Female Figure #8 - Brooke Allott of Something White Events

Posted by Joey Azman on

It's Friday again and I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel! Not much longer now Melbourne folks till we get our freedom back and yay to our friends in NSW for getting out of lockdown and resuming life to a new "normal" (whatever that means these days!) With the warmer weather, new freedoms and festive season around the corner, things are definitely looking up and promising as we head into the tail end of 2021. *fingers crossed!*

In the spirit of celebration, this week I've interviewed an uber talented human who can literally make your party dreams come true. She's a modern day fairy godmother and I am so excited to present our next Female Figure - Brooke Allott from Something White Events

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came into business? 

Brooke: Well a MASSIVEEEE hello there!  My name is Brooke Allott and I am the founder and creator of magic at Something White Events. I initially started my little passion project with the aim of focusing predominantly on the weddings scene, hence the name, Something White. 

I am originally a country girl (born and bred, Dubsvegas strong) with a rich background in hospitality. My family owned and operated country hotels so from a young age, I was exposed to the events scene. I started managing bars and hotels when I was younger, focusing on operations, function co-ordination and management.

After planning and styling my own wedding (just a few years ago .. cough cough!), I kind of stumbled into the weddings world. I was studying at the time and also working in a local cake shop as their weddings consultant and stylist.
After helping a number of clients with their cake design, the interest and requests began to expand from cakes, to tablecapes, reception styling and eventually, to planning entire weddings!

I never initially intended to ‘go into business’ so to speak, but I am so glad that I did. I have always been extremely passionate about the service industry and people. I love them. I am a very positive, bubbly and affectionate extrovert. I wanted to create a boutique brand that offered a bespoke service like no other. One that really focused on personalisation, attention to detail, quality service and cohesive presentation. In my opinion, it is these distinct details that transform something simple into something spectacular, resulting in beautiful memories and lasting impressions.

It is a true privilege to be trusted with creating peoples most treasured and valued celebrations. I love to provide joy, happiness and a little magic to these milestones and Something White has enabled me to do that on a regular basis, which I am eternally grateful for. The best part about this creative adventure for me is the brilliant, inspiring and beautiful supplier (now friends) that I have met along the way. I never imagined I would have expanded into the variety of events that I now cater for. 

 

 

2. How are you finding your Moodyboard and has it helped in any way with your line of work? 

BrookeI love the shape, colour and lines of my Moodyboard. Its size and grandeur is perfect for presenting my daily affirmations, inspirational quotes and never ending to-do lists in an aesthetically pleasing and contemporary way. Most importantly, I adore it versatility. Being in events, I am constantly on the lookout for unique and interesting props and accessories. I love how my moody can transform from a beacon of motivation and hope to a backdrop for photo booths and props for example. Its custom design, size and sturdy nature ensures it works perfectly in a variety of scenarios and the array of available hues make it blend seamlessly with any colour palette and theme.

 

3. What does your typical work day look like? 

BrookeIn events, there is no such thing as a typical work day and since life in lockdown has become the new norm, there is REALLY no typical work day.

Something I have always loved about our industry is its spontaneity and exciting nature. No two events are ever the same which is what makes it challenging, enjoyable and fresh. 

Personally, I try to get in some exercise (essential for my sanity). There's a lot of running about like a headless chook when I have a 7 and 4 year old to raise (not forgetting the twin fur babies puppies Rosie and Ralph.... #overcommitter).

It all comes back to planning. I have so many balls in the air that I write EVERYTHING down so nothing falls to the floor and I am the queen of a to-do list - so satisfying to tick something off! I will even write a list that I have already completed just to get the ball rolling!

I tend to work very irregular hours and irritatingly get my best ideas at night making me quite the night owl (I find most of the events crew are!). One thing is for sure though, I typically start the day with a coffee and end with a well earned glass of champagne. There is nothing more thrilling than seeing an event come to life and witnessing the beaming clients and guests in awe and adoration of what you have crafted for them. It is an addiction I will never tire of satisfying and I truly get so much joy and fulfilment from creating and sharing these special journeys with people.

 4. As a mum, what are the challenges you face when running a business, and what do you do to overcome those challenges ? 

BrookeTime. Time is my enemy! I try to parent like I don't have a business, and run a business like I don't have kids. Many women will relate to this. You get pulled in ALL directions and it’s a LOT to juggle at times.

