In today’s Nanny Spotlight column, I’m super excited to bring you Anna Massie, owner and founder of The Corporate Kid. Anna is a truly remarkable woman, an absolute power house, and has big plans for the evolution of the nanny industry within Australia. Her company, The Corporate Kid, is Australia’s newest nanny agency and is specifically working to ease the transition for women and mother’s to return to the workplace. Through tailored services and employment agreements, The Corporate Kid works alongside corporate companies to offer outstanding childcare and nanny services. Plus, Anna is also a superstar nanny herself!
Owner + Founder: The Corporate Kid,
Anna Massie, owner + founder The Corporate Kid. Photo – source.
Tell us about The Corporate Kid. What’s your mission, and what are you working towards?
T.C.K. is working towards being located in corporate companies around Australia. The aim is to enable employers to assist their employees with more flexibility by providing a nanny as part of an employee benefit. My mission is primarily focussed on assisting mums return back to work easily, where by the organisation pays the placement fee. Pending individual arrangements, they may also cover the ongoing costs. This is so their female employees can return to work quicker and without the stress of negotiating childcare waiting lists. I am working towards positioning T.C.K within many national companies, which will enable more opportunities for employees to relocate interstate knowing that their children are always going to be well managed and requirements are met wherever they are.
I also want to build the nanny profession of Australia. Through my work with T.C.K., hopefully the wider community can view being a nanny as a legitimate career choice – professional and rewarding. I want nannies to be proud to say “I am a nanny”.
What’s your philosophy and approach towards the job of caring for kids (and supporting those awesome working mums)?
It starts with the emotional connection between families and nannies, without this being genuine and real, the relationship will never last. Luckily, somehow I just have this intuition that can connect ‘like minded’ nannies and families. Because of my own experience, I can understand what families are truly looking for and whether nannies do have that professional approach to fulfilling the role required. All nannies have to be switched on and have a savvy mindset, and this I can pick up on from the moment I speak with them. This is where my approach is different to other agencies, I hand source and make contact with the nannies instead of leaving them to contact me. I generally source professional career focussed nannies as they naturally think beyond what is required. They’re also usually beautiful people who love to work with kids. So my philosophy lies in spending time truly getting to know the parents and then hand picking nannies and getting to know them.
What were you doing before you left to start The Corporate Kid?
While developing and planning T.C.K. I was working in corporate for an ASX listed company. I was the ‘go to’ person to get anything organised in the head office. I was good at what I did, I was dedicated, but I also new I wasn’t going to be able to climb much further! It was working here that gave me the idea for T.C.K and that companies needed to develop more opportunities to make it easier for women to transition back to work after having children. Prior to this, I was an International nanny for 18 months in London and 6 months in Istanbul.
What skills did you bring with you to start T.C.K. and what business skills are you working on developing?
Luckily I am pretty business savvy; I take validated risks and I don’t get stressed! I brought to T.C.K. the mindset of a career oriented women so therefore I can understand what other career minded women need. From a business perspective, this is crucial to knowing and understanding my customers. As an entrepreneur, and sole business owner, it also helps to have a strong work ethic, time management skills and the ability to believe in myself to see things through. But like many, I’ve had to learn how to maximise social media, build websites and write legal documentation.
When setting up The Corporate Kid, what have been some of the biggest challenges?
The challenge arose in the first 3 months – my business model was completely wrong! My original plan was to employ nannies from all over Australia to create this amazing organisation. But like many, financials are tricky and even though I had outsourced a HR provider, I could not get my head around how the figures were going to add up. After about three to four months of operations I was able to refine to more of a recruitment model – which has been so perfect for allowing me to enter the corporate sectors.
Other challenges have been my huge vision and thinking the more money you throw at it, the faster it ‘will happen’. So not true! Passion and a genuine approach are how it will happen. I’ve also learnt that it’s crucial to make wise choices in how you spend your money. Outsourcing can save time but you can go and write the bones of legal documents yourself and then have them checked and signed off by a lawyer – cutting down costs dramatically.
What was it like to start your own business, particularly as a woman?
EASY! For me there were no other thoughts, it was really just about when was the right time to take the risk. I really began the ground work of my business when I was 14, and by 17 I was sourcing nannies and babysitter for over 30 families. I have always known what I am good at and so that is what I focussed on to get started. Confidence, vision and belief are integral to getting anything started.
I’ve been talking about the professional nanny and style lately, what’s your take on workplace fashion? Do you have certain expectations when interviewing prospective nannies?
