Hey There, I'm Jo!
As an Australian primary school teacher of 10 years, I get teachers. The hard days, the satisfying moments, the lows and the highs. I understand how amazing and fulfilling a teaching career is, but I also know the workload is demanding, the hours are long and I know how much heart goes into the job.
It’s this true, authentic understanding that led me to create Mrs Edgar’s.
Full of heart, soul and so much love, I was determined to turn my passion and care for teachers and teaching into practical (and vibrant) tools. Tools to uplift, to empower in education and in life, and create a place of joy that every teacher can have with them, every day.
In 2016, I added my first planner to the online teacher’s market place Teachers Pay Teachers in a digital format, before taking a leap of faith and launching my hardcopy planners in 2017. And the rest, as they say, is (happy) history!
Fast forward to today, add in a beautiful teaching community and a few small babies and I am beyond grateful and honoured to be empowering thousands of educators around Australia, creating and supplying products that enrich the lives of others.
And in reverse? I love how the Mrs Edgar community empowers me to be better too, always fuelling the passion inside me as I look for ways to up-level, to support and to inspire.
I’d love more than anything for you to join our incredible community…
It’s a place for uplift and inspiration. A place for planning and productivity. A place for empowerment. And a place for you. xx
TAKE A MOMENT TO MEET JO & DISCOVER THE MRS EDGAR’S JOURNEY
...best enjoyed with a glass of your favourite wine or bit of chocolate x
What was your journey from being a teacher to establishing Mrs Edgar’s?
I’m a teacher of ten years. I’ve always loved design and being creative. During this time, I began creating digital products for teachers to help them save time in the classroom. Resources such as lesson plans, units of work, crafts and more. I loved adding my own creativity to these resources and exploring design ideas.
In 2016, I added my first digital printable teacher planner to online teacher’s marketplace ‘Teachers Pay Teachers’ as I wanted a planner that breathed life and fun into the planning process. Everything else I came across was your typical black and white, super profesh, lacking personality planner. It just wasn’t for me. The digital planner was such a huge success that in 2017, I took a leap of faith and got my first hardcopy planners manufactured. Our first print run was just 500 planners with a single cover choice.
At the time I remember being totally anxious about how it would go, and I was especially worried about what people would think. But much to my surprise (and excitement), that year we sold out before we hit December!
Hew (my husband) and I would make weekend trips to Bunnings to cut cardboard from recycled boxes to ensure the planners wouldn’t bend in the mail. The work was laborious, and everything was manually done – from e-mailing every single customer, to writing their addresses on the post bags, to filling the bottom of my pram up with orders to deliver them to Australia Post in person as this also happened to be the same year I had my first baby!
Additionally, I was grieving the loss of my dad who, a few months prior, had a drug overdose and passed away. It was a full on year! But 2017 was a year that taught me so much…
“IF YOU HAVE A STRONG DRIVE AND PASSION, AND YOU REALLY LOVE WHAT YOU DO, THEN I TRULY BELIEVE THAT NOTHING CAN GET IN YOUR WAY.”
And Mrs Edgar has just grown from there, (as has our family!)
We have sold out every year, with 2019 being our biggest year yet.
We now manufacture overseas with multiple suppliers to source the best possible specs. We’ve more than tripled our production from the previous year, added a new line of weekly planners (the lay flat), a daily (day to a page) as well as a sticker book. We also have a notepad, sticker book volume 2, and planner sticker book in the marking! We’ve become a stockist for a beautiful Australian greeting cards company, Just Smitten. We have sold out of a weekly cover design within days of launching in 2020, and the weekly spiral range had completely sold out in under three months.
It’s funny looking back at the journey we’ve had because I never envisioned I’d be here, working from home (in-between mum life) creating planners for teachers!
I had really thrown myself into teaching and the research behind learning. In my teaching career I worked to get my Level 3 status, completed a postgraduate in gifted and talented education, as well as a masters degree. I worked as a research assistant at a local university and my work was recognised and name published. I even completed my first year of a doctorate at the University of Western Australia. My life was so totally immersed in teaching and research. Never would I have thought I’d be running a full-time business catering to teachers, just like me, with the bulk of the work being design based. My career path has taken a turn, and I’m loving the direction we’re going in.
If motherhood hadn’t forced me to stay home, I don’t know if I would’ve had the courage to dive so deeply into my hobby and turn it into a full fledged business, investing money, time, heart and soul. The payoff has been totally worth it.
“I’VE GOT A WONDERFUL, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY OF TEACHERS, WHO I AM TOTALLY, WHOLEHEARTEDLY GRATEFUL FOR. I WANT TO GIVE BACK TO THIS COMMUNITY WITH PRODUCTS THAT HELP SAVE TEACHERS TIME, BRIGHTEN UP THOSE HARD SCHOOL DAYS, AND STORE ALL THE JOBS THAT COME WITH TEACHING IN A PRACTICAL, RELIABLE PLACE THAT IS FULL OF COLOUR AND LIFE.”
What does a ‘normal’ day look like for you?
Most mornings start around 5am, before my kids wake up. I normally check the emails and set aside some time for whatever Mrs Edgar project I’m working on.
The kids wake up and then it’s game on! I don’t have family here and Lachie, Matty and Audrey are at home with me full-time, so the days can be really long if I haven’t really planned much. So most days we are out of the house – from the zoo, to playgroup, a mother’s group catch up or seeing a friend, the park, library, shops or whatever else comes to mind. I find going out breaks up the day and gets rid of some of their energy.
Once my kids are sleeping, I process my customer orders from the day, ready for collection the next day. I might do a social media update/post and then it’s time to chill out with Hew. I like to do a bit of reading before bed. I tend to stay up later than I should as I really crave time to myself and the thought of sleep cutting into my only time makes me sad!
What are three things people wouldn’t know about you?
I love Hamish Blake. At our wedding, my best mate somehow managed to get Hamish to make a video for me! He jokes about being disappointed he didn’t make it to my hens.
2. I only started drinking coffee when I had Lachie, then I became an addict – ha!
3. I hardly EVER watch TV! I have no idea who any celebrities are, and I’m really bad at trivia nights whenever they have questions about TV and movies.
THANK YOU TO WORDFETTI FOR THIS INTERVIEW AND FOR MY WEBSITE COPY
Mrs J Edgar acknowledges the Whadjuk Nyoongar people as the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters where Perth city is situated today, and pay our respects to Elders past and present.
This artwork is by Holly Sanders, a proud Aboriginal Bundjalung woman who is currently residing on Yuin Country, South Coast of New South Wales.