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By Johann


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Q&A with


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Exceptional Brand Experience = Business Success By Suzanne Chadwick


Giving and Growing An inspirational interview with Lyly Greca from Miei Fiori. Interview by Fi Mims

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5 Tips: On how lect and use s for branding os

ness, Balance Branding

h Dr Gill Paulsen


Finding Your Inner Goddess


How Style Can Help You Be Better Understood


Living The Dream

Q&A with Candice Martina

By Louise Weigall

Q&A with Lorella Pellizzari

EDITOR’S LETTER As I sit at my kitchen table writing this, late on a Saturday night – because seriously, where else would a female entrepreneur want to be at this time of the week ;) – I can’t help but reflect on my own business journey. It was only four years ago, I was working from home as a family and wedding photographer. This year, I’ll celebrate 3 years running my studio in St Kilda where 50% of my business is personal branding for women! Many of you would know, I’ve just returned from an AMAZING week in Paris covering the most beautiful event ever and photographing eight more women.


ello and welcome to the second issue of Shine Magazine! I say this a lot but, WOW, I can’t believe how fast the last few months have gone! Firstly, thank you to those of you who read Issue One. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and all credit must go to my wonderful clients who took a risk and happily agreed to contribute to a magazine that didn’t exist yet - I love you guys!



Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would have the opportunity to do this! When we’re in the day to day grind of running a business it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. Running my business today sometimes feels just as hard (if not harder) than it did four years ago. But for that exact reason it’s so important we remember to look back at where we’ve come from and witness how much we’ve grown. In the next issue, I’m going to share more about my adventures in Paris!

It’s so important we remember to look back at where we’ve come from and witness how much we’ve grown.

my biggest inspirations), offers advice on how to create an exceptional brand experience; Personal Stylist, Louise Weigall, discusses how style can influence people and help them engage with us; and Website Designer, Johannah Barton, shares ways to ensure your website shares the right message to connect with your customers.

We also get up close and personal about all things biz in Q&As with Lorella Pellizzari, founder of a Even if it feels like we are keeping beautiful Melbourne-based business our businesses afloat while managing specialising in homewares and gifts, a family at the same time, that is an Gill Paulsen, an obstetrician at the achievement in itself ! Yet, not many Mercy Hospital, and Candice Martina, of us take the time to stop and honour a holistic health and lifestyle coach. I this. Even small wins are a success story also interview Lyly Greca, co-founder worth celebrating. of Miei Fiori, an online flower business that donates 100% of its profits to The women who are featured in this charity. Since starting only a year edition work in industries that are ago Miei Fiori has raised more than worlds apart, but for each one their half a million dollars for the Monash personal brand – who they are, how Children’s Hospital. Lyly’s story is so they’ve grown over time to now stand inspirational and I’d be lying if I said up and define themselves – played a there weren’t a few tears shed in our HUGE part in setting up their business. interview together. We all have a brand and every brand has a story. What’s yours? What are you known for and what’s your message? How do you define your brand through the customer experience? When we take the time to nut this out, learn and practice it, everything becomes easier. The way you communicate to people, the content you create, the colours you choose, the people who can help you on your business journey, and ultimately, what success looks like to you. In this issue, Business and Brand Coach, Suzanne Chadwick (one of

I hope you love reading what these women have to share. I have no doubt their insights will inspire you as much as they have me. And while you take some time out to read about other businesswomen, you make sure you include some time to stop and celebrate you too!

Fi Mims | Photographer + Editor




Suzanne Chadwick Ever wanted to play a bigger game in your business, market with confidence & do it all with a sense of fun and ease? Suzanne Chadwick makes that a reality for her clients. Business Coach and Brand Coach & Consultant as well as the founder of The Connection Exchange, Suzanne helps women Play Big and Brand Bold. When she’s not in the corporate space, she coaches, educates and hosts events for women in business, helping them to find their wow factor, bring their core messages to life and build dynamic brands that connect.

Louise Weigall Louise is a Style Consultant, Product Specialist & Sourcing Expert and the founder of Style with Substance. She is passionate about helping businesswomen apply the principles of design in their own wardrobe to remove decision fatigue so they can focus more on what really matters. From working with labels like Scanlan Theodore, Country Road, Willow, Gorman, Sass & Bide and many more, she knows just how to help women uncover their own identity and embrace style to look and feel great.

Candice Martina Candice is the founder of Going For Goddess, a holistic health and lifestyle program that focuses on nutrition, well-being and self-care as the foundation for creating a beautiful, blissed-out life. A fulltime wellness seeker, born with the relentless drive to overcome obstacles, pursue health & happiness and discover what it means to be successful on her own terms, she empowers women through coaching, content creation, speaking and community gatherings.



Gill Paulsen Dr Gill Paulsen is an Obstetrician who works at The Mercy Hospital for Women and runs a private practice caring for women through all stages of pregnancy and delivery. Her patients live in her heart and mind as she shares their journey of pregnancy to motherhood. She also holds a position on two public Obstetric Units and teaches medical students and doctors in training.

Lyly Greca From the tender age of 15, Lyly picked a little face off a Christmas tree and decided she had to sponsor her. Every year thereafter, she has made it her mission to save the world one child at a time. Lyly and her husband Rob created Miei Fiori, an online floral enterprise that donates 100% of net profit to local children’s charities.

Lorella Pellizzari Lorella is the founder of ‘Casetta Living’ (which is Italian for ‘Little Home’), an online boutique homewares and gift emporium focusing on smaller distinct designer pieces. With a background in marketing and a passion for interiors and design, she loves finding new treasures and sources her stock from wonderful and impressive pool of local artisanal and design talent. As a mother and wife with a strong Italian heritage, family, friends, food and travel are loves that inspire Lorella each day.

Johannah Barton Johannah is the founder of Confetti Design, a website design agency helping women in small business build their dreams! It is her mission to make the process of having a dream website as straightforward as possible. By taking care of everything that’s needed to get your website up and running, Johannah creates beautiful online experiences that attracts and delights your ideal audience and make business growth easier. shineonlinemagazine




e t i s b e W IS YOUR



aving an eye catching, highperforming, user-friendly website can mean the difference between growing your business and fading into the background. But, with a fighting spirit and a little know-how under your belt, you can up your website game and start seeing results in no time. Ready to take the challenge? I’ve put together a short, sharp checklist of the most common (and easily fixed) website issues below. If you can answer ‘yes’ to each question, then your site is probably in good shape. If not, then it’s

By Johannah Barton

time to set the wheels in motion towards a website that will communicate, connect, captivate, and convert your target audience from prospects to real customers. I’ve grouped the checklist into 3 sections. 1. Your Message 2. Customer Connection 3. Getting Found (Google Ranking) YOUR MESSAGE Is your personal brand message strong? Your customers want to engage with you – your brand and the people behind the scenes. Developing a strong and consistent brand message helps customers understand what your brand stands for, how you work, and whether they should trust you with their business. This



message is often unspoken. Rather, it is communicated by your professionalism, aesthetics (like your logo), and the way people feel after interacting with your brand. A great way to achieve this is to have professionally photographed branding images.

