Mel's Blog


Building a Children's Museum is definitely not Child's Play

Updated: Oct 25, 2019

It all started with a crazy idea. A children's museum. For Melbourne. A special place for kids. Away from gadgets and TV. A place to nuture their innate passion for play and fun. A place where parents and caregivers could re-connect with their children through the simple but delightful act of imaginary play.

The crazy idea stayed just that - an idea, for a number of years. The demands of work and motherhood took priority. But eventually, I decided to take the plunge. It was finally time to bring Interaxcity Children's Museum to life!

The entrepreneurial journey for me draws so many parallels to becoming a new parent. You have no idea what you’re in for despite all the reading, preparation and workshops attended. You know it will have challenges but there are so many things one can never anticipate that just arise out of nowhere and you just need to figure out how to overcome them. There are realists who tell you how hard it can be, but you choose to take the optimistic view and tell yourself you’ll be fine. There is no magic manual or formula. The emotions run high and low and you somehow find strength and courage from within that you never knew existed and you keep pushing forward. There are days you are so exhausted from sleep deprivation that you can just curl up and cry. And then you look at the incredible being or business you have created and you take a huge deep breath and smile.

At this point my parallels between being a new parent and the entrepreneurial journey pause. There is nothing I can compare to the personal, emotional and physical sacrifices undertaken to bring Interaxcity Children’s Museum to life.

The impact it has had on those who I love with all my heart has been the hardest to digest. Despite people saying “what an amazing role model you are to your children”, “you’re such an inspirational person” and being nominated for business awards, I find myself asking is it really all worth it?

I am completely blessed to have the most incredible support from my immediate family (an extra massive shout out here to my soul mate & hubby Dave for everything you have taken on over & above) and my close friends. However, I have been missing in action for over 6 months struggling to find time to spend with those who I love. To me being with family and friends is priceless and something I put a high value on.

Yes, it’s easy to say you need to create balance. Why not change your operating hours - close for a day or run less sessions; or hey why not add on more staff so you can step back. I wish it was that easy to make those small changes and still maintain a sustainable business model.

I know we are only six months old. And it’s early days in the first year (and often the hardest year) of a new business. I still have this unwavering belief in what we are doing and what we have created. To experience the pure joy and happiness created for every child who has visited Interaxcity Children’s Museum is why I am not giving up. From no where, we have created a brand synonymous with happiness. A brand that resonates with children and their care givers and in doing so have built and created a place like no other in Melbourne.

I know there will be more sacrifices to come, mother guilt 10-fold and a host of other stressful moments as I navigate the next six months and beyond on this entrepreneurial journey. But I know it will continue to be worth all the smiles, happiness created and letters left behind of how much “….I love this place” and children leaving saying to their parents or care givers “….please can we come back tomorrow”, “…..that was SO much fun”, "I want to stay here forever".

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