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career

Fashion, Lifestyle

Girlboss Q&A: Megan Hess, Illustrator

2nd August, 2018

She’s worked with a roll call of the world’s most renowned luxury brands including Dior, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Tiffany & Co but Megan Hess admits that in the beginning she had no idea that her love of drawing could one day become a successful business and career. Starting out studying graphic design and working as an art director for advertising agencies in London, she continued illustrating on the side until her first big break which involved a 3am phone call from Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell’s publisher in 2006 asking her to illustrate the author’s next book, One Fifth Avenue. Since then Megan has released several of her own books including the recent children’s book Claris the Chicest Mouse in Paris. Here I chat to Megan about doing Skype phone calls in her pyjamas, moving on from drawing pizza toppings to high end fashion and the one thing that keeps her organised.

What inspired you to become an illustrator?

I always knew that I wanted to draw for a living but when I was growing up I had no idea that a fashion illustrator was an actual job! It was just always the thing I loved to do. I still feel incredibly lucky to do what I love what I do as a profession.

How did you get your start?

I studied graphic design because it felt like a ‘real’ job in the art world, but really always wanted to be an illustrator – I just never knew back then that it was a possible career choice! After working as an Art Director in ad agencies for several years I packed everything up and moved to London. It was in London that I worked in a million different creative jobs and in my final job there realised that I had a burning desire to be an artist. At this time I’d became the art director for Liberty department store. Whist I loved art-directing fashion I loved illustrating it more. I started to do very small illustrations for Liberty and from this art directors saw my work and little commissions began to follow. After about a year I found myself with non-stop work. I wasn’t earning a fortune but I’d never been happier and I knew I was going to do this forever.

As my clients got bigger and better I was able to be a little more selective and just work on briefs that I knew had a great creative opportunity. Then in 2006 I got a call in the middle of the night from Candace Bushnell’s publisher asking if I would illustrate her next novel ‘One Fifth Avenue’. This was when things took off at rapid speed for me. Her book became a New York Times bestseller and I met with Candace and she asked me to illustrate all her previous books including the cover of ‘Sex and The City’. Once ‘Sex and the City’ was released I was contacted by TIME and Vanity Fair magazine in New York to create portraits for them.. Following this, I began illustrating for Tiffany & Co, Chanel, Dior, Cartier, Italian Vogue, Bergdorf Goodman, Prada, Fendi, Harrods….. Ironically, at the  same time as my work finally took off I had my first baby! Its funny, I always tell people that I haven’t really slept since 2006!!

What’s the biggest business challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?

Managing it all! In the very beginning the struggle was to find great projects to work on. I had no clients and I wasn’t yet a mother so the initial challenge was to get things moving. Then once my work took off after Sex and The City I had the opposite problem – I had lots of great projects and brands coming to me to collaborate and I also had just had a baby so it was quite overwhelming. Today I still find the biggest challenge juggling it all. I can now only take on about 20 per cent of the jobs that come to me each year so I have to be very careful about what projects are the best fit –I’ve learnt that its better to do a smaller amount of jobs at 100 per cent then lots of jobs at 50 per cent. At the end of the day I try to base this decision on what projects will have the best creative outcome–some projects have huge budgets and others are tiny but I always choose to work on projects that will fulfil me creatively.

What’s been the biggest turning point in your career? Why?

I think the biggest turning point for me was realising that absolutely anything is possible–it was my mindset. It wasn’t a big life changing event that happened and brought me to this realisation, it was just moment in time where it became very clear to me. It changed my outlook from ‘I wonder what will happen to me?’ to ‘I wonder what I will decide to do’. Once my mindset changed I noticed everything changing. Theres nothing more powerful than a positive outlook.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

Everything! I love just getting out of my own little world and seeing how other people dress, live and create. I’m an observer and I love all the little details that make people interesting. I also think travel has a huge influence on me and provides endless inspiration.

How do you start each day?

On weekdays I’m up early. I switch on my coffee machine and drink a quick espresso, I do hair and make up in about five mins and I dress professionally from the waist up. This is so I can do any Skype calls on my computer to clients overseas (I keep my pyjama pants on the bottom because they can’t see that bit!). After the calls I’m getting my kids breakfast and ready for school. Then once they’ve been dropped to school I walk to my studio (it’s just metres up the street from my home) I walk in and greet the lovely girls that I work with, I switch on the music, light a candle and I’m ready to draw!