Is your USP clear and sticky? What you stand for and why you’re passionate about it, is important to your customers. This passion combined with what makes your services different to your competitors, is what we call your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Your USP could be your delivery process; the experience you provide; or niche service outcomes. It’s what sets your business apart. Your edge. A fantastic strategy is to consider what is a memorable quality about your offerings, this is what we call ‘sticky’. It is a statement, propositioning or value statement that not only encapsulates your offering but it has an interesting quality and is relevant to your target market.

and sub-headlines. Tell your target audience how you can solve their problem, benefit their business, or make life easier for them. They’re scanning for this information, so help them out by using 3 levels of font size to make the key messages stand out, less than 50% of a page is viewed so ensure you have communicated your message in the top 1/3 of a page before people have to scroll, called ‘above the fold’, this includes audience seeing your calls to action.

With a fighting spirit and a little knowhow under your belt, you can up your website game and start seeing results in no time.

An example is M & M Chocolates “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands” Or Domino’s “Delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free” Is key information visible on each page? Communicate key business offerings on your homepage and core service or landing pages through impactful headlines



Are your testimonials prominently displayed or easy to find? Testimonials help prospective customers get an insight into what it’s like to work with you and the kinds of businesses you’ve worked with previously. Testimonials can influence a customer’s purchasing decisions, so it’s important to ensure they are visible and you have used a probing range of questions to get tangible comments about the benefits of working with you. It shows first hand to your visitors the value you offer other others in your industry. Testimonials certainly also help with the next point too. CUSTOMER CONNECTION Are you using video as a ‘connection’ tool? Recent changes to Google algorithms mean that video is the new ‘blog post’ when it comes to helping your site rank better in search results. Make sure your





videos are well-thought out, and you look and sound professional. Take time to consider your background and what the viewer will see. I recommend an interesting (but not distracting) backdrop that is relevant to your business.

words. To give yourself the best chance of conversions, ensure your site looks and sounds professional, is attractive to your target audience, and demonstrates consistency from the tone of voice to image size and resolution.

Are your landing pages eye-catching and appealing? Your homepage and about pages are the most visited pages on your website, so they should be captivating and accurately represent your unique brand, and voice. On average, you have six short seconds to communicate what you offer, how you deliver it, and who you help. You communicate this through the layout, branding, colours, typography, visuals, and

Are you using social media to show your personality and USP? Social media is a fantastic gateway to your sales funnel, which is your website. You can put your news, promotions and blog posts on social media, and share and comment to your heart’s content. Just make sure it’s relevant to your customer and drives them back to your site. The more traffic to your site the better your organic rankings on search engines like


Google. Include social media icons on every piece of content so visitors can share it also and connection with you on those accounts. There are many plugins you can use to imbed your Instagram feed into your website, offering your visitor another opportunity to see your personality and connect with you. Does your navigation make sense? If your customers can’t navigate your site and find what they need, quickly, then chances are they’ll go somewhere else. Use easy-to-understand language for navigation titles (not obscure quirky titles, which might seem fun but if your customer isn’t in on the inside joke, they’ll get irritated and click away). If you have a lot of pages on your site, try to group them logically and in sets of three. Give pages a logical ‘banner name’ to fall under and use the same title on the navigation bar. Less is more.

Is there a prominent call-to-action on each page? A call-to-action is what you want a visitor to do. A prompt such as ‘Contact us’, ‘Sign up for our newsletter’, ‘Become a Member’, ‘Request a free consultation or quote’. If your website doesn’t include a call-to-action, you are missing out on business. Each page needs one single call-to-action, if there are too many the customer is overwhelmed and more likely to do nothing. Think of each page as an opportunity to build a case that leads to the one action you wish them to take. Then ensure the call-to-action button or form is visible and obvious, we don’t want to convince someone of the benefits to working with you then they have to go hunting for the way to do so! GETTING FOUND (GOOGLE RANKING) Is your website mobile friendly? Over 60% of users access the internet via their handheld device, so it’s important your website looks and acts as it should on a small screen. The best way to test the responsiveness of your site is to head to your URL on a phone or tablet and ask yourself whether the text is easy to read,



the content fits within the screen and the navigation works. Google will penalise your site rankings if it’s not mobile responsive. Do you have an HTTPS URL? Google and most users want the web to be more secure. It’s good for Google to refer to secure sites so we keep using Google as our preferred search engine. And it’s good for us as business owners to use best practice in our websites. Designing and developing a site is a big investment and working with Google’s initiatives can only benefit us.



Many online stores or sites that take personal information are already being marked as ‘unsecure’ and regular business sites have an exclamation mark next to the URL. This indicates your site is not fully secure. Consider though how comfortable you are visiting a site showing a warning. So, how will your customer feel if that site is yours? Many host platforms offer free security certificates, so make some enquiries and make sure your site displays https:// on every page if you want to protect your rankings. Has your site got an SEO plugin for keywords on each page and post?

Do you know which keywords your audience is using when they search for you or the services you provide? If so, are you weaving these keywords into your site content? Each page should have a focus keyword so search engines can register it when people conduct a search. If you don’t do this, the search engine will skip past your site and you may never get found. There are SEO plugins like Yoast, that can help keep you on track. And there we have it! How did you go? If you have answered yes to all 12, then your web game is strong. If you said no to

four or less, that’s ok; you now know that your website needs some extra attention and possibly a marketing strategy to improve its visibility. My team at Confetti Design can support you through a website upgrade or new development, graphic design, copywriting, branding and marketing strategy and execution. Get in touch and get noticed with a professional website that captivates and converts. Johannah@confettidesign.com.au 0400 650 667 www.confettidesign.com.au

Johannah Barton


Johannah is the founder of Confetti Design, a website design agency helping women in small business build their dreams! It is her mission to make the process of having a dream website as straightforward as possible. By taking care of everything that’s needed to get your website up and running, Johannah creates beautiful online experiences that attracts and delights your ideal audience and make business growth easier. shineonlinemagazine



ne of the questions I get asked often is, what’s the difference between a Headshot and a Branding Portrait?

A headshot is a clean professional image, usually cropped in tight to show just the head and shoulders. A branding portrait however is much more than this. A branding portrait doesn’t just show who you are, it should tell a story. These shots communicate your personality and brand. It gives customers and your audience something to connect with. One of the easiest ways to help visually tell your story is by incorporating props into your images. Don’t know where to start? Here are my Top 5 Tips!


Your props need to be relevant to your brand. Some common ones include a laptop, phone or coffee cup. But these can be used across multiple brands, so try to



think of something more specific about your own brand. For example, if you’re a website designer or graphic artist you could use pantone colour swatches, or a clothing rack with outfits could work well for a personal stylist. A life coach might go for a journal or a green smoothie, while a personal trainer could bring along a kettlebell or an assistant to “train”.


Choose props that complement your branding colours. A clever use of colour often makes people stop and take notice so it’s a great way to add impact to an image. (Especially if you plan to use them in social media.) If you have specific colours in your brand or logo then find items that will either match or contrast these. This way the item doesn’t necessarily have to be relevant to your brand, the colour alone will make it work.

3. SEND A MESSAGE Props are a fantastic way to send a message without having to make people

read through accompanying copy. Typography props such as a lightbox or a letter board are fun to play with. Or you can do something simple such as hold up a piece of card, a frame, your iPad or a chalkboard, which allows you to add in your text later. Whatever you choose, it’s a great way to make people get your message at a glance.


I love props that infuse personality into images. Think about all the purposes which you will be using these images for and feel free to play. How do you describe your brand? Is it fun and playful (balloons and confetti), glamorous and high-end (champagne and designer sunglasses), or quiet and introspective (books and tea cups)? Whatever your brand’s personality is (which is generally a reflection of your own), think about how you could use props to show this.


