Mumpreneurs Hayley Markham Simone Parsons share their secrets

Ever wondered how you too could balance a baby in one arm and a million dollar business in the other?

Eastern suburbs mothers have got the juggle down pat with two of our own making it to the top 10 finalists of this year’s.

They shared their top tips with the Wentworth Courier.


Hayley Markham is co-founder of Code Camp — a business she began when the youngest of her three daughters was just two weeks old.

The Clovelly mum’s idea to teach children how to create technology began with just eight kids in one Sydney school and is now a global phenomenon with camps across Australia as well as in the UK and New York.

In just over four years more than 35,000 children have attended her workshops.

Hayley’s Hacks

There are a million things I probably should have known before I started Code Camp, however if I had of known them I’m not sure I would have made the decision to start!

The hours spent working on Code Camp are a lot more than I anticipated. So I am glad I went in a little naive.

Ensure you schedule in quality time to be with family and book a few holidays during the year for down time.

When not at work, turn off notifications to avoid becoming overloaded and overwhelmed with the never-ending list of to dos.

Find support staff with a diverse range of skills and allow them flexibility and variety to grow and be happy at work.


SIMONE Parsons knows how expensive an eastern suburbs education can be.

Together with her husband Lucas, a pro golfer and MasterChef contestant, she has two children and two step children.

T’s Textbooks allows parents to purchase the correct class books either new or second hand and then the business buys the textbooks back again once the family no longer needs them.

She supplies schools including Ascham, Cranbrook, Kesser Torah College, Kincoppal Rose Bay, Moriah College, Reddam House, The Scots College and Rose Bay Secondary College.

Simone’s Secrets

Small business should never be stagnant; you should always work ‘on’ your business rather than ‘in’ your business, building it up rather than simply making sure it doesn’t fall down.

As a business owner/operator you should ideally become dispensable, relying on a well-trained team, good institutional morale, and best industry practice for day-to-day operations so you can develop the scope and scale of your business.

The customer may not always be right but the customer always comes first.

Take care of them and the business will take care of itself. Work hard and take risks. Repeat patronage and good word-of-mouth are your lifeblood so above all be fair and honest in all your dealings.

Your most important asset is your reputation and the relationship you build with your customers may turn out to be one of the most valuable and rewarding aspects of running a business.

Your Ultimate school holidays activity list

1. Get creative with Minions

What is it?

Kids go bananas for Minions (pun intended) and these school holidays they can express their fandom making a Minions movie using stop-motion animation techniques. Over 2 days, kids create their own Minions clay characters and design their own film set. The magic begins when they see their characters come to life by taking multiple images of objects and stitching them together to look like they’re moving! - It’s incredibly fun!

Why go?

‍If they watch their favourite animated movies on repeat, they’ll love creating Minions clay figurines and developing their own story, taking lots of still frames and stitching them together to create their very first movie!  

Ages: 5-7

2. Become a DJ

What is it?

Children will take their first steps into the exciting world of mixing music to create their own DJ set.  

Why go?

Kids will love mixing their favourite pop tunes using beat matching and transitions on real DJ decks. Plus, they will design their own DJ brand, develop branded merch, and even perform a DJ set to their friends!

Ages: 8-13

3. Pilot a drone

What is it?

Kids learn to pilot a drone using coding to design a flight path and watch in wonder as the drone takes flight!

Why go?

If your kid shows an interest in drones, they can learn more than just the basics of flying. Kids get a taste of cutting-edge technology and learn about coding, problem-solving, engineering, design, and more. They’ll learn about drone tech and safety, movie making, and discover how drones have a positive social impact when used to fight bushfires, rescue koalas, spot sharks on the coast and loads more!

Ages: 9-13

4. Become a YouTuber

What is it?

While they may not end up with YouTube stardom, we’re sure kids will have a new lens on screen time. They will be equipped with the skills to start producing and directing their own ideas instead of simply watching other people's! Plus, they’ll gain confidence ‘performing’ in front of audiences and on set and importantly, learn about staying safe online.

Why go?

Taking a YouTube fixation and turning it into something incredibly productive where kids will learn planning, storytelling, filming and video editing to become the star in their very own YouTube-style videos.

Ages: 8-13

5. Produce a LEGO movie

What is it?

Turn hours of playing with LEGO characters into an even more creative pursuit, by teaching kids to create their own LEGO Movie.

Why go?

They can use their favourite LEGO characters and sets, come up with a fun storyline and use stop-motion techniques to produce a short animation film. It will transform the way they play at home and offer endless hours of creativity for the rest of the holidays.

Ages: 7-12

6. Code a game

What is it?

Kids can design their own arcade-style video games (like Super Mario Bros), jam-packed with cool characters like zombies and unicorns, and awesome gaming features such as invisibility cloaks and shrinking potions. They’ll learn drag and drop code and logic to connect all the design elements together and bring their games to life!

Why go?

Kids are spending countless hours on Roblox and Minecraft these days. Get them to spark their creative side instead, by producing their own original games, using a combination of creative level design, storytelling and problem-solving to bring their creations to life. It’s so much fun, they won’t realise they are actually learning some very important coding and tech skills for their future.

Ages: 7-12

7. Develop a Website

What is it?

For kids with some proficiency in coding, they’ll create their own website from scratch about an animal, movie, sporting team or their favourite topic.  

Why go?

With 1.93 billion websites on the world wide web, developers are in higher demand than ever before. It’s a great head start to gain fundamental web building skills and your kids will have so much fun in the process.

Ages: 8-13

Fun School Holiday Activities in Australia for Kids 5-13

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