Samantha Judd – Bringing back birthday joy in financial hardship

Meet Samantha Judd

The most important people in my life are my two kids – daughter Elyse (21) and son Jackson (19). I also have an old pooch and 3 rescue cats. Life is never dull in our household.

I work full time as an Executive Assistant to a GM of Property & Services.

Life outside of work is primarily taken up with my charity – either growing it or prepping and delivering parties, aside from that I like to relax by reading books – true stories only, please 🙂

What business are you currently running?

A charity that provides birthday parties to disadvantaged kids. We work with women refugees – they advise us when a child with an upcoming birthday enters the refuge and we organise cake, gifts, tableware, decorations, and party food and deliver it to them.

A big point of difference is that we involve the mums in the process by providing them with a voucher so they can shop for birthday gifts for their child in our Birthday Store.

I know how important it is for a mum to make her feel like she has done something towards giving her child a birthday party.

Assuming you are now in “Your Next Chapter”, what led you here? Was there an internal discontent or an external issue you felt strongly about that prompted a change in direction?

10 years ago I went through a marriage break up which financially devastated me (let alone emotionally, my ex was not a nice person). I had to move my kids and two dogs back into my mum’s house.

I had no money and it was she who provided for the birthdays and Christmases. After a couple of years when things had settled a little more for me, I began to think about all those mum’s who didn’t have any family support to fall back on –

what did they do? did their kids miss out on a birthday? And I knew how awful I would have felt if I couldn’t give my child anything on their special day.

I started to plan out in my mind how I could help mum & their kids, I knew first hand how I had felt (like a failure) and I also knew how much a birthday meant to a child.

It took a few more years before I was financial enough to start (I funded all of the start-up costs) but the time finally arrived in 2018

when we received our Certificate of Incorporation and not long after that, registered successfully with the ACNC and received a Charitable Collections Licence.

To this date, we have provided 65 kids with birthday parties.

What did you find most challenging about getting started/moving in a new direction?

Having the faith in myself to just do it. My daughter is my partner in crime 🙂 and she has always encouraged me since I first shared my vision with her a few years ago.

In fact, the charity has been a positive factor in her journey through the worst of social anxiety and depression.

As she said to me once “I know what it was like to be that child”.

I didn’t have confidence that people would think the same as I did about the importance of a child’s birthday and because of this, I didn’t put it out there as much as maybe I should have (I’m not an ‘in your face’ kind of person),

but I’ve since been told many times that my passion shines through whenever I start talking about my story and how it led to me my charity.

Have you experienced self-doubt? What causes it to flare and how do you work through it when it hits?

Whenever I start to feel a little self-doubt, I think about that moment that night, I think about all the relationships I’ve developed with the management of women refuges (they are reaching out to me now rather than the other way around),

I think of those 65 kids who celebrated their birthday because of what I have created. Yes, I still have moments of doubt but I now have a lot of positive successful moments that don’t let me linger in doubt for too long.

How do you feel you have grown since you started?

I have grown in confidence – last year we organised our first-ever fundraising event (a Black Tie Burger & Beer Night – yes guys were in suits and ladies were in beautiful dresses to eat a burger & chips for tea).

It was a sell-out (85 people) with a waitlist – we raised over $3600 and gained a sponsor (a food distributor).

I will never forget the moment, standing before all these people, who went quiet as I was about to speak to them and thinking “holy shit, these people are all here to support me and what I do. Little old me!”.

I’ve realised that I have the ability to make a difference in these kids’ and mums’ lives just by doing what I do.

Have you developed any particular habits/strategies that facilitate getting things done in your business?

Not yet haha. I’m always tweaking – from our process of referral to our website to the themes we offer kids, to the party food menu.

I think though that my openness to change and adapt from one day to the next is helping me to move forward to an even better charity.

Why do you feel women make fabulous entrepreneurs?

For me, its taken life experience to get to the mindset and sense of calm that I am today.

While I will listen to other ideas/opinions, I’m not easily swayed like I would have been years ago.

I think I’m more stubborn as I’ve gotten older and I don’t believe this is a bad thing.

One of my charity’s values is “Resourcefulness – find a way” and I always do.

What would you say to other women who are standing on the edge of their own Next Chapter, not sure if they can take the leap?

Don’t over plan or under the plan – I feel you need to have an idea of what you want to achieve, but if you plan down to the last detail, it’s wasting time.

Just be adaptable and know that you will need to learn and adapt along the way. And truly believe in what you’re doing.

As mentioned earlier, I’ve been told by numerous people that when I start talking about Birthdays From The Heart,

they are drawn in because they can clearly see, hear and feel my passion for what I do.

And for a charity, it’s crucial to form those connections.

What’s next for you? Share your vision with us!

I have always had a vision of spreading to other states,

we are unique in what we do and how we are structured and I simply want to help as many kids as possible.

 

When I’m facing a something new and challenging I…
take a deep breath and work my way through it.

I literally think of those 65 kids we’ve helped and that gives me the confidence to back myself.

 

I know my greatest strengths are…
Passion and belief.

 

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…
Just be you!

 

Some of my favourite books are…
Anything true life – from The Tattooist of Auschwitz to Craig Challen

Richard Harris and the rescue of the boys from the cave

to American Sniper and the Happiest Refugee by Anh Do

I truly love reading people’s stories.

 

My favourite podcasts are…
I don’t actually listen to any – something I need to change 😛

 

My favourite business tool or resource is…
Google and YouTube (I’m learning cake decorating)

 

My favourite quote is…
“In order to insult me, I must first value your opinion. Nice try though”

 

Not many people know that I…
Love stale Twisties haha, did I really share that?

 

You can connect with Samantha here.

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Angela Raspass

Mentoring women in their 40's and beyond to build sustainable businesses blending contribution, fulfilment and financial reward.

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