Thursday, April 29, 2010

Shades of grey.....the new black.....

We seem to live in a world that is either black or white with very little space for shades of grey. Our beliefs are often in conflict with those around us. Everyone seems to know what we should be doing, how we need to be living and the path that is right for us!
Can anyone ever know what is the "right" way and whether that path will ultimately lead us to the success we seek. How do we follow our inner guidance and avoid making the mistakes which can derail and knock us off our path?

A few years ago I found the Human Design System which has guided me into understanding how I operate and helping me to fulfill my life's purpose....I finally received my very own manual. You cant buy a Samsung DVD player and use the manual of a different model and make and expect to make it work!! Same as with our own lives..... In order for life to work we need a map or our inner workings, our mind, our conscious and unconscious self and with this we can finally come into our own and be who we were truly made to be.

The past few weeks have made me realise that becoming black or white in our thinking takes away the very joy of life. We become rigid in the right and wrong ways of doing things! We start to impose limitations on ourselves as we judge trying to be perfect mothers, wives, friends and partners.

There will always be people who think they know what is best for us, what is the right way, what religious rule will make God love us even more and hopefully reward us for our "good deeds". But what really happens is that we become so unhappy in the rigid thinking that we become dysfunctional and unhappy in the now.

With every Rabbi, Priest and guru spinning the latest tune of what is "really" the right way to live you have to ask yourself - who is right if they all believe they are right??? How confusing is it when everyone believes they know what is best and we are left wondering whether we can trust our own inner knowing and guidance system. Many of us have long forgotten that we even have one and we continue to listen to everyone else's opinion instead of letting our inner voice guide us.

All we have is the present moment, each day a gift and what I have learned in the past few weeks is that giving up on what brings me joy to think that I will be rewarded some time in the future is not the answer. We believe we have to give up something to one day get something but in the meantime we give up on the greatest pleasures! There is no happy ending to an unhappy journey! Of course we need to make our decisions wisely but perhaps with more shades of really is the new black!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Private Interview with Marie Hatzis....Designer & Creator of the Hussy Brand

They say that women are the stronger of the two sexes. Through interviewing some of Australia's most remarkable women I have seen first hand the way in which they reach for their goals and work to create a life that is meaningful in every way possible.

I have always wondered how some women are able to "have it all". To build an empire, to be there for their loved ones and to build a family amongst all the chaos and challenges presented in the world of business? Some of us struggle to keep two things going at the same time yet for some such as Marie Hatzis, designer & creator of the Hussy Brand who at the time of being interviewed was nursing her new born baby whilst growing the empire which she has built from the ground up. The true secret is to surround yourself with people who support you, your vision and your dream.

From humble beginnings in 1995, Sydney-based Marie Hatzis created the Hussy label at the tender age of 21 with just $2,000 in her pocket and a healthy combination of ambition, drive and a sense of adventure. Over the past 14 years, she has built the company into a multinational organisation, with an export arm spanning 11 countries and representation from showrooms and publicists from Sydney to London, Dubai and Los Angeles.

I have had the pleasure of watching the Hussy Brand grow into the success story that it is today. From the very first store in South Dowling Street to now dominating the chic locations with her beautifully decked out flagship stores in Cavill Avenue, GPO Melbourne and the shopping mecca of Seminyak in Bali.

This woman is truly an inspiration and I am privileged to be able to share her story with you.....
Where were you born?

Where did you grow up?
Seaforth – northern beaches

Current city?

Favourite designer - why?
Loved Alexander Mcqueen – especially after I managed to see one of his early shows in London in 1995. He really was a true genius at fashion!

How do these fashion brands/designers empower women?
I think it allows a certain type of woman to feel comfortable expressing themselves through their clothing and personal style – thus, quite empowering!

Favourite charity?
Heart foundation. My father died of heart failure and I feel like I wasn’t aware enough of his condition at the time his heart eventually failed. There needs to be so much more education so that we can force our parents to change their lifestyles at an earlier age so that they can live longer.