What drives you?

I live to create. All my passion and purpose in life comes from being with my husband and children but my drive comes from my love of creating. Sometime my heart races with a fresh piece of white paper in front of me…What could I draw? What could I create? I love the process of bringing something to life.

What’s one thing you’ve achieved that you’re incredibly proud of?

Getting paid to do what I love for a living and being a mother. I see that as a huge luxury to be able to do both and it’s something that I’m very grateful for every day. I’ve also been able to donate many pieces of my work for charities and causes all over the world and in some small way I feel proud that one of my drawings may have helped someone in need.

What are some tools – whether it be a gadget, an app, a favourite site – that help you manage all your various projects?

I love my  iPad and I’m always on Instagram BUT my biggest organisational app is my actual team! I work with a very talented team who are much more organised than me and they keep me focused and on time for all our projects!

What do you think has been the key to your success?

I’ve always believed that ability will only get you so far and attitude is everything. I think that in the very beginning (before Sex and the City) I gave 100 per cent to every single illustration job that came my way. Most of the projects that came to me in the very beginning were NOT inspiring–for example I was asked to illustrate a 375-page horse manual that on completion was cancelled! After six months of work I received a tiny ‘kill fee’ and really felt like giving up on my dream of becoming a fashion illustrator. Another soul destroying job that almost made me give up was a pizza toppings illustration for a pizza company. I remember very clearly the day I finished drawing that–I turned off the light in my studio at the end of the day and thought to myself….I think its time to give up. That very night at 3am in the morning is when I received the call from Candace Bushnell’s publisher and my life would be changed forever. In short, I think never giving up is the biggest lesson I’ve learnt. My favourite quote that relates: ‘Those who failed, didn’t realise how close they were to success before they gave up!’

Where do you hope to take your career in the future?

I never put one specific goal out there but my dream is always the same–if I can continue to create and draw for a living I will be the luckiest girl on the planet!

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in your career?

That you never regret taking the high road. Over the years there have been many tricky moments and times where I’ve felt very frustrated or disappointed on a project but I’ve always taken the high road and put being professional above anything else. I’ve looked back and always felt so proud and grateful that I handled things that way.

What’s your working style? Ie where do you love to work? What’s your most productive time of day?

I do the majority of my drawing at my desk in my studio. I really love my workspace. I’ve always loved to create a space that’s inspiring to work in. My current studio is filled with all my artwork and all the little things that are inspiring to me.

I think there’s two different times when I’m most creative. The first is when I’m actually in the process of drawing a concept that I’m excited about. It’s almost like time stands still and I’m just very immersed in the process. The other time that I’m really creative is when I step away from my work. It might be when I’m travelling or on holidays, I think stepping back gives you that much needed perspective to be more creative.

What’s one motto you live by?

Enjoy the journey as much as getting to the destination. Sometimes I think we spend so much time getting to the next thing that forget to stop and enjoy the process of getting there.

What’s the biggest tip you can give to other women out there trying to cultivate a successful business or career?

Decide what is the one thing that would make you excited to spring out of bed on a Monday morning and do for a career. Write down a plan and strategy to make that dream happen and start on it TODAY. You don’t need to suddenly quit your current job or dramatically change your life but taking the first step is always the hardest, so decide to do it today. Never, ever give up on that dream. If its something that you love then you will enjoy the process regardless of the outcome.

Lifestyle

Girlboss Q&A: Bethany James, Founder James Said

11th July, 2018

Businesswoman Bethany James started her first company as child, selling stones, sticks and nuts that she’d spray painted gold to her neighbours. In her twenties she founder her own cosmetics company, Bethany Cosmetics. And now, after struggling to find the kind of furniture she wanted in her work as an interior designer, she started an import business called Regency Distribution. Since then the Perth-based entrepreneur now has three showrooms, James Said, with two in Perth and one in Sydney and now has over 3000 pieces available for purchase on its online store. Here Bethany shares the secrets to her success, learning to let go of wanting to control every aspect of her business and why the drive to work is the most important part of her day.

Where did the idea to start James Said come from?

