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Redefin Inside t Lifestyl




By Simone R

By Jennifer Fa

Q&A with He

The Pow Life and

By Amy Mac


s Letter


o Set Goals oul


Driving Change from Head to Toe Interview with Donna de Zwart from Fitted for Work


Thinking Big and Dreaming Bigger


Top 5 Tips for How to Look Good and Feel Great in Front of the Camera


How Setbacks can Help You and What to do With Them

Q&A with Sarah Lajeunesse


ning Success: the Life of a le Entrepreneur


d Change

elen Green

wer of Women in d Business


By Anne Clark

54. Bloom and Prosper Q&A with Polly Farmer

Editor’s Letter


s a Branding idea for Shine Magazine came to life! It Photographer, was as clear in my mind as the images one of the I create. A quarterly magazine that things I love would give me a platform to share with most about my you the inspiration and insight these job is the many women collectively hold. A magazine women I meet not only filled with captivating stories, and connect but also complete with ideas, tips and with each day. Through the lens of my advice to help you build a business – a camera, I can capture only a snippet brand! – that lights you up. One you of their amazing love and are life spent following proud of. dreams, chasing goals and kicking I am so It’s often through arse. And I love inspired by hearing about other how each woman, the individual people’s journeys in their own right, stories featured has the ability to within the that we can become inspire others to pages of this RE-INSPIRED to shine. our first - issue of SHINE. continue along on For a long time You’ll see an our own. now, I’ve been overall theme trying to think of of authenticity, a way I can share grace, integrity, these women’s stories with a wider courage and sisterhood. With sage audience—a way to give you a window advice and personal stories, my guests behind the scenes. I believe (and know share about getting started, taking risks, from personal experience) it’s often uncovering truths, pushing through through hearing about other people’s fears and ultimately celebrating the journeys that we can become remagic we are all capable of. inspired to continue along on our own, through all its ups and downs. I hope within the pages of SHINE you receive as much inspiration as I do, and One day, while I was enjoying some that you’ll understand why I felt driven downtime in the country with my to create this platform. May you feel family, what had been a slow-burning more encouraged and motivated to ember was suddenly ignited and the step up in your business and gain more



confidence in what you do, whether that’s through your own professional images or knowledge gleaned from these pages and the many talented women I’ve been privileged to work with. We all have incredible talents to share with the world. I’m honoured to share the experiences and insight of entrepreneurial women at the different stages of their business journey. Wherever you’re at in yours – the start, in the growth phase, or at the top of your game and ready for more prepare to be inspired to SHINE. Enjoy!

Fi Mims | Photographer + Editor



Contributors Jennifer Faulkner Jennifer Faulkner is a lawyer turned lifestyle entrepreneur, content maven, and founder of Word Symmetry. During her off-time, if she’s not curled up on the sofa with a great book or working on a creative project, you’ll find her either in, on or by the ocean.

Amy Mackenzie Founder of Designing her Life, Amy Mackenzie is the “go-to” Life Coach for girl bosses, change-makers and women in biz. She is also co-founder of Solopreneur Society, an online community that cultivates connection, support and sisterhood for female entrepreneurs. Her heart dances between her businesses, travelling the world, soulful conversations and making memories with her loved ones.

Simone Russell Simone Russell is a registered occupational therapist, life transformation coach, spiritual and self-love mentor and proud mumma to Yogamona, a meeting place for full hearts, happy souls, healthy bodies and clear minds, offering eco-friendly yoga wear, soul-inspired accessories, and holistic retreats. With her passion for all things body, mind and spirit, Simone empowers others to live a life of joy.



Helen Green Founder and Director of Career Confident, Helen believes success is personally defined. Known for her warmth and engaging approach, she helps people navigate the evolving education and employment landscape to find fulfilment in their lives. Imagine waking up to a role you love. With more than two decades’ experience in management and mentoring, Helen can help make that happen.

Sarah Lajeunesse Sarah Lajeunesse is a lifestyle and wellness coach committed to guiding and supporting women out of stress, overwhelm and uncertainty, and into lives they absolutely adore. An internationally certified life coach from the Beautiful You Coaching Academy, Sarah has a degree in marketing with a minor in social responsibility from the University of Lethbridge.

Polly Farmer Polly is a mother of three and former primary school teacher who has a love for flowers, interior design and all things pretty. She started her unique flower business Piccolo & Peony thanks to her immense love of freshly cut flowers, and the enjoyment she gets from showing someone she cares.

Anne Clark Anne Clark is a Business and Life Coach, and a Virtual Assistant. Anne guides and supports women in business enabling them to be more purposefully aligned, find their work/life balance and streamline their processes and systems. She loves being able to combine her business expertise and life coaching skills to work with her clients to get the results they desire.





y a d r e t s e Y



can’t believe it’s already May! I’m curious, did you set any New Year’s resolutions as the clock ticked over on January 1st? If so, can you even remember what they are?

Studies tell us that only 8% of people who set New Year’s resolutions actually go on to achieve them. Not a great statistic, right? So why is it that over 90% of people who set resolutions every year don’t quite get there? Is it the resolution itself, the sneaky sabotage or procrastination, lack of consistent action or a fear of failure that prevents us from achieving them? Or is it all of the above and more...? Resolutions are frequently restrictive, limiting, and come from a place of scarcity rather than abundance. They often involve major life changes like “to

quit XYZ” (insert alcohol, smoking, sugar), to lose weight, spend less money, exercise more or meditate daily. A solid action plan is infrequently mapped out, let alone implemented, and support is rarely sought out. Resolutions also tend to be spontaneous and unrealistic. They lack a deeper meaning and are generally based on expectations or outcomes we think will bring us joy. Even if we fall into that lucky 8%, we are often left feeling unfulfilled. When people set resolutions and get stuck on the end game, it’s easy to forget about the journey, the dayto-day experiences and the precious moments in between that enrich our life. If you want to sneak into that 8% this year and create a life you truly love, here are my top tips on how to turn your resolutions into goals with soul!



1. Reflect.

4. Take inspired action.

Check in with what’s working well and what isn’t working well in your life. What are the areas that stand out for you? Spend some time reviewing your last year, but don’t forget to acknowledge your achievements and successes as well.

Action creates clarity and the only way to move forward is to take consistent, daily action. Do something every day that brings you closer to what you desire.

2. Lead with your heart, not your head.

Recognise that with positive change comes resistance, sabotage, procrastination and fear of failure. Don’t let this hold you back. Keep your inner critic in check and reframe any limiting beliefs by turning “I can’t” into “I can” and “I’m not enough” into “I am enough”.

Ask yourself how you want to feel when you wake up, as you go about your day and when you slide into bed at night. When we observe how we want to feel, we can allow this to drive our intentions and daily choices rather than simply going through the day blindly. The idea is to feel more joy in our daily lives, not just once we achieve a goal.

5. Tame your inner critic.

6. Accountability.

Find an accountability buddy, declare your intentions publicly, hire a coach 3. Set crystal clear intentions. or seek out a support network to cheer you along the way. It’s a lonely road otherwise and you want to set yourself Write a list of your intentions. Then narrow them down and focus on just one up for success from the start. or two. What is it that you truly desire Resolutions, goals and intentions are in your life? When doing this exercise, essential in closing the gap between aim to have a mindset of abundance where we are now and where we want rather than limitation. For example, to be. Yet poorly set goals can guarantee if weight loss is your goal, what are you will be in the 92% who don’t create you seeking by losing weight? What positive, lasting change. feeling are you chasing? Is it better selfesteem, a sense of freedom, to attract Be clear, realistic, heart-centred and an ideal partner, to be a better role take consistent action and you’re model for your children? Check in with halfway there. You can do this! Make the meaning behind your intentions. Also, observe if they are your intentions this year the year you say yes to living an incredible life and set goals or if they’re derived from society or a family member’s expectations and don’t with soul. It’s time to say goodbye to resolutions that don’t work. necessarily serve you.