Think of your ideal client. Who are they, what do they connect to and what do they love? This could be the books and magazines they are reading, what they eat and drink, where they hang out, what they do for work. Especially when you are in the early stages of trying to establish your brand, it is always important to think of your audience first. In summary, props are a great way to add personality, interest and detail to images. If you’re planning for an upcoming shoot, take some time out to make a list of any props that could work in yours. Build a Pinterest board and collect ideas of everything you like, then narrow them down to what is in line with your objectives for the shoot. Above all else, make sure what you use will make sense to your audience, because that will help build trust, connection and the confidence that you’re the one they want to work with!








e h t Be ou y y g r e en o t t n a w t c a r att

Q&A 22



n e s l u a P l l i G r with D

Tell us about who you are and what you do.

warm and caring and communicates with them as an equal.

I guess you could say I wear a few hats. I’m a wife, a mother of two beautiful children, doctor and a businesswoman. I work as a specialist in Obstetrics and my career is dedicated to caring for women during pregnancy and birth. My more specific skills involve looking after women with complex pregnancies. This might include women who have had difficult previous pregnancies or poor outcomes, or those with medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. I’m also a business owner and have a private Obstetric practice, as well as being heavily involved in the public health system. I hold a position in one of Melbourne’s three tertiary Obstetric hospitals, The Mercy Hospital for Women, where I look after public and private patients.

Do you have mentors, and how have they helped you through your career?

Who are your clients and why do they choose you? My private patients are quite varied. Some are healthy, low risk women and some are complicated (for a variety of different reasons) and need particularly close medical and emotional support throughout their pregnancy. Women choose me because they want an Obstetrician who is highly skilled and experienced as well as someone who is

There are two Obstetricians who have been wonderful mentors to me over the course of my career. The first was my officially assigned mentor back when I was a medical student undertaking my first ever rotation in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He supported my entry into the training program to become an Obstetrician and was an ever available source of advice as I navigated a six year long training program whilst having children of my own. It is with great honour that I now work alongside him as a consultant in the public Obstetric Unit that he is the head of. He continues to mentor me as I hone my skills and get more involved at an organisational level, both at the hospital where I work as well as through RANZCOG, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. When I commenced work as a fully qualified consultant Obstetrician, my children were still young. I was still breastfeeding my youngest. So I opted to only undertake public work as the hours were more predictable and I could arrange



childcare more easily. My other mentor is a colleague who quietly encouraged me to test the waters and then finally take the leap of commencing private Obstetric practice. We now work quite closely together in our private practices, covering each other when we need to take leave for family holidays or work related trips. He helps me balance being available for my patients and raising two young children, and I am able to return the favour by helping him attend to his academic interests in all corners of the world. In addition to these supportive men, I am surrounded by close female friends and colleagues who are also navigating the world of being a medical mother.

away from my family and, to stay healthy myself, I limit the number of patients who I look after and deliver privately. This also enables me to really concentrate on these patients, which I hope ultimately results in better outcomes and more satisfied patients. I have always said that my job makes me a better mother and having had my own children makes me a better Obstetrician. To be a good mother, wife and Obstetrician, I have also come to realise that I need to be good to myself. So to this end I have exercise built in to my week and have a network of friends that I keep in close contact with. I try to prioritise eating a healthy diet as well as practising mindfulness each day. I also try not to be too hard on myself if I don’t always keep all of the balls in the air. I have learnt from motherhood that there is a natural ebb and flow and that the challenging stages pass. I have also had to outsource quite a bit of domestic work over the years and we relied heavily upon a wonderful nanny for the past three years. (She has recently left nannying to pursue her own photography business).

I have always said that my job makes me a better mother and having had my own children makes me a better Obstetrician.

How do you juggle work along with parenting beautiful young kids and everything else life entails? It’s an enormous challenge at times. It is not possible to be an Obstetrician without it having a massive influence on your life. My patients live in my heart and mind as I share their journey through pregnancy and childbirth. The ups and downs that they experience stay with me forever. What an amazing and rewarding career I have. I do work part time, however, babies come at unpredictable times, so there is a significant after-hours component to my work. (I should add, that this is the highlight of my work – it is so wonderful to be there for the birth of my patient’s babies.) Work-life balance is important to me so I limit the number of nights and weekends



I know you worked with Johannah Barton from Confetti Design on your new website – what was your biggest take away from this process? Your biggest challenge? Johannah and I shared the vision that we’d develop an excellent, innovative website

that was built well and would be one of the best in my field. I came to understand how important it was to be very clear about the needs and concerns of my patients and learn to address these in a way that was easy to access and navigate. There’s no way that Johannah was going to let me have reams of text that my potential patients were going to have to wade through!

and really found it hard to choose what to wear. I finally realised there were several options that would be fine and they didn’t have to be absolutely perfect. Whilst important, what I wore was not going to be the factor that made my website or business successful in the end!

The process she took me through made it quite easy to then write the appropriate text or “copy” as they say in the industry. Don’t get me wrong, I initially found it quite daunting to be responsible for all of that writing, but by using the foundations we’d established, it was actually quite easy (and fun) to write the copy in the end. It is embarrassing to admit this, but I actually found the preparation for my photo shoot a bit stressful too. I bought several outfits

I never do anything half-heartedly so besides recruiting a highly skilled and experienced web designer, I saw professional branding photos as nonnegotiable. My photos needed to suit the look of my website and I wanted them to portray a sense of professionalism and competence, as well as feeling friendly and open.

What motivated you to get professional branding photos taken?

I felt that many of my patients would want

I have learnt from motherhood that there is a natural ebb and flow and that the challenging stages pass.



to see what I looked like and get a feel for me prior to committing to have me as their Obstetrician – it’s a pretty important decision for them to make. It was a team effort! As my photographer, Fi Mims worked in conjunction with Johannah to achieve the right look, and
I sought advice from a colour specialist to help me choose the right outfits. This alone was enlightening and has continued to be really helpful. I barely ever wear black anymore! How do you feel they have added value to your business? I really love the photographs that Fi took and I feel that they represent me well. What you see (and read) is what you get. This was important to me, as being authentic is a central part of my work ethic and personality. I actually think this is responsible for a significant proportion of the new patients that are choosing me as their Obstetrician because I have received enormously positive feedback about my website. The photos make the website accessible and friendly as well as setting the tone for the relationship that I am going to develop with my patients over the coming 9 or so months.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? In 2022, or five years from now, as I approach my late 40s, I want to be a balanced, strong and successful woman. Personally, our dream is to buy a holiday house and help our family develop a deep connection with a place outside the city where we can spend quality time together for many years, or even decades, to come. Professionally, at this stage, I do not foresee that I will expand my business much more whilst my children are still of school age. I see my private work continuing to tick alongside the public work that I do. I would like to get more involved with leadership within the public hospital where I work, as well as within RANZCOG and other organisations that work to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity. Before commencing Obstetrics, I undertook a Masters of Public Health with a focus in International Health and I have a real passion for the health of women and children in the developing world. Within the next five years, I will get more involved with projects and organisations that work towards making pregnancy, childbirth and childhood safer in these settings.

Dr Gill Paulsen works at The Mercy Hospital for Women in Heidelberg, Victoria. If you want to check out her gorgeous new website HERE.