I was working as an interior designer and I had a specific style that I loved. I couldn’t find the pieces that I wanted in Australia and had to look overseas to find them. I identified a niche in the market so I set up a distribution company and started to import.

What was the process like to start it?

It was very challenging. I had a toddler at home and started the business in my spare room with very little initial start up capital. Juggling motherhood and new business was very hard. I would work most evenings until 2am – simply because I would be child free and able to get it done.  The start-up of my business was completely organic because I had no money for marketing.  In fact when I started I didn’t even have a single piece of furniture! All I had was catalogues and lot of pretty images. I started off as a wholesale business exclusive to interior designers. I went through the designers in the yellow pages online and email them all, one by one, introducing myself. It took me months, but this is how I built my database and started my company. On my own, in my spare room, working to the early hours of the morning. I pre-sold my first container that I imported and the deposits I received covered most of the cost. Even with such a modest beginning I still managed to turnover over a million in sales in first year. Our growth now is snowballing every year, whilst I take it in my stride each day, it amazing to look back on each year to see how far we’ve come.

What’s the biggest business challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?

Growing fast without adequate systems. We were unprepared for our growth and didn’t have adequate software to assist us. The result was poor service and unreliable lead times. It feels great to have this sorted. When I look at my business now I continually think – how can I do this better? How  can I exceed my customers’ expectations in all areas of my business. From the range of products, to my sales staff and the customer experience in store all the way through to our delivery service.  What would exceed my customers experience—and that’s what I do.

What’s been the biggest turning point in your career? Why?

Staff. When I originally started to employ staff, they were of little help to me because I was so protective of everything. I wouldn’t delegate, I just didn’t trust anyone to do the job as well as myself.  I was afraid of the commitment of full time salaries so instead kept employing casuals. The result was that my staff were of no assistance to me and I was at capacity so the business couldn’t grow. In the third year of my business was my turning point. I decided to invest all my energy into my staff and delegating everything. The more I put into them the more I freedom I had to grow the company. I now only employ full time staff, almost never casuals. My business moves so fast that I need team members that are fully absorbed in the company each day. I take the time to understand what drives each individual staff member so that I can make sure that their time with the company allows them to feel secure and fulfilled.

James Said focuses on Hollywood Regency style pieces

How do you start each day?

I try to swivel out of bed and have my feet touch the carpet as soon as my alarm goes off, otherwise I end up in the ‘hit the snooze’ cycle.  Then it’s an expresso shot while google home tells me the latest news. Then I spend the next half hour with my coffee browsing social media.

Once out of bed and showered I listen to inspiration podcasts or YouTube videos whilst I do my make up and get ready. Mixed into that I get my son ready for school, fed and we’re out the door. My most valuable time is the drive between school and work. This is my time and use it to ensure that when I arrive into the office I am in the right state.

My energy affects everyone in the office so I make sure that when I walk in I bring high energy vibes with me. During that drive my car is my sanctuary, sometimes I listen to Oprah other times I just crank the music loud, but the outcome is always to leave any negativity behind me so I when I arrive at the office all my staff can feed off my energy.

What drives you?

For me my business is like a sport. Obviously its serious because I employ people and it’s my livelihood but when I dig deeper, I’m driven by pushing to see how far I can take the business.  I am never satisfied with any milestone, I’m always on the next step. I never want to wonder —what if? So I just go for it,  I give it everything I have, every day. I relate it sport because each day I’m faced with new issues or problems I have to solve and overcome, all whilst persevering forward all the time, always feeling challenged. I love it.

What’s your management style?

I know its probably wiser to have a barrier between yourself and your staff, however I’ve never been able to have that separation. I’ve always been the kind of person that brings my personal life to the office and so I develop friendships with my staff. We have a lot of fun, a lot of laughs but we also work very hard. I really consider my staff as my team, I value and care about  them enormously. Finding staff that are the right cultural fit  is an important part of our recruitment process.

What are some tools—whether it be a gadget, an app, a favourite site— that help you manage all your various businesses and projects?

Changing my inventory software was huge for my business. It streamlined everything, made us more efficient and we were able to offer better service to our customers.

As far as apps go Instagram has been a huge part of our growth. It’s how we connect with our customers and drives more customers to my stores than any other marketing source.

What do you think has been the key to your success?

