Jennifer Roberts is a Bayside mum and the brains behind Australia’s top-rated photo printing app Picture Postie which gives you the ability to print quality photo products straight from your phone. Not one to rest on her laurels, she also started SitA Circle one year ago, which helps parents connect with, book and pay babysitters they and their friends know and trust!

Not only are you a savvy business owner, you are also a mum! How old are the kids?

My two girls are aged 5 and 7!

What was your work background before you had the kids?

I worked in marketing roles for a few large corporates, then started my first business in the telco space, which I then sold to a mid tier telco. I also managed some small developments between businesses. Since then I have been in the app space with Picture Postie, followed by SitA Circle.

What inspired you to create your own app, Picture Postie, 6.5 years ago?

The Picture Postie app was born after having 1000’s of photos on my iPhone and no time (or patience) to go to a photo printing kiosk or to be fiddling about uploading photos to a PC to print via a web service. At the time there were no efficient apps for photo printing, however there were plenty of parents with 1000’s of family photos on their phones who wanted the ability to order quality photo products straight from their smartphone, delivered to their door.

What were some of the hurdles you had to overcome in the early days?

The development timeframe was much longer than I expected. Also getting the balance right between what was necessary in the app and what wasn’t. Getting to the bottom of any undetected issues users were facing was hard when we had tested extensively to understand how customers use the app themselves. Server scalability was an issue, making sure the platform was always ‘up’ no matter how many users.

Tell us about some of the great products you can create within the app.

We’ve designed the Picture Postie app so you can order all products quickly, from prints to 100 page/400 image photo books. We set up algorithms to make sure books and calendars look fantastic from the get go to minimize the work required by customers.

Users can order lots of quality products straight from the Picture Postie app like prints, photo magnets, photo collages, photo books, calendars, wall decals, canvases and mugs!

Starting a business and becoming a mother isn’t easy. How do you balance both work and children?

I find the balance through routine and structure, both at home and at work. I’ve got to stay organised!

What’s is your favourite thing about being a mum?

Watching my girls grow in every way. They amaze me daily. Being a parent has made me more aware of myself – good things and where I can improve, which I value.

Obviously motherhood inspired your second app SitA Circle. Did this come about from a personal need for something like this?

Yes, I was always asking my girlfriends to share their babysitter’s details if mine weren’t free. I trust their good judgement and there is nothing like a referral. SitA Circle just make this process easier. I now have over 50 sitters in my circle. All referred so I know I can trust and rely on them.

What do you like most about what you do?

It’s fulfilling. There are always highs and lows to running a business. Not everything works out, but when it doesn’t, that’s when I’ve learnt the most. I enjoy being able to pull the levers to help grow the business – from advertising to products to app performance. I’ve grown from the experience and learnt a great deal by giving things a go.

Any advice you can give to aspiring mums wanting to branch out and change careers, start up a business?

Before starting out, understand if there is a need for your product/service. Do your financial model (how many customers, sales etc do you need to achieve your outcome, when can it turn a profit). Consider how you fund it, and if everything is lining up (as well as it can), go for gold. There are plenty of quotes about backing yourself, and they are there for a reason… ‘There is no harm in trying.’ ‘If you never try, you will never know’, ‘why the hell not’, ‘don’t get in your own way’, ‘where there is a will, there is a way’, ‘she believed she could so she did’! Listen to these, they are all true.

Any exciting plans on the horizon business wise?

We have just launched collage mugs in the app. These would make the perfect gift for Father’s Day with pictures of the kids or family, Plus they come with a T2 tea bag! There will be other products launching pre-Christmas, so keep your Picture Postie app up-to-date to ensure you don’t miss anything new!

And finally, where can we find your apps?

For all of your photo printing needs, search and download Picture Postie at the App Store and on Google Play.

To get your SitA Circle started, search SitA Cirle at the App Store and Google Play.

Find more amazing mama interviews here!