Buxton woman overcomes adversity to start successful business

Renu Tondak with her husband, son and parents.

Renu Tondak with her husband, son and parents.

Renu Tondak first arrived in Australia with just $100 in her pocket.

Now the Buxton woman has won gold at the Ausmumpreneur awards for her business, Renewed by Renu.

Ms Tondak, 36, said her journey to success had not been an easy one.

"My husband and I got married in a bit of a hush-hush ceremony in 2010," she said.

"Our parents didn't really approve but we decided that we wanted to get married no matter what.

"My husband didn't even have a stable job at the time and after the wedding expenses and flights to Australia we were only left with $100 - it was a total spur of the moment decision.

"Leaving India was daunting because I had never even left Delhi without my parents and now I was in a strange country.

"It was a whole new culture - everything was a shock to me."

Mrs Tondak's first job was as a waitress in a fish and chip shop.

"I was a newly married woman and there was a lot of expectation but we could not even afford rent," she said.

"My boss at the time gave me a place to stay but I was living separately to my husband."

Mrs Tondak and her husband leaving India and the first bedroom she lived in when arriving in Australia.

Mrs Tondak and her husband leaving India and the first bedroom she lived in when arriving in Australia.

However it wasn't long before Mrs Tondak began to climb the corporate ladder.

"It was my son who actually changed my life when he asked me a simple question two years ago," she said.

"I had worked a long 12-hour day in my corporate job and he opened the door when I got home and said, 'how come you weren't at the event when my friend's mums are always there?'

"It was an innocent question but it really made me think about how important family is - especially after leaving my own behind in India.

"The money was really good - but that was when I decided something had to change."

Mrs Tondak then became a business strategist helping fellow mothers start their own businesses.

"I basically help mums set up their side hustle," she said.

"I like working with mums because I like showing them that they are more than just a mum and that their goals are achievable.

"Many women give up on their dreams because they can't fit it into their schedule around their children.

"But I love showing them that they can do what they want to do and that they are not worth any less because they don't wear a suit and heels everyday."

Mrs Tondak said winning the gold Business Leadership Award was a humbling experience.

"I always go into anything with a winning mindset but it was still a shock when they read out my name," she said.

"My parents were with me because they cannot go back to India due to Covid and just having them beside me and feeling so proud, it was a very emotional experience.

"If there is one word I would use to describe it, it is grateful.

"I am grateful for all the people who have helped us throughout the years to get to where we are today."

Camden business owner Louise Sparkes-Howarth also won gold at the Ausmumpreneur Awards for Making a difference in Community.

Mrs Sparkes-Howarth launched Pineapple Marketing and Promotions in 2018, which is now a multi-award-winning business dedicated to helping businesses 'stand tall and stand out' through social media and strategic marketing.

This story Buxton woman overcomes adversity to start successful business first appeared on Wollondilly Advertiser.