Being brave and consistently persevering through challenging times.  I also have unending energy for my business.  I don’t know where it comes from but it’s just always there. I never run out of new ideas or passion year after year.  I guess if that ever stops that will be my que to move on to something else.

What makes you so passionate about interiors?

I always want to make everything as beautiful as possible. It crosses over into all areas of my life. I need to have a creative outlet to be happy, it’s just a part of me. My interior style is always evolving, I find inspiration everywhere and it’s a great feeling when you create a space that is unique that people respond to.

Bethany says she loves interiors as she “wants to make everything as beautiful as possible.”

What’s the most satisfying thing about working on James Said?

I love sitting in the driving seat of my business because it gives me the freedom to create the next step for the business. Its enormously gratifying to have an idea and take it all the way to fruition.

Where do you hope to take your business in future?

I plan for James Said to be an international brand. I would love stores all over the world.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in your career?

To be authentic. When I launched my business I was doing my own thing. I was laughed at by many of my competitors for selling bright coloured and gold furniture. But I followed my heart and it was immediately successful. From time to time I would look to what my larger competitors were selling and copy. This was never successful.

Now I really don’t pay any attention to my competitors, I just run my own race and sell what resonates with me. I don’t visit other stores in Australia, or check their websites. I don’t want to be influenced in any way and I feel that there’s room for everyone.

Even when I opened my Sydney store, I didn’t visit any other Sydney stores. I wanted my store to be completely fresh and unique, I didn’t want to risk being influenced by what other stores are doing in any way.

What’s your working style? 

I juggle my day with the school run so I’m grateful to have to have staff that can open and close the business. As my business opens at 7am to sync up with the east coast [of Australia], by the time I arrive I’m already behind so most of the day is spent catching up and I’m caught up the day to day running of the business. My true productive time is late at night after my son is asleep. This is when I have clarity to think with out interruption. Anything important is done at this time.

My best creative moments are usually when I travel. International travel always leaves me with a broader and larger view on business.

What’s the best piece of advice you can give to anyone starting a business?

I often have conversations with people who tell me they have thought about starting their own business and they ask me for advice.

Starting your own business is hard, it’s financially risky and will most likely leave you without income for quite a while. I discover most people aren’t really prepared for that kind of risk or commitment.

Starting your own business has to be something that you just have to do. It’s not a decision to do, you have to do it. It’s that kind of passion that’s needed to live and breathe the business year after year. If you have that passion then you have to just be brave!

Being an entrepreneur is just part of who I am. When I was a kid I stole my dad’s gold spray paint and sprayed stones, sticks and honkey nuts and then sold them to all my neighbours. When I was a teenager I made earrings and sold them at school. In my twenties I had my cosmetics company. It’s just part of who I am but it’s not for everyone.

Beauty, Lifestyle

Girlboss Q&A: Courtney and Kimberley Treacy, Founders of The Lip Lab

13th June, 2018

Sisters Courtney (left) and Kimberley (right) are the founders of multi-million dollar business, The Lip Lab

The search for the perfect shade of lipstick can be a neverending quest for most women and it’s this very problem that inspired sisters Courtney and Kimberley Treacy to start The Lip Lab. From a single salon to now 14 locations in Australia and overseas including Canada, Singapore and the Philippines, The Lip Lab has taken customisation into the beauty arena with great success. Being able to create a custom lipstick (right down to the texture and scent), lip gloss, concealer and foundation has taken the guesswork out of buying staple cosmetics and instead turned it into a creative and fun exercise. Here I chat to Courtney and Kimberley about successfully breaking into an overcrowded beauty market, the one thing that drives them and the biggest turning point in their careers.

What inspired you to start The Lip Lab?

We saw a gap in the market here for personalised, custom blend products and thought it was a great time to start something in Australia. At the time we opened we were the only people doing custom blend on this level. Everyone we showed our idea to loved it as much as we did and this is how we knew we were onto a winner!

What were some of the big learning curves you faced in the beginning of getting your business up and running?

There were a few learning curves—staffing was hard, as we were trying to find staff who shared our passion and commitment.

Our trademark has been a learning curve also. Knowing what we know now, we would have approached our opening differently.

What’s it like working with family?

Funny enough, it’s actually great! Kimberley mainly works from her salon in Camden still, whereas I work full time on The Lip Lab. Once a week we meet at our warehouse, where we grind the numbers and work on strategies to move us forward—be it new products, international openings and basically just a good catch up on what’s happening in the business.