Favourite holiday spot – why?
Greece – my parents are Greek and took my sister and I holidaying there many times when we were younger. There is no other spot in the world like it! I love the contrast of the Mediterranean colours as well.

Favourite resort/place to stay -?
Maldives – Huvafen Fushi. Ultimate deluxe tropical island holiday topped off with your own bungalow butler!…and absolute slice of heaven!

Things you love and cant live without?
My family.

You have a brand which empowers women….What has been the inspiration behind the brand and how do you feel that what you create has the ability to help women?
I feel that when the hussy customer buys the label, they are after making an impression. Either for themselves or onto others – it doesn’t matter, the point is – they will ALWAYS make in impression in HUSSY.

Where does your inspiration come from?
I generally view what is going on around the world in fashion, but also vintage stores and mix it up with how my gorgeous friends and the women that work for me would carry off the look – and this is how the designs start their evolution.

How did you start out?
What do you love most about what you do?
I love the women that I work with, I love watching the women that I dress and how confident they look in my designs and how much it changes their persona when they are wearing the hussy look. And I also love the fact that I have a new wardrobe every season…!

What do you feel is your calling and how do you achieve it through your art and work as a designer?
I think that I have managed over 15 years to juggle running a business and creatively directing the Hussy label something to be extremely proud of. It is not easy to do the two at the same time and most designers will have business heads running their company or vice versa. I concentrated for many years to accentuate and flatter the female body – but also providing our hussy fans with cutting edge styles.

What other professions have you tried and when and how did you know that this was your calling?
I don’t know what else to do except for this – I was working towards this since the age of about 8 whilst playing designer with my mum and my Barbie dolls.

Who has influenced your career and how?
My mother started me on this track at a young age when she helped me dress my barbies. I learnt how to sew at school. I have been influenced by other successful women and successful designers such as the Zimmerman girls for example.

How did you go about achieving your level of success? We want the secrets….
Worked REALLY hard! For a really long time!
Perseverance and persistence pays off. Believing in your team and backing them. Letting go a little so that I can work ON the business instead of IN the business all the time, this gives me a new perspective.

What do you believe is the reason you are where you are today?
As I said perseverance and persistence – keep on kicking that ball! We keep learning from our mistakes and trying to perfect the recipe – and this helps a lot. The stronger the team – the better the product becomes too.

What is success to you?
Success to me is being able to work away from the business as I am at the moment. Taking some time to be something else in my life – a MUM and the business to still keep on thriving by selling to the TOP stores around the world and also opening new stores locally.
I think that in current times, if you are still in business and moving forward and growing, you are successful!

What do you believe are the keys to success?
A happy family, good friends, stable home, passion etc and how have those things been instrumental to your success at work and in life.
absolutely word for word…! I also think that a healthy mind and body allows for the spirit to take you to the next level in business.

What has your success enabled you to do? What other goals and dreams has it allowed you to pursue?
I feel that success draws you to other successful people, like attracts like as they say, so therefore my dream and goal of having an amazing husband and being a successful mother and wife is being fulfilled everyday.
Success also enables you to be drawn to others in business as well that inspire me to become more successful. I meet these people everyday – either through my travels or in my office! I find this very exciting as I love to learn about what makes these people tic.
I have also managed to see so much of the world and so many different cultures through either travelling for my work or through the well deserved holidays we have – work hard….play hard!

Was success a choice or something that just happened? What conscious decision did you make to get to where you are today?
I have always wanted to be successful and I feel like I haven’t even started yet!
I remember writing a report at college of wanting to be and do all the things that I have done today – except making the HUSSY fragrance…but maybe that is something to keep working towards!

How do you balance being a mother, a designer and running a number of successful stores across Australia?
I am not sure how I do it – but it does require the help of many many capable hands and a lot of pre organization.

