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Genevieve made more through her side hustle in an afternoon than she did at work in a week.

Before Genevieve Le Hunt started her own business she was working part-time in PR and was known in the office the “person who brings cake”.

But being lactose intolerant, the Melbourne-based 30-year-old liked to try out recipes that didn’t make her feel ill. Of course, sometimes she just wanted a short-cut and to bake from a packet mix.

“I was trying to make an egg replacement and I thought this is just ‘too hard basket’ and I went to the supermarket and there wasn’t really anything there.”

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That's when - back in October 2013 - she had the idea to start selling pre-prepared mixes with a healthy twist.

As Gen told Mamamia, she only started her business, Bake Mixes, as a way to make an extra $150 a week to supplement her part-time income from her PR role and her casual job in retail.

"I thought if I can't be bothered, surely other people can't be bothered. I'll sell it at a market and make $150."

But what started as a side-hustle to top up her income quickly became a serious source of revenue. Gen had the first inkling she might just be onto something when she launched the business online and made more money in one hour than she made in her day-jobs in a week.

"I had originally planned just do it at the markets, but I thought I'd put in online and be able to direct people to the website," Gen explained.

"I was in the backroom on my lunch break, I launched the website on my phone, and I automatically started getting orders and they weren't from people I knew.

"So I just started crying and freaking out, and yeah I made more money then than I did the whole week through those two jobs combined."

Bec Sparrow and Robin Baily discuss the difference between what you need and what you want when it comes to work. Post continues.


Four years on and Gen is shipping Bake Mixes orders all over Australia and internationally, as well as to 350 stores that stock her products here and even in the US.

She said the process of building up her business was gradual and she didn't make it her only source of income until she was sure it was going to succeed long-term.

"I've gone back and forward [between working on the business full-time and not]. Two weeks after launching the business I was made redundant, just before Christmas. So I was forced into it," she said.

But it wasn't long before she picked up part-time work again, and advises against anyone making their side-hustle their sole source of income too soon.

"You stress yourself out too much and end up resenting the business."

Instead, she made ties with local businesses who wanted to stock her bake mixes, making each one by hand from home, and eventually moved to a contract manufacturer.

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Her business has grown so much so that it's caught the eye of yoghurt manufacturer Chobani, who have awarded her one of five four-month intensive traineeships, which will offer her guidance in all aspects of running a business, from sales to marketing.

"The biggest part is that they're backing us. It's really exciting."

Beyond this, Gen has a clear goal for where she wants the business to end up.

"I really want to be an everyday, no-brainer purchase when you do your weekly food shop at major supermarkets, that's where I want it to end up."

"I want it to be like a healthy-version of Betty Crocker."


Got January-Dread at the thought of a new year in your current job? Keen to take control of your life and be your own boss? Come and join Mia Freedman for the Lady Startup Activation Plan, an online course where she personally takes you through every step and gives you every resource to go from idea to launch. Enrolments are open for just a few days. Details here.