Advocate for women’s empowerment, body positivity & breast screening.
Roles in life and work:
What are you juggling right now in your life?
I am juggling a snapped Achilles at the moment. I will be spending the next 3 months at home, unable to fly. But I see this as an opportunity to ramp up my business and focus on my podcast, whilst spending some quality time with my kids and husband. And to be honest, some time with my extended family and friends. I started my business 2.5 years ago and it just went so fast, it organically grew, and I was just trying to keep up on the treadmill, but I have sacrificed a lot of social events with friends and family that now fully deserve my time.
At the same time, I was fulfilling what I always wanted to do and that was to own my own business and have the ability to empower other women, whether it was through a bra, a business, guest speaking roles or posts on social media.
Something so simple happened the other night, when getting my girls ready for bed. Normally I think about brushing the girl’s hair like it’s a chore, hurrying all the time, it’s a mad rush to get them showered and to bed. But this night, as I sat on the bed with Milla reading a book I thought, I am brushing my daughter’s hair right now and I am enjoying it. Something as simple as that, I am now able to stop and be grateful for those moments.
I feel this is what my Achilles’s injury is all about. It was the Universe telling me to stop and appreciate the quality time I may have missed over the last couple of years. It’s a good time of year to enjoy my daughter’s birthday and Christmas coming up.
Whist the universe is probably telling me to slow down, nothing will put me off or tell me I can’t do something. I won’t be sitting here on a couch resting, I am full steam ahead; I won’t let anything get in my way. I just see the positive of my injury. I will zoom around on my knee scooter and organise my daughters 8th birthday party knowing I have family and friends who will support or help me.
Being Christmas time, I will also be supporting my local shops and do some online shopping through friend’s or families small businesses. I now have such an appreciation for small, Australian owned and ethical businesses and the importance of supporting them.
Where did your passion to empower women come from?
My purpose and passion came from my power being taken away at a young age. That comes from being abused as a child from the age of 4 to 6 by a neighbour.
It also comes from growing up in a traditional family where the roles were clear for men and women. Dad ran his own business, my Mum mostly stayed at home to keep the household and our activities running. I was motivated by my dad to succeed in business and my pride and fashion sense came from Mum.
It was really important that I found equality in my own relationships, so I wanted to be with someone who would respect my passion for business, be present and involved with our kids and the emotional aspects of the family, as much as I would be putting a roof over our heads and contributing to our bills. I want this for all women – EQUALITY.
Having two daughters has emphasised this. I want them to know they can do anything in life, and they have both parents loving and invested in them.
The girls are at the age I was abused, so we focus on educating them around what is right and wrong without completely freaking them out. It is about educating them on what is acceptable, their privacy, safety, being body confident and strong.
They often challenge my authority as an adult, they question things and make me reflect, but that’s the ability I want them to have in life, in relationships and in business. I don’t want them hushed because they are children nor because they are girls.
How did you go from that purpose to becoming a stylist with Intimo and other roles?
These were all opportunities that came knocking at my door – whether it was Intimo, Breast Screening Victoria or Silver Fox Management. They have all given me so many learning opportunities as well as a platform to inspire other women.
Before Intimo I had tried so many small businesses. I have been a florist, a cake maker, interior designer and I even had a homewares pop up shop for a while. I always knew I wanted my own business, but Intimo came to me and it has opened up all these other avenues.
I wouldn’t be the person I am today without Intimo. They have exposed me to life & business coaches and both the personal & professional development has been instrumental to my growth. My business mentor Courtney D’Andrea knew I had something special to offer in this business, she created this opportunity for me and I will be forever grateful. She continues to be my inspiration and gives me the chance to empower other women whether it be through a well-fitting bra, guest speaking about body positivity, hosting workshops or developing and growing other team members. It has been a platform to voice my trauma – not as a victim but as a survivor, and by sharing my story I hope to inspire other women to stand in their power.
I get to make connections and share my vulnerabilities as I did presenting at a charity event recently to a room full of women in my underwear. I told my story, showing them that I turned out ok, allowing women to see how I embrace my lumps and bumps, it was an opportunity for everyone to let their guard down and support each other.
How do you value your time and manage it effectively?
