JODY Allen did not exactly live in a shoe when she lost her job.
But, with one child already and one on the way, she freely admits she did not quite know what to do.
House and rate payments aside, she suddenly found her family's reduced income left them with $50 a week for food.
But as she sat in her Pie Creek kitchen, necessity became the mother of an invention so successful, Mrs Allen has become an international household survival guru.
On Saturday, she achieved home town recognition as well.
FEW associated with Jody Allen's sensationally successful publishing effort, the Stay at Home Mum website, would have anticipated the incredible success of their efforts.
The website and its associated Facebook page, has become Australia's biggest mothers' network.
Its international success was such that Mrs Allen needed the help of friends to keep the site running 24-hours a day.
Ironically, for a project designed to give mothers more time with their children, sudden success has taken the whole team by surprise.
It even caused them problems with time zones, as other mums and dads and financially stressed families from around the world logged on.
Now the site, run by a company with four directors and about 20 paid helpers, has taken out The Gympie Times' Business of the Year award for 2013, part of the Gympie and District Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards.
"It was a bit of a surprise," one of the directors, Nicole Millard, said yesterday.
Ms Millard also manages the site's social media activities, including its Facebook site.
"It's the biggest mum's Facebook community in Australia.
"We have just over 236,000 fans at the moment," she said.
Bruce Devereaux has been blogging on the site since the early days, "bringing a male point of view," Mrs Millard said.
"We've got a pretty good team going, with Facebook moderators, writers, office staff and other helpers.
"It's still from Gympie, we still do it from our homes.
"And we're still loving it," she said.
"It is really amazing.
"We still can't believe it. It's just taken off.
"It's been a terrific journey," she said.
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