Meet Lauren Oliver. Wife to Mark and mother to two gorgeous little boys Thomas and William (Billy), Lauren was working as a full time senior associate at Minter Ellison, having practised insurance law for more than 10 years, when she launched her own business on the side (from an idea that stemmed from a Facebook group Lauren was managing). She then made the decision just six months later to quit corporate life and focus solely on her business – Mums Who Wine! Sounds crazy right?! Well, we love Lauren’s story and couldn’t wait to chat to her about all things #bosslady, balancing mum life and holding amazing events that involve mums + wine (which happens to be two of our favourite things!).
MLTS – Thanks so much for chatting with us Lauren, tell us a little about yourself and your family.
Lauren – My name is Lauren Oliver. I have been married to my husband Mark for six years and we have two boys Thomas (4) and William aka Billy (14 months).
Mornington Peninsula born and bred we relocated to Inner West Melbourne in August 2015 to be closer to the city for work. At that stage I was working full time as a senior associate at Minter Ellison, having been practising in Insurance Law for over 10 years. I launched Mums Who Wine in July 2017 and in December 2017 I made the decision to quit corporate life and focus on Mums Who Wine!
MLTS – Oh my goodness talk about a delicious leap of faith! It must have been both a scary yet exciting time for you! Tell us, what inspired you to start Mums Who Wine in the first place?
Lauren – I was inspired to start Mums Who Wine following the success of a Facebook Group that I started “Inner West Mums Who Wine”. I started this Facebook Group in October 2015 when I relocated from the Mornington Peninsula
to Inner West Melbourne and literally did not know a soul. I put a post-up on a local “Mums and Bubs” Facebook group asking if there were any local mums that would like to get together for a glass of wine. Thankfully I had many responses and after a couple of successful catch ups, I decided to host monthly events in and around the area. That group is now at 1700k+ members and our monthly events sell out in less than an hour.
The incredible success of this group made me realise there is such a need for mums to have time for themselves and their own self-care, but many don’t prioritise this. This ignited a passion in me, not only for mums in Inner West Melbourne but all areas. I was also lucky to have a group of beautiful friends that I had met through the group, who were my number one supporters, who encouraged me to start a business and hence Mums Who Wine was born!
MLTS – That’s so awesome. We are all for women supporting women, being a mum can be so isolating at times to what better way than to bond together over a vino or two! Tell us about the membership, how does it work?
Lauren – Well, Mums Who Wine is a VIP Annual Membership for mums that provides VIP benefits and discounts for mums to over 100+ businesses around Australia. The Membership is only for mums with the purpose of creating an
avenue for mums to invest time in themselves and their own self-care. The businesses that we are affiliate with are nothing children related, they are solely for the mum when she wants to have some time to “fill her cup” i.e. wine bars, day spas, boutiques, restaurants and many more. Every time one of our members attends our affiliates they receive “VIP treatment” whether this is a free glass of wine, a discount off purchases, a pamper upgrade and many more.
In addition to offering benefits to our mums, we also host monthly events. These events are open to all mums; however, members receive a VIP discounted ticket price on all of our events. We host these in the different areas we have launched (Inner West Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula and Bayside). The focus of this is for mums to have one night out a month and an opportunity to meet other mums in her community. Our heart and mission is for mums to prioritise their own self-care and mental health, so for that reason we Donate 5% of all proceeds from our membership and events to PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia) to help raise awareness and reduce stigma associated with perinatal depression.
MLTS – That’s awesome Lauren, PANDA is such an amazing organisation and one that has supported so many beautiful mums in our community. Tell us, how has running Mums Who Wine helped not only you, but also the other mums that attend your events?
Lauren – I know that I can personally testify that Mums Who Wine created a space for me to meet incredible women in my community and I am so thankful that I now have a strong circle of beautiful friends as a result. It was a difficult decision to leave the area that I had grown up, leaving behind all of my connections and support network. It is also a very difficult task to meet new friends when you are over 30, so this is the biggest testimony from Mums Who Wine for me personally because this could not have happened without Mums Who Wine.
