Sharon Tieman was born in Maitland, New South Wales, in 1967 – the only girl in a family of five brothers. From an early age she worked in her family’s businesses and by the age of nine could operate a deep fryer and serve customers.
At 15 she left school knowing that she wanted to go into business, but not sure how to go about it. Her father handed her copies of Think and Grow Rich and How to Win Friends and Influence People and she has since enjoyed business authors and seminars for their source of fast-track knowledge.
When Sharon was engaged, she moved to the New South Wales Central Coast to establish one of her family’s franchised catering companies. Over the years, she and her husband won numerous awards for wedding and corporate catering and built the largest catering company in the area with over 40 staff members. Juggling a thriving business, with mainly weekend work, and two small children started to take its toll and they decided to sell.
In 2003 they purchased Caterers Warehouse and began supplying catering equipment to the hospitality industry. The business was run-down and mainly servicing local restaurants and cafés within a 20-minute radius. It had no systems in place and no marketing, but within three years Caterers Warehouse has become a multimillion-dollar business with an online presence serving national and international clients.
Sharon now mainly works school hours from her home office, and attributes her success to her knowledge of marketing and systems. Nicknamed ‘Madame Marketing’ by her peers, she also mentors women in business. She lives with her husband, Jim, and children, Isaac and Dana.