“Resolutions are frequently

restrictive, limiting, and come from a place of scarcity rather than abundance.

Simone Russell Simone Russell is a registered occupational therapist, life transformation coach, spiritual and self-love mentor and proud mumma to Yogamona [yogamona. com.au], a meeting place for full hearts, happy souls, healthy bodies and clear minds, offering eco-friendly yoga wear, soul-inspired accessories, and holistic retreats. With her passion for all things body, mind and spirit, Simone empowers others to release their fears, self-doubt and limiting beliefs to rise up and live a life of joy. You can connect with Simone on Facebook, the Soulful Goals Community or join the Nurture Nourish Flourish 5-day yoga & wellness retreat in Bali.









Redefining Success: INSIDE THE LIFE OF A LIFESTYLE ENTREPRENEUR By Jennifer Faulkner


f you’ve ever wondered about leaving a secure corporate role to make the uncertain transition into the life of an entrepreneur, let me invite you into my world … It’s close to midday and my beautiful blue point ragdoll Bree, is curled up on my lap. She is a sweet and gentle soul. Her soft coat feels like silk and is so weightless a single fur can float suspended in the air. Outside my loungeroom window, surrounded by garden, the sky is a clear blue and I can hear the ocean in the background. Nature reminds me why I continue to choose this life when the fast-paced corporate world beckons me back to the city. Sometimes it’s an ongoing duel of competing temptations in my mind, but so far my coastal lifestyle remains victorious. Deep down, under my corporate exterior, I have a sensitive heart. My ego doesn’t want me to admit to that. After all, what if someone judges me?

What if people perceive me as weak? What if a future employer finds out and my career in corporate is over once and for all?!! But I say, what if I continue dancing to everybody else’s tune and completely miss out on dancing to the inescapable beauty of my own? Can someone else’s opinion of me really be that important?... No, not today. That hasn’t always been the case though. I grew up not really knowing what I wanted to do. I’m an intelligent and driven woman, so despite not finishing high school (but that’s a story for another day), I set my sights on one of society’s most illustrious careers—a lawyer. I worked in a mid-tier CBD firm while I studied and finally became admitted in the Supreme Court of Victoria. It was the proudest day of my life. There I stood in my ‘power suit’ in the very courtroom where Ned Kelly was tried and sentenced to death back in 1880. Yet, I still felt empty. I practised law for a while and



loved helping people, but over time the adversarial nature of litigation wore me down. I knew there was more to life and I wanted to help people see that. I wanted to lift people up and inspire them to greatness; to make connections, have fun and enjoy life, and to revel in the preciousness that surrounds us. I’m a lover not a lawyer. I’m driven to succeed, but I also love to bask in the creative energy of stillness. This is a balance I’ve been able to better cultivate in recent years, though I’ve long valued a deeper meaning in life. When I was 23, my sweet daughter Shayna passed away at the age of 18 months. She was vivacious, adoring and the most incredible little person I’ve been blessed to have in my life. She was also the reason why I decided to study law. Even as short as her life was, it was a gift. She helped shape the woman I am today. My experiences in life have taught me to savour opportunity, to believe in possibility, and to see beauty in the smallest things. She also taught me the significance of true leadership.

leaders of tomorrow are being shaped. From my experience in family law and as a mother, the daily responsibility of parenthood can easily overshadow the positive change in the world we contribute to on a micro-level simply by being present, listening to our children; seeing them. Ordinary men and women, both parents and teachers, are on the frontline leading by example. Do we want emotionally intelligent leaders? We need to learn how to effectively process the experience of our own emotional sensations. Do we want equality in our boardrooms? We need to be mindful of the masculine and feminine roles we demonstrate at home and in society. Do we want equal distribution of wealth? We need to encourage children to play, explore, create, learn different cultures, and enjoy what is most meaningful to them. Instead of asking “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, ask “what would you love to keep doing when you grow up?”. Show them their worth isn’t based on the grade they receive. Allow them to be open to their own abundance, in whatever form that takes.

“When life gives

you lemons, make Lemon Crème Brûlée.

To me, leadership extends beyond the boardroom and the most important change—for better or worse—is being created in the family home where our





The best advice my mother ever gave me was that I could be anything I wanted to be. Sometimes the most difficult thing is working out just what that is! I liked variety so much, sometimes I would slow down toward the end of a running race just to get a different coloured ribbon! So, as you could imagine, I changed my mind a lot. But life itself becomes our muse. It provides us with a lavish variety of experiences from which to draw inspiration. The heights and depths we go through are what make our lives authentic and meaningful. It’s what gives value to our story and allows others to connect with us on a deeper level. I became something my culture deemed successful, but it didn’t serve me. Now I’m choosing to define my own meaning of success. I love being able to give my clients a safe space to

explore, create and dream, regardless of the industry they’re in. Then it’s my role to work with their voice, wisdom and expertise, and interweave these threads into a rich tapestry to invoke in their audience a sense of connection and trust. When we have the courage to be real and to own our value, we naturally feel more confident, centred and connected. That experience filters out through all areas of our lives and THAT is when we can effect greater change in the world. Now it’s more important than ever. The world needs you to have the courage to tap into your internal source of power and share it with the people you feel called to help. It’s time to give yourself permission to shine brighter and stop diminishing yourself in response to the expectations of others. The primary objective in my business is for my clients to feel 100% supported in living their legacy.

Jennifer Faulkner Jennifer Faulkner is a lawyer turned lifestyle entrepreneur, content maven, and founder of Word Symmetry. Combining professional communication expertise with creative impact, she works with entrepreneurs and business owners worldwide to achieve symmetry across their brand, message and personality. During her off-time, if she’s not curled up on the sofa with a great book or working on a creative project, you’ll find her either in, on or by the ocean. To learn how Jennifer can help your business communicate better, get in touch via her website or on social media @wordsymmetry and LinkedIn.



Q&A 20


n e e r G n e l e with H



Tell us about your business? Who are your clients and why do they choose you? Career Confident is a boutique careers service aimed at providing qualified and affordable careers counselling, tertiary course advice and job search support. I provide people with the direction they need to develop strong personal insights, harness their strengths and acquire the confidence and know-how to manage their careers now and into the future. My key client groups are students and graduates, as well as anybody who is considering a career or work/life change. I also provide consulting services for professional bodies, helping them to establish effective mentoring programs to benefit their members. We each have the resources we need to create change in our lives and I feel very privileged to support people in this way. Work impacts our lives so much. I’ve personally been through various experiences throughout my career and family life, and clients appreciate my ability to empathise with them at the same time as giving them knowledgeable advice. I have been quite humbled

by the feedback and word-of-mouth referrals I receive. Clients tell me how much they appreciate my friendly, honest and constructive approach because I have a genuine interest in their lives and the willingness to go the extra mile.