With respect to the other mums, the biggest feedback that I receive is how much the mums love our events and that we always provide such a safe and welcoming environment, especially for new mums attending for the first time. I have had mums come up to me and say that Mums Who Wine has literally saved their life as
they were isolated, experiencing PND, however they came to an event and made connections and friends. This is what we are all about, if one life is changed because of it – it is worth it. I have also received glowing feedback about the membership and all the benefits that mums receive and the value that they get out of it. However most importantly it has encouraged them to get out of the house and try new places and do new things, which again has helped their mental state.
MLTS – Oh we love that so much, how amazing that what started as a Facebook page has gone on to help so many mums feel validated. So, speaking of mums… how do you go about juggling home life with work life?
Lauren – The juggle with home life and work life can definitely be difficult. In December 2017 I made the decision to quit my job as a lawyer and focus solely on building Mums Who Wine. I thought this would help with the work life balance, however I have still not mastered it. I am so excited and passionate about Mums Who Wine and making this accessible for all mums as soon as possible, that I want to invest so much time in to it. However, this does not give me an equal balance.
I currently have my boys in daycare, Thomas 3 days and Billy 2 days – so I utilise this time and try to jam pack these days with work and meetings to ensure that the days I have with the boys I can focus on them. The juggle is definitely real though…
MLTS – There will never be a real balance for working mums will there. You work to support your kids but you want to be home to support your kids..it’s a tough one. Kids aide, what else do you find to be the biggest challenges in running your own business?
Lauren – The biggest challenge is having the ability to turn off. My brain literally never stops! I am always thinking of new ideas for Mums Who Wine, ideas for our monthly events, new areas to launch, businesses to contact etc. You are never really “off the clock” because you are it and everything falls on you. You can’t really have a sick day or check out, because you are the pioneer and the front runner. With that comes great responsibility, but also great reward so it is worth it.
MLTS – Oh we hear you with that one! A million tabs constantly open! It’s crazy! You have come from a corportate background which obviously helped you in deciding to start your own business, what are your tips for other Mamas who may be wanting to start their own business but don’t quite have the confidence/know where to start?
Lauren – I firmly believe that success follows passion, so if you are passionate about something – then if you invest the time into it, you will be successful. If someone had told me two years ago I would have quit my job as a lawyer to start my own business, I would have laughed in their face (and probably slapped them). However, a passion for mums was ignited in me and I knew I just had to do something in that area. You are given passion for a reason – so all you need to do is take that first step. The first step is the hardest. Also put things out there on public forums so you need to back yourself and follow through.
MLTS – We couldn’t agree more, passion is definitely the key to success. What about going from a corporate job to working from home? What are the biggest differences you have noticed now that you work for yourself?
Lauren – I am now no longer working based on six minute billable units! Ha ha. No, in all seriousness, it is the ability to dream big. In a corporate job of course you are motivated, you have goals – however you are at the mercy of a chain of command, structure and sometimes office politics. However, when you work for yourself, literally anything is possible because you are the one driving it. Whilst the unknown can be incredibly daunting it is also incredibly exciting and this is something I am definitely experiencing!
MLTS – Yasss! Total #bosslady! And down time? What is your favourite activity to do as a family?
Lauren – Our favourite thing is to take the boys and our dog Bailey for a walk along the Strand to Williamstown. This gives Mark and I a chance to talk, without distractions of home and phones. Sometimes just getting outside can make such a difference. Plus it is great taking the boys to the park and watching them play and enjoying the beautiful surroundings whilst doing so.
Love it. Thanks so much for chatting to us Lauren. We 100% support anyone who has the courage and passion to start their own business and follow their dreams. We wish you all the success in the world for Mums Who Wine and lets face it… there aren’t many mums around who don’t “wine” so we think you have quite a strong niche there to market to!
To learn more about Mums Who Wine or to purchase a membership visit –