Gill Paulsen


Dr Gill Paulsen is an Obstetrician who works at The Mercy Hospital for Women and runs a private practice caring for women through all stages of pregnancy and delivery. Her patients live in her heart and mind as she shares their journey of pregnancy to motherhood. She also holds a position on two public Obstetric Units and teaches medical students and doctors in training. shineonlinemagazine






s s e n i s u B s s e c Suc



hen we start in business, there are so many things on our list of things to do. From websites to opt-ins, great photos (by Fi Mims of course), social media accounts to set up and followers to gather. But one of the most important things is left until last or not considered at all – your brand experience. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com was credited with saying “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Now whilst all the other things are important, crafting how you want your clients to feel, how you want them to respond, engage and talk about you and your business is something I think best not left to chance. When you think of brands you love – what is it about them that draws you in and keeps you coming back again and again?

Is the visual branding like Gorman and SunnyLife? Is the customer experience like Endota or your favourite restaurant? I’m always amazed when someone shares a story of someone they worked with or a retail experience they’ve had that was years ago – but they’re still talking about it. When I was living in London I went to a spa called The House of Elemis. I had taken a girlfriend there for a birthday treat before heading off into Lancaster Lane for dinner. It is an experience I still talk about (obviously as you can see) over 10 years later. Coming into the spa the dim and ambient lighting, peaceful music and soft smells were relaxing and beautiful. A tiny mango smoothie, cold water and a frangipani flower on a marble tray were placed on the table in front of me. The quality of the robes, the amazing treatments, the nature of the therapist and the feeling that we were the only ones there and were being cared for in a special way, still stands out to me to this day. And that’s because I’m not sure I’ve had a similar experience to that level since. All of these little things put together create a



brand experience – one that I talk about when they aren’t in the room and one that I’m writing about now. Whether you’re a product or service-based business, there are so many things you can do to create an exceptional brand experience for your clients. So how can you craft – what I like to call – a Rockstar brand experience to ensure your clients come back again and again and become your biggest brand advocates? Understanding your audience is what makes all the difference. To me personally, a Rockstar experience consists of three things:

Firstly: Ease of access; making it easy for customers and clients to find and engage you.

And thirdly: Connecting and communicating with them before and after you’ve worked together to ensure they are out there being your biggest brand advocates! Take the time to work through how you can surprise and delight your customers. By giving them a great experience, which is above and beyond what you’ve promised, is always going to leave a great


MAKE IT EASY! When you think about how your customers come to you, is it something you’ve thought through step by step? Whenever I work with my clients, we work to ensure they’re developing a real connection; a feeling and experience that not only resonates with them but one that also resonates with their clients. From the moment they find you – on social media, your website, through referrals or google, what’s their experience? Is it clear what you do, who you work with, how they can get in touch with you? Does their experience on your website truly reflect who you are and the quality of work you provide?

Crafting how you want your clients to feel, how you want them to respond, engage and talk about you and your business is something – I think best not left to chance.

Secondly: Making them feel amazing when they work with you so they want to come back again.


impression that they will talk about long after you’ve finished working together!

A rockstar experience can start well before a client has ever bought from you. Creating experiences where people learn from you, get great value or insights, connect with you and experience who you are and what you do is one of the best things you can do for your business. Even if you don’t already have a large network or following. One of the biggest complaints I hear from people is when they contact a business and don’t hear anything for days, weeks

or ever! People want to be able to buy then and there – they don’t want to wait, so NEVER let a lead or call go unanswered. This is where you can make a huge difference to your sales and your reputation, so put a system in place to follow up. Make it easy – not hard – for people to work with you.

SURPRISE AND DELIGHT In my first sales role when I was 18, the first thing I was taught was to under-promise and over-deliver. Remember it’s what our clients don’t expect that stand out and become the things they talk about for years to come. Think about people who you’ve worked with who delivered a great service and why you raved about them – usually it’s because they did something you weren’t expecting or over delivered in some way!



Being non-salesy, responsive and caring is always a winning combination. Giving your customer a great experience is all about making them feel comfortable and valued. Not like they are being sold to, berated, belittled or not listened to. By listening to your customers and reading the signs along the way, you will discover what gets an amazing response and what gets the sound of crickets. Use it to hone your customer experience. One of the easiest ways to keep your customers happy is to respond quickly and with an effective solution. Most people are reasonable and realise that, at times, not everything will run smoothly. Especially when it comes to technology! Being up front and honest, then responding quickly is one way to keep the troops happy whilst you sort things out. Also providing alternative solutions to the problem and making sure that your clients still have what they need is key! When you go above and beyond for your clients – that’s the cherry on top!! Think about how you can surprise and delight your customers too! I’m a big one for referral gifts – beautiful, unforgettable gifts that make them know I’ve thought about them and I’m truly grateful.


And thirdly – building brand advocates all comes down to how you connect and



communicate with your customers before, during and after you’ve worked together. So what is a brand advocate I hear you ask? These are the people who are out there without you asking them to be, voluntarily spruiking your wears, banging your drum, sharing your message and being your cheerleaders. They are telling people about you, what you do and what they love about you. How good is that?? I’ve recently had people I don’t know referring high-end business coaching and consulting clients to me. That is one of the key tipping points for you and your business. Building a tribe or army of happy customers and an engaged community who believe what you believe and trust you, is your goal. If you can build that then the customers and cash will follow. So when it comes to brand experience the key lessons are: 1. Don’t leave it to chance. Craft your experience. 2. Make it easy for them to work with you and be responsive. 3. Surprise and delight your clients! 4. Lastly but by no means least, build a community around you who love and support you and become your biggest advocates.

If you’re looking to play a bigger game in your business, brand with pride, passion and purpose, and learn how to create raving fans then I’d love to invite you to join me for the next round of Play Big, Brand Bold e-course opening for enrolments on 1 August and starting on 14 August. Head over HERE to find out more!

Suzanne Chadwick Ever wanted to play a bigger game in your business, market with confidence & do it all with a sense of fun and ease? Suzanne Chadwick makes that a reality for her clients. Business Coach and Brand Coach & Consultant as well as the founder of The Connection Exchange, Suzanne helps women Play Big and Brand Bold. When she’s not in the corporate space, she coaches, educates and hosts events for women in business, helping them to find their wow factor, bring their core messages to life and build dynamic brands that connect.







Are you ready to step up and play a bigger game in your business with confidence, connect & fun? It’s your time – stop playing small, stop waiting for tomorrow, today is the day to make it happen! You have the tools to create the shift and you know something – it’s easier than you think.

Play Big, Brand Bold is a 7 week online course that will change your business from the inside out and help you gain confidence, connection and clients. Learn how to nail your core message, identify what's been holding you back, get your business systems and strategy in place, fall in love with marketing and create a rock star experience of your clients. Join a movement where women in business play big, shine bright and live brave. Does that sound like a movement you'd love to be part of?

" This course is for anyone in busins, who really wants to get out ere and have a bigger brand online" - S A M MC FA R L A NE , S A M S AYS Course starts 14th August. JOIN TODAY! www.playbigbrandbold.com

d n a g n i v i G g n i w Gro An inspirational interview with Lyly Greca from Miei Fiori Interview by Fi Mims

Lyly Greca is mum to Aaliyah (3yo) and Miguel (2yo) and the creative cofounder of Miei Fiori, an online floral and gift social enterprise that donates 100% of its profits to charity. It was through the journey of supporting the Dandelion Wishes Gala which raised over half a million dollars for the Monash Children’s Hospital that lead to the creation of Miei Fiori.

