27 November 2013
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2012 Telstra Business Woman of the Year
2007 Ernst & Young's Young
Over 20 years she has transformed her business Carman's from a cottage industry to a multinational, trusted Australian brand that exports to 32 countries
Carman's is the number one selling muesli brand on Australian supermarket shelves.
As seen on the Channel 10 show
Usually when the average 18-year-old manages to scrape together $1,000 you might expect them to put it towards a car, or perhaps blow the lot on a trip to Bali. Not Carolyn Creswell.
Unbelievably at 18 Carolyn found herself offering her life-savings to buy out her employer.
"It was a small business that made home-made museli for a few cafes and delis in and around Melbourne," Carolyn says.
"I worked there one day a week while I was at Uni, and I loved it. When the owners put the business up for sale, I thought my job would be in jeopardy so I offered them $1,000 which was initially dismissed, and then finally they took up my offer."
The subsequent growth of Carman's is the stuff of entrepreneurial dreams.
Although successfully completing an Arts degree at Monash University, Creswell has had no formal business mentor or coach, nor has she done any business studies. She has learned on-the-job and believes that because she has done everything herself at one time or another for the business, she can empathise with her staff much more easily about their jobs and the hurdles they may be experiencing.
Carolyn is married with four young children and prides herself on the balance she maintains between her career and her growing family.