What keeps you going?
The bills I have to pay! Ha!
No – really – its more the ambition and passion of everyone that works at hussy, I cant help but have it rubbed off on me! I also feel that although others may think we are successful, I am never satisfied that this is enough – so I strive for higher highs all the time!

Have you had a mentor along the way and who inspires you most and why?
My husband has been a good mentor for me and his work ethic has definitely rubbed off on me. I have also got some amazing friends who also have their own fashion brands or work in the industry that also inspire me when we sometimes do talk about business.
I also love reading or watching movies about historical fashion icons such as Coco Chanel.

Who would you most like to meet and why?
Probably Karl Lagerfeld – just because I am curious at how he has physically managed to work in so many fashion houses and have so many projects going at the same time! He must have 1000 assistants!

What are the most important lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
Location, location, location

What difficulties and challenges have you faced to get to where you are and how did you turn them around?
My god – there were sooooo many!!! I guess the biggest one is the financial side of the business. Its always a struggle to fund the growth of a fashion brand on its own. I am proud to say that we have done this to date.

When things were tough and there were moments where you doubted yourself and the path you were traveling on? How did you overcome the doubts and what did you do?
There was a time in the very early days where my accountant told me that I would make more money by washing dishes in a restaurant….so I felt completely disheartened. I sat my parents down and told them – it was ALL too hard…and I just couldn’t do it anymore. They had their cheque book open and offered to help which I turned down politely, but their emotional support inspired me to go on. They told me to do whatever made me happy. The next day – a shop on South Dowling St came up for lease and the landlord turned out to be the man that took the wedding photo’s of my parents at their wedding 38 years before in that very same shop! I took this as an omen and never looked back. A shop took my business to the next level it needed.

What has been your strategy when things got tough personally and professionally?
Sometimes it’s as simple as a girls night out [pre babies…!] to blow off some steam. Or a good holiday is always a great band-aid. But the best thing I found is going to Bali for my designing trips – this allowed me some ME time away from the business, my personal life and allowed me to also get my creative juices flowing – which in turn reminds me why I am in this business to begin with! Bali has been my savior over and over again!

If you could say one thing to women out there to inspire them on their journey to success what would it be?
Try and watch for signs – learn from mistakes and don’t despair – persevere with your passion and learn from other successful women!

Do you have a favourite quote you would like to share with us and what it means to you?
You get enough sleep when you are dead…
You need to put the hours in to succeed in business initially – so find the energy to get the hours in you need to to make it a success.

Perfectly said.....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Exposing the secrets to women's success.....

I recently embarked on a mission to uncover the "secrets" behind the success of some of Australia's most recognised women. I have learned much about what it truly takes and as dumb it sounds some of it is pretty simple but never easy. Our lipstick Queen Poppy King has risen and fallen and risen again. Samantha Wills has built an empire from the Sydney markets to now take her brand to the big apple and Lisa Kelly is surfing the success wave with her bikini collection. There is so much we as women can learn from each other hence why I took this journey to bring you the real behind the scenes stories to inspire and empower you to take the action you need to make your dreams a reality.

A few years ago I came across Dale Beaumont, a young and very inspiring young man who after a tip-off from his entrepreneurial wife where she told him that she was sick of reading business books by macho males, set out to write and publish a series of books exposing the secrets of our high flying Australian women.
For years it's been the men that have held the business lime-light. Think about it - Gerry Harvey, Dick Smith, Lachlan Murdoch and the rest; all household names. However, his book has changed all that give our Aussie business women the recognition they deserve.

'Secrets of Female Entrepreneurs Exposed' and 'Secrets of Inspiring Women Exposed' takes ordinary people up close and personal with women who have each built multi-million dollar companies and their secrets to achieving greater personal success and happiness. In a suprisingly candid way they each share their personal success journeys, and how more women can discover their own entrepreneurial talent.

