WHEN Pinn Vadeek and Jaydn Toungue fell pregnant by accident at 18, some said the odds of them forging ahead in their careers were slim.
“Nasty things were said, no one our age was pregnant, you know ‘What are you going to do with your lives, you’ve ruined it,” recalls Pinn of that time three years ago, when she was managing a retail store by day and her mum’s restaurant by night.
But the reaction of her partner, then a second year apprentice for his dad’s firm Sam’s Painting and Decorating, was reassuring: “He said ‘ok, cool’ and that was it. He was calm and texted me later to say he was excited.”
Fast forward and the young couple have proved their critics wrong as they raise their two young boys – Lachlan, 3, and Louis, 18 months – and grow their family business.
Though Pinn opted to shelve plans to do a nursing degree when she learnt she was pregnant, she completed a business diploma at TAFE just weeks after her first son was born.
Meanwhile Jaydn worked hard to finish his apprenticeship early before incorporating his own business, Jaydn Tongue’s Painting and Decorating, which employs two and is currently hiring.
“This time of year is busy, I could take on more work but I want to still be able to oversee everything,” he says.
Pinn, 22, works part-time as a financial planning assistant with NAB in East Maitland and also runs the administration of 21-year-old Jaydn’s business. She is also doing an interior design diploma which dovetails with with couple’s plans to either renovate their home or buy a second investment property.
According to Census figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2016 there were 2,171,544 businesses in Australia and 185,443 people aged 21 who are owner managers of incorporated businesses with staff.
With many their age still studying and partying hard, Pinn says she and her hubby are somewhat of an anomaly.
“We do feel grown up but we partied when we were young and we are lucky that we are the same, at 18 we had had enough,” she says.
“Jaydn has a good business mind and we discuss things together; he tells me what he sees and I make the steps in how we will get there.”
The couple choose to ignore those who are quick to judge young parents.
“When we go out in public we get looks, we are both young, it’s just us showing that you can do it,” Pinn says.
For Jaydn, satisfaction comes in growing a business after realising early he wasn’t cut out for school.
“It was never my thing and school teachers were saying you are not going anywhere, but once I started working I loved it,” he says.