We are great friends and see each other every day, as well as constantly texting and calling each other, so I guess we are lucky!

The Lip Lab allows you to customise your own perfect lipstick shade

What’s been the biggest turning point in your career? Why?

A plane trip to Dallas to see a supplier of our mum’s salon, where we discovered the concept in a store there… The lady there gave us a contact, and the rest is history!

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

We both draw inspiration from many people. For example our supplier in the USA has been very kind to us and has mentored us along the way, always helping us with things we had no idea about and guiding us in the right direction.

Our mum is very entrepreneurial and has started a few businesses from scratch. She has always just dived in the deep end, and always seems to make it work. I think we’ve just always had that approach that if you don’t have a go, you’ll never know!

How do you start each day?

Courtney: It’s chaotic! I try to wake before the girls are up (Dempsey 6, Evie 5) – and spend at least an hour working out by myself whilst the house is still quiet. I find it’s the best time to plan my day, and focus of the positive affirmations that I’ve been practising lately.

Breakfast and getting kids ready is a hectic race every morning and once I have the girls at school I head to our Paddington store to either work with customers, train new staff and new store locations.

Kimberley: Like Courtney, I work out each day, but I find that the gym is the best place for me! Both my boys visit the crèche whilst I do my work out (Maddox 4, Caynan 3), and I usually eat healthy food on the run before dropping the boys at pre-school as I work within my own salon five days a week.

For me not working out isn’t an option – if I don’t do it I feel sluggish, and off for the whole day! I’m a big astrology follower so checking my outlook for the day is high on my list when I wake up, and scheduling social media for my salon before the boys wake.

Mixing up a custom shade

What drives you?

Courtney: Being a single mum, I want to give my girls the best in life that I possibly can and show them that nothing is impossible. Knowing that everything I provide them has come from my own hard work alone is uplifting and pushes me very day.

Kimberley: I’m a perfectionist and I enjoy seeing everything I’ve set my heart on come to fruition. I’m very hard on myself in both a professional and personal sense, and it drives me daily to see how much further I can push myself!

What are some tools – whether it be a gadget, an app, a favourite site – that help you manage your business?

We love Get Timely for our online bookings, which has been a total godsend! It has freed up our phone lines so that customers are able to book online, and can book any time of the day or night. We use it purely for the appointment book, and market via MailChimp and SMS.

iPhone Calendar is a lifesaver, and both Microsoft Office and our MacBooks gets used constantly. Appswise, we love Shade Scout which allows you to spotlight colours in any photo and find makeup in the exact Pantone shade family. You can also try the makeup on in real time without ever opening the packaging. You just use your front-facing camera to start a video feed, and the shade will virtually appear on your face.

We also love [photographer] Kenneth Willardt’s book The Beauty Book and the apps Bellashoot, Nail Snob and Plum Perfect!

What do you think has been the key to your success?

Hard work and not giving up. It would have been easy to give up so many times, but we ploughed on.

Offering a product that was not only of a high quality, but a fun and interactive experience, is also helpful. We really researched this product before we launched and fine-tuned it, to ensure that customers would get the best experience and product

Where do you hope to take your business in future?

We have sold three licences under a different name in Canada, the Philippines and Singapore, and have just secured a huge deal in the Middle East. We are looking to expand in India and Pakistan (over 400 enquiries so far) and eventually Europe, USA and [more locations in] Asia.

Towards the end of the year we will be launching a Blend Your Own perfume series in store, which is exciting as it will cater not just to women but will also offer men’s fragrances as well.

The Lip Lab’s range of lipsticks

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in your career?

Keep your cards close to your chest before you open, so that when you do no one can pull the rug out from under you! We are currently working on a totally new business that is not makeup and, although we are busting to show everyone, we have to wait until launch day and trademark objection dates have passed until we shout it from the rooftops!

How do you stay driven? 

Regular meetings with each other and setting goals/ having a vision board works for both of us.

What’s your working style? I.e where do you love to work? What’s your most productive time of day?

Courtney: I’m very ‘by the seat of my pants’, in that I’m rather cruisey. I love the days I head to Paddington as I can also have a sneaky shopping day on the side, but I also love the days I can work from home!

The hours between 6AM and 9AM are my most productive times where I return emails, plan my day and get ready for the onslaught ahead. If I am at home, however, I do get distracted easily… And by 10AM, I’m off catching up with friends for coffee and then lunch.

Kimberley on the other hand is regimented down to the minute. She loves to be at the salon, seeing clients and working on her business. She is productive all day, from the time she wakes up until when her head hits the pillow. She multi tasks so much more easily than I do!

The sisters are still very hands on when it comes to the day to day operations of their business

What’s your number one social media tip for someone starting a business?

Make sure you have someone good doing your social media. We used some staff for a while to save on costs, and it didn’t look sharp or stylish. It’s worth every cent, especially when you look back over posts and see the difference.

Also try and do some one day courses in social media so you are across what is current and what works. Find out when your audience is watching and following you, so you’re posting at the crucial times and stay engaged with your followers.

Finally don’t limit yourself just to social media as you may be missing out on a whole demographic of people who don’t use [social media] platforms.

What’s the best piece of advice you can give to anyone starting a business, especially in the crowded beauty market?

Firstly know your market, and what it is that they want. Is there a need for your product? Are there other similar products? If so, how can you stand out?

Secondly, network!

Finally… plan, plan and plan some more! Write down everything you want to achieve, and refer back to it often. We look back at what we wrote three years ago and we are on track 90 per cent of the time. There’s been a few ideas we’ve discarded along the way, and others we’ve honed and improved upon. Always surround yourself with good solicitors, accountants and PR/social media people… It will always pay off in the end!

Looking for more career inspiration? Check out my Girlboss Q&A with The Daily Edited founder, Alyce Tran

Fashion, Lifestyle

Girlboss Q&A: Tash Sefton

18th April, 2018

She’s one half of the hugely successful fashion blog, They All Hate Us. She founded an art business, Sefton Segedin with her sister, Hayley that produces beautiful paintings, prints and a capsule ceramic collection that will be released later this year and now Tash Sefton has a new business venture to add to her already busy schedule. Where Did Your Style Go is Tash’s new styling consultancy that’s helping men and women discover their unique style, and look and feel their best.

Juggling three businesses is no small feat however Tash manages to juggle it all, along with being a mum-of-two and make it look effortless. So, who better to share her secrets to success and achieving your goals than the woman herself. Here Tash chats style, staying motivated and her biggest tip for anyone wanting to get their own start up off the ground…

What was the catalyst for starting Where did your style go?

I am in an unique position to share knowledge I have gathered throughout my career. Where Did Your Style Go, is a consulting business aimed at assisting women and men look and feel their best. I get contacted on a daily basis through my social media and even stopped in the street with people desperate to ask me questions about fashion and style. Social media can be such an intimidating place for some and I have always found it difficult to answer people in detail through this platform. This lead to the idea of creating a place anyone can read my ‘real’ advice and implement it into their lives. To me, simple advice is the best advice, especially in the fashion world with so much information out there.

Having witnessed all facets of the industry and experienced insecurities personally, I have found that small changes can make a big impact on people’s perception of themselves, both internally and externally. It has also been important to create this next phase in my career. After years of gathering industry and personal knowledge about what works, what doesn’t and why—it is now time for me to share this. I am exploding with knowledge! I started in this industry because of my obsession and love of fashion—it’s never been about the bling or selfies but the journey of why I yearn to find the perfect item and treasure it.

What do you enjoy about helping others find their style?

What’s really interesting is I can help people with a simple things I take for granted knowing. And these simple things can be a major life change. Why is it so important to present well and feel good about ourselves? The impact of having a defined personal style goes far beyond making a good first impression. Great style is about approaching each day with confidence and the ability to feel, with conviction, beautiful in what we are wearing. Believe it or not, the right wardrobe can make a massive difference to your self-esteem.

What’s the biggest business challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?

When I had my second child and left my ‘real job’ to start my own business was very daunting. You go from security to the unknown and I had to re train myself to not work in an office full of people. The quietness was hard to get used to. And teaching yourself to set goals while working from your lounge room is actually pretty hard. You have to learn how to do everything from warehouse, IT, accounts etc while still looking like you know what you are doing!

