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Journal

Wo-Wo-Women


"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights." - Gloria Steinem
Wo-Wo-Women

Unless you’re really good at avoiding social media (if you are, feel free to hola and give us some tips ‍♀️!) you know that today is International Women’s Day. I mean seriously, we’re pretty amazing beings and what better way to celebrate our achievements than dedicate an entire day to it!

So we wanted to share with you some of the women that truly inspire us (including our fearless leader Phoebe!) and make us strive to be better daughters, sisters, mothers, partners and, well, women!

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Cherie Colan – Digital Picnic
WHAT DO YOU DO?

I run a digital marketing agency, The Digital Picnic, and we got really sick of digital marketers putting the fear of God into business owners making them think they can’t run a lot of their social activity themselves, … so? We run training workshops to empower people to be able to run their social activity themselves.

Of course, there’s also empowerment in recognising what outsource point looks like, so we *do* manage social activity, but we’re really selective about who we bring on as a client, i.e it’s gotta be the kinda businesses that light us up / make us wanna grow that brand into something big, beautiful, powerful, or whatever it is they’re trying to achieve from their digital footprint.

I love my job.  I really, really, *really* love my job.

WHY DO YOU GET OUT OF BED TO DO IT?

I get out of bed and do my job, because since becoming a business owner … I instantaneously loved Mondays.  There was no commute to work, with this overwhelming feeling of dread working for the person who chewed talented digital marketers up and spat them out, ha! [Yes.  That was really my job at one point in time].

Now? I get to create the business, and the team, and the workplace culture that I always dreamt of having for myself, and I’d say that 99.9% of the time? … I do just that.

That other 0.1% … well, … we’re only human right? Ha!

WHAT WOMEN OR MOMENT IN WOMENS HISTORY HAS INSPIRED YOU?

Well, given that my Dad is studying astrophysics in his retirement, it’s safe to say I’ve grown up around science, so it’d be Marie Curie who most inspires me [that was hard to pick btw.  There are *so* many formidable women!]. 

I love what she did for science, and for women in general, and I also love that she took out not one, but two Nobel Peace Prizes, despite male counterparts giving her a *really* difficult time.  To me? She shows the strength of a woman, not just to the men giving her a hard time for wanting to have a place in science, but to the women who judged her ability to enjoy that success whilst also navigating Motherhood.

If Marie can do what she did? … I can navigate company ownership as a proud, working woman.

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Clarissa Rayward The Happy Family Lawyer
WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a divorce lawyer by day – working with families through separation and divorce in a way that enables them to stay out of court and stay friends.  Over the last few years I have also become some what of an accidental wellness advocate – working with lawyers around Australia to lead happier lives in and outside of law.  And then in my free time I am a wife, mum and hopefully a good daughter and friend!

WHY DO YOU GET OUT OF BED TO DO IT?

I do love my work which I always find so strange really as I am working with people during one of the most challenging times in their lives.  But each day I am inspired by my clients – by the way they tackle the many challenges life throws their way and I do enjoy being a small part of them finding their new beginnings. 

More recently I have started to work more and more in coaching and educating lawyers – we have one of the highest rates of psychological ill health of all of the professions.  This really worries me as for all of the bad stories about lawyers, we are responsible for so much of what holds our civil society together.  I want to be a part of a great profession of lawyers doing great things and not have my colleagues suffering from mental ill health because of the structures and stressors of a profession that has been so slow to change with the times.

WHAT WOMEN OR MOMENT IN WOMENS HISTORY HAS INSPIRED YOU?

This past week I have been researching all things Ruth Bader-Ginsburg – thanks to the recent release of the movie ‘On the Basis of Sex’.  What a woman and of course an amazing lawyer.  I am so very grateful for all that she and the many women lawyers before me have done. 

When it comes to who inspires me daily – I only have to look to my mum, my two daughters, my colleagues and friends.  I am surrounded by so many amazing women who each and every day show up, do their best, lead with compassion and kindness and challenge the old norms for the better and it is that that has me smiling all the time.

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Susana Shirtcliffe – Create.Pray.Move
WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a yoga teacher and mama.

WHY DO YOU GET OUT OF BED TO DO IT?

Because I live to connect with people. My role as teacher allows me to share my knowledge of yoga, and how it has helped me maintain my physical and mental wellbeing throughout each season of life. 

It is the role of motherhood however, that I adore and revere the most. Being given the responsibility to guide, nurture and LEARN from my tiny human beings has been the most beautiful, chaotic and awe-inspiring ride yet. There is no greater opportunity to grow in the practice of being truly present, than when you are of service to those you cherish. 

WHAT WOMEN OR MOMENT IN WOMENS HISTORY HAS INSPIRED YOU?

