Carman’s founder Carolyn Creswell is an inspirational leader whose success proves that you can run a multinational business and still have a genuine work-life balance.
Carolyn has managed to grow Carman’s to become the number one selling muesli brand on Australian supermarket shelves, while at the same time maintaining a great relationship with her husband and raising four kids aged eight and under!
Over the past two decades, Carolyn has focused on producing quality products using whole foods. From humble beginnings where Carolyn used to park her tiny Daewoo alongside semi-trailers in supermarket loading docks, Carolyn’s determination has seen Carman’s build a strong following in more than 32 countries around the world.
As a proud mother, Carolyn understands the importance of producing nourishing foods for herself and her family and applies this to every Carman’s product.
Carolyn’s commitment to a healthy work-life balance is also reflected at the Carman’s office where her employees, many being mums working flexible hours, are encouraged to take time out of the office to attend their kids sports days and special assemblies. Carman’s even has a kids’ room complete with a single bed, TV and computer for when employees’ children are ill or on school holidays.
Each day, the team comes together to eat lunch around the boardroom table and do the daily quiz from the newspaper. On Friday's, Carolyn shouts everyone lunch and staff who have less than ten emails to action in their inbox can leave mid-afternoon every fortnight.
Carman’s warm environment ensures a truly enjoyable place to work and a low staff turnover. Carolyn explains, “Sometimes the smallest things like providing a kids’ room, creating habits like eating lunch together or taking five minutes out of our day to do the quiz can make the biggest difference”.
Carolyn’s business acumen has led to a number of accolades including recently being named the 2012 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year and the winner of 2007 Ernst & Young’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Carolyn is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is also an active board member for Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Foundation, which works to get kids into the garden and the kitchen, so they appreciate the origins of fresh food.
Carolyn’s passion for healthy food made from real ingredients that don’t need to be hidden in fine print has cemented Carman’s reputation as a food brand that customers around the world can trust to be natural, healthy, and delicious.
2013 is an exciting year for Carman’s as Carolyn celebrates the company’s 20 anniversary. “I’m amazed at the achievements the Carman’s team has accomplished over the past 20 years. The growth we’ve experienced is thanks to hard work, a talented team and a range of products that we’re really proud of. I still get a rush when I spot our products in trolleys at the supermarket and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve in the next twenty years!” enthuses Carolyn.
I just wanted to give you a big thank you for your inspirational talk today... You gave a wonderful speech and showed us to make a difference and enjoy the moment... and that women do not have to completely sacrifice family for work and vice versa.
A very warm and engaging speaker who hit the mark with the home-based, small businesses present at the Maroondah Business Breakfast. Carolyn brought with her a visually appealing presentation with points of difference that hit a cord with the audience, the feedback has been outstanding and we would have no hesitation in recommending her. A lovely touch were the museli bars that she bought along for everyone to take home - she walks the talk!
Maroondah City Council
It was a great pleasure to hear of your life experiences, the opportunities presented to you and your role as the leader of a very successful business … The students found you very engaging and your presentation certainly had the desired effect of inspiring then and motivating them to take advantage of the opportunities offered to them.
Monash Minds Student Leadership Program
Can you please pass on my thanks to Carolyn for such a great presentation today. The feedback has been fantastic. I have organised this lunch annually for the past 6 years and have never felt so relaxed with a guest speaker or received a better presentation. It was just the best.
… Thank you very much for your very informative and entertaining presentation – the twenty year journey was fascinating. The reaction to your presentation was confirmed by the applause and the number of comments I received after you left. Everybody took something away from your presentation that they can use in their own business.
Bendigo Business Council
Your talk on the story of Carman’s was truly inspiring and thought provoking, clearly demonstrating what can be achieved with passion and determination. The response amongst our staff was overwhelmingly positive …