Stylish and successful, Tash is helping others tap into their own unique style

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

My parents. My mum and dad have their own very successful business and I remember sweeping the floors in the office when I was a kid. As my parents were always working, I knew no different and my drive comes from them. I like that my children see me working as they can see for themselves the sacrifices you need to make…and that money doesn’t grow on trees.

You have so many projects on the go at the same time–how do you juggle it all?

I am very good at juggling. As I worked for a very large company and managing a huge team working on many projects globally at one time was just what I did. I would travel overseas for three months of the year and learnt how to do it all because that’s what was expected of me. So now, doing what I do is actually much calmer…as I am the boss I need to report to! Also with technology you can work wherever and whenever and no one needs to know you are home with the kids or in your sweat pants.

How do you stay motivated?

I am motivated because I love it. I believe what drives you needs to come from within.

What do you think has been the key to your success?

I have remained me. I haven’t let ego take over, and I am surrounded by great friends and a very supportive family. Plus I have a true love of fashion. Everything I do is based around this—it’s never been about me, but about my passion.

Where do you hope to take your businesses in future?

My new business is all about a new philosophy I have. It’s about teaching and not preaching. There is so much NOISE at the moment, and it’s sometimes just too much. I am excited to share my knowledge with people who really want to learn.

SHOP my handbag guide – READ how they speak a universal language – link in the bio

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What’s your approach when it comes to juggling your family and business? How do you make it work?

My children come everywhere with me—they are around my work. They can sit next to me doing homework, while I am working. We spend lots of time at home just being together.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in your career?

Cash flow! Hahaha so boring but so important.

What’s the best piece of advice you can give to anyone starting a business?

Keep working and start on the side. It takes to pressure out of it ‘being a success’ immediately. Learn from your employer before you take the leap alone. Just don’t tell them! Ha!

Who would you love for me to feature in my Girlboss series?
Fashion, Shop

Work appropriate shoes with loads of style cred

25th February, 2018

As I mentioned in this post earlier this week I wore heels all day, every day when I worked in an office. Granted I probably had a bit more leeway in the styles that I wore because of working in fashion but I was still conscious that everything had to be work appropriate. I know how difficult it was at times to find work shoes that were still on trend whilst not looking completely over the top for daytime whilst heading to the printer or doing a morning coffee run. These days however, there’s never been a better time for shoes that are totally ideal from 9 to 5 but are still cool enough to head straight to dinner or drinks after work without missing a beat. In fact, you may even want to pull them out for the weekend such is their style power. Here are some styles you should definitely become familiar with — they’ll up your work shoe game and turn more than a few co-workers’ heads in the process.

Kate Waterhouse street style balenciaga sock boots and maggie marilyn skirt

The slingback with edge

Kitten heel slingbacks have made a comeback and not only are they comfortable, you’ll find them in a variety of classic shades, and some with hits of colour to give them a sartorial lift.

Stylish work shoes Prada logo print glossed leather slingback pumps

Prada logo print glossed leather slingback pumps

Patterned mule

This style would look amazing with a cropped pant, but equally so with a dress or skirt —essentially anything that flashes a bit of ankle is ideal when it comes to the mule.

Stylish work shoes style Altuzzara Izy patterned twill mule

Altuzzara Izy patterned twill mule

Trusty loafers

Yes, you can wear flats to the office. Especially loafers which will save your feet and they look pretty darn stylish while doing so. Gucci do a great pair but as they’re such a huge trend right now, there are plenty of affordable options out there.

Stylish work shoes Gucci Brixton horsebit-detailed collapsible heel leather loafer

Gucci Brixton horsebit-detailed collapsible heel leather loafer

Classic pumps

A pair of classic pointy heels are work-friendly and can also extend to your off duty wardrobe. Black is of course a great all-rounder but for an alternative, try navy. It works equally as well but definitely has a bit more personality.

Stylish work shoes Gianvito Rossi 85 suede pumps

Gianvito Rossi 85 suede pumps

Sock boot

I love my sock boots (pictured above) and this coming winter I know they’ll come in very handy. They’re ideal for wearing with skirts and wide leg pants as they have a nice streamlined silhouette.

Stylish work shoes Gianvito Rossi cling suede sock boot

 

Stuart Weitzman cling suede sock boot

A touch of embellishment

Yes, a pair of black pumps is a failsafe as far as work shoