Starting their own meal delivery business has allowed The Dinner Ladies co-founders Sophie Gilliatt and Katherine Westwood to provide thousands of dinners to time-poor families every night.
But the greatest benefit the startup has provided Sophie, is financial independence.
It wasn’t that Sophie, who started the business with Katherine in 2007 after meeting at the school gate, was particularly strapped for cash – it was her husband who earned their family’s sole income.
Not having her own source of income to contribute to the family budget bothered the mum and made her feel she that couldn’t buy the things she wanted.
In an interview with Mamamia’s Lady Startup podcast, she said she particularly remembers one incident in a greengrocer that left her crying.
Listen to Sophie and Katherine talk about the joy of being financially independent. Post continues below.
“You know I remember before we started the business that once my eyes were filling with tears, I was in the greengrocers and I saw the peas were $5. And I thought ‘I love peas and I can never buy peas’,” she told podcast host Rachel Corbett.
It helped her to realise how important financial independence – even if your partner is earning a decent income – is to your sense of self and self-worth.
“I think financial independence, even when you’re in a happy and stable relationship is still very important. It’s still very important to your sense of self.”
“I know they’re small things but it’s actually important. It’s very important to feel you’re contributing. That’s given me a lot.”