Meet Our New Gold Coast Franchisee – Chantelle McNeill
Irish-born but Gold Coast based mum, Chantelle McNeill, has exchanged a corporate career to become the business owner of Making Rainbows on the Gold Coast. We recently sat down with Chantelle to hear all about her enviable coastal lifestyle, the realities of juggling motherhood with a business and why she’s never been happier.
What attracted you to invest in a Making Rainbows franchise?
After having my daughter Adaline, I wanted to work for myself so I would have flexibility from the standard nine till five job (or six am until seven pm in my case, as I predominately held senior management roles in the property industry). When a mum-friend introduced me to Making Rainbows it didn’t take long for me to get on board! I am a lover of music and I adore children, so it was a winner straight away. I had been looking for a new venture for quite some time to accompany my photography business (Leo + Adaline Photography) and Making Rainbows was just a perfect fit for my personality.
How do you juggle being a business owner and a parent?
I have no family here in Australia (being from Ireland) so I rely heavily on my partner Cathal, on the weekends when he isn’t working, and my daughter has recently started attending day care three days per week which she absolutely loves. Other than that, I basically never sit down, and I try to be extremely organised with everything from lunches to laying out clothes the night before. I wear activewear most days with a messy bun and no make-up because I usually have four minutes to get ready in the morning, even though I rise at five am!
What value can Making Rainbows can bring to Gold Coast parents?
When I had my daughter, I had only been on the Coast for a short time and I struggled to find things to do in the heat. I found myself going on a lot of walks around air-conditioned shopping centres. I actually became a bit of a shopper! There were some rather lonely spells with my partner working long days and my friends were also at work and none of them had kids.
If Making Rainbows had been on the coast back then it would have been perfect. Adaline could have been out of the pram (in a comfortable, air-conditioned room!) and we could have been bonding and having fun. I see many friendships organically made at Making Rainbows classes. It’s great to have a place where you can chat with other mums and try to understand all things baby and motherhood!
What is your favourite place on the Gold Coast to visit as a family?
As Cathal and I are both Irish and we love our hearty homecooked meals, we drive up to Mt Tamborine every other Sunday to visit Clancy’s Irish Bar and Restaurant for their amazing beef and Guinness pies. Adaline keeps everyone entertained as she likes to dance around to the live traditional Irish band.
What is your favourite thing about the Gold Coast?
I love the friendly, family environment on the coast. Even though I struggle with the heat the weather is beautiful! There is always something to do and as an outdoorsy family this is perfect for us. I love to keep fit with Mummylicious Fitness at Paradise Point as I can do a workout by the water while Adaline plays under the supervision of the group’s babysitter.
Why did you choose the Gold Coast as a place to settle as a family?
After living in Western Australia for a decade and then back in Ireland for a few years, we were offered work here on the coast. We fancied a change and one last adventure before we settled down as a family. I am so glad we did because it is the best place ever to raise a family.
What is the most challenging thing about parenting for you right now?
Adaline is such a happy, chilled child until the teeth start coming through! Seeing her struggle with the teething can be heartbreaking. I also miss her so much when she is at day care and I end up collecting her early every single day! She never wants to leave when I collect her though as her teachers and environment are amazing.
What are you enjoying most about parenting right now?
I love that Adaline is active, loves animals and the outdoors – we have so much fun together. Adaline is obsessed with music and she likes to take over the “dance floor” at Making Rainbows classes when I take her along, which makes me so happy. Hopefully, when she is a bit older, she can be my little helper!
Find out more details about Gold Coast locations and times here.