Julie Money’s husband died very suddenly and she wanted to keep the memory of him alive for their only daughter, Grace.
She has a background in film and television so she created a web series that shows the journey of Grace navigating her way through life after her father passed away.
Read her interview with Mamamia.
What is Amazing Grace?
Amazing Grace is an original web series about how a young girl navigates her way through life with her father by her side, when he can’t be there. It’s about resilience and growing up. I created the series after my husband (my daughter Grace’s dad) died very suddenly. It was to honour him and keep his memory alive for Grace.
There are seven episodes so far, all around five minutes long and there are more on the way. Even though it began from a personal story, it has resonance for a greater audience of kids and families.
Julie Money (left) and Grace (right). Image supplied.
What were you doing before you went into business for yourself?
I have always been a freelance film and television director. This web series is my first adventure into the world of web series and I am stepping up to the roles of creator, producer, writer and director.
What made you want to start your own business?
I had something I thought was important and I want to share it. There was nothing in the market like this.
How did you come up with the name?
It is from my daughter's name, Grace, and amazing because in the series her dad is there suprising her with a sense of wonderment with his advice.
Describe the staff/ownership structure of your business.
It is mostly just me. Grace steps in and co-writes or edits some of the scripts, and writes the songs. When I require crew for shooting I call on long standing colleagues and friends to help out.
Did you require investment to start Amazing Grace?
I already had a small production company, but to create Amazing Grace I successful crowdfunded two campaigns through Pozible.
What's the single best piece of advice you got?
Be authentic. Own your story and your project.
What's the one bit of advice you would give yourself if you were starting again?
Don't ask too many people for their opinions.
At Mamamia we have an expression "flearning" - failing and learning. What have been your biggest flearnings since you have started your business?
My flearnings came early on. I had shot a small scene and showed some people in organisations that could possibly have come on board and worked with me. But their response was quite negative.
I was told it was impossible to get kids to watch things online, and other unhelpful and nasty things about the project.
After hiding under the doona for a few days feeling like I had let down Grace and her dad, I picked myself up and went on my way to prove them wrong.
Amazing Grace. Imaged supplied.
What do you do when you're feeling like you're in a hole emotionally (or financially)?
I look back at what I have achieved so far and think of new avenues to pursue to develop and grow the series further.
How many hours a day do you work on Amazing Grace? Has this changed?
I work on Amazing Grace around four hours a day, but sometimes more depending on where I am in the cycle. I manage my time around being a single mum and other work commitments.
What are your non-negotiables?
My two pilates classes a week and time with Grace.
What's the biggest misconception you had about starting your business?
I think I imagined it would take off overnight and be a great success. But it takes a lot of time and work. You just have to work for it and create the right connections and hopefully luck will come your way.
Listen. These parents gave their kids a beautiful gift to remember their dying Grandfather. (Post continues after audio.)
Tell us about your proudest moment.
When we had just finished the series (and before it had starting streaming online) I submitted it to a film festival and in the USA. They didn't know us or our story, and the series was awarded Excellence in Web Series by the festival. That validation from totally objective judges on the other side of the world was fantastic and made us feel that we had created something special.
What does your personal life look like?
I am a widow and a single mum with the most extraordinary daughter by my side. Grace is an only child and our relationship is incredibly close. I also care for my elderly mother who has some health issues.
How much sleep do you get every night?
Not enough. Despite best efforts of going to bed early, I am often awake in the middle of the night brainstorming ideas and planning.
What can you recommend to women who might want to get their own hustle going?
Just do it. Things don't come to you, you have to believe in yourself and step out there and make it happen.
Do you have a mentor?
I had a mentor, Julie Kalceff, to help sort out the release of the series. She is the producer, director and writer of a very successful web series called Starting From Now. Funnily enough, Julie was my student for two courses I taught at AFTRS. I reconnected with her as her work in this area was ground breaking. She was incredibly generous with her time and knowledge.
Now, I always ask for Grace's advice. She knows me, my pain, and the series like no-one else possibly could.