Grace Kim selected as a finalist for AusMumpreneur Awards

Grace Kim. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media.

Grace Kim. Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media.

Bullaburra pianist, artistic director, educator, and Churchill Fellow, Grace Kim, has been selected as a finalist for the 2018 AusMumpreneur Awards in the Big Idea Award.

The AusMumpreneur Awards presented by The AusMumpreneur Network celebrate and recognise Australian Mums in business achieving outstanding success in areas such as business excellence, product development, customer service and digital innovation. The awards are designed to recognise the growing number of women who successfully balance motherhood and business in a way that suits their life and family.

As a professional classical pianist, Ms Kim has performed all around the world to diverse audiences including the Royal Family of the Netherlands. Since becoming a parent to two children, the eldest with Asperger’s Syndrome, Ms Kim noticed that there were limited opportunities for families with sensory/special needs to attend high quality classical music concerts. Most families, due to their challenges, cannot attend big, crowded public events in fear of judgement.

Ms Kim was determined to create something that she would be happy to take her own kids to; a high quality live concert in a more relaxed environment aiming to minimises external stimuli (eg. crowd, noise, smell, lights), so that the audience are able to regulate and enjoy the performance. Collaborating with occupational therapist Josey Sharpe and psychologist Jane Wearn, Sensory Concerts was born.

“Being selected as a finalist means so much to me because it recognises the valuable contribution Sensory Concerts makes to our society, especially the special needs community,” she said.

Business is not always easy and Sensory Concerts has overcome challenges but has also seen great success such as receiving funding from the Blue Mountains City of the Arts, and from the Great Walk Foundation.

“We’ve been receiving such positive feedback from our audiences, one carer mentioned that she had not heard her client (in wheelchair) speak, but after each piece at our concert, said ‘thank you’. For others, to be able to attend a high quality concert together as a family, feel included and understood was something they deeply appreciated.”

It can be challenging to run a successful business whilst raising a family and Grace Kim gives this advice for others thinking about starting their own enterprise.

“Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and do the hard yard. Seek advice, but do not lose sight of your original goal. Trust yourself.”

Read more about the awards at The winners of the 2018 AusMumpreneur Awards will be announced at an awards dinner at White Night Receptions, Melbourne on Friday, August 31.