I find it hard to switch off my business. I love it, I am so passionate about it. I am happy as a Mum, a wife and business owner, but I don’t give enough value time for myself. I would love to spend more quality time with my husband and put more effort into our relationship, but our attempt at a weekly lunch date didn’t stick!
I do value my time, I am very grateful for all the things I have and get to do in my life. Prior to doing my Achilles I was trying to get up early, walk on the beach and listen to my favourite podcast, that was gold and I loved it. But when I think about managing my time, I really could do better.
I have both paper and Outlook diaries with Mondays dedicated to meetings and so on. I have recently employed a legendary personal assistant who wants to get my systems sorted as there is so much going on in my day to day life.
In a small business you are in sales, the marketing department, accounts, the office manager and all these other things to run your own business as opposed to just going to work for someone else and being specifically sales or marketing. So, I feel my systems are not set up to support me running my own business.
I am always rushing. The night I did my Achilles I was going from 630pm game of netball to a 7pm workshop meeting. I didn’t want to let anyone down, so I tried to do both. When it snapped, it was my wake-up call. There are things I need to start saying no to and I can’t do everything.
I would like to make a commitment to switch off the phone when the kids come home from school. From 5-7pm its not a big ask to switch them off and be present. As a family we need to commit better to this. Especially where you have your own business and are always switched on.
How do you separate work and personal time?
I haven’t been since I started my business, it’s been predominately work. Thankfully my work is fun and very sociable.
I fly 15 hours a week, but flying is another social outlet. The guys and girls I fly with are awesome and I get paid to fly around the country and hang out with these people. “Chose a job (or jobs in my case) you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” – Confucius
I can also understand the areas in my life that can be easier or less stressful. I especially enjoy getting the Skybus to work that gives me time on the road that I don’t need to concentrate or negotiate the traffic. I can switch off and listen to a podcast or close my eyes and rest. Its half an hour in my day that I don’t have to be switched on.
What does your support network look like?
I have the biggest support network in every aspect of my life. My husband’s Mum and my parents are there for us in such a huge capacity. They will drop everything to help us out and for this we are so grateful.
We have lots of local friends in Port Melbourne. It’s a transient population and with many not having grown up here or having family close by, we become each other’s family. Once I ruptured my Achilles, we’ve been so fortunate to get meals and muffins dropped over. And so much assistance with getting the kids to and from commitments or school. Our local community are an amazing support, not just while I am injured, but all the time.
The people I have chosen to surround myself with in business are absolute legends, we are hardworking, inspired, like-minded women with passion and purpose. When we work together, the magic happens. I get great support from Intimo Head Office, it’s so nice to feel heard, respected and admired in an industry (fashion) that I adore.
I also have recently hired a gorgeous woman, Dallas from Gippsland, so working two hours away from me but she is happy working remotely with her two young boys at home. She supports me with marketing, emails, admin and my diary. We have only been working together for a short while, but I just know we were meant to meet (thanks to Emmylou) and work together.
I believe I surround myself with good people. I still have friends from school, previous jobs or sporting teams in my life. I believe friendships don’t need to mean you talk or see each other all the time, but just pick up where you left off – that’s a good relationship to me.
No matter what business you are in, you need to start with your network of friends and family. The majority of mine have been so instrumental in getting my business going.
What kind of conversations do you have with your inner voice?
I am very good at flipping the negative into positive. Apparently, we have 80,000 thoughts a day so it can be challenging.
Immediately after doing my Achilles, my first thought was I can’t fly. Then I thought, that’s ok I will build my business and have Christmas off with my kids. So, there is a positive. At 43 years old, I have never broken anything, I’ve always been healthy and cared for others, now it’s my turn to be cared for.
I am a glass half full girl. I do have my days (recently with the reality of being home overwhelmed me), but once I processed having 3 months off flying and allowing myself a pity party for one, I picked myself up and got on with it. I now see the opportunities I will have by focussing on my business, spending Christmas with my family and the first ever Jan School Holidays with my kids.
I am also freed up by the fact I don’t worry about what people think. I am happy in myself, my body, my family, my business, what I have achieved and what I have done to achieve it. I do need to be better with my time management. But I also believe you have to work hard to start up any business and I’m not about to pull back from that anytime soon. It’s just a juggle!
Do you have any time saving tips for the One P community?