Fi Mims: So tell me how you got your business idea? How long did it take and what were you doing previously? Lyly Greca: We had an event design and management company called Vogue Weddings and Events. I headed up the design department and Rob, my husband, managed the logistics, finance, and planning. During our time, we’ve put together lots of events and many charity galas - either as planners or facilitators, or we undertook the complete event management. When we were given the opportunity to help shape the success of the Monash Children’s Hospital’s first ever gala with our friends, we did. We all worked so hard and it was a huge success but it was a lot of late nights, long hours and early starts. We knew all these efforts would need to be repeated annually so Rob and I wanted to find a different way to raise funds for charity so we brainstormed lots of ideas and Miei Fiori was born. We wanted to be an online store to support our premium quality and zero wastage value. And we wanted to partner with corporates and businesses with existing floral and gifting requirements so all our stock procurement are planned, allowing us to buy only what we need fresh from our local suppliers and deliver within 24-hours.



Fi Mims: envisaged?

Has that been challenging? Has it been harder or easier than you

Lyly Greca: We thought everyone would turn around and say, “Yes, we’ll partner with you!” however it was harder and more challenging than we initially envisaged. Our first challenge was the number of businesses currently in contracts. Secondly, not a lot of people cared about where the flowers or gifts came from, it was at the bottom of their priorities. They didn’t see the benefits of fresh quality stock, our zero wastage value or even the fact that net profit went towards local charity projects. There were some early adopters, which is the reason why we’re here today and it has helped us to fruition and grow. Our target market is corporates because they have regular and on-going weekly, fortnightly requirements. This allows us to communicate our commitment to our charity partner. Fi Mims: It’s incredible how much you’ve helped to raise for the Monash Children’s Hospital – more than half a million dollars! Not only the amount of money but also in such a short time. Did you foresee that amount? Did you have a goal? Lyly Greca: I’m going to be cheeky and say yes and yes but it was over 2 years. Rob and I have done and seen a lot of events so we know how to put on a purposeful and meaningful occasion. If people worked smartly, they could get far greater returns for their charities, but most people have many excuses or they simply



have different agendas. Most companies are about putting on the production of the event and not necessarily to maximise profits for a cause. With our experience behind the scenes, we knew we could help fine-tune the plans to get the most out of our collective efforts. I told our gala founding friends that we’ll raise at least $250k on the night and that we needed to announce it and we did. Miei Fiori has some great supporters today: Mazda, Sodexo, PWC and Crown. They care a lot about their flowers – Crown and PWC especially. We chose flowers and gifts because they’re a luxury commodity with a national annual spend of $1.2bil+ so we’re eager to drive a percentage of that spend back into our country to help support the disadvantaged. On top of that, I’ve worked with flowers and gifts for many years so I love and know them well. Fi Mims: The event for the Monash Children’s Hospital was the catalyst for this venture, but is there a bit of a story around that? Why is that the project or the charity you chose? Lyly Greca: One of our best friends had a baby born 24-weeks premature. He spent many years in ICU at Monash and when they brought him home, they wanted to organise a little party to thank the team and give back. They reached out to us for support and we encouraged them to go big with a gala. For Rob and I, it was our opportunity to influence and create an event our way that’s most profitable for the cause from our many years of experience in the event industry. It is also because Rob and I have kids of our own so we have a really soft spot for children. We believe that you can teach them anything, but if they’re not healthy, they won’t enjoy learning. For us, we really wanted to focus on the health and education of our young generation. We believe we can help close the poverty gap in Australia with this. We believe that once you’ve got great lungs to be able to breath fresh air and you’ve got the energy to be active and run around, then next is education and life skills. We want to immerse our next generation with a wealth of knowledge, give them



the opportunity to be the best version of themselves and create amazing and independent citizens in our country. That’s our true passion. Fi Mims: Did you both always have that from an early age, or is it something your parents fed into you? Lyly Greca: I’m so glad you did the photos beforehand because I’m going to cry here! Our parents sacrificed a lot for us. Australia has given us a lot. We felt like we had won the lottery when both of our children were born healthy. Fi Mims: We were chatting before the interviews, about kids and our love of family and how lucky we are – sometimes you look around and see people stressing and living in angst over things that really are insignificant. When really we are so blessed in Australia, with our lives. Lyly Greca: Yes, My parents worked really hard so we can today work smart. My dad has an amazing company now, but before that he worked really hard and mum worked multiple jobs to provide for us and expose us to many opportunities of life. We escaped a Vietnam war zone to be able to come out here and live in a country that has adopted us. Our parents just wanted us to study so we could be someone, whatever that may be. Just really love life and give it a go. Fi Mims: How old were you then? Lyly Greca: I was five at the time, and I was completely aware of all of that. My mother, as much as she is traditional she is also quite modern. Unlike many Asian parents she would say, “I don’t need you to be a doctor or a lawyer, I just want you to be a good person. I want you to be able to study anything and be anyone you want”. Their way was to work super hard to give us the opportunities to explore everything life had on offer. My first job was with McDonalds. That was the Christmas I first sponsored a child through World Vision because I thought, “They don’t have anything to eat, and they need to be able to have an education.” At that time I wasn’t getting paid that much at all, probably $50 or something a week but I sponsored a child and I vowed, “For every dollar I can make, I will give 50% away.” Then, every Christmas thereafter I adopted a new child. It got to the point where I was 21 and I needed to find a way to continue my commitment on top of all my other outgoings. That challenged me to think smartly about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do in life. I envisioned where I wanted to be and what I wanted to achieve by the time I turned 25, 30, 35 etc and then worked backwards to map out how I’d get there. Fi Mims:

That’s a lot of foresight for someone at that age.



Lyly Greca: I’m not sure how or why it drove me to plan that way but when I was around 16, I sat down and thought “every year if I was to sponsor a new child, if I needed to be able to do X, and if I needed to have X, yet I was still at school studying then I will need to earn X to achieve all the above.” I didn’t want to work hard like my parents; I wanted to find a way for money to work hard for me. I worked hard to get promoted quickly, I researched a lot about shares and properties and experimented with buying my first property when I turned 18. The more I earned, the more I helped charity but that was where I found disengagement. I wasn’t able to have a good connection with the children I was helping. I wanted to know what the money was going towards but I had little answers so this learning has helped shape the transparency value with Miei Fiori. Every time I ticked a box by reaching my goals, I thought “Gosh that was easy.” My goals were big but they did grow bigger with each achievement so today I believe you can have it all if you really want to. Fi Mims: I know it seems easy when you’re telling how you did it, but I think that’s really something that we can often miss in the big picture; we make these goals but we forget to break them down. I know someone who is always saying, “Choose one thing and just take the first step, then the next step, then the next step.” But often we make this big goal and we’re so daunted by it that we don’t take those first steps. Lyly Greca: You’re absolutely right. I had big goals but if I didn’t break them down into bite sizes, I wouldn’t be able to achieve them. I literally just broke them down into baby steps. Five years to years, to months, to weeks, to days. Failure wasn’t a part of my vocabulary. It also comes down to looking after yourself and your health, whether it be a good night’s sleep every single night or a massage once a week, go for a walk, read, fill your mind with amazing things, learning and surround yourself with good friends. Make time for all the things that are important in your life. Fi Mims: I think there is a very slow shift in mindset in industry and the world, where people are starting to want to do more meaningful work for themselves, but also give back more. Are you finding this? Lyly Greca: Yes and no. We’ve probably contacted hundreds of businesses to date; we haven’t found a shift in the tide for small businesses thus far but have started to see that in larger organisations. There were two key elements that have made it easier for us to pitch to businesses as we’ve grown. First, getting known brands to support us has helped to impress and convert fence-sitters/spectators. Many people are followers rather than leaders; they sit and wait to see success before joining the crowd. Second, refining our pitch to