What inspired you to start your business, and how long did it take from conception to reality? I have always wanted a career that would challenge me intellectually and benefit others. After University, I started my working life in the criminal justice and legal/government arena, then worked at Melbourne University for many years. This was where I developed a strong interest in career development and mentoring. I’ve always felt passionate about running a business that could make a difference in people’s lives. So, with a good deal of work and life experience behind me and both of my boys at secondary school, the timing was right. This is not to say it was an easy decision. I did my research, gathered practical support and tried to



surround myself with positive people who believed in my vision. Terrified and excited in equal parts, I took the plunge and launched Career Confident. From conception to reality, it took around nine months and I love it.

Your business is still quite young. What did you find was the biggest challenge in starting out? Well, where do I start?! Getting known and promoting Career Confident was the biggest challenge initially and, as expected, it was a case of trial and error. I also underestimated the amount of administrative work involved in running a business. In this business, I’ve been taken out of my comfort zone more times than I care to remember! But, though challenging, it has helped me to grow. I learn something new every day so I am living my mantra of lifelong learning.

Listening to others and hearing their stories helped me consolidate ideas, be mindful of common pitfalls and be clearer in defining what my business stands for. This process is ongoing as I am continually identifying areas I need to learn more about.

What’s your favourite thing about owning & operating your own business? Having my independence. I manage Career Confident in accordance with my values and I set the direction of my business. I also love to write, so I’ve really enjoyed writing career-related blogs and articles, some of which have been published externally (very exciting!). With two very sporty and busy teenagers, having the flexibility to see clients around my family commitments means a lot to me too.

“We each have the resources we need to create change in our lives.

What sort of support did you find offered the most help in setting things up? How? Seeking advice from others was paramount and I did; from other consultants, trusted friends, prospective clients and former colleagues. I even tested some ideas on my teenage sons – you can imagine the engaged response!



Least favourite? The back end of running a business is more time consuming than I expected. Improvements will happen in 2017!

What is one piece of advice you would offer to someone about to embark on their business idea? Sorry, I have a few … Be realistic, patient, resilient and speak to as many

people as you can, including those in your target client/customer group. When you do your research thoroughly, your business plan will be well informed and you can make better business decisions.

enormous satisfaction from helping people and staying up-to-date with developments in the world of work. I feel privileged to have met and learned from many fabulous people who are my clients.

Seek help when you need it. We can’t all be experts in everything. Don’t panic if your business starts slowly.

What are you excited about?

Believe in yourself and the quality of your work/product and client referrals will come. Always celebrate the small wins and don’t isolate yourself. Collaboration with others running complementary ventures can work and be a win-win.

In what ways has your work impacted your life? I am busy, challenged and love steering Career Confident. Whilst not without its obstacles, running my own business has given me more flexibility, and I gain

The future and the possibilities—it’s the only way to be. Research and development fascinates me too ... just imagine some of the innovative jobs children who are born today will be doing in years to come!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? This is a hard one. I plan to further grow and expand my business to a wider audience. I am always open to opportunity. I tend not to over-plan as I’ve discovered life has too many unexpected curve balls.

Helen Green Founder and Director of Career Confident, Helen Green is a thoughtful and engaging careers practitioner, mentor program facilitator and professional member of the Career Development Association of Australia. She helps people to navigate the evolving education and employment landscape and find fulfillment in their lives. Helen believes success is personally defined. Imagine how excited you’ll feel to wake up to a job you actually enjoy! With more than two decades’ experience in management and mentoring, Helen can help make that happen. Connect with her at Career Confident or on Facebook. shineonlinemagazine





Life+ s s e n i Bus By Amy Mackenzie

“The empowered woman is powerful beyond measure and beautiful beyond description.” Steve Maraboli


s a life coach for heart-centred change makers, coaches and women in business, I know the power of women coming together, in both their dreams and their fears. I have seen and experienced first-hand the magic of a woman transformed by the support of other women behind her. This is the power of women empowering women. Now, more than ever, we are feeling the pull to be a part of something bigger. We are craving more connection, support and sisterhood. Yet there’s still a deep fear lingering of not being enough. Underlying

thoughts that if another woman shines brighter, she will dull our light. We can get caught in competition rather than connection. We let old ways of thinking, past programming and limiting beliefs keep us in the comparison lane. And many of us avoid fully opening up, putting our heart on the line or becoming a truly empowered woman. Why? Because to do this, would take courage. It would mean letting go of your fears, negative self-talk and ‘lack’ mentality. It would mean having enough self-confidence, belief and trust to own who you are and what is meant for you in this lifetime. Empowering other women begins when you become an empowered woman. It is time to turn inward sweetheart and become the woman you truly are. It is time to live a life of less judgement, less fear and less comparison. It is time



to invite in more love, acceptance and connection. Below I am going to share a few key areas to help you become an empowered woman in both life and business so you can, in turn, empower others too.

CHOOSE CONNECTION OVER COMPETITION IN LIFE + BUSINESS. Often the women we admire the most are the ones we’re most afraid of. Why? Because they offer a reflection of what we want for ourselves. This can often trigger unconscious feelings of jealousy, fear and envy. To keep us safe from these feelings, our brain focuses on judgement as a coping mechanism so we feel better about our own life or situation. It may work for a short time, but pretty quickly we are left feeling not only empty for what we still don’t have, but guilty for tearing down another woman who is shining in her own right.

“Now, more than

ever, we are feeling the pull to be a part of something bigger. We are craving more connection, support and sisterhood. 26


We’ve all experienced the feeling of jealousy and judgement. In fact, it is said to be a natural emotion or reaction. I don’t believe it has to be. Or rather, I believe we have another option. Instead of seeing these women as our competition, we can see their greatness as an opportunity for our own. We can choose connection over competition. We can celebrate another’s success without it taking away from our own. Imagine a world where we actually cheered each other on and helped each other to achieve our dreams, instead of fighting to get to the finish line. I’ve connected and collaborated with

“We can choose connection

over competition. We can celebrate another’s success without it taking away from our own. And then I challenge you to take it one step further, reach out to them. Congratulate them on their success, tell them how they inspire you. Hell, ask them if they would like to connect or collaborate with you in the future! many women in business, and magic happens when we come together in this way. It also opened me up to my biggest collaboration yet with my new business partner, Laura Banks. That’s why a large part of my role is to help other women succeed. It’s a beautiful feeling when sharing in another woman’s success and happiness adds to your own, instead of diminishing it. This is truly a mindset shift. Working through the fears and beliefs that come up for you around this can begin by starting to pay attention to how you feel when you look at the women who inspire you. What they are doing? If it sparks a feeling (even if it’s small) of jealousy or self-doubt, investigate that. Don’t judge yourself or try to ignore it. Question it: Why do I feel this way? What is this showing me about myself ? What do I really want for my own life or business? How do I want to feel?

Let their successes fuel your own lady.

HOW TO DEVELOP A SOULFUL TRIBE OF LIKE-MINDED WOMEN, FELLOW ENTREPRENEURS AND SISTERS. There aren’t a lot of certainties when starting or building your own business. You will be challenged and tested in so many ways. But, one thing that is always in your control is how you choose to show up and treat others.

1. Start with your relationship with self. Before you can look outside for your soul sister, you need to get to know and love the one who is already inside of you. It is not until you can be kind to yourself,



treat yourself with respect, compassion and understanding, and truly love yourself, that you can really give and receive the same from others. This includes self-talk, self-care, self-beliefs, confidence and worth but also knowing yourself—your personality, what you love, what makes you tick, what interests you etc. This is your starting point and it is a beautiful place to begin.