I have a very big focus on the ‘professional nanny’ look and feel. Because the profession is still developing and being regulated in Australia, it’s an area we can be very instrumental in creating. Unfortunately, many people think they can be a nanny to earn some extra money and this is where the level of style fades. Those that want to be a professional nanny know what’s appropriate to wear, and that you can be a super stylish nanny and still look professional. I believe as long as you’re wearing jeans or pants you’re half way there. Complete the look with a pair of trainers or sandals, a top and maybe some jewellery and you’re looking elegant, professional and comfy!
At T.C.K., who are your main clients?
Currently my main clients are first time mums and dads who are looking for more flexibility in their family life. They prefer a nanny to come into their home rather than sending their child to childcare. Having just placed our services into an interior design firm in Brisbane I would say we’re now on the verge of working with a lot more corporates and rolling out across Australia.
So you own and run The Corporate Kid, but you also nanny. How does that work?
Yes I do! I am a big believer that you should practise what you preach. If I want to be giving the best service to families, then I need to also be up-skilling myself to keep in tune with what the families needs are. My week comprises of nannying a 14 yr old girl who lives with her dad. He is a busy professional and so I bring the flexibility he requires to know that his daughter is always safe, happy, and being looked after. She knows that she can call on me at anytime! It is a juggle, especially around school holidays. But it has it’s perks as well. Being an entrepreneur, I don’t work a typical 9-5 day, and so nannying is a great way to be able to do two jobs at once!
What does a typical weekday look like for you?
I try my best to stick to routine. I am an early riser, I can complete anything at 5am but never at 10pm. So I try to get up and get the most important tasks for the day done first thing – it takes me a lot less time when my mind is fresh and on fire! I then go and exercise for about an hour and set the rest of my priorities for the day. This involves making contact with customers and sourcing awesome nannies. At the moment I’m building the Anna Massie brand, so a lot of my time goes into the personal touches that I provide to ensure my clients are well looked after. And of course, afternoons are spent nannying and hanging out with the 14-year-old.
Tell us, what’s on your desk right now?
FLOWERS! They make me happy when I spend a lot of time on my own. I always write before I think, so there’s always paper and a pen. Also a huge iMac computer (that I wish I knew how to make the most use out of)!
Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning?
First up at Bikram Yoga and then in a cafe in Rozelle (inner west suburb of Sydney). I love this downtime to sit and read the papers. I love reading the papers, and gain a lot of my ideas and knowledge for how to refine my services to better serve families and companies from these saturday morning sessions.
So you hail from Brisbane. What’s Brisbane’s best keep secret?
Yes I do, Brisbane is a beautiful place! I lived in Clayfield and there is an amazing bakery/cafe in Albion called Brewbakers. Otherwise, you can’t go past James Street. It has a great mix of specialty stores, markets and cafés, galleries, designer clothing and home wares – truly everything to make you happy!
What’s your favourite thing to do with kids whilst out and about in Brisbane?
In Brisbane, I like to take kids to the farmers markets. I love taking them to choose what produce to buy for the weekly meals. I believe it’s essential to teach kids life skills and get them out and about. Plus it’s just a great atmosphere and fun for them and myself!
What’s your proudest career achievement to date?
To date it would be securing that first company and really seeing the benefits my services will bring to the organisation and their employees.
How would you like to see T.C.K. evolve in the next 6 -12 months?
I plan for T.C.K. to be positioned in 6-10 companies and placing an average of 5 nannies a week. I’m about to launch a referral program. I have a huge vision for where this business will go and the benefits that we can bring to families, companies and nannies.
What would be your dream creative project or collaboration?
Ooh where to begin! I have many ideas, but the one that I would LOVE to do is to create a fashion line with Seed Heritage!
Do you have any advice for women starting out in their 1st or 2nd job?
Go out of your way to help others. People like helpful people, and quite often spending the time to assist your manager, you will learn a great deal from doing so. I got myself into a very high assistant role where I was dealing with company wide change, purely from being helpful and getting the job done.
Biggest piece of advice for new nannies starting out?
Make sure you are truly passionate about working with kids. Think about your “why” and the value that you could bring to kids lives each day. This is the difference between a good nanny and an exceptional nanny.
James Street Brisbane, The Urban Picnic. Photo – Source.
Connect with Anna Massie + The Corporate Kid
If you’d like to participate in the Nanny Spotlight Series, please contact me. Now taking submissions. If you’re a superstar nanny, childcare worker, primary school teacher, expert nanny agency, or offering informative services to benefit this industry, I want to hear from you!