There are many, but at present, Tash Sultana. She is an incredibly mesmerizing, talented, self-taught musician who often flies under the radar (but shouldn’t!). She has risen above great adversity in her young life, proving that there is hope and life beyond the grip of drug addiction; a topic I feel is so important for the youth of today. I think she’s awesome.

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Rebecca Morgan – BuildHer Collective
WHAT DO YOU DO?

We help women take back control of the building process to allow them to renovate their dream homes. We do that by providing online courses, webinars, events and mentoring.

WHY DO YOU GET OUT OF BED TO DO IT?

Seeing women create their own family spaces – spaces that they can entertain friends, nature and grow their families and a space that is a harmonious reflection of themselves!

When I reflect on managing my personal home renovation and build, I see it as one of the most rewarding projects I ever completed. My long time friend and business partner, Kribasini Hannon and I created Buildher Collective with this in mind.

I believe our openness and empathy help to inspire and guide women to feel confident that they can build not just a house, but their dream home. It’s resulted in a community of clever, empowered, motivated female builders learning, supporting each other, and unleashing their creativity to the world. What better reason is there to get out of bed!

WHAT WOMEN OR MOMENT IN WOMENS HISTORY HAS INSPIRED YOU?

I have just watched the “7 Lives of Jane Fonda” and her tenacity is amazing! Her ability to reinvent herself and follow her own path aligning her whole being with different movements through her life is incredible!

Annie Bell – Mother
WHAT DO YOU DO?

Mother, Grandmother and I am a full-time nanny caring for 2 children, aged 2 and 5 yrs. 

WHY DO YOU GET OUT OF BED TO DO IT?

Even though it is hard work, they are adorable and are my reason for getting out of bed. My own children and grandchildren are the other reason – they are life’s treasures.

WHAT WOMEN OR MOMENT IN WOMENS HISTORY HAS INSPIRED YOU?

I have enormous respect for women who are strong, resourceful and especially those who have beaten adversity. In addition, modesty, with a capital M, is such an admirable trait in anyone.

Perhaps my role model would be a special surgeon, called Anita, who expertly treated me many years ago. She has a huge heart, is always up for a big laugh and never seems to show signs of stress even though she is under huge pressure. All great qualities!

I’m also blessed to have many special women in my life. Including my two wonderful daughters. Each with their own unique qualities but all are unanimously amazing. We’re lucky to be women and should celebrate our special day together. 

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Noël Coughlan – NC interiors
WHAT DO YOU DO?

I run a boutique interior design, decoration and styling studio specialising in beautiful functional spaces.

WHY DO YOU GET OUT OF BED TO DO IT?

I am motivated by seeing an interior space come to life with layers of personality and individual style, telling the intricate story of the people who live there. I feel very fortunate to work with some amazing clients, many who have become good friends.

It brings me great joy to see a smile on their face after a completed renovation or decoration install. I see the design process as a very personal journey so feel very grateful when clients open their doors to me and allow me to create magic within their homes.

WHAT WOMEN OR MOMENT IN WOMENS HISTORY HAS INSPIRED YOU?

I have always been inspired by hard working ambitious women, women who have passion and drive and work their butt off to succeed.  I am inspired by women who encourage, support and appreciate one another. Women who in a world of ever changing fads and trends stay true to who they are and what they believe. My dad told me from a young age “Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it”. I have always respected and admired women who create their own path.

Something a lot of people would not know about me is I am extremely passionate about the ocean, the environment and all animals which call it home. A huge inspiration of mine is a wonderful woman named Brinkley Davies, a long time wildlife and nature advocate, with a background in Marine Biology.

Brinkley founded Balu Blue in 2016 which is a not-for profit organization with a vision to be a part of the environmental awareness movement, to inspire others to live with a light footprint on this planet and to learn about and respect wildlife, both within Australia and internationally. Balu Blue Foundation aims to educate and inspire sustainable and ethical living, that minimises our harm to the oceans, animals, and our planet as a whole.

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Clare Monahan – Light Space Yoga
WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’m a Mum to 3 gorgeous little boys – 6, 4 and almost 2. I’m also a yoga teacher, and founder of Light Space Yoga with my mother, Susan. We have 3 beautiful yoga studios across Melbourne (designed by Sage and Clare, of course).

WHY DO YOU GET OUT OF BED TO DO IT?

I love it. I love all of it. And I feel really lucky. We have the most beautiful community across our studios – gorgeous people who are genuinely so grateful to have found yoga. And that is ultimately why we created Light Space – it stemmed from a love of seeing the transformative effect that yoga and meditation can have on people’s lives.

WHAT WOMEN OR MOMENT IN WOMENS HISTORY HAS INSPIRED YOU?

