Meet Sara Davison. Wife to Jonathan and mother to two year old Isla Grace. Sara is also the #bosslady busines owner of Mornington Peninsula based website Kinly, an online marketplace that connects mums and dads who are searching for family related services directly to service providers in their local area. Services can be anything from a pregnancy massage, a sleep or lactation consultant, a birthday cake baker or an after school tutor – if it’s family related, Kinly can find it! Families can get organised instantly, all in one place, and for free! We just loved the concept of Kinly and as you know, we love any mama who is doing it for themselves so we were very excited to chat to Sara recently about her families business and being “More than a Mama”.
MLTS – Thank you so much for chatting with us Sara. Let’s start by you telling us a little about yourself and your family.
Sara – You can call it the road less traveled, perhaps! I was born in a little island in the Persian Gulf called Bahrain, my husband Jonathan was born in England, and life brings us together in Auckland, New Zealand. After almost 4 years of trying, we found out we were pregnant with Isla Grace the day before we moved to Melbourne – this cheeky 2 year old still does things on her own terms! After a couple of moves around Melbourne we visited friends in Mornington and that was it, we fell in love and moved here shortly after.
MLTS – And so being a busy mama and moving to a new area, you obviously started to have the need to access local family services? Tell us about Kinly, what inspired you to start your business?
Sara – I read once that out of every complaint is an opportunity, depending on how you look at things. When I had Isla I took a break from the corporate world – I didn’t necessarily have a plan, I just knew that there was more I was meant to be doing even though I enjoyed that world and had good prospects ahead.
I found that trying to connect into services that I needed for my family could be easier – it was almost like the whole process of finding and booking services was a decade behind in an age where you can Uber your next ride or meal at the touch of a button. As I got talking to the businesses that serve families,
I saw a common thread of challenges that can also be solved with a platform like Kinly. So, we built it! A platform that solves a need for families and businesses, which is a good business concept on it’s own merit.
MLTS – Such an awesome concept Sara, I can’t tell you the amount of times I have sat googling local birthday cakes or face painters and go around and around in circles! What have you found parents love most about Kinly? How is it a game changer for busy families?
Sara – What parents love most about Kinly is that it makes life easier (let’s be honest, who has time to waste these days), but they also get to support local businesses in their community while also knowing that their choice is making a difference to lives around the world – Win-win-win.
MLTS – So you came from a corporate background which is obviously a great advantage when it comes to starting your own business. How is Kinly different to a tradition corporate model? Tell us about the compassion side of the business.
Sara – Connecting local families quickly and easily with local services is the core of our idea but what completed Kinly for me personally was being able to build compassion into our business model. As many of you will relate, becoming a mother opens up your heart to much deeper levels of love and compassion.
Those ‘statistics’ you come across about children living and dying in extreme poverty weren’t just abstract numbers. They were personal. How could we live in a world where 50% of our children live in poverty? How could you as a helpless mother, watch your child die in your arms for lack of clean water or of starvation when it’s now proven that we have more than enough resources to look after and feed every soul in this world? So we thought, what if we can build a business that at it’s core, contributes literally, to saving lives?
MLTS – You’re so right. Your eyes certainly open once you become a mama. We can’t watch certain things on telly now without blubbering like babies thinking what if the same was to happen to our own children. We just love businesses with an element of compassion, tell us about the positive impacts Kinly donates?
Sara – We are proudly a #BusinessForGood. Building a business that incorporates values of compassion and reverence for every human life in this world is what Kinly is about to me: a platform that serves families in our community and around the world. For every booking made on our platform, we fund a life-saving impact to a child, family or community living in extreme poverty around the world.
What if you knew that booking a Kangatraining class provides access to clean water for a day, or that a booking your child a birthday cake will feed another child a nutritious meal, or that learning lifesaving family first aid skills will provide access to basic medical attention for newborns to ensure a healthy start to life. It’s so simple: One booking. One impact. In our short time in business we have made over 1,500 impacts – this is what lights up my soul!
MLTS – That is so awesome. Not only are you helping local families but families overseas too who really need our help. How good, as you said, to be able to book a service for your family knowing it positively impacts a family in need. Speaking of families, being a busy working mama, what are your top tips for juggling work life with family life?
Sara – It’s a tough one, especially when you’re starting out. If you’re truly committed, be prepared to be stretched in every sense of the word. Having a support network around you will help; and accepting that while starting a business is meant to give you more flexibility and time with your family, it will come in fits and bursts. So those times that you do get (whether it be walking the dog together, or baking a cake on a Sunday), make sure you’re totally present.
MLTS – So true, it’s so tempting to keep checking messages or emails 24/7, that’s such great advice to ensure you’re totally present. What advice would you give to other mama’s who are thinking about starting a small business but perhaps don’t quite have the confidence to do so?
Sara – Find what makes you feel most alive and find a way to make a living from it – it doesn’t necessarily have to be your past experience necessarily, although you may find some skills you’ve picked up along the way really helpful.
Whatever you do, put on your own stamp on it. Make it uniquely, authentically you without feeling pressured to fit into any cookie cutter mould. Having a business that is an expression of yourself is not just a great marketing and branding asset, but will also foster your connection with the business itself.
Commit to something bigger than yourself. It takes some mental toughness and resilience starting on your own, but connecting your ‘why’ to something outside yourself will help you move those mountains.
MLTS – Your words ring so true Sara. We So, family time, what is your favourite thing to do on the Mornington Peninsula?
Sara – Mills Beach, Mills Beach, Mills Beach … no matter how busy and stressful life can get there’s nothing that centers me more than feeling sand between my toes and fresh sea breeze. Watching my little girl splash around in the water and build sandcastles with her daddy fills my heart with so much gratitude and appreciation for life and what we have – it’s the simple moments that are the most precious!
We also like to take little adventures and visit different places around the Peninsula … there is so much to do around here, we are so lucky!
MLTS – That we are, 100% spoilt for choice! Mills Beach is a favourite of ours too. And inspiration? What’s your favourite quote?
Sara – “Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world” – Howard Zinn. It’s such a beautifully simple concept, and what I love about it, is that it reminds us that if we want to make a difference in the world, it doesn’t necessarily need to be some big, grand gesture.
Just a simple, everyday choice can literally save a life – how empowering is that! What an amazing concept for our children to learn how powerful and important they are, and that as citizens of this world they can make an impact. This is what underpins Kinly and what we are here to do in the world.
MLTS – Now we know this might not happen as often as you like seeming you’re a mama and a business owner, but how do you like to spend your “Me” time?
Sara – My happy place is snuggled up on my couch, with a scented candle burning, music in the background reading an inspirational autobiography, or a book on people and organisations doing good in the world. Yes, that helps me relax; I am a closet nerd! For Christmas this year I asked my husband not to buy me anything; all I wanted was me time on the couch, with a good book, uninterrupted!
MLTS – Ha! Love it! And we so agree, we feel the older you get and busier you become, simply being alone with a good book is pure bliss! Lastly, Coffee or Tea?
Sara – Coffee, please and thank you!
Thank you so much for chatting with us Sara. What an awesome job you’re doing, very inspiring.
To learn more about Kinly visit –