When people ask me what I do... I just say my BEST! I tell them I raise kids, run a house and have this little gig called a full time job on the side . 

The best way to overcome it is to plan. My days are planned down to the minute as often as I can.  I have a planner for my family, one for the kids and one for myself so I don't forget my own needs in the mix. I also love to be spontaneous so on days when things just don’t go to plan, it’s important to roll with the punches and just make it work. Another essential quality I can apply to life in events.

 5. As a business owner, what tips do you have for others who are just starting out/ thinking of starting a business? 

BrookeResearch! Make sure you know everything about the industry you are getting into. Is it doing well in the current (pandemic) climate? Is it adaptable? So much is changing in the way consumers behave, so businesses need to know their audience and the market inside out, in order to adapt and survive. 

Importantly, make sure you work in a field you are passionate about. I absolutely love the work I do. The planning, the people I meet, the community of business owners that are more like family than associates now. Especially, the looks of wonder and delight when people love the work that I do. 

For those that want to start a business who are mums... don't set yourself unrealistic goals. Treat yourself kindly and all else shall follow. You can't run at 100% all of the time. Something that has taken a while for me to realise is that I CAN have it all. Just not all at the same time. 

Work out what you can achieve at your current stage of life and plan ahead for your life and your business. 

Dream big. If you can dream it, You can do it!

 

Thanks Brookie for sharing and if you ever need a party planner / stylist - Look no further! Head on to the Something White Events website here

Follow Something White on the gram here 

Read more →

Female Figure #7 - Tiffany Boyd of Hinterlife Homeschool

Posted by Joey Azman on

 

School holidays are coming to an end, and we're entering the last term of the year for 2021! Oh em gee where did this year go?!

It's been an interesting year to say the least but one thing that 2021 has taught us is - Resilience. Sure, we'll moan about how life is hard right now (and it is!) but for the most of us, we get on with it and adapt. 

Today I'd like to put the spotlight on a new business which responds to the many challenges that parents have experienced this year with home schooling or as our guest calls it "crisis schooling". Mums and dads out there - this one's for you! 

Please let me introduce you to Tiffany Boyd of Hinterlife Homeschool & Learn Freely App

Tiffany has turned her own personal challenges into opportunity by developing an amazing program and app to help parents with every aspect of planning, recording, and reporting in a home-school.

Tiffany is also one of my wonderful customers who has time and time again supported my small business (thank you so much!). I've always loved seeing how Tiffany uses the Moodyboards as part of the learning process and really wanted to learn more! So here's a bit more about Tiffany :)  

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came into business? Have you always wanted to be in business? 

I'm Tiffany and I am a Mum to 2 beautiful kids aged 7 and 10, wife to my best friend Aidan and I am the co-founder of Freely home-school planner app. 

We didn’t plan on home-schooling, however our son had some pretty serious health concerns and as we investigated further we began to realise things weren’t adding up. His health came first and we found ourselves suddenly and unexpectedly home-schooling both of our children! 

It was a HUGE change for us. I found myself looking for a planner that was online to help with documenting and keeping records of our home learning and general organisation, and I couldn't believe it didn't exist. This was when my husband and I decided to create it ourselves.  

2. How are you finding your Moodyboard and has it helped with your line of work?   

I love our Moodyboard (we have 4!) . They help me daily in many different ways. I am creative, so I needed something pretty to look at and inspire me, the Moodyboard certainly does the job! 

In my work space for Freely, I will write with chalk pen my focus for the day. When we are developing a new feature I tend to create a visual mock up and set it on the board with our colour scheme and leave it there for the day to allow me to think more on it. 

 

I also have two black Moodyboards in our home-school space which I use like a blackboard. My kids adore them! They are just so handy! It really helps me to keep my visual learners focused on their learning. It also allows us to keep our space looking beautiful and homey and less like a classroom, because that’s really not our thing. 

Click here for a tour of Tiffany's Home-school Room Tour. 

The kids can move them around easily to wherever they want to learn and we have been known to set up for the day outside with our Moodyboard hanging in the chicken coop while the kids sit with their favourite chicken.  That’s just another day when you home-school. 

