Melissa Van Kasteren, who founded Lujo Home has been named an AusMumpreneur Overcoming the Odds Award winner and AusMumpreneur Disabled Business Excellence Award.
The awards were held at an online event where talented Mums in business from all over the country gathered to support and encourage other Australian Mumpreneurs.
Melissa said she was excited to be named the runner up in both categories in the 2021 AusMumpreneur Awards against such a talented group of women.
“It was quite nerve-wracking watching all the award winners while waiting for my award to come up. I found myself in tears a few times watching the amazing stories. So many talented ladies that have achieved so many brilliant things. It’s nice to get to second place twice with such inspiring competition. I’ve always found networking with other business owners can give you little tips or the confidence to implement new things in your business. Especially considering I have not had any formal business training or background. I am looking forward to next year’s awards now it is all over!”
“I remember hearing stories of other business owners back when I first started and wondering how they got to achieve what they did. Fast forward to 4 years later and now I look at what I have achieved and it humbling to think back to where I started. Watching the other ladies give their acceptance speeches give me hope for even more success in the future.”
For many years Melissa has lived with an invisible illness. Diagnosed with SLE Lupus, with symptoms as early as 21 years old. Serious illness is a tough journey, but she is glad of one thing through this challenge, it has led her to create Lujo Home, which officially launched in 2017. Myer Online was introduced a couple of years later.
Melissa had no idea that buying silk bedding would be the precipice that would change her life and lead her on the path it has. The silk duvet and pillowcases gave her relief. Something not easily done while living with a chronic illness. It was also beautiful to touch and look at, making her feel more relaxed.
“I fell in love with pure mulberry silk and that was the start of Lujo Home”
Mulberry silk wasn’t just wonderful to touch, it had beauty and health benefits too. She realized she needed to share this discovery with other people.
AusMumpreneur was created to support Australian entrepreneurs like Melissa and her fellow AusMumpreneur Award winners, Peace Mitchell, cofounder of AusMumpreneur said.
“These awards are all about recognising the growing number of mums who are achieving outstanding business success while balancing motherhood.”
“I was blown away by the entrepreneurial spirit, resilience and professionalism of the award winners and I know that they will provide great inspiration for other mums considering starting their own business,” Peace said.
This is the twelfth year the AusMumpreneur Awards have run, with the business mum community growing at lightning speed as mothers look for opportunities to join the ranks of small business owners in search of more flexibility, financial freedom and family time.
AusMumpreneur Network co-founder Katy Garner said “the awards show the passion of women who want to fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams as well as be great Mums.
“Despite the pandemic the number of women starting businesses has continued to grow in the last 12 months! We are thrilled to be the number one community for Mumpreneurs and proud to showcase the best and the brightest each year through these awards.”
“We are delighted that Melissa has been recognized with this award, she has created an outstanding business and is an inspirational role model and ambassador for Mums in business everywhere. We wish her and all our amazing Ausmumpreneur Award winners every success in the coming year,” co-founder Peace Mitchell said.
More information on the AusMumpreneur Awards and the complete list of winners and placegetters can be found at: www.ausmumpreneur.com
For further information, images or an interview please contact: