When Life And Business Begins At Fifty - This startup story has us inspired!

Many fifty something women begin to think of retirement and how they will spend more time with the grandchildren.  But with women beginning their careers later after having taken time out of the workforce for children, or concerned their super fund won’t allow them to retire at 55, increasingly women remain in the workforce through their fifties and beyond. 
But one Melbourne women has bucked the trend to prove that life really can start at fifty and not be about struggling on, working in a role that may be less than satisfying, or forgoing family time. Suzanne Carroll decided to take charge of her working life, suddenly finding herself unemployed aged fifty-two.  And it was a chance idea whilst half asleep, which led her down a completely new path to starting her own business.  Not the obvious choice for a mature woman with six, (soon to be seven) grandchildren! 


The Australian Bureau of Statistics shares some interesting stats on the numbers of mature women in self-employment, and why women are turning to self-employment in favour of traditional employment:


  • More than two in five women business operators are aged 40-54 (44%)
  • In 2014, 28% of women business operators were aged 55 years and over
  • In 2011 there were around 4,300 women aged 75 years or older
  • Women make up just over a third of all Australian business operators (34% or 668,670 women)
  • Women business operators had high levels of life satisfaction (57% were pleased or delighted with the quality of their lives)
  • Becoming an entrepreneur appears to provide a solution to the problem of maintaining a balance between work and family responsibilities.


“My decision to run my own business was largely due to my negative experience in the workplace and with grandchildren, my work life balance was becoming far more important.  My mental health had been adversely affected by the stress of the workplace and I was keen to utilise my skills and experience in something that brought me joy.  And at fifty-three, no one was going to tell me I was too old or I couldn’t do it!’ explained Suzanne Carroll, founder of Cool Clutch, a range of fashion handbags with a cooler bag combined.


Not content with being average, Suzanne has not only successfully created and manufactured a new product; she is now stocked throughout Australia with big plans for global domination.  And it hasn’t gone unnoticed, with Suzanne’s efforts spotted by Internet Retail and being recently named one of Australia’s Top 50 E-Commerce retailers, in the company of major national retail chains, having demonstrated excellence in commercial success, innovation, knowledge sharing and a broader impact.  

“I am extremely proud of what I have achieved and want all over fifty women to know that if they have a dream, they must pursue it no matter how crazy it may sound. If I can do it, anyone can!  Breaking into such a competitive industry such as fashion and in the online space, is a complete dream come true,” said Suzanne.


To learn more about how a startup fifty plus female has made it to the top in the Australian online fashion retail industry contact Suzanne Carroll on 0408 363 969. Check out these stylish bags at https://www.coolclutch.net/ ! 

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