It was a light bulb moment born out of pure frustration. It became a $21 million business.

Juggling a nappy bag and a squirming three-week-old as she changed a nappy in the ridiculously cramped confines of an aeroplane toilet cubicle somewhere between Australia and New Zealand, Dannielle Michaels was running out of hands, and patience.

By the time she'd vented to her mum "this is crazy. I need, like, something else", the 'nappy' wallet' was born.

Kristy Carr was at a baby shower when her light-bulb moment struck: at approximately the same time her tastebuds said 'no' to the baby food she was tasting as part of a party game.


She figured if she never wanted to try it again, why should babies?

Her Organic Bubs baby food range is now sold worldwide - but its biggest market is China, where mums have a seemingly insatiable appetite for anything clean, green and Australian.

And then there's Jessica Rudd, who as a new mum living in Beijing would return from trips home to Australia to stock up on baby products for her and her network of Chinese friends.

When she moved back to Brisbane, she took the suitcase contents online, and the Chinese market can't get enough of them.

Meet the Mumpreneurs. They're women who combined those light bulb moments, the skills they learned in high-flying corporate careers, and a determination to make their work suit their changing family dynamic into businesses worth millions.

But call them Mumpreneurs at your own risk, warns Allison Langdon, who digs into the Mumpreneur network for her story on 60 Minutes.

Langdon discovered this group are no stay-at-home mums dabbling in a small business on the side. They are super-smart women who have deserted the chaos of corporate life, and are instead making millions working from home.

"They have mixed feelings about the term 'Mumpreneur'," Langdon says.


"They have two views. All of them initially hated it, but now a few of them have warmed to it," she says.

Rudd, who sells her organic baby products in partnership with Chinese online retail giant Alibaba is not among them.

"Jack Ma founded Alibaba," she tells Langdon. "He has 38,000 employees. He started with an idea and he turned it into that.

"I'm starting a business with an idea. I don't have that many staff ... I've got barely four.
"Is he a Dadpreneur? I don't think so. I think he's an entrepreneur and that's what I am."

Whatever the label, Langdon discovered the Mumpreneurs have serious commercial clout, and boast serious savvy and skills now lost to the more rigid traditional corporate world.

"They are women who had high-powered jobs, working all over the world, and when they went on maternity leave worked out that having a family and going back to their old career is just not possible - it's too inflexible," Langdon says.

"They've created an industry that offers flexibility and suits them, rather than bending to fit the traditional industry, and they are proving just as successful outside the traditional corporate sector.

We knew that the corporate lives that we'd had in the past were not what we wanted moving forward.

.box, the company which began with Micheals' mid-flight nappy wrestle now boasts 15 products and is worth between A$15m and A$20m.

Michaels joined forces with close friend Monique Filer to build it. The two had successful corporate careers but had agreed with babies on the way corporate lifestyles wouldn't mix with the families they wanted to be, so were on the hunt for a project.

Langdon said it's a common theme among mums leaving corporate life.

"All of these women went into maternity leave wanting to plan a business that suited them, and called on their corporate lessons to do it," she says.

"They are serious entrepreneurs who happen to be mothers."

Michaels and Filer designed their prototype 'nappy wallet' using a cardboard box, invested $50,000 each, and two years, and many sleepless nights and business conferences around a kitchen table later, launched their first product in 2009.

"We knew that the corporate lives that we'd had in the past were not what we wanted moving forward," says Michaels.

"I think for me at the time my husband was working crazy hours and if I went back to work I'd just never see the kids and I thought 'if I'm going to work hard I'd rather do it for myself'."