
    • Webonize Making a Difference Award: Nicky Johnston of Happy Hero

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