Featured in the book are such names as Sue Ismael (Nad's), Joanne Mercer (Joanne Mercer Footwear), Katrina Allen (Dejour), Sonia Amorosa (Fatblaster) and Sandy Forster (Wildly Wealth Women), Mia Freedman (Former Editor of Cosmo) and Miriam Schaffer (former UN Advisor).

Its not every day that you can curl up on the couch with a cup of hot tea in your hand, while inspirational women pour out their soul in front of your grab your copy today from all leading bookstores.

Confessions of a Shopaholic.....

It's been so long since my last confession.... Some of us are chocoholics others shopaholics but what happens when you are both? In a world with so much choice and selection I wonder if it's something that is truly beneficial for us or to the detriment of our peace and sanity and our bank balance. I remember when I was living in New York, I needed a pair of earrings, I did really NEED them promise. But the joy quickly disipated when I walked into a store with floor to ceiling covered in a selection that made my head spin.

I often thing about the many choices we have in life and whether it may have been so much easier for our parents and grandparents where going to the grocery store didnt mean having twenty different types of milk to choose from! I understand the dilemma of women all over the world where each season we are tempted by yet another style, another colour, a new look and a new us every Autumn, Winter, Summer and Spring. God, that is exhausting! And I lived and shopped in New York where there is something new you can buy EVERYDAY and not just every season! Oh I know its hard!!!

Speak to any woman and she would tell you about how buying a new pair of shoes sends her in a spin, ohhhhh the feeling of a new outfit and a sexy pair of heels, the lip gloss which we take out of the little box and that makes us feel soooo pretty again! I like most women have always been enthraled and mystified by this very concept and I like most women have also needed to go to confession for that which brings soooo much pleasure. Yet later comes the pain of paying for the debts, the feeling that we are never ahead but always running backwards. As Becky Bloomwood in "Confessions of a Shopaholic" we are confronted with the reality of our shopping habit and our inability to manage our money and ultimately manage our lives.
I have often wondered what makes some of us able to manage money whilst others are constantly swimming upstream? I realised that our parents are the key and that many of us did not receive a financial education. I remember the many times walking into the kitchen where my family was seated discussing what looked like "something very important". As a young girl I too wanted to be included but more so wanted to be in on the "important" family discussions. What I received as a reply from my own mother has continued to shape me until I realised the impact such words can have on a child just wanting to be included....

She told me "You don't need to know this, you won't understand anyway". And guess what, they were talking about money, business, finances, responsibilities and so in my mind it formed a very strong belief that somehow, somewhere mum and dad would take care of it all and that I simply dont need to know or understand this "silly stuff". But as I have gotten older and much much wiser I realise that my well meaning parents have robbed me of the very thing that would make the difference between success and failure in managing money and my shopaholic tendencies.

What I also learned as a young woman is that money was always there and that yes I could have pretty much anything that I wanted, I was conditioned to spend and to shop!!! Who could blame one for then getting a credit card and believing that the supply of money was endless. Who was there to teach me otherwise? Unfortunately for myself and for the many women I have the pleasure of speaking to, the reality is that we have to stumble through it ourselves even after our well meaning parents have paved the path for our financial downfall. And then they wonder why we are so bad with money, why we continue to spend it all....but had they stopped to ask themselves what lessons they themselves have taught us and put the judgement back towards those who are the carers of our minds and the people who influence who we ultimately become. You can't train a dog to bark and then ask it to meow...
Justify Full
There are many who break out and finally set sail on their own path and realise that although the damage has been done that nothing is set in concrete and we can master our finances and our lives.

As Becky Bloomwood so perfectly puts it "Of course, I still know nothing about finance. People at the bus stop know more about finance than me. Schoolchildren know more than me." It's a sad reality but there are many women in this position, we are taught to be "women" and as I read recently in a book about money that women still hope that they will be taken care of by a man, we just are not taught to take our financial positions seriously!

And this is where it all changes, a great journey begins with one small step and that is how we begin to rebuild our lives and create a very different future.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Private Interview with Lisa Kelly.....a woman on the way to the top!!

