meet a mama – julia from the business bakery

I am often asked how I find the motivation and time to do what I do.  Working alone from home is not always peachy so one of my little “tips” is to surround yourself, even remotely or virtually, with people who inspire and drive you.  Julia Bickerstaff is one of these people for me.  She is terribly smart and terribly funny – two of my favourite traits in a person! She has an amazing business designed to assist and inspire mamas in small business just like me (and maybe you?). I reckon you’re going to love her. 

Meet Julia (the other one);

julia b profile

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
Work-wise I run The Business Bakery. It’s an online business helping women (with small businesses) make a healthy income doing work they love. Right now I’m writing our “Healthy Income Program” and “Healthy Income Cookbook”. I’m also the Finance Expert on Channel 7s Kochies Business Builders, am a regular on ABCNews24 and I write weekly columns for digital publications such as Smartcompany and Flying Solo. I’m a published author (“How to Bake a Business”) and I work privately with a number of well known businesses. Oh yes, and I do a fair amount of public speaking too.

julia b family

Away from work I’m Mum to four children: 3 boys aged 11, 9 and 7 and a little girl who’s just turned 2. Yes we took the gamble.  I also have a gorgeous and indispensable husband and a cute but quite unnecessary dog.

julia b girl

We live in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs but hail from England. I came here at the end of 1995 for a 2 year trip, met my English hubby and we just sort of stayed. Every so often we toy with the idea of going back ‘ome. But then we look at the weather and think again.

My kids are all soccer mad (including the little girl, sigh) so I spend every afternoon ferrying them to training. And I do mean every afternoon. Plus we have six matches on a Saturday and two on a Sunday. Even in the off season. Home life is so very unrelaxing. But I love it.

julia b kids

Marrying all this up, my philosophy was to design my work to fit around (and fund!) my family and make it flexible in case we wanted to upsticks and venture back to pom land. And then I realised it’s actually what a lot of other Mums wanted to do too. So I took my business background (ex Partner at Global Consulting firm Deloitte) and created stuff to help us all do it. The Business Bakery was born.

Who inspires you?
Gosh, lots of people.  Can’t possibly name them all so here are three favourites:

Martha Stewart. You might not know this but early in her business life she gave ‘housewives’ a channel through which to sell their home made food and craft. She did this by doing deals with shops to supply hampers etc of home made produce and she sourced it from women baking at home. This doesn’t sound like a big deal now but back in the ’60s and ’70s it was revolutionary. Since then of course she became the first person to build a billion dollar business out of ‘lifestyle’. I got to meet her a year ago and quite frankly she’s an amazing-looking-super-brain. Oh yes and she’s 70+ with oodles of energy. Can I have some?

Anna Wintour. She’s the editor of US Vogue and I really admire her no-shit attitude. Wish I had a little more of it. She also (like Martha) applied her business head to a ‘fluffy’ industry which I reckon is super-tough. My sister dated Anna’s step-son for years but I didn’t ‘discover’ her until after they had broken up. Doh!

Nigella Lawson. She inspired me to get into the kitchen. Enough said.

Other famous ones inspirations include Stephen Fry, Jamie Oliver, Mary Berry, Sara Blakely, and Helen Mirren. On the not-so, or maybe even not-yet, famous I’m totally inspired by the very many women who run small businesses. I include you there Julia Whitney (aaaaawe, thanks!), and the gorgeous Alexx Stuart, Cindy Luken, Sara Lucas, Suellen Hughes, and …..oh my,  there are just so many I’d like to mention. I’m also completely inspired by my kids. But I’ll stop there before this becomes an Oscar’s speech.

What can’t you live without?
Books. Paper books, Kindle books, e-books. I don’t care. I just LOVE books. Oh yes. And my kids, mascara (I look very odd without it) ice cream, and  – as i’ve lately realised – sleep.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
Yes! I love reading and learning and would be so much more productive if I didn’t have my head in a bloomin’ blog or book all the time.  My fave blogs are:

Seth Godin (makes me think)
Copyblogger (makes me write)
Mrs Woog (makes me laugh)
Martha Stewart (makes me wonder how she gets so much stuff done)
Nigella Lawson (makes me bake)
Sarah Wilson (makes me stop baking)

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Ideally: curled up with a book and a cup of tea.
Real life: laughing with my kids

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?
Right now my life saver is The Dinner Ladies and a couple of their home-cooked-delivered meals each week. My other little time-saver is that my boys (aged 7,9 and 11) now put their own washing away. They hate doing it. But  then again, so do I.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I asked my eldest son this question and he said we’d be living in England ‘cos he’d be playing football for Liverpool FC. Me? I’d settle for running a great little business, helping other little businesses, being a Mum.

What is your favourite quote?
Oh just one? That’s tough. I like ” The grass is greenest where you water it” because it reminds me to focus on watering my business and my family, rather than, um, Facebook.

Where can we find you?
Please pop over to, and chat with us on Facebook and twitter @juliabickerstaf

 julia b logo



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