2. Where to find these incredible, likeminded women Think about where they might be hanging out (both online and in person). When you put yourself out there to find your ideal clients or customers, it is the same for your potential soul sisters and tribe. With the clarity you’ve gained from getting to know yourself as a starting point, you can then create a list of places you think might be aligned, such as social media groups, events, cafés. If you love health and fitness, maybe you could start by chatting to the woman beside you at your next yoga or gym class!

3.Once you’ve met them, how do you make deep, lasting connections? If you would like relationships that are deep and sustaining, it’s time to get real, raw and VULNERABLE. This isn’t about airing your dirty laundry to the woman on the yoga mat next to you. Show interest, be open and allow the relationship time to cultivate trust. In truth, the only way to really connect



with others and have any chance of creating a “ride or die” tribe is to be 100% yourself. Open your heart and share a piece of you that allows the other person (or people) to get to know you on a deeper level. Remember, deep soul connections can take time, however they are much more likely to happen if you know and love yourself, you’re looking in the right places, and you’re putting yourself out there in a real and vulnerable way. Lead the way, be the kind of woman you want to be surrounded by. Set the tone for others in your business and even your industry. Always ask yourself how you would like to be treated and do your best to lead the way. This is most definitely the sign of an empowered woman.

“I didn’t always know what I wanted to do, but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be” Diane Von Furstenberg

Amy Mackenzie Founder of Designing her Life, Amy Mackenzie is the “go-to” Life Coach for girl bosses, change-makers and women in biz. She is also co-founder of Solopreneur Society, an online community that cultivates connection, support and sisterhood for female entrepreneurs. Amy coaches women to own their voice, boost their self-confidence and take inspired action toward a life and business they love. Her heart dances between her businesses, travelling the world, soulful conversations and making memories with her loved ones. You can join the Inspired Entrepreneurs & Co private Facebook community or be inspired socially on the DHL Facebook page or Instagram account @designingherlife.

“Deep soul connections can

take time, however they are much more likely to happen if you know and love yourself, you’re looking in the right places, and you’re putting yourself out there in a real and vulnerable way.



r e k a m e g n a Ch w e i v r Inte

Driving Change from Head to Toe, with Donna de Zwart from Fitted for Work Interview by Fi Mims

Fitted for Work is an organisation that helps women experiencing disadvantage to both find and keep work. The CEO, Donna de Zwart, understands the dignity that work can bring to a woman, and she believes that when women are Fitted for Work, they are Fitted for Life. I recently met with her at the Fitted for Work offices in Melbourne’s CBD, to hear firsthand about the inspirational work this organisation does.

Fi: Donna, Fitted for Work is an amazing organisation that supports and helps women in a variety of ways. Can you tell me, in your own words, about Fitted for Work and what it does? Donna: Absolutely. In short, we have two strategic goals. We work with women who are experiencing disadvantage and help them into employment. We then support them to keep that employment. We work with women aged from 16 to 65, and in that, we see the whole spectrum of human experience. There’s a perception that these women only come from low socioeconomic areas, but the reality is we see women who have PhD’s, we see women



who haven’t finished high school, women who are refugees and migrants, women who have escaped domestic violence— and we know domestic violence happens across all socioeconomic spheres. We also see a growing number of women in their mid-50s through to mid-60s who, for whatever reason, end up without work. Their role may be made redundant, or perhaps they’ve had to take a couple of years off to care for elderly parents or recover from a health issue, and then they’re unable to get back into the workforce. Bad things can happen to good people, and it’s not necessarily because people have made bad choices. Life happens, and if we don’t have the support networks, sometimes women can find themselves alone and without that economic security from employment. We want to see women able to choose the life they want to live. Fi: You’ve been with the organisation for over two years. What changes have you helped drive in that time? Donna: Like many not-for-profits when they start, you start with a beautiful

vision around wanting to help as many people as you can. When I began I was driven by our mission, practising what we were preaching to the women that we see - talking to women about their value and their worth, and teaching them that if they don’t put a value on themselves, no-one else will. We needed to implement that value at an organisational level as well, because even though we’re a not-for-profit, what we do contributes to the Australian

economy. So we needed to ensure financial sustainability, because 75% of our funding is from volatile funding sources. We never know how much we’re going to get from year to year, so it’s really hard to plan, really hard to grow. Fi: How do you manage that? Donna: It’s hard, and it’s why we established our two social enterprises. Through Conscious Closet we on-sell clothing that we can’t use. That might



be because it’s not appropriate for the women we’re working with, or because we like to keep the stock moving all the time so women feel that they have the most up-to-date, most beautiful selection of what comes through the door. Then the second social enterprise that we have is called She Works, and that’s where we connect women directly with employers. We see over 3,000 women a year, and so that’s an enormous pool of work-ready women who traditional recruitment models aren’t interested in. That may be because they’ve got a big gap in their resume, they may have mental health issues, need to care for elderly parents, or English isn’t their first language – all reasons that might exclude them from traditional recruitment models. We have a brilliant bank of women who are ready to work, and we find the employers who are looking for them so we can connect them directly with the employer. Fi: Statistically, women are known to be one of the most loyal employees too, aren’t they? Donna: So loyal! And women appreciate the value that work’s going to give them. It’s not just the monetary side of things, it’s also what it gives

them in terms of their self-esteem. It’s a ripple effect. Once a woman has work, is earning an income and values herself more, guess what? She goes home, she’s a better parent, she’s more engaged with her community and she’s happier. Ultimately too, it’s about the value we make to the Australian economy. The statistics prove that if we get more women working, it has a massive impact on our GDP. Fi: I totally agree with the effect you say work can have on us as women. My daughter sometimes complains when I work, and I always say to her, “I want you to have a mum that loves what she does and is proud to work, and that you’ll be like that when you grow up as well.” I also love that you use the word dignity a lot when you talk about what you do for women, because it is such a big part of it. Donna: As women, I don’t believe we’re very good at asking for help. We wait until we’re in absolute crisis mode, because we help everybody else first. We see women when they’re at their lowest. Often there’s a lot of shame around having to ask for help. There shouldn’t be, but there is. And that’s why I think it’s so important that all women tell their stories. Like you were referring to with the role-modelling you’re doing for your daughter, when we see women gain employment we often get stories around “now my daughter looks at me differently/my son thinks of me differently/my kids see I’m happier in myself ”. There’s a beautiful saying which goes like, “Everybody needs to wake up with something to do, something to look



resume, but the really important stuff is the internal conversation that’s going on for her. That’s where we run our Womankind program; an intensive woman-to-woman training program based on the principles of well-being and positive psychology. forward to and someone to love”. I think that’s so true for a happy life. You need to feel of value and of worth, but you have to put that value on yourself. Fi: You’ve talked about what Fitted for Work does in a big picture sense. Could you go into more detail about the work the organisation does for women? Donna: We have many touchpoints and a whole range of services we offer. It very much depends on where a woman’s at in her journey into work. Often, the first point of contact will be the boutique. When a woman’s referred to us, she’s greeted by two volunteers who are trained in not only styling, but also in understanding what disadvantage is, because it can come in so many different forms. A conversation will start, and she might be needing some clothes because she has to go for a job interview and has nothing appropriate. Over the course of the conversation her story comes out, we might learn that she hasn’t worn a dress for 20 years, or that she’s been a victim of domestic violence. Often she’s not going to get a job straightaway, so we might plug her into all the other services that we offer. They range from resume workshops to presentation workshops, interview skills, that type of thing. That helps to address the external stuff. We coach them how to perform well in an interview, help her look gorgeous, build her a great