a simple and clear statement. At the start, we targeted small businesses because we thought they’d care more but we’ve found quite the contrary. They don’t have the policies in place or structure to support social impact. Receiving a lot of rejections and objections by many small businesses helped us to refine our pitch and armed us with the right tools to respond with when we had opportunities to present to the bigger corporations. Fi Mims: Is there any advice you have for people who would love to go on that journey of creating something where they give back, but don’t know where to start? Lyly Greca: That’s a tough one. And I say this because we came from a very fortunate situation where our early sound investment decisions, corporate life and other business ventures has given us the financial support, experience, skills and knowledge to create Miei Fiori to be profitable in a short time when most start-up businesses in the first 5 years would fail. The reason why Miei Fiori exists is to help close the poverty gap in Australia. We wanted it to be profitable from the first transaction so we funded the setup, resources and overheads. We wanted to have complete control of our company, how funds are used and distributed and the speed of our growth. My only advice is to know why you want to go into business, why your product/ service should exist and surround yourself with smarter and more successful people. Fi Mims: Maybe the answer is, that if you have the idea just don’t let that go. All those small and incremental steps from the age of 15 have helped you grow it into what it is today. Lyly Greca: Absolutely. I drew my path and I knew that I would be doing something great one day, I just didn’t know what, so I just accumulated my knowledge bank and sharped my tools waiting for that right opportunity.



Fi Mims: A couple of questions I wanted to ask before we finish. First, anyone reading this would think that you are extremely busy, but I’m here in your home, your kids are running around and you’re very relaxed. So tell me what a regular day looks like for you and your family and your business. If there is one. Lyly Greca: Our business activities vary every single day. Our life is built around the children. Mealtimes, all their key activities and curriculum are really important to us. Then we fit our work around them, so it forces us to work smarter with our time. This is why planned requirement is critical for us as it allows us to forecast and work it around our lifestyle. We plan ahead weekly, block out time, bring in support and outsource everything else. The key for us is to understand our priorities, reserve time for things that really matter and really dedicate ourselves to them. Then outsource everything else if possible so you only spend time doing the things that you love and the things that you’re good at. If you love it, you’ll put in 100%. If you’re good at it, you’re going to be able to achieve a faster, greater and more satisfying outcome. Fi Mims:

Where do you see Miei Fiori in 5 years time?

Lyly Greca: I love this question. My big goal is have a Miei Fiori in every state to support respective local communities. We want to spend the next two years to set the foundation strong and right in Victoria before taking that model and replicating it interstate with a goal for Nation presence by 2030. Fi Mims: That’s fantastic! Before we started you said you didn’t think you were inspiring but I beg to differ. What’s one piece of advice you could give to our readers? Lyly Greca: Listen more and ask more questions. If you don’t ask question, how could you know what the other person wants? You need to be able to scope and dig deep to the roots of why they’re asking you for something, then you’re not just being reactive but you’re solving their problem at the root core. Another great benefit of asking questions is it allows you to really know the other person and be really invested. Being really interested in others has many benefits. If you’re there to provide a product or a service, you want to ensure it’s going to meet their every need. Fi Mims: I’m glad you brought that up. With my branding photography, I ask a lot of questions around what my clients want to create. It’s about, “how can I help your business? What do you need?” Even with my family portrait clients, it’s quite easy to stick a price list in front of a family, but what you need to do is ask them: “What do you want? What is going to mean the most to you? How can I give you the most value?”



Lyly Greca: Listen 80% of the time and only speak 20% if possible. I often tell our children, we’ve been gifted with two ears and one mouth, we should listen twice as much as we speak. When others speak, you get to learn from them. You never know what amazing lessons you will take away from what they’re going to share. Fi Mims: I feel like we’ve talked about a lot more than your business today. I really love that. But I think that life and business are more intertwined these days – it’s not as separate as it used to be. Lyly Greca: Absolutely. The reason we wanted to have our own business is so we could have a flexible lifestyle to support our young family. It’s definitely intertwined. You need to be able to love what you do in business. When you’ve found your niche, you’ll never feel like you’re working again. I could get lost in flowers, design, strategies and business planning. Fi Mims: If I didn’t have a family to go home to, I think I could work 24-hours a day. It is easy when you love it. Lyly Greca: Yes absolutely, because it’s yours, the more you nurture it the more it grows so it’s addictive. Fi Mims:

I’m glad we finished on that note. Thank you!

To organise a flower delivery or to enquire about corporate packages, head on over to Miei Fiori HERE or get in touch with Lyly at: hello@mieifiori.com.au

Lyly Greca From the tender age of 15, Lyly picked a little face off a Christmas tree and decided she had to sponsor her. Every year thereafter, she has made it her mission to save the world one child at a time. Lyly and her husband Rob created Miei Fiori, an online floral enterprise that donates 100% of net profit to local children’s charities.





Q&A 46



a n i t r a M e c i d n a C h wit

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

I am the founder of GFG (Going for Goddess), which is a holistic health & lifestyle program for women. We use nutrition + health + self-care as the foundation for creating a beautiful and blissed out life. As women, we evolve and grow so much throughout our twenties and thirties, I love to help utilise this time for potent and purposeful transformations so they can confidently shine their light onto the world. My path was definitely a non-linear route. I pursued many other things before I discovered I was meant to be a coach. I’ve always been dedicated to my own health and happiness and, over the years, I became passionate about sharing my learning with others. It became really clear to me that we can reach greater heights through collective knowledge. I suppose the BIG catalyst for me was when I had an ‘oh my god I’m 30, what the hell am I doing with my life’ moment. That was when I really went all in to pursue my passions as a career and truly start following my heart.

Who are your clients and why do they choose you?

The people who are drawn to me are usually women aged 25-35 who are supermotivated to take back ownership of their health and their lives. They have felt that shift where they no longer want to pursue the approval of anyone but themselves. They deeply desire to live a life on their own terms. My clients choose me because I coach them towards seeing the divine, powerful goddess within; a woman who deserves to be honoured, cherished, respected and heard. They experience a transformation of their mindset and that is where real success comes from. They stop feeling like they should do things and they begin to really want to because they feel worthy beyond measure. I believe that we all have something special to offer the world, something that we were put here to do, and the only way to achieve that in its highest form is to take care of our body, mind and spirit. My message is always to listen to yourself and find what works for you because you are a unique individual who needs to find your own path. I can’t tell you how powerful this is. It has to be integrated into us from a motivated and educated place not just being told ‘this is what you need to do’.



What has been your biggest challenge in setting up your own business? The most challenging thing has been putting myself out there with the hope of inspiring others. It is never easy to step out into the unknown and wade through new and uncomfortable territory, but you know what they say the most rewarding things are never easy!! First starting a coaching business is literally like having one uncomfortable experience after the next. However, it has been really rewarding witnessing my own progress and seeing how these uncomfortable situations are getting easier as I grow as a woman and a coach.

kind of magic that I don’t take for granted. I have become a strong believer in the saying ‘we rise together’.