My own Mother. If you meet her, you’ll understand why. She is beautiful inside and out, and she has this crazy energy that people are attracted to and want to be around. She is fun (and hilarious) but so utterly caring and loving. She inspires me. And we have so much fun working together.

I’ve also always been inspired by Audrey Hepburn. When I was a teenager I had a poster of her, from a scene in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, above my bed (which come to think of it, seems a bit strange)! Her grace and elegance, and her determination and courage to make a difference in this world – I’ve always admired and look up to her.

Julia Green – Greenhouse Interiors
WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am an interior stylist, writer, presenter, PR agent, and rainmaker to a creative collective called Greenhouse Interiors – and Sage and Clare is my marquee textile brand. No two days are ever the same in my world, but each task I undertake is with the upmost passion and integrity, all derived from my deep love of interiors and people.

WHY DO YOU GET OUT OF BED TO DO IT?

I work 7 days a week, and around the clock – it’s pretty intense. I rarely sleep properly, and have given up what I consider a normal life to run this show alongside a dedicated team of people.

If I am honest, I find myself questioning the ‘why’ part in particular, a lot of late. I have great family and friends that don’t see enough of me – let alone any time to myself. I have not found the nirvana of work life balance at all, and in truth am not sure it exists in small business. I also think in my line of work, outsourcing is tricky as so much of what I do sits inside of my head. Ah the torture of the creative existence!

I have grown this business with a fab team of people, and am proud of the reputation we have in the marketplace, and the position I have cemented within the media. But it has come at a cost. The notion that my job is ‘glamorous’ is a complete fallacy. It is sheer dogged, hard work, and relentless. So why do I do it? Most days I will tell you it comes from the fire deep within my belly, and a lifelong love affair for all things interior. Other days, I am not sure. At least I am honest. Always.

WHAT WOMEN OR MOMENT IN WOMENS HISTORY HAS INSPIRED YOU?

I could get all high brow with you re women that inspire me – and there are tonnes I could list. But I am a big believer in looking at the grass roots of where it begins. My mum, Jillian, is not only a best friend – but also a total inspiration to me. Mums unconditional belief in me has likely laid the foundations for my own belief system. My values that I hold dear come right from her core. The apple never falls far from the tree – right? 

She also recently suffered a traumatic accident, and lost her leg. The dignity, the will,  determination and optimism she has shown in her recovery would rival the best of them. Her resilience has been something my kids and I have watched in awe. I am beyond proud of her, who she is, and look to her for wisdom on all life matters. Life experience and maturity cannot be bought or taught, and I am respectful of that.

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Kate Mayes – Kate Mayes Art
WHAT DO YOU DO

I’m an artist, Mum to 2 beautiful girls and spend most of my days creating in my home studio down in Torquay.

WHY DO YOU GET OUT OF BED TO DO IT?

My children get me out of bed!

On a serious note, I feel incredibly lucky that I get to do something that I love and be surrounded by inspiring people while doing it! Becoming a part of the Greenhouse Interiors family recently has allowed me to reignite the passion that comes with art. Being involved in a group of diverse creatives and feeling supported in an environment that can be so insular has enabled me to evolve as an artist and woman.

WHAT WOMEN OR MOMENT IN WOMENS HISTORY HAS INSPIRED YOU?

There are so many incredible women that inspire me, but some in particular that come to mind are Frida Kahlo (artist, of course), Sheila Kitzinger (she’s a natural childbirth activist – she’s awesome) and Malala Yousafzai (she’s a Pakistani activist for female education and she does the most amazing talks).

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Phoebe Bell – Sage x Clare
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Well, surprise surprise, I’m the founder of Sage x Clare and also a Mum to my little boy, Jude.
WHY DO YOU GET OUT OF BED TO DO IT?
Slap me for sounding a little cliché, but I honestly think I’ve found the reason I’ve been put on this earth. Running my little biz has it’s challenges and tribulations don’t get me wrong, but it’s the reason I get up every day. I have that fire in my belly, even after almost 6 years, and Sage x Clare is dynamic enough to keep me interested, challenged, inspired and determined each and every day.
I’m also very lucky to work with a team I call my friends and family. No joke, they actually are. Even if I’m having the worst morning, I know I can face up to work with a support network that will put tools down for 5 mins and just be there. It’s a very special place and I’m beyond grateful for it.
WHAT WOMEN OR MOMENTS IN WOMENS HISTORY HAVE INSPIRED YOU?
The list really speaks for itself. I’m genuinely inspired by the women in my community because they’ve got a level of grit and stoicism that quite often leaves me in total awe. The women around me look like graceful swans on the surface but look closely and they’re paddling furiously to keep it altogether. I’m both mystified by how they do it and utterly amazed.
With love,
xx

 

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