lady startup

How Sue Brabender turned taking some much needed "me time" into her very own business.


Sue Brabender needed some me time.

The Melbourne mum-of-two had burned herself out while pushing through 60-hour weeks at the sportswear company she worked at.

Eventually, her sister got through to her that she needed to take a break, some me time – and that’s when she had the “lightbulb moment” to start her own lifestyle business.

Here, Sue chats to Mamamia about how starting her business, Me Time. Just For Me, allowed her to take back control of her life.

Tell us about your business… What is it?

Me Time, I would describe as a lifestyle brand. I am very passionate about women taking time out for themselves. I have an online store which stocks t-shirts, tanks, long sleeve tees, drawstring backpacks and candles. I am hoping to extend into leisure and training pants, drinks bottles, wine cups, journals, anything to do with having some “me time”.

What were you doing before you went into business for yourself?

Before I decided to start Me Time, I was running a sports manufacturing company. I am a wife and mother of two, my son is now 22 and my daughter is six.

I was working 60-70 hours per week, my daughter had just started prep and my father was very ill. My dad actually passed away on the 14 February 2017, just after my daughter started school and smack bang in the middle of our busiest part of the year for the business.


I worked through and barely took a breath to acknowledge this massive loss.

After discussions with my sister, she said enough was enough, it was my time to shine and do something for myself. This is how the name Me Time came about. At the same time I was trying to source a yoga tank that I loved, and then I had a lightbulb moment and decided to produce the item for myself.


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The gorgeous @shannonjtal rocking her Me Time Tee at the AO. ????

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How did you come up with the name?


It is an extension of the discussion that it was “my time to shine” and that also I had stopped, taken a breath and had some me time.

What’s the single best piece of advice you got?

That I am a smart women, I have always worked hard for other people and that it was time to do so for myself.

What’s the one bit of advice you would give yourself if you were starting again?

That its OK to ask for help.

At Mamamia, we have an expression”flearning” – failing and learning. What have been your biggest flearnings since you have started your business?

I ordered 13,000 name labels that were awful quality and I didn’t realise that they held the money in escrow until I had approved the product. I could have gotten my money back.

What do you do when you’re feeling like you’re in a hole emotionally (or financially)?

I stop and take a breath. I chat to my sister who always encourages me and tells me that my business will be successful and helps me work through my next steps.

How many hours a day do you work on your business? Has this changed?

I probably spend eight hours a day on the business. First thing in the morning, I make sure that I get to my yoga or pilates class at 9.30am (me time), I then work until school pick up and start working again after my daughter has gone to bed.


What’s the biggest misconception you had about starting your business?

How hard it would be to grow my audience and customer base and to actually turn engagement into sales.


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Holidays ????

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Tell us about your proudest moment.

Picking up my first order from the printers. I cried.

What can you recommend to women who might want to get their own hustle going?


To do a step by step plan or course like the Lady Startup Activation Plan course. Definitely do a budget. Do your research. Have confidence in your abilities.

Interested in becoming a Lady Startup yourself or know someone ready to chase their own business dreams? You’re invited to join us! Enrolments open from 21 January 2019. Find out all about The Lady Startup Activation Plan here.