We ask her what her hopes and dreams are (you’d be fascinated to know how rarely a woman is asked that question). And from there, we can start to create a bit of a plan. We work through all those things that we might take for granted. For example, understanding what rest really means; how to look after your body through nutrition and exercise; what mindfulness is; how to look after your mental health; financial health. We look at all those things because once a woman gets into a job we want to make sure she stays there, and the best way to stay there is to be the best version of herself. Then the other service that we offer is our mentoring program - volunteers who we’ve trained to mentor our clients. Imagine you start a job and get through your probationary period, you’re able to hold it together and then two weeks later the kids are both sick, you’re a single parent, you don’t have any support. It’s all too hard, you decide you’re just going to throw it in. And that’s where your mentor might say, “Well, hang on. You’ve got parental leave that you can access, let’s talk about your support networks.” So we provide someone who can talk them through those challenges in work. Because that myth around separating work and life, I don’t think that exists anymore. Life can be overwhelming and sometimes things you face might impact your job. How do you navigate that, how do you manage that?



Fi: Was the support and counselling part of Fitted for Work always there from the start, or did the organisation discover it was needed as time went on?

Our mentors can help women through that process. Fi: Do you stay in touch with women once you have helped them find work? Does this happen through your mentor program? Donna: Our mentor programme is part of how it happens but it’s actually a real challenge to stay in touch. Because even if women work with us, even if we create a beautiful environment around them, if they feel shame (How did I get here? How did I live in that abusive relationship for 20 years? How did I let that happen to me? I can’t believe I don’t have any money), they just want to move on. Once they get that job they want to leave that part of their life behind and move on. But that’s where I think we get it wrong as women, just wanting to move on from bad decisions we’ve made. As we get older I believe we have to share our stories, because we need younger women to know that we all make mistakes. We all have bad stuff that happens but we need to share how we get through that, our resilience. Often we see someone who’s successful and we think, “Well, she’s got it all together,” but we all know we don’t - we’re just not very good at sharing those stories.



Donna: The services expanded. Our organisation started with two founders, Marion Webster and Renata Singer, who were travelling together in New York. They were wondering what the next phase of their life was going to be, and they wanted to give back and do something meaningful. It literally started in their garage and they just asked their friends if they had any clothes that weren’t needed. Knowing they had tonnes of stuff in their wardrobes that they didn’t wear, they wanted to use the outfits to help some women who were really struggling. From there, it just grew. It’s phenomenal because we’ve never advertised what we do. We don’t have an advertising budget, it’s all word of mouth. Then, as we grew we realised that part of the need went beyond the external stuff. We realised we had to address the internal conversation as well, and I think that’s really the most important part. Fi: What do you find are the biggest hurdles facing women today? Donna: I think there are lots of factors. There’s no one size fits all and it also depends on the stage a woman is at in her life. If you are climbing the corporate ladder and looking at re-entry, it might be around trying to get yourself into a leadership role and the doors aren’t opening for you, or around equal pay because we know that the gap gets bigger the higher up women go. Or you could be someone who has just lost her husband and you’re trying to find a job, re-negotiate your mortgage, look after

your kids. Child care costs could also be a big issue. We can help create this ecosystem of things that all line up to help women, but fundamentally I think the biggest barrier is respect. Fi: Running Fitted For Work would take a lot of time and energy. What sort of roles do the staff here have, and how many are there? Donna: We’ve got approximately 15 paid staff, and only seven of those are full time. Of the others, they might be part time one day a week. Then we have between 250 and 300 volunteers. That’s between our two sites – here in Melbourne and the second one in Parramatta, Sydney. The roles vary from face-to-face support, IT and finance, training and management of volunteers, running the boutique, coordinating our training programs, marketing and communications etc. We have professional expertise in all those areas and I think that’s one of the reasons why we’ve been so successful. Many people within the organisation will have three or four roles! Fundraising is a big thing for us, fundraising and grants. Because whilst we’re building up the ability to earn our own revenue, we still need to keep that other income source from trusts and foundations. But like I said, it’s volatile. Heaven help us if there’s a terrible earthquake in Nepal right when we’ve got our annual fundraising appeal. All the overheads and challenges that any other business would have, we still have as well. That’s possibly the biggest challenge for us, because a lot

of people don’t realise that not-forprofits still have to operate just like a business. I can’t run at a loss at the end of the year, I still have to pay salaries and operate as a business. But we don’t get access to the same things that a normal business would. If we have a tight period, I can’t go to the bank and say, “I need an overdraft.” We’re held to an incredibly high standard in terms of how we operate as a business, so it’s a real challenge to be able to pull all of that together. Fi: Are you always looking for more volunteers? If people want to get involved, how can they? Donna: Absolutely, and we have lots of different roles within the organisation from sorting stock through to working directly with clients, working with Conscious Closet and our mentoring program. And then we have professional volunteering. For example, if you’re a marketing expert and we’ve got a little project that we need doing, often we’ll have volunteers come in and help us with that sort of thing. Fi: Many of the women that have taken part in my fundraiser for Fitted for Work have commented that they would love to work with the organisation in some way, but they just don’t have the time. Donna: People can come and physically help us, but don’t ever underestimate the value that a donation brings. I think sometimes people feel a bit guilty, perhaps thinking that if they just give us money they are not really helping, like they’re not physically doing anything, but you have no idea what a difference that makes.



Fi: That’s a great point. So where do you see Fitted for Work in five years’ time? Donna: Our big goal now is around our social enterprise She Works. In five years, I would like to see at least 50% of our income coming from our social enterprise, so the focus is not on trusts and foundations, and we’re truly walking the talk around our own economic security. I’d really like us to be a model for women around what we do. And I’d like us to also have some government recognition as to our contribution to the Australian economy. We don’t currently receive any government funding. Fi: Earlier you touched on the importance of women sharing their stories. Do you have a story? Donna: Yes, absolutely. I got married very young to a man who was abusive and an alcoholic. After 10 years, I left that relationship with our two small children. But then he got very sick and I had to care for him, and he died. The financial mess that we were left in, I can’t even begin to tell you—claiming bankruptcy, losing everything, and then being on my own in the city with two children. I understand where the women we help are coming from. The difference with my story is, I kept working. I never stopped working. I don’t know why but not working was never an option for me, as hard as it was. I sometimes think it would’ve been easier to stop working, but I also think it’s what kept me going. Turning up to work every day helps you leave problems behind. There’s always someone to give you a smile and



reassure you that you’re doing a great job. Now, I’m in a position where I can give back. Fi: Was that what inspired you to take this role? Donna: I never aspired to be a CEO. I never even had a career plan. Things just happened. I think it was because I was given an opportunity by some other women who saw potential in me where I didn’t. The role came up and someone said, “You really need to go for this role”, so I did. I never thought I stood a chance. But I ended up getting the role and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done, because it allows me to use my heart and my head. Fi: If you could click your fingers and change one thing for women right now, what would it be? Donna: Representation. We don’t have enough women in leadership roles, we don’t have enough women represented in government, and until that happens I don’t believe we will see real change. Because we don’t have a voice. We have men speaking for us, and maybe with good intention, but that’s not what we want. To learn more about Fitted for Work, visit fittedforwork.org. Fi Mims Photography is currently collaborating with Business in Heels to raise money for Fitted for Work. If you are a woman in business and would like to take part, please visit Portraits Of Inspiration.