3. Tell us more about the Learn Freely App that you and your husband have developed and how it can help parents who are currently home-schooling their children due to COVID? 

Freely home-school planner app is an online application that allows you to organise your entire home-school, from planning lessons and activities to organising digital curriculum and record keeping.  It is designed for Home schoolers who have an eclectic approach to home-schooling (likes to mix up their resources depending on their Children's interests and learning preferences). We currently have over 40 families beta testing Freely and we are working closely with them to refine everything before we go to the international market in a few months.  

"I’d really love to let parents know who are home schooling due to COVID in lockdown that they are not “home schooling", this is crisis schooling. It’s harder and more challenging than home schooling ever would be. I think it's important to understand the two because they really are completely different but predominantly because with crisis schooling the school is in control of what you spend your time on. True home schooling is where the parent is in control, often following natural interests which makes things far easier despite generally achieving the same learning outcomes. So parents, if you are feeling stressed and burnt out, give yourself grace, be kind to yourself. This would be hard for anyone to deal with!"

Question 4: As we all know, home schooling is no easy feat, what advice do you have to parents who are new at home schooling? 

Home schoolers often follow the path less travelled because they don’t fit within the boxes that traditional routes try to put them in. We get that all kids learn in different ways, some love to sit and listen to stories, some love to fidget and play with manipulatives, some need movement to take the information in. Most don’t love sitting and writing but many love to build, explore and create!  Freely compliments each child's learning style by making it easy for the home educator to plan, capture and report the way that best suits that learner. 

Question 5: As a mum, what are the challenges you face when running a business, and what do you do to overcome those challenges? 

I think sharing with our kids our passions/work is really important, and to let them know that work is not more important than they are, but it still is important to us. This is the way we have approached it. 

Not having help in the classroom is challenging but through home schooling and spending all that time together perhaps gives them an outlook on life to follow your dreams and fight for what you believe in. I hope they see that by following a passion, it’s really not work in the traditional sense of the word.

It’s more about prioritising what is important. There will always be something we can and need to drop and focus on later. As long as we have clarity around that and self awareness to know our own capacity of handling what we take on. That’s been the key to our families happiness.

 

Question 6: As a business owner, what tips do you have for others who are just starting out or thinking of starting a business?

I have always been passionate in everything I’ve done and there has always been a business in it. Money has only ever been the last thought. The driver has always been the passion for helping people in some way. So I guess my advice would be: Think of the thing you love to do most in the world. Do that, make that your thing.

Tiffany's Desk at home

 

Moodyboard in White in Tiffany's Pantry. 

Thanks so much Tiffany for sharing your story and passion with us - Home schooling is truly a selfless and rewarding job and I'm sure that many families will benefit from the Learn Freely App !

Follow Tiffany on instagram here

Read more →

Female Figures #6 - Carmen Strong of Little Strong Home

Posted by Joey Azman on

SPRING IS ALMOST HERE!

What better way to bring in the new sunnier and cheerful season with some good spring cleaning inspiration? Our next guest is an expert at home organisation and has been featured in various magazines and the news on her decluttering and home organising strategies. If you haven't come across Carmen, check out her page - her before-after shots will blow your mind! Please welcome Carmen Strong of Little Strong Home!  

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came into business? Have you always wanted to be in business? 

Carmen: I’m Carmen Strong! I'm a professional home organiser & interior stylist. I’m a Mama, a maker and a home creator. I have an amazing husband and two beautiful little children. We live on the beautiful Central Coast of NSW in Australia. I work full time in the retail industry by day & do my home organisation/styling consultations by night. Organising and styling is my passion project. I have a great eye for detail and love the inner calm that organising brings. 


I kinda fell into the industry after sharing my home on the gram with my friends and family and then so many people would ask me if i could help them and here I am. I have always wanted to be my own boss, but in what industry I never knew.

2. How are you finding your Moodyboard and has it helped in any way with your line of work?   
CarmenIt helps inspire me and my designs, it's a space for me to stay on top of things and keep important info in one location. I love that it's aesthetically pleasing which I'm all about. I love it when design meets practicality. 
 