Whilst some of us search everywhere for the one thing which will inspire us as well as give us the opportunity to fulfill our life purpose there are others who have always followed their intuition and have been led to their life's work.

We all know the ache of our soul when we are in a J-O-B for which there is very little to show and where our spirit has very little opportunity to shine. We can justify why we are stuck where we are and why we can't make the move to something greater but sooner rather than later, God taps us on the shoulder and forces us ever so gently to get off our butts and create a life we love.

I have had the privilege of interviewing some of Australia's most amazing women, all with their own success story. Some have had very public failures, others have risen to the top at a very young age but all share one common thread and that is the work, determination, focus and burning desire to achieve and do what they truly love!!! Of course there were hard times, challenges and obstacles but it is the belief in self that gets you through every time...

Like many great women I have interviewed, Lisa Kelly is one gorgeous Aussie woman who has chosen success over mediocrity and pursued her love of the life we Aussie women are know for, sun, surf and sand and of course a bikini.... Here she gives us a very private interview and shares with us what it takes and to dispel any ideas that success just happens to the lucky ones because here is a woman who has a dream and has a personal motto of "whatever it takes" it!!!

Where were you born?
I was born in Gosford north of Sydney

Where did you grow up
I grew up in a small coastal town nearly 2hrs north of Sydney called Charmhaven, best little town to grow up in!

Current city
I have since moved to sunny Maroubra in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs

Date of birth
25.3. 82

Favourite fashion brand - why?
I LOVE Agent Provocateur!!! Lingerie based and completely enthralling. Every aspect of their business is built to create a brand image; I hear their sales girls in London are barred from wearing their ‘uniform’ out of the store as they have caused too many passing by car accidents!

Favourite designer - why?
Betsey Johnson. The woman is amazing! She has beat cancer and conquered the fashion world with her whimsical designs that are so quirky yet wearable, going into her store is like a treasure trove. You can tell a piece of hers a mile off!!! To die for! (ps… who else would do a cartwheel at the end of their fashion show!?)

How do these fashion brands/designers empower you as a woman?
I think both are unique and inspiring. Both have a very definite brand identity and create such a within store presence it’s an ‘experience’ shopping there. Everything right down to their packaging, every last detail is finesse, something to aspire to.

Favourite charity?
SIDS kids, also known as red nose day. A charity close to the heart helping families deal with the grief post losing a child and researching the causes of cot death. It’s not hard to buy a red nose once a year!

Favourite model and -why?
Pania Rose, OMG… have you seen that girls divine neck!? Amazingly beautiful and Australian!

Favourite holiday spot - why?
Without a doubt Byron Bay! It’s the only place upon arrival I feel ‘released’…relaxed and inspired. The surrounding areas are all so amazing; every time I go I stumble across some other small piece of heaven!

Favourite resort/place to stay -?
I don’t have one in particular. I prefer to stay in small boutique hotels, not large chains… loving Le Montrose in LA, candles, fire places, it’s like your own personal space and very personal.

Things you love and can’t live without?
My iphone and laptop sad to say… my friends recently caught me on a weekend away walking down the street with my laptop above my head trying to get internet connection!!! Truly but, these things make my life possible whilst running this business! I love having a camera on hand at all times, capture any moment in the moment, a great source of inspiration! A bikini and towel (they live permanently in my car for a swim at a seconds notice!)

How did you start out?
East Sydney Fashion Design studio, studied there then moved into lingerie working on Morrissey and Oroton intimates ranges. I was lucky enough to work my way up from the very bottom, hand dyeing fabrics, cutting then ended up Morrissey Brand Manager/ Designer, all by 24! One of my mentors Ursula then pushed me to fulfill this long standing dream I had of a swimwear company. It began as a stretched out hobby then I took it slowly, one step at a time… name registrations, range plans then all of a sudden I’m shooting my first collection with amazing people around me!