Q&A 38



e s s e n u e j a L h a r a S with

Tell us about your business? How did you get started?

I’m a lifestyle & wellness coach and I help women reclaim their confidence, courage and cultivate self-love. The work that I do is all about reminding women of their innate capabilities and potential (especially on the days they forget it themselves) so they stop settling for a life less than what they’re capable of living. I worked for over a decade towards a corporate career in professional sports and began feeling emotionally and spiritually bankrupt on a day-to-day basis. I worked all hours of the day because I associated my worth with the success of my career and as a result, I stopped making time for all of the important things in life, including my relationships, health and wellness, nutrition and physical activity. I was living with a constant amount of stress and eventually I started suffering from anxiety attacks. When one had me sobbing, shaking and vomiting uncontrollably on a yoga studio changeroom floor, that was the moment I realised that, unless I made the decision to change my life, I would one day be on my death-bed reflecting how

I’d spent my entire life completely out of alignment with what was important to me. In going through my own process, I realised I wanted to help other women do the same. Women who felt maybe lost, stuck or even paralysed with fear of the changes they wanted to make in their lives. I provide these women with the guidance, support and encouragement they need to keep them moving forward.

Who are your clients and why do they choose you? My clients range from their early 20’s up to their early 60’s. One thing I’ve learned is that suffering shows up differently in each and every single one of us (whether it’s stress, anxiety, living out of alignment with your purpose and passions, or not feeling like you’re scratching the surface of your potential or capability). It has no age restrictions. Fear and suffering affects us all. If someone has the desire, urgency, commitment and a “whatever it takes” type of attitude, then I love to help them make the transition from where



they are to where they want to be. I think my clients feel drawn to working with me because they can sense I’ve walked this path and I’m authentic with my coaching. I have had the difficult conversations I needed to have. I’ve made amends with my past. I’ve put in the time, energy and effort to continue to show up on a day-to-day basis as my best self, and this reflects through my coaching. I believe if you’re not being authentic or walking your talk by doing what you recommend and teach to your clients, then they’ll sense that.

a row - I have squirrels, and they are at a rave.” I don’t know who said it or else I would quote them but it’s brilliant and that’s what I feel business is to me. It’s a constant learning curve. It’s terrifying at times, and in complete and utter shambles at others, but it’s so incredibly empowering. I wouldn’t be doing anything else. I am also learning that the “wing it” approach I’ve used my whole life doesn’t quite work with managing a business, so I am learning how to be more organised!

“Once you have

The most beautiful I know what it feels transition I think like to live a life I’ve witnessed incongruent with my in myself is just beliefs and values. allowing myself to It’s not a complete trust my intuition life. Whether it be on what feels right a career, lifestyle, for me. When I relationship or first started, I was business change really trying to fit you want, there are into the mould universal principles that will allow you to of other life coaches. I found myself succeed, grow and evolve into the person observing the successful ones and used you’re meant to become—the one you to think I needed to be, say and do the already are at your core—and I just same things. Once I started trusting help bring that out in people. Once you myself, and gave myself permission to have the confidence, worth and belief in be authentic, I created what I wanted yourself, you can make any change you to create rather than what I thought I want to. “should” create. That’s when the magic happened! Clients would come in, I felt more confident and it stopped feeling What have you learnt about yourself through the process of like work. Things just started to flow naturally.

the confidence, worth and belief in yourself, you can make any change you want to.

building your business?

So much! It’s a bit of a roller-coaster at times. There’s a post I love which seems to keep popping up on my social media: “I don’t have ducks and they are not in



What has been your biggest business challenge? Keeping track of finances! And self-

“The most beautiful

transition I think I’ve witnessed in myself is just allowing myself to trust my intuition on what feels right for me.

promotion. After acknowledging that finances and bookkeeping weren’t a strength of mine, I outsourced that work to someone else. I don’t regret that for a second! It released me from added stress and freed me up to spend more time on the creative side of my business, which is a part I love and feel passionate about. Promotion was also big for me because along with self-promotion comes the shadow side of self-doubt. The questioning starts: “can I actually do this?”. When these fears start bubbling to the surface, we begin to doubt what we’re capable of. I’m fortunate that my background is in marketing and advertisement so I know that important

of getting yourself out there, regardless if you feel scared to do it. Biggest tip I could give is just put yourself out there every single day and before you know it, you will feel more confident about your work and it won’t be so scary. There’s certainly an initial threshold you have to cross to get there, but the sooner you put yourself out into the world, the easier it will get and the more people you can help.

What are you most proud of? So many things! I’m a big celebrator—a quality which I attribute to my mum who used to take us out for ice cream and encourage us to treat ourselves with



“It’s a pretty freaking

incredible feeling to be able to guide women into the lives they want (and are meant) to live.

every accomplishment in life. It never mattered whether it was finishing an exam, regardless if we passed or failed, or finishing raking the leaves in the backyard! (What a gem, haha!) So I take note of my achievements in a big way and I celebrate. What I think I’m proud of most is trusting my intuition and taking the massive leap of faith, believing I am here to encourage, inspire and empower other women to live their best lives. And as a result, I have seen massive and live-transformational changes in the lives of my clients. I see a change in their body language, posture, facial features, confidence, smile, energy and enthusiasm towards life. It’s a pretty freaking incredible feeling to be able to guide women into the lives they want (and are meant) to live.



How do you spend your hours outside of work? I could probably do more things outside of work! I do yoga, go to the gym, I read a lot, I travel a lot and invest in a lot of personal development conferences, seminars and workshops. People tell me “Sarah, that’s still work … that doesn’t count”. But for me, that’s the stuff that lights me up. I love learning and enriching my life. I know it’s not for everyone, but I’d rather spend my spare time, money and energy traveling, learning and growing from the people I look up to. I’m not someone who can just sit on a beach, I get too antsy sitting around not doing anything!

Who inspires you? SO MANY PEOPLE! MY CLIENTS!! Women who give themselves permission to push through the fears, limiting beliefs, and stories they tell themselves to start creating the life they’ve always wanted. In terms of my own personal development and growth, my coach Dr. Kevin Pallis is a big one! Also Tony Robbins, Robin Sharma, Marie Forleo, Elizabeth Gilbert, Oprah, Tim Ferriss and Melissa Ambrosini to name a few. I start all of my days with a podcast, book or video from someone who inspires me. That gets me into a positive and up-state physiology. And because it’s such a wide range of different types of teachers and coaches, I learn something incredible from each and every one of them.

What three books or podcasts have helped the most in your business?

Do you have any daily habits that help you to remain focused and motivated? I have a morning ritual that’s an important part of my day. If it doesn’t get done, I feel completely thrown off and frantic. I wake up at 5:00 am, have a glass of water and then a cup of coffee and crawl back into bed and read or “learn” from people who inspire me. I’ll journal and jot down new ideas or things I’m inspired by. Then I’ll meditate for 10-15 minutes and head to the gym for some physical activity. My next focus is doing a better job of maintaining an evening ritual as well and unplugging from technology. That’s a work-inprogress.

What are you excited about right now?

Possibility. It sounds silly but what I love most about the work that I do is that there’s no limit to what I can do or Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert create to make the impact that I want changed me and pretty much all of to make. I love working with so many Robin Sharma’s books. He’s the reason incredible women and seeing the shifts I ultimately trusted my intuition to and changes that occur in their lives. become a coach. Read all of his books… You can’t put a price tag on confidence seriously! They changed my life. and self-belief. When that starts developing so many new and exciting For videos and podcasts, I love listening opportunities begin falling into your lap, to Robin Sharma, Tim Ferris, Marie and that’s what I see with my clients. Forleo and Tony Robbins. They are I am excited about the direction I’m incredibly inspiring and I love to hear headed as well as some projects I have how they think in terms of impact and been brainstorming and working on. I what humanity is actually capable of have loved incorporating my passion for accomplishing once you give yourself helping women with my creative side. I permission to do so. love the fact that I can create whatever it is I want to and there’s not a limit



on the people I can reach: I’ve created women’s empowerment programs for schools, hosted personal development and self-care events and workshops, and also co-authored a couple of books that inspire people to live their more authentic, passionate and meaningful lives. I think what excites me is not only the work that I get to do every day, but new opportunities and new directions that it will take me that I’m not even aware of yet.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? Oh gosh, someone asked me this last week and I struggled with it. As mentioned, I’m very much a “wing-it” and “go-with-the-flow” type of person, so I take things as they come and roll with the punches haha. I do what feels right for me in the moment so where I will be in 5 years will be very, very different from where my head is at right now. But I talked about thinking bigger in terms of events, workshops, retreats and speaking engagements, reaching more people and having more impact with women wanting to change their lives. Inspiring others to take advantage of their very precious life and choose to live it on their own terms not someone else’s. I want every person I meet to feel inspired to no longer settle for a life less than what they are capable of living. On a personal level, by that point I hope I am making more time for myself to chill out and relax haha. I have so many ideas in my mind that I get excited about and want to bring them to fruition, I rarely pause to smell the roses. So, ideally more rose smelling.



Sarah Lajeunesse Sarah Lajeunesse is a lifestyle and wellness coach committed to guiding and supporting women out of stress, overwhelm and uncertainty, and into lives they absolutely adore. Through private 1:1 coaching, speaking events and sharing practical resources on her blog, Sarah’s on a mission to equip women with the tools they need to get clear on their ideal life, create an action plan for achieving it and overcome any fears, judgments and negative beliefs that stand in the way. An internationally certified life coach from the Beautiful You Coaching Academy, Sarah has a degree in marketing with a minor in social responsibility from the University of Lethbridge. You can find her at sarahlajeunesse.com.

s p i t 5 Top

by Fi Mims Photography

FOR HOW TO LOOK GOOD AN THE CAMERA It’s no secret that stepping in front of a camera can make even the most confident of people feel anxious. Just the thought of having our photo taken can bring up visions of bad selfies and terrible family photos. But, looking good in photos doesn’t come natural to any of us. All it takes is a few tips and a little bit of practice and anyone – seriously, anyone - can learn to look and feel good in front of a lens. Here are 5 tips guaranteed to help you step in front of the camera with confidence:

lengthens your neck and enhances and emphasises your jawline. Apply this technique every time you have your photo taken and you’ll notice the difference straight away, I guarantee it.


Lean In For A Leaner Look

When having your photo taken, lean slightly toward the camera. It may feel awkward, but don’t forget, the closer a body part is to the camera, the bigger it appears. Eeek! To nail this pose, put   your weight on your back foot, then lean The Graceful Swan in slightly forward from your torso. This   will drop your shoulder line, slim down If I was only able to give you one single your waist, and create a flattering look tip for photos, THIS would be it. By for the camera. Your body language also sticking your chin out and slightly down invites the viewer to engage with you, you avoid the dreaded double which, let’s which is important when you want to face it, has no friends! This technique connect with your audience.






Yes Ladies, You Can Fake it

Great smiles only work in photos when they reach your eyes, but getting them there can be hard work when you’re nervous. Try to think of something you love or that makes you laugh (your next holiday, great sex, an embarrassing moment—whatever floats your boat!) and then look at the camera just as you do. You’ll have a great smile on your face and a twinkle in your eye, ready for the camera to catch!  


Glow Inside & Out

Great makeup can do wonders for your confidence in front of the camera, but that doesn’t mean you have to overdo it.

When applied correctly makeup should look natural, add some colour to your face and enhance your best features. It will also help give your skin a more flawless finish and the ‘glow’ that we all love in images. Have your nails done the day before to complement your colours, personality and goals. And for a week before your shoot, eat clean and drink plenty of fresh pure water. You can add a squeeze of lemon or Himalayan rock salt for extra hydration.


Natural Lighting Is Your New BFF

Photography is all about light. And if you want to look great you need to be in great light. If you’re taking photos outdoors on a sunny day, then stand in the shade. The light will be beautiful and soft and it won’t create harsh shadows like daylight can. The best time of day to shoot is just after sunrise or just before sunset, when the sun is low in the sky and a beautiful golden colour. If indoors, try to find natural light using a window or doorway. Position yourself so the light is in front of you, not behind you. And above all else, avoid standing directly under downlights—they will make anyone look terrible!







hat if I told you it’s not the results that change your mindset, but the actions you take to achieve it?

easy and some very hard. Each step we take, each decision we make, each step forward or backwards are lessons we need to learn. These lessons help shape our mindset.

Some setbacks cause us to question ourselves. We question our resilience, our purpose, our business objectives; Let me give you an example. You’ve that’s completely normal. The most decided it’s time to change something in important thing is that we pick ourselves your life or business. You know you need back up, dust ourselves off and keep to do it and that there are no excuses. believing enough to take that next step You believe that once you’ve changed forward again and try. And try some this thing or achieved your goal you’ll more. We keep trying until we obtain finally feel the way you want, you’ll those results we desire. experience that sense of achievement or you’ll feel empowered. No lessons or experiences in our lives are ever wasted. They are experiences That’s all great, but it’s not the endthat help shape and mould us into result that changes your reality, it’s who we are today. They make us feel actually the journey you’ve taken. stronger, gain clarity, understand our Your commitment to achieving those limitations, explore our boundaries, results is what has shifted your mindset, challenge us to seek alternative paths, allowing you to enjoy greater fulfillment and they enable us to reflect on what we in that moment. The results are just the have achieved and experienced along awesome outcomes. the way. We all have journeys to take in our daily lives. We travel along various paths, face For each goal achieved, when you arrive crossroads and make choices—some at your end result you’ve strengthened



your mindset to take on the next challenge. You have greater belief in yourself and your resilience. You learn from your previous experience what you were able to achieve and then naturally seek to strive that bit further and further.

And the world wants more of what she’s got!

Even if the end result wasn’t a positive outcome or perhaps it felt like a step backward, it still taught you invaluable lessons. Acknowledge the journey and honour what you discovered. You were able to see what you could push yourself to do, you became clear on what you would do differently, and you may have become clearer about what it is you want to do. Sometimes we can only find what works for us by discovering what doesn’t. Your challenge now is to try again.

Arianna Huffington, who we all recognise for launching The Huffington Post, was faced with the battle of publishers rejecting her own work. Vera Wang was turned down for the role as Vogue’s editor-in-chief. With her passion for fashion, she created an empire and what woman wouldn’t love to wear a Vera Wang dress?