3. What does your typical work day look like?
CarmenI work full time in the retail industry by day, then in the evening I spend it with my family and raising my beautiful children. Once they're down I use that time to focus on my business and organise consultations with my clients to help them transform their spaces. There's no time for TV here.. My hobbies are my organising and helping my clients. 

4. As a mum, what are the challenges you face when running a business, and what do you do to overcome those challenges ? 
Carmen: The constant juggle, it's real and it feels like a hamster on a wheel day in day out.. But it's all about planning, overcoming mum guilt and remembering I'm doing it for them. I grew up with amazing parents who have an incredible work ethic and I want that for my children. I want my children to know they can do or be anything they want. Not just show up to work every day in the same job and get no satisfaction out of it. Life is for living the best life you have not a mediocre one.  
 
5. What advice do you have for people who love to keep things ( a.k.a Hoarders.. I'm guilty here! lol!) 
Carmen: Does it bring you joy? Have you used it in the last 6 months? if not get rid of it. You can't take it with you, and someone else may find it super helpful. 
 
6. As a business owner, what tips do you have for others who are just starting out/ thinking of starting a business? 
CarmenStart, always just start... Otherwise you'll miss an opportunity. Be original and also make it about your customer not you.. what are you doing for them?

 

Carmen also makes these gorgeous writable "to-do" and "shopping " lists which you can purchase here

 

Thanks Carmen for sharing! Book in a home styling and organising session with Carmen right this way -  here

Or follow Carmen on Instagram here 

Read more →

Female Figures #5 - Fiona Killackey of My Daily Business Coach

Posted by Joey Azman on

Hello everyone, Wow so we're in lockdown again in Victoria, I hope that everyone is doing OK and hanging in there. It all seems a bit too soon since we just got out of version 5.0, but fret not, I've got the perfect way to lift your spirits and mood as I bring you a new edition of 'Female Figures', and this week I am so honoured to have had the privilege to chat with Fiona Killackey of My Daily Business Coach. 

Fiona is no stranger to the business community as she has supported and coached thousands of small business owners and helped start ups embark on their business journey. Fiona is an established Business and Marketing consultant with over two decades of experience managing marketing portfolios for mega companies like Amazon, Audible, Open University and Mimco. Fiona now runs her own consulting business providing coaching to large and small companies alike, from various industries ranging from lifestyle, retail, design and health.  

I first got to know Fiona in 2019 when I was starting out, and subscribed to her email list (highly recommend if you're not on it yet!! Sign up here) It was the most valuable avenue for accessing information from an expert in their trade, as every Sunday night without fail, Fiona would post her weekly newsletter on hard hitting and relevant topics on growing your business. So informative, addictive and absolutely FREE. Fiona's generosity didn't stop there as she has been extremely kind and supportive with providing feedback whenever I've reached out with a query, and not many people would do that these days! Fiona is passionate about helping others pursue their passions and build the business of their dreams. I'm such a fan of her work and it gives me great pleasure to share with you a bit more about Fiona, her business, and family life! 

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came into business? Have you always wanted to be in business? 

Fiona: I guess I have always had that entrepreneurial spirit and want to determine my own future. In my late teens I made earrings and sold them at Camberwell Market. I then started my own fashion label and stocked to a few stores in Melbourne - mainly sweaters I sewed myself and some amazing jackets a family friend made at his factory in Brunswick. I’ve been a published writer since 2000 and in my late 20s I had a branded content business and did everything from writing a newspaper column for Fairfax through to ghostwriting celebrity books, and creating a load of content for eCommerce and fashion “websites” — blogs and content on sites was still kinda “new” back then :). I then moved to London and worked at places like Open University on their MBA program, Amazon UK and Audible UK in senior marketing roles. We came back to Melbourne (after having our first son and realising we needed family support to raise a child) and I fully intended to start my own business, but stalled, lured by security of an exec role and good money. I ended up feeling detached from the company I was working for and realising I could make a real difference to small business owners, who were telling me how stressed they were when it came to brand content and marketing. I spent 5-6 months planning an exit strategy from my last role, Head of Marketing at MIMCO and then took the leap into consulting and business coaching. 