How does your work impact your life? GFG is a lifestyle, so my work is felt in every aspect of my life. Everything I do started from my own journey towards an empowered life. I am constantly learning about new wellness modalities, nutritional concepts, self-care practices and recipes. I’m always analysing what is and isn’t working. Anything I find that improves my quality of life then becomes something I bring into my coaching and writing. Everything feeds off each other, it’s really cool in that way. I feel so incredibly lucky that I have found a calling that allows me to do this. You know how that quote goes, ‘find a job you love and you will never work another day in your life” #winning

I have become a strong believer in the saying ‘we rise together’.

Have you sought advice from mentors? How do you feel this has impacted you and your business? A few years back, it became super clear to me that you are a byproduct of who you surround yourself with. So now I seek out and surround myself with people who I respect and look up to as often as I can. I feel really lucky to have connected with so many strong, ambitious and motivational women who I know I couldn’t go through this entrepreneurial journey without.

As well as other coaches and entrepreneurs, it has been amazing the way my clients have all inspired me. There hasn’t been one woman I have worked with who hasn’t mirrored a lesson I needed to learn or triggered an a-ha moment. To have a career where I am immersed in growth with so many beautiful souls is a



What does work/life balance mean for you? I have a very unconventional schedule so this changes for me so often! I consider my life to be in balance when I am making progress professionally yet still keeping up with the things I consider non-negotiable. I have to move my body every single day, sleep 8 hours, find time for reflection through meditation and journaling, eat nutritiously, stay hydrated and most importantly make time to connect with my partner/friends in real life not just via our devices. None of this getting stuck behind a computer and never actually touching



people! Today’s world can be a challenge to find balance so just keep trying and adjust accordingly. Our bodies intuitively let us know when we are out of balance, we just need to listen.

What are three things that you draw inspiration from? I love this question! There are way too many to list. Without question, I am inspired by the Goddess. My whole brand is inspired by the beauty, strength and compassion of the goddess and I use many of her teachings in my life every single day. If I am thinking of coaches who have inspired me, I love and admire Tony Robbins. His story and devotion to selfdevelopment is so aligned with my own. He is such a legend in my eyes. Thirdly, LA and California. I live in Venice, CA which is basically the health and wellness Mecca of the world. I always knew my passion was self-development



and living well, but it wasn’t until I moved here that I began to see myself being able to do it as a career. I am so grateful for the mindset here and the people who make it all possible. Everywhere you look or go you meet new inspiring people doing things to live better, enhance their quality of life and to be HAPPY.

What has been the biggest highlight of your last year? The biggest highlight of my past year was turning 30. I found it to be such a powerful time of great transformation and evolution and for me. It really lifted me to that next level in terms of who I wanted to be and what I wanted for myself. I became crystal clear in my vision for my coaching and my life, I gave up drinking, totally detoxed my life and flipped a big switch on how I honour myself and participate in life. I am so excited to see what that shift will bring for me in this next year as I continue to work on my brand new business.

What lights you up? Progress. I LOVE progress. Mix grit and tenacity with heart and soul and it lights me up like a Christmas tree baby! Some specifics that light me up are moving my body, especially soul-cycle (because of the music and high energy), and hiking because it connects me to nature and myself. I love the whole process of creating nutritious meals for myself and the ones I love, music for sure, my toy poodle Lily, and good conversation is a big one too! Oh and traveling I can’t forget traveling.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? Life has a mysterious ways of taking you places you had no idea you would end up and I kind of love that. So without being too specific, I definitely see myself expanding my reach as a mentor and a coach, and starting a family. Becoming a modern day mama has always been my greatest priority so I am looking so forward to that in the next few years. Other than that I am open to what this beautiful life has to offer me and I am just staying grounded in gratitude for every moment.

If you would love Candice to help you transform into the woman you are here to become, check out her brand new website here or connect with her on Instagram @ goingforgoddess and Facebook.

Candice Martina Candice Martina is the founder of Going For Goddess, a holistic health and lifestyle program that focuses on nutrition, well-being and self-care as the foundation for creating a beautiful, blissed-out life from the inside, out. She considers herself a full-time wellness seeker, born with the relentless drive to overcome obstacles, pursue health & happiness and discover what it means to be successful on her own terms. This lifelong passion is what lead her to create GFG after realizing that no matter how hard you try, nothing in this life can be done alone, and seeing first hand the exponential results that can be accomplished with the love & support of a coach. Candice works to empower women and spread her message through one on one coaching, group programs, content creation, speaking and community gatherings. Connect: Instagram @ goingforgoddess and Facebook.






s e k a m t a h w o D e n i h s l u o s r u yo





d o o t s r e d n U r e t Bet



tyle makes an impression without saying a word. What do you want to say? As uncomfortable as it may be to hear this, you are responsible for your appearance. How you dress sends an instant message that conveys volumes – it influences how you’re perceived and the potential others see in you. You could call it your visual voice. And yet, it’s not something we are taught to use to our advantage. It’s time to set aside any confusion and habitual behaviour that inhibits you from presenting yourself in the best possible way. Visual style that is done well – with purpose – really has the power to shape opinions and perceptions of you. We are naturally drawn to things that look good. This isn’t an observation on beauty as such, but a consideration of design. Take a look at the cafés in your favourite urban neighbourhood. It’s not enough that they serve great food and provide good service, they need to draw people in if they want to stay in business. The design and aesthetics of a café or venue create a visually pleasing harmony. It helps

our unconscious brain to make positive associations which enhances our mood and the general feel of the total experience. When it comes to utilising these principles with your own style, the same applies! Except as an individual, you have even greater scope to show personality. I recently discovered “our unconscious bias uses the 1st impression of a person to then understand everything they do”. This was presented by Senior Scientist of the Neuro-leadership Institute, Heidi Grant Halvorson. Heidi is interested in studies that look at whether or not we come across the way we intend to. She also highlighted how the unconscious mind employs clever tricks and calculated guesses to fill in the blanks. This helps to keep our brains operating at optimum efficiency, because it would be impossible to consciously take in and process every single piece of data collected through our senses. The trouble is, our conclusions largely work on limited data (eg: stereotypes & first impressions) to inform that judgement. And surprisingly, she also went on to mention “you don’t have to agree with a stereotype to believe it.” This is because it happens at an unconscious level. It’s what’s been culturally conditioned into us.



Now I don’t have experience in psychology, but I have worked in the fashion industry long enough to know the value of one great interaction or the importance of a strong first impression. It significantly impacts our perception of a person or a business overall. We need to make an effort to keep our visual messages strong. What you say and do will always be a true measure of who you are, but in order to be understood quickly, you also need to take advantage of the non-verbal signals that are conveyed through that first impression.

So, how do you bring this together and apply it to yourself with what you wear? Here are 3 ideas you can focus on to kick start the discovery of your own style: 1.Uncover your Visual Voice It’s no surprise that you will feel your best when you wear a style that best reflects you. You can then forget about your outfit and focus on what really matters. Take the time to choose 3 words that best describe what you want your outfits to reflect – or how you want to be perceived – and then start collecting inspiration that reflects this. Quite often there are shapes or styles you’ve been drawn to unknowingly and they’re already hanging in your wardrobe. This is the best way to take baby steps out of your comfort zone and discover your full potential.

You also need to take advantage of the nonverbal signals...

