Need a way to brighten up your life?
Look no further than Custom Neon for a customisable LED light or sign to suit all your work or personal needs. The business, co-founded by Geelong-based entrepreneur Jessica Munday as a side hustle during her maternity leave, has now taken over 50 countries.
What was once an idea to help tackle a gap in the market, Jess, with the help of entrepreneurial husband Jake, has made designing and making neon light signs a full-time career. Along with being a successful businesswoman, Jess is also a mother of two beautiful growing kids.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out our list of the other insanely cool, inspiring and motivational women from Geelong.
Although Custom Neon is well known in Australia for its affordable LED neon light signs, the real main focus of the business is creating a collaborative and unique space for all its employees.
As pandemics and lockdowns force many of us to work from home, Jess wants to make sure her employees feel comfortable reaching out when needed. At the Custom Neon HQ, someone is always on hand to talk and Jess encourages her employees to send questions or ask for help whenever they need it – something we wish we could say wasn’t unusual in the workforce. With people working across multiple countries and time zones, employees can expect an almost 24/7 helpful response.
“From the beginning at Custom Neon, it was really important for us to create a culture of sharing our successes and giving back to the community. We agreed that these personal values would be the cornerstone of how and why we run the business and this has provided the core of our workplace values,” says Jess.
Above all, Jess wants to make sure that her employees feel like they are valued within the company and often look for ways to give back to her hardworking team.
Proving actions speak louder than words, she does this by offering quarterly workshops to aid in personal and work learning developments, holding workplace shoulder and neck massages conducted by a local therapist, meditation and sound baths, employee assistance programmes, and sessions dedicated to having fun within a team. With one in five individuals experiencing a mental illness during their lifetime, Jess also recognises the importance of keeping mental health in check, especially during these crazy few years, offering counselling services to employees that wish or need to access it.
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“Coming from a HR background, I am fastidious about creating a work environment that means so much more than just the daily/weekly grind. I want every employee to feel inspired, appreciated and valued and ultimately know how important their contributions are, not just to Custom Neon, but the charities we support,” Jess explains.
Founded in 2018, Custom Neon has expanded its business past the Australian shores and built up offices within the United Kingdom and America. This expansion had led the company to employ over 30 people to work across the three contents.
By collaborating with other members from South-East Asia, notably in India and around the world, Jess looks to help bring an overwhelming change through the charities her company provides.
Looking closer to home, Jess and her team participate in various activities and charities to give back to struggling Australian communities.
“The little things really can make a big difference and giving back, in one way or another, has become part of how we operate at Custom Neon,” says Jess.
In January 2020, Custom Neon donated 100% of their sales from A Little Love Neon Heart purchases. The company raised a total of $5,557 for the Red Cross Bushfire Relief and Recovery Appeal to aid in helping those affected by the 2019-2020 Australian Bushfires.
During March 2021, a Share the Dignity drive was held to help donate necessary women’s hygienic items to those who otherwise would not have access to them. Custom Neon donated over 100 sanitary items during one of their monthly staff meetings.
“We are really proud of what we have achieved so far and as we can continue to grow, so too will our charitable endeavours.”
Also supporting Black Girls Smile, charity founded with a mission of providing young Black women with education, resources, and support to lead mentally healthy lives, and Offspring Charity which is an organization that rescues women and children who have been bought, sold, traded and stripped of their basic human rights due to human trafficking, Jess ensures at Custom Neon empower women, not only via inclusion and diversity in the workplace, but also with the charities they support.
Not only does this company look to raise money and donations for charitable organisations, but they participate in other meaningful activities aimed at improving the environment. This includes helping clean up Australian beaches during the Great Global Cleanup of the 2021 Earth Day. The company’s Australian team travelled down to clean our local Torquay Beach, where the Custom Neon team removed many cigarette butts from the famous surfing beach.
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Jess always encourages her team to follow their passion. In this way, she hopes to have a team that shares the values evident through her company and a team that feels like they are valued and their beliefs supported.
“We have cultivated a team that understands our passion and shares our focus. We encourage our team members to also share any causes that are important for them, so we can ensure that we are giving back to initiatives that everyone values,” explains Jess.
“Our team really appreciates working somewhere where our purpose is greater than simply turning a profit and they are proud to share these positive experiences with others in the hope that it will inspire other workplaces to do the same.
“The intrinsic rewards our employees gain from committing to a meaningful purpose bare more weight than any extrinsic rewards we can offer, so I’d definitely encourage other companies to get on board!”
You can shop all of your light-up signage needs through Custom Neon’s online website. Feel free to explore their work via Facebook and Instagram, and drop a DM with a response delivered back to you within 24 hours.
You can also connect with Jess through her LinkedIn.