One month shy of our 10th anniversary, it seemed fitting to chat to our very first cover star and modern mum, Amber Werchon. The real estate mogul and soon-to-be mother-of-three, has grown up both personally and professionally since we chatted to her in 2008. We revisited her original cover story to see just how far the mumpreneur has come.
When we spoke to Amber in 2008 we described her as ‘the girl we all wanted to be’. She had just opened her business, Amber Werchon Property and was about to marry her now husband Paul McHugh. Fast forward 10 years and her business has grown to be one of the Coast’s most recognisable real estate agencies, she’s happily married and is pregnant with her third boy, due in October.
“You could say I’ve been busy personally and professionally in that time,” Amber smiles.
The family-focused business owner is a big believer in worklife balance and has managed to raise her two boys Sam, three, and Max, six, while simultaneously growing her business each year.
Amber Werchon Real Estate has gone from 20 to over 60 staff in that time and Amber is over the moon with what she and her team have achieved.
“I’ve surpassed the goals I made in 2008 more than I could ever imagine,” she says.
The mumpreneur has also reached $1.4 billion in sales over her 18-year career, but humbly brushes it off saying, “It’s just lots of sales over lots of years”.
Surprisingly, the business-savvy real estate agent didn’t think she’d make it back to work after having her first child, assuming the stay-at-home-mum life was for her.
“I don’t think anyone ever knows what they’re going to do until they’re in that position and actually have the baby. I was happy to juggle both (work and motherhood) especially in the initial times when all they do is sleep and eat.”
Amber continued to conquer the elusive balance but says it wasn’t easy. She admits she was lucky that both her boys stuck to a routine and she had a supportive family network to help her when the scales tipped.
“I obviously love my kids. It’s just that I like the balance and it provides me with the best of both worlds,” she says.
Working for herself has always afforded Amber the flexibility to be part of the important moments and focus on work when required.
“That was more important to me than necessarily being there for everything. I’m at every cross country or sports day or whatever it is. And then I catch up when they are asleep. I think the flexibility enables me to not feel guilty,” she says.
Amber thinks the negative attitude towards mothers who go back to work is slowly but surely changing and believes that each mother needs to find what works for her.
“I don’t think it’s a bad thing for kids to see their parents working, as long as it doesn’t affect them and as long as there is some balance… if you’re happy, the baby is going to be happy.”
Believe it or not, Amber does enjoy some downtime and chooses to spend it with her family and friends by the beach in Alexandra Headland. Besides her family, Amber’s biggest passion is health and wellness, which is something she will continue to pursue for the rest of her life.
And while we gushed over her glamorous lifestyle in our 2008 article, Amber is still the down-to-earth woman behind all the success.
“I think I’ve become more (down-to-earth) over the years. Not to say I wasn’t, but I certainly believe my priorities have changed since I started in this industry 18 years ago. And then having children changes your priorities again, losing loved ones and all the other things that happen with age and experience. Each personal experience in life has shaped me and made me a better business owner, even a better salesperson – you can connect to more people. It touches every aspect of your life and helps you focus more on the big picture and not sweat the small stuff so much.”
With her baby boy due in October, Amber plans to take some time off to see where her new bundle of joy takes her. With a relaxed attitude, a flexible working environment and the support of a loving family, we have no doubt that the new bub will be the icing on the cake of Amber’s love-filled life.