What do you love most about what you do?
There are so many aspects. One great pleasure is seeing a concept through to reality. It’s so exciting to see your designs all made up when they started as a sketch on your lounge room floor! I love hearing from people, especially when they love their new pieces, that’s a fantastic feeling!
How do you think you are making a difference in the world by what you do?
I’d like to think eventually my ‘story’ will inspire people. I have so many roads to cross yet so it’s a work in progress but seriously if I can do it, anybody can! I’ll help anyone I can to realise their dreams. I’ve had so many people help me, they will probably never realise how much so by this token I hope I can make the difference for someone else.

What do you feel is your calling and how do you achieve it through what you do?
My calling?! I’m an Aries, probably a serious case of A.D.D. I don’t sit still and you could probably ask this question on different days and get different answers! What I can say is my goal is to become an ‘entrepreneur’… a success story. My mum’s motto which I live by ‘whatever it takes’

What other professions have you tried and when and how did you know that this was your calling?
I haven’t really tried any other professions, it has always been design. I was lucky enough to know from an early age what I wanted to do and set my goals then. I’ve been working towards this since I was a teenager, winning scholarships to work shops in my holidays, focusing all my attention on the creative subjects at school relevant to getting into college. I have always had this dream and have tried to stay focused on the end goal

What inspired you to become a bikini designer? Did you always know what you wanted to do?
As I said, this was always what I wanted. I grew up in a small coastal community with my mum always sewing around me. Then when I moved to Sydney I worked in a surf store so have always been around swimwear. I think it was more of a natural progression through my life. I lived in bikinis so wanting something different from everyone else sparked a love for swimwear and designing my own.

How did you go about achieving such a level of success? We want the secrets.. Success!? I’m still working at it!
It depends on how you measure success really. I’m doing something I really love but I would not say I have ‘achieved’ success . I think success is knowing you have achieved something through your hard work. I’ve definitely worked hard no doubt about that. Determination, focus, vision and confidence. People are going to throw curb balls at you, they are going to try to take advantage of you, you have to know within yourself you are worthy of this and deserve it. You have to believe in yourself before anyone else will. And finally, passion, if you’re not enjoying the ride, whats the point of taking it???

What do you believe is the reason you are where you are today?
Again, hard work. Another thing, supportive, encouraging people around you who push you further ESPECIALLY on those days when everything is going wrong, for someone else to see the light at the end of the tunnel is a god-send.

What is success to you?
Success is looking back and knowing you deserve and have achieved what you have become.

What have been some of your greatest successes?
Wow… maybe pulling of my launch party last year, something crazy, lots of pressure but oh so worth it. How I (we) pulled it off was no minor feat but having a team of people around me that were all so talented in their own ways, it was a triumphant event! And the actualisation of my launching collection! Words cannot describe the feeling of standing in the middle of 100 boxes of cossies and knowing that I had ‘done it’ felt amazing.

What have been some of your greatest failures and how did you overcome them?
The simplest little things have let me down but every time I try to make myself laugh (or cry) and say ‘learn from it’. Things like forgetting to add certain unavoidable costs onto a whole shipment, hello, it’s like throwing money away! I haven’t yet had a massive failure… yet… but it will come. Hopefully at the time I can learn from that too. I try to remember this has happened to someone else at some time so what is the answer…

What has your success enabled you to do? What other goals and dreams has it allowed you to pursue? Have the challenges and obstacles been worth it?
I wish I could say all the exciting parties. You may get invited but good luck finding the time to go! I will eventually be able to travel for my business internationally. So far it has just been Australia which is fantastic. I also get to do something I love every day, what’s more rewarding than that? Eventually everything will be worth it, that I have no doubt about

Was success a choice or something that just happened?
What conscious decision did you make to get to where you are today? ‘
This’ did not just happen. You have to make sacrifices. Sure I could have gone overseas travelling, I nearly did. I could drop everything and have a lovely life, going away every weekend, spend weeknights going out, my money on myself… but all of that (well nearly) has to make way for ‘this’. You have to know at the beginning that ‘this’ is what you want. What are you prepared to give up? I think you’ll be surprised. Those new shoes or that amazing holiday sounds fantastic but what about that shipment coming in? Who else is going to do it? It’s all up to me.. Success or failure, it’s my choice.