2. How are you finding your Moodyboard and has it helped with your line of work?   

Fiona: Firstly, I love that it’s in pink which is one of my brand colours! I am kinda obsessed with whiteboards & cork boards and have an entire wall of them in my office. The Moodyboard is the one only that looks really nice as well as being so functional! I use it to keep myself focused on what’s most important - things I want to achieve, mottos to keep me going when life gets challenging, oracle and  inspiration cards for moments when I’m feeling uninspired and photos of my support crew and those I’ve love. 

3. What does your typical work day look like?

Fiona: I work three days a week and have two days off with my youngest son. I took up time blocking a few years ago and it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done. Mondays are usually for my own admin, meetings with my team, updating Asana, recording podcasts and working on my own marketing as well as catching up on a mastermind I’m part of in the US (the time difference means I miss some of the calls, so I usually have them playing in the background). Tuesdays it’s all about my groups; I run two group coaching programs, another 9-week live coaching program in line with my Marketing for Your Small Business course (open now for enrolments!) and I present classes for other people’s mastermind groups as well on Tuesday. Thursdays it’s 1:1 coaching back to back. I start around 9:30am after school drop off, then finish right at 3pm in time for pick up, apart from Thursdays when I work a bit later and my amazing husband picks up the kids. 

4. As a mum, what are the challenges you face when running a business, and what do you do to overcome those challenges ?

Fiona: Gosh, so many, especially with lockdowns! Where do I start? Haha. I think the biggest challenge is feeling like you’re not doing a great job at either (work or parenting) sometimes. I try to remind myself that I don’t work weekends or evenings and I’m there for my kids in the way I want to be. This has meant that, at times, I’ve had to turn down amazing work opportunities that others can say yes to, or to miss events that clash with my son’s basketball training or my other son’s commitments. In the end though, I know this time (when they’re young and more dependent on me) is so short and I want to never look back with regrets. On the days when it feels a bit too much juggling it all, I make sure to take some time out just for myself — whether having a cup of tea outside, going for a walk alone, lying in the hammock for 10 mins or calling another mum-in-business friend. Actually, having some friends who have young kids and also run businesses has been brilliant; they completely get what you’re going through. 

5. What advice do you have for people who are still struggling to turn their Passion and Purpose into a business to generate Profit? 

Fiona: This comes down to knowing the value of what you’re offering and who most benefits from it. Too often I see people get all excited about what their brand will look like - the visuals, logo and social media feed - rather than what the brand stands for and how it’s different, or better, than what’s already out there. Money is something people don’t talk about openly and I really wish they would. Understanding your revenue streams and profitability is absolutely key. In Australia half of all businesses fail in their first three years and a lot of the time it’s down to lack of cash flow and not understanding basic financial figures. I’ve had a number of clients who look “good” and successful by vanity metrics (large IG followings, regular guests on panels and podcasts) but they are working two extra jobs to make ends meet. Really take the time to map out how you’ll make money, who will pay for what you offer and validate and test both of those assumptions before going to market. 

 You can purchase Fiona's Passion, Purpose, Profit book here

6. As a business owner, what tips do you have for others who are just starting out/ thinking of starting a business?

Fiona: So many! I think the big things are to figure out where your money will come from and make sure you’re working to your own financial goals (rather than some random person on social media who told you that your brand should make $X). Spend some time validating your ideas and really getting to know your audience/s. I would also make sure you cultivate a good support network around you because starting a business will put you through the full spectrum of emotions and it’s great to have people to celebrate (and cry!) with. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, really take the time to figure out who you are and what you most want from life and how your business will support that. I always work with my clients on their values and beliefs as these are crucial to understand if you want to create a business that supports your lifestyle. 

AND...

Exciting news, If you're thinking of starting your own business or just need to get organised with your current business, My Daily Business Coach and Growme Melbourne are also bringing you an awesome giveaway!

Work from home Giveaway 

(Launching 8am, 7-13th August) where you get to win these amazing prizes to help you with your business setup!

Head to our Instagram page for the details! Good Luck!  

@mydailybusinesscoach 

@growmemelb 

#WFHGiveaway campaign designed by @naiacreative_

Moodyboard in Blush and Wordbits magnets in Mustard. 

 Work from home setup, Styled by The Co Laboratory 

Read more →

Female Figure #4 - Georgie Daphne

Posted by Joey Azman on

 

 

Welcome to Female Figures #4! This week I'll be sharing my chat with textile designer and artist - Georgie Daphne. I met Georgie in 2019 at a trade show called Life Instyle (where you will find everyone in the retail - design industry!) At the time, Georgie was pregnant with her second child,  and was immaculately dressed in a bright colourful outfit, she was very memorable amidst the sea of people you meet at these trade shows! We had a chat and have kept in touch since. Today Georgie is an established artist, mum of 2 and design collaborator to large brands like Frankie Gusti and Jumbled.

Georgie's business journey started from the life changing experience of becoming a mother with her firstborn. It's definitely a trend around here that magic happens when women become mothers - they seem to somehow find the energy to throw themselves into deep into their passions and build amazing businesses, usually while the baby is asleep! Georgie's creations are bright, colourful, ethereal and inspired by the natural world - Plants in particular! So if you're a plant lover, you're in for a treat - check out Georgie's prints or paintings and have a read of her journey below! xx 

 

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came into business? 

Georgie:  Hi! My name is Georgie! I live in Melbourne in a fun little mud brick home out in the suburbs with my two energetic boys (1 and 5) and lovely husband. My creative brain is a bit scattered, finds interesting shadows that no-one else would notice and always with too many painting ideas. My journey as a textile designer and artist started a long time ago but my business journey started in 2017. I had the opportunity to do a solo exhibition in Ringwood at a local gallery and because I was on maternity leave with my first son I dived head first into painting during his day naps and late at night. This was the beginning of me discovering my true style after 7 years of designing textiles for large Australian retailers. The exhibition lit a fire in me and helped me to start finding my purpose. A year later I actually started my business where I completely dived in the deep end and launched at Life Instyle and had the wonderful Design Files feature me. I had no idea what I was doing! Now there are two sides to my business, products which are limited edition prints, original paintings and cards and the other side is my textile design and illustration services for other fab businesses.

  

2. How are you finding your Moodyboard and has it helped with your line of work?   

GeorgieMy Moodyboard lives on my wonky art desk. I have put up my own paintings that brought me the most joy. So when I'm stuck for ideas I refer to my own ideas for new ideas. This way I'm constantly building on my own thoughts to continually make my paintings full of Georgie only vibes!!

 

Georgie's Studio - Styled by Michelle Mcilrath @shelstragram and Photographed by Ruby Henshall @ruby_henshall_photographer

3. What does your typical work day look like?

Georgie:  I try to sleep in as much as I can get away with! My husband often gets up for our two little boys and gets their breakfast ready. Lately I've been trying to eat my breakfast purposefully uninterrupted (that’s a huge deal when your a mum of little ones!) so that I can start the day right. This is my time to check emails and write a list of what I want to get done that day. Then its pretty much kid activities, housework, all day. Sometimes when my youngest is having his day nap I’ll set my 5 year old up with something fun like painting on the floor in my studio so that I can quickly get some painting done at my desk. From 5pm till 7:30pm its absolute madness in our house. While my husband has been working from home during Melbourne's number 4 lockdown we’ve been having a quick dance party just before dinner. Its really just a tactic to wear the little ones out so that they go to sleep easily! I do most of my painting and working on my business from about 8pm onward most nights.


4. As a mum, what are the challenges you face when running a business, and what do you do to overcome those challenges? 

Georgie: Time management is always my biggest challenge. If I write a realistic list on the white board on the fridge and just get that done each day then I'm happy.

5. As a business owner, what tips do you have for others who are just starting out/ thinking of starting a business? 

Georgie: Hmm I still feel like I'm starting! In 2019 I did as many markets as I could and I'm so thankful for that now. It was so good to learn what people are actually looking for and to chat to all the other lovely business owners and what works well for them. I also listen to loads of podcasts and have recently been listening to a bit of clubhouse. I would say just keep on learning and trust your gut instinct!
 
Wattle Print created for Whole Wattle Love who are also a lovely stockist of ours! 
  

Philodendron Print available on Georgie's Website. 

 

Original Painting "Frog in a Blender Caladium" has been commissioned exclusively for Jumbled

Follow Georgie Daphne on Instagram here or visit her website to purchase her beautiful creations. 
Read more →