Oprah Winfrey was fired multiple times from television jobs. Today, who doesn’t know who Oprah is?

“It’s not the end-

result that changes your reality, it’s actually the journey you’ve taken.

What do they and many others like them have in common? They learnt from their journey, kept their mindset focus, Some of the most famous entrepreneurs believed in themselves and found their we admire have fallen time and again, determination. What one person says but the thing they all have in common— should never stop you. They are, after the very thing that made them who all, just one person. they are today—was their mindset and determination. No matter what the When something doesn’t go to plan it’s outcome, they just kept stepping up. not about giving up, walking away or throwing the towel in. It’s about looking Here are some entrepreneurs who at it from a different perspective. demonstrate their mindset of self-belief and determination to never give up. Your mindset is the way you view what is in front of you. You can easily J.R. Rowling was told to get a real job. strengthen it by working out strategies to She received rejection after rejection conquer your goals. Have the courage and was told she was a terrible writer. to step past your fears and never stop She never gave up. Today, she is globally believing in yourself. Ever. recognised for her Harry Potter series.



Anne Clark Anne Clark is a Business and Life Coach, and a Virtual Assistant. Anne guides and supports women in business enabling them to be more purposefully aligned, find their work/life balance and streamline their processes and systems. Through her virtual assistant business Anne supports business women in their online content management (websites, social media, newsletters and blogging), and is a MailChimp expert. Having released her MailChimp beginners ebook and online training workshops, Anne is the ‘go to’ woman.  As an owner of multiple businesses and mother to 3 young children, Anne knows too well the importance of being able to seamlessly manage and maintain a business and life. She loves being able to combine her business expertise and life coaching skills to work with her clients to get the results they desire. You can find Anne online at www.firststepvirtualassistant.com.au and www.envisionempowersucceed.com.au








Q&A 54


r e m r a F olly


P h t i w

Tell us about your business? Who are your clients and why do they choose you? Piccolo & Peony came about for two very special reasons—my love of freshly cut flowers and the enjoyment I get from showing someone I care. Whatever the occasion, whether it’s to say thank you, I love you, Happy Birthday, congratulations or just to brighten someone’s day (even if that someone is yourself), I am up early to source the best and freshest seasonal blooms available from wholesale markets and local growers in order to create a unique and elegant piccolo. Each morning, I upload the day’s piccolo to my website as well as share with my followers through Piccolo & Peony’s Instagram account, Facebook page and daily newsletter. I take orders until 1pm Melbourne time, or until our piccolos have sold out and deliver them to their recipients in the early afternoon. Ordering online is simple and easy and is the perfect way to show someone you care when you can’t be there. I also offer a double piccolo, the ability


to pre-order a piccolo for a future date and two options for flower subscriptions – a weekly piccolo for four or ten weeks. Gorgeous Cinque Candles are also available to add onto each order. My customers are not limited to Melbourne! I have repeat customers across Australia and even Worldwide with several orders coming from the United Kingdom. There are several other businesses with a similar model in Victoria, however Piccolo & Peony offers something a bit different with our elegant white wrap, great size and number of flowers per bunch. As an extra sweetness, customers may also have their flowers delivered in a charming jar or vase.

Piccolo & Peony started in 2016 so is still quite new. What inspired you to start your business, and how long did it take from conception to reality? I love flowers and have always enjoyed picking the perfect bunch as a gift for a loved one or simply to adorn my hall table. Flowers bring such joy, as does the



gift of giving and that was the basis of starting Piccolo & Peony. As someone who regularly sends flowers I have on occasions been disappointed with the quality and quantity of the flowers received. I wanted to offer a service that provided good value for money, with high quality flowers and fresh beautiful blooms that were presented simply and elegantly. The reasons to send flowers are endless, and I have to admit the best part of Piccolo & Peony is writing the beautiful and heartfelt messages people send to their partners, friends and loved ones—it always brings a smile to my face.

What’s your favourite thing about owning & operating your own business? Being a Mum to three little ones, I needed something that would ‘fit in’ with my busy life, while still allowing me to be creative and selfishly have something that was just for me.

“I’ve had to learn

Your least favourite?

to be patient and not constantly compare Piccolo & Peony with other businesses who have been operating for years.

The idea of starting Piccolo & Peony started in early 2016. I started my research and found a wonderful brand and web designer Johannah Barton from Confetti Design who held my hand through the whole process of designing my name, logo and ultimately my brand. She created an easy to use website that I absolutely love. She was so amazing the way she got the concept ‘out of my head’ and just started the planning the creation of Piccolo & Peony. She is a mentor and an amazing help when technical website things get beyond me. It took about 8 months from conception to reality.



Working from home does not really allow me to work in a collaborative space with others and it can therefore at times be quite lonely. There are many days where I would love someone to bounce my ideas off—however saying that my husband is extremely helpful and a wonderful support to me!!

What’s the best business advice you’ve ever been given? Give it time! Stop comparing your first chapter to someone else’s 20th. I am the first to admit I have high expectations of myself and my business. I’ve had to learn to be patient and not constantly compare Piccolo & Peony with other businesses who have been operating for years.

You run your business from home AND are also mum to three young, gorgeous kids. How do you juggle work with other areas of your life? A lot of the work I need to do in order to prepare my flowers for the day actually occurs before my little ones are awake, and therefore it doesn’t impact too much on their day-to-day life. On occasions they have joined me at the flower markets, and my youngest daughter has been known to ‘steal’ the odd flower for her fairy rings, but other than that they simply think ‘Mummy likes to play with flowers’.

You are obviously a very creative person. Where do you get your inspiration from? I was an early childhood teacher in my previous life, and pre-children I was constantly thinking of ways to design my classroom to inspire my students to love learning and engage in their environment. Since becoming a parent that creativity has been focussed on my home, and having beautiful flowers on the table has often helped create calm in the chaos that 3 children create. I am constantly looking at Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for inspiration and I love strolling through the Prahran Markets on the weekend, with a coffee



What are you looking forward to right now? I am looking forward to a prosperous year where I continue to grow my business and build my brand, continue to learn more about flowers and how to run a business, and ultimately being able to let others show they care through the gift of Piccolo & Peony’s beautiful blooms.

Polly Farmer in hand looking at what’s in season and what I might include in the piccolos for the week to come.

What have you learnt about yourself through the process of building your business? I have learnt that if you put your mind to something, it is possible. I have learnt that it is ok to admit you don’t know how to do everything and that reaching out to others is a positive thing. I have learnt SO many things about websites that I never knew before, and the names of flowers I had heard of but didn’t necessarily know what they looked like or when they were in season.

How do you define success? If I am helping a customer brighten another’s day, then I am successful. There is no better way to define this than creating loyal customers who order through Piccolo & Peony again and again.



Polly Farmer is the floral artist and owner of Piccolo & Peony, a boutique florist and family run business that delivers simple bouquets (piccolos) to the inner suburbs of Melbourne. With an immense love of floristry, interior design and all things pretty, Polly helps you brighten someone’s day in an affordable way with the freshest seasonal selections available. She also has subscription services available to deliver beautiful blooms to your home or office each week. Learn more or order your sweet piccolo here.

Just last week Shine Online Magazine received the sad news that Polly is no longer able to operate Piccolo & Peony due to personal reasons. She is currently seeking someone to take on the business. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact her for further info via her website.



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Shine Magazine Issue 1  

Shine Magazine Issue 1