I am a fashion enthusiast, a sustainability advocate, a wine-lover and a big supporter of women in business. It's no secret that when women support women in business, anything is possible, and when we come together to support each other, share open and honest conversations, and revel in our achievements - the result is nothing short of inspiring.
It's what our YOU GOT THIS! launch event was all about; honesty, support, realness, business, emotion, women, wine... All under one roof in the perfect location, One Roof, Australia's first female-founded coworking space for female-led businesses. We shared a few Bevi Prosecco Spritz and a few Calabria Family Wines. We were treated to Sarah Urban's catering prowess. We smiled for Kiah Lucey, and we bought our best #girlboss game faces for Outwest Photobooths.
It was an eye-opening and raw event by women, for women, to normalise the experience of being in business. I sat alongside Sheree Rubinstein (Founder of One Roof), Rebecca Hopkins (Brené Brown facilitator), Kate Williams (Founder of Retreat Yourself) and Emma Inteman (Founder of ShopShare.TV), and I poked and prodded with an hour's worth of sticky questions.
We laughed, we cringed, we almost cried, and we shared our stories openly. It was an evening of honest conversation about the rewarding and gruelling reality of being a woman in business. We offered up our diverse experiences and unfiltered stories to our audience, and no topic was left untouched. From money to mental health and success to stress, coping mechanisms, failure, balance, to-do lists and guilt, we shared it all.
I got into the nitty-gritty details of being a small business owner in a fierce and competitive industry, detailing my struggles as a start-up, the stresses of paying staff wages as a social enterprise, and how I landed on the positive side of statistics to push through the first three years without going belly up.
Sheree Rubinstein opened up about jumping ship on her legal career to start her own business and bring her vision to life for a collaborative, women-focused workspace. What started as a small group of women operating out of an Airbnb house, is now an 'Australian first', but it wasn't without its own struggles. Sheree worked relentlessly for 18 months before she could pay herself a wage, and it was damn hard work. Today, One Roof is a happy home to 150 women-led businesses, but it's still not 'easy'.
Rebecca Hopkins had a similar foray into her now-self-employed status, starting her career in the corporate world and working her way up the ladder over twenty years. When she reached her glass ceiling, the view from the top wasn’t as impressive as she'd expected it would be, so Rebecca resigned from her stable job and embarked on a travel journey, 'Eat Pray Love' style. She opened up about the importance of having an emotional vocabulary, the value of understanding our own relationship with money, and why biting the bullet to have a difficult conversation with herself, was the best decision she ever made.
Kate Williams opened up about feeling stuck, unfilled and unhappy before ditching her day job to follow her passion. She paved her own path towards the launch of Retreat Yourself, a subscription box centred around self-care, and she now loves her work life. Sharing the highs and lows of being in business, Kate spoke about finding her own version of balance, and how taking care of herself is always a priority regardless of to-do lists.
Emma Inteman funded ShopShare.TV with her husband, by themselves, bootstrapped and bit by bit. Emma opened up about the pressure she faces to constantly improve, and how hard it is to get a foot in the door when you're doing something new that no one yet understands. She revealed the difficulties of being a couple in business and how someone always needs to be ready to pick the other up when things are tough - and what she does when it's her turn to be that person.
Our YOU GOT THIS! panel event put four women (and myself) under the spotlight, in both comfortable and uncomfortable ways - because that's the reality of being in business. It's never smooth all the time, it's never great all the time. Staff come and go, sales go up and down, life happens, things go wrong, things go right. There is no secret formula and there is no 'right way' or 'right time' to do it. Sometimes, you just have to throw yourself into something, hope for the best, and hustle like you've never hustled before.
Last Friday, it's what we all agreed on, and as we dropped our facades, our audience was treated to an exclusive peek behind the scenes of five different but equally impressive, women-led businesses.
We scoffed at the unrealistic expectations of gaining immediate success and always ‘having it together', and we reminded our fellow females, YOU GOT THIS!
The Fashion Advocate x