Ask yourself... How are you dressing the message? Take my client Dani Valent for example. She is a Melbourne food writer who has created her own Youtube cooking channel DaniValentCooking.com to inspire home cooks to create restaurant quality meals with a Thermomix. Dani was really keen to bring joy and inspiration to her subscribers, but she wanted to do it in a way that was also relatable and fun. The support elements of her brand help us to quickly make sense of who she is and what she does. Her logo, on-set kitchen props and colourful outfits (which I source and style), all convey her happy and inspired mood which draw viewers to engage with her brand. Because her visual message is strong, we have confidence in her offering.



2.Consider your Position Let your own style be validating for you, yet identifiable for others too. The goal here is to be able to stand out, but not apart. Studies reveal we have learned expectations around what to wear in the context of a given situation. A polished professional look can convey authority, while an informal look may appear more approachable or individual. If you want to be feeling your best, it’s important to strike a deliberate balance between self-

expression and looking appropriate for a particular occasion. 3.Pay attention to Detail Never underestimate the power of a good hair day or the perfect lipstick colour. Finishing details are what create the difference between good and great. Grooming is an essential part of this. Hair, make-up, nails, shoes, jewellery and bags; all of these minor details help us construct a more complete picture of a person’s character. Think of these items as the investment pieces for the long term. They are the ingredients that contribute to a consistent look overall, showing a level of respect and care. Style is such an accessible tool to help you be seen, heard and understood. The heart of style is your cohesive visual story. Give yourself permission to develop your own visual voice and then own it. This is what will help build your self-confidence. When you look good and feel good, you convey empowering messages to yourself and others that suggest “I’m trustworthy and I’m capable”.

If you needs some inspiration getting your wardrobe up to scratch, Louise is a sourcing expert with the fashion expertise to help ease your decision fatigue. That means you can focus more on what really matters. Visit Louise’s website or contact her to learn more.

Louise Weigall Louise is a Style Consultant, Product Specialist & Sourcing Expert and the founder of Style with Substance. She is passionate about helping businesswomen apply the principles of design in their own wardrobe to remove decision fatigue so they can focus more on what really matters. From working with labels like Scanlan Theodore, Country Road, Willow, Gorman, Sass & Bide and many more, she knows just how to help women uncover their own identity and embrace style to look and feel great.









Q&A 60



i r a z z i l l e P a l l e r o L With from Casetta Living

Tell us about your business, Casetta Living. How is it different from other furniture and gift stores? We are a Melbourne-based online boutique business and source Australian and internationally-designed homewares, gifts and art. We are thrilled to promote Australian design and innovation. Everything is thoughtfully curated to balance a sense of space, beauty and functionality. And all with great customer service!

We focus on smaller distinctive collections from artisans and designers rather than the mass produced items you find in common chain stores. Less is definitely more when it comes to interior statement. Create an ambience you’ll love to live in! Sustainability is important to us as well. Our pieces are lovingly wrapped and ready to be gifted but we use only natural, biodegradable and environmentally friendly packaging materials..

What inspired you to start your business?

The name Casetta means “Little Home” in Italian. The inspiration came when our son Marc embarked into apartment living. We saw the growing trend in small space living. With apartment lifestyles and smaller homes becoming more popular, we spotted the opportunity to provide pieces that would help to create a beautiful and functional ambience, regardless of dimensions. How long did it take from conception to reality? I’ve always loved interiors and design, so the passion was burning. Once I left my corporate role, I had the ‘light bulb’ moment to start our Casetta while having coffee with my husband. What followed was a lot of discussions and reality checks. Should we buy an established homewares business or start from scratch? How would we differ from the many stores out



there? How do we provide affordable, beautiful and purposeful homewares and furnishings that is also high quality and pleases the senses? Our hearts told us to start from scratch so we did. It meant we could make this project truly our own, something to reflect our passion and inspiration. We accepted we weren’t going to know all the answers upfront, so we threw caution to the wind and took the leap of faith. It took 6 months of solid product research, business planning, website and social media preparation to feel ready to launch the business. What sort of support – either by people or systems – do you find offers the most help in running your business, and how?


I love everything about running my own business to be honest. As an online homewares and gift store, the flexibility and the ability to work from home whilst seizing business opportunities on offer is a wonderful combination. We have a close connection with all our very talented makers and suppliers, and we are proud to represent local Australian designers and bring their boutique brands to our customers.

Each day presents new challenges as well as new opportunities.

Casetta Living would not be a reality without my family! My husband Louis and our two adult children, Marc and Bianca, have been very supportive in my decision to launch Casetta Living. Louis was instrumental in the setting up of the business, from the IT side of things to the website. Bianca helped with marketing management and social media and Marc was able to provide financial assistance. It has been very much a family affair! Their support is invaluable.


What’s your favourite thing about owning & operating your business?

Our wonderful customers are a true pleasure as well. We value good oldfashioned customer service and it is appreciated by everyone who shops with us.

What do you think is the biggest challenge in running an online business? As we approach our first year anniversary, the Casetta Living journey is one I have enjoyed immensely and learnt much along the way. Each day presents new challenges as well as new opportunities. The challenges of learning and keeping abreast of online and social media trends keeps me on my toes, as I have had to embrace new technologies that come with online trading.



they have (or will) add value to your business? With business growth in mind and having been approached on a number of occasions for professional photographs, I felt it was important to personalise the business brand with a personal branding What have you learnt about yourself session. The portfolio of images provided through the process of building your have defined me as a real person behind the brand and they’ve been a wonderful business? asset to the business profile. I enjoy the independence and flexibility What advice would you give of running a small business immensely. someone thinking of setting up an Meeting like-minded business colleagues online product-based business? and sharing experiences surprises and excites me on each occasion. Working Do your homework carefully and take time from home and online means I find it researching and ask as many questions absolutely crucial to keep a day a week to current or previous business owners free, (usually Friday) for self-development, as possible. Louis and I learnt a lot by mentoring, attendance at trade fairs, etc. to keep connected and in touch with fellow speaking to business owners as they were forthcoming and very generous industry colleagues. with information and this gave us the confidence to launch. You recently had some personal branding photos taken of you for Follow your heart and passion; your business? What motivated hard work will pay off! you to do this, and how do you feel As we deliver to all locations Australiawide and most international locations, finding high quality, reliable and affordable logistic partners is very much a challenge so we are constantly monitoring and reviewing the best way forward.

Head on over to Casetta Living HERE and discover some unique artisan treasures for your perfect home.

Lorella Pellizzari


Lorella is the founder of ‘Casetta Living’ (which is Italian for ‘Little Home’), an online boutique homewares and gift emporium focusing on smaller distinct designer pieces. With a background in marketing and a passion for interiors and design, she loves finding new treasures and sources her stock from wonderful and impressive pool of local artisanal and design talent. As a mother and wife with a strong Italian heritage, family, friends, food and travel are loves that inspire Lorella each day. shineonlinemagazine

What are you looking forward to right now? With a plethora of local artisanal talent, we are looking forward to continually expanding our collections. And we’re working towards our first pop-up store in the not too distant future; a very exciting prospect! Where would you like your business to be in 5 years’ time? I would love to think that the business retains a strong sense of purpose and fun, with our ultimate goal being the design and manufacture of a Casetta Living line of homewares. For now, I’m thrilled with what we have achieved to date and I’m excited about what lies ahead!



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Shine Magazine Issue 2  

Shine Magazine Issue 2