What do you believe contributed mostly to you achieving success? Possibly drive? Or ambition?
Just being so focused on making it happen. Sure things go wrong but accepting them and moving on towards your goal, that’s a choice you make. Just know deep within yourself what you want, really deep within yourself, and believe it. You will make it happen.

Who are your role models and what inspires you about them?
I was only talking about this the other day. I really appreciate as women the original ‘supermodels’. I know, we all love to hate them but look at what they have achieved; Elle McPherson has a business empire built up from her modelling career. Kate Moss is in her own right a divine stylist, her look copied worldwide and positions yearned for by every fashionista. Helana is out there as an amazing photographer. Each of these women have controlled aspects of their lives and turned their post modelling careers into success stories.

What do you attribute to your success and having reached being at the top of your game?
I have a long way to go to reach the top of my game. Maybe that’s the key, constantly setting new goals, challenging yourself. Healthy body and healthy mind.

Do you believe you are at the top of your game? Why/why not? Do you believe there is a top or is there always more to aspire to and create?
There is always more to aspire to, to create. I’d get bored if I didn’t have a new project, idea or concept. I’m always coming up with new ideas for business, some crazy, some not so crazy. I don’t think I’ll ever be the ‘top of my game’ because I’ll always be looking for something new to achieve. At the moment it’s the bikini business, in the coming years I’d love to look at hospitality or event management, creating a ‘group’ of projects if you will. To be thought of as ‘successful’ or a ‘leader’ in this field, that would be excellent but for me to assume I’m at the top of my game, well then it would be time to retire wouldn’t it!?

Have you had a mentor along the way and who inspires you most and why?
I’ve had numerous mentors and they have all been so instrumental in me being where I am today. Three women in my life I can directly contribute to having come this far. Sharon J. A teacher from high school who indulged my dreams and pushed my creativity to get into college. She was there from the beginning and is still in my life today. Ursula D. Mentor and friend. She listened to me talk endlessly about having my own label before she finally demanded ‘so are you ever actually going to do this, or just talk about it?’ Talk about tough love! But seriously, business wise, she taught me everything she knew. And finally, Sam W. I can’t tell you how many emails for help this wondrous creative soul receives! She either calmly writes back or sits me down over a coffee and notebook and all of a sudden, everything is crystal clear!

Who would you most like to meet and why?
Richard Branson or Darren Lyons. They don’t actually compare but I have read both of their inspiring books. They were both knocked down and trodden on and look at them now. They have amazing tales of success. Plus, I think meeting either would be hilarious, they both seem to be quite the character and I’m sure it would not be a boring affair! Richard or Darren, if you’re reading this, give me a call!

What are the most important lessons you've learnt along the way?
Never give up. Break the problem down to the smallest of steps then it won’t seem like such a big problem to overcome. Oh, and very important.. GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING! Not everyone is your friend.

What difficulties and challenges have you faced to get to where you are and how did you turn them around?
I hate to talk about money but that has been a challenge. I don’t come from money so starting out has been tricky and all about making things happen. Hence sometimes up to 3 jobs at a time. I am also only one person and making sure everything is done is my responsibility. I don’t have a money tree nor do I have a time machine so I just do my best and hope/ pray its good enough!

If you could say one thing to women out there to inspire them on their journey to success what would it be?
Don’t be afraid! Whats the worst that can happen? If you can answer that you won’t let it happen!

Do you have a favourite quote you would like to share with us and what it means to you?
I found this one today and thought it was quite cute:
"Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow will come smiling through. No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true- Cinderella. Why not hey… I mean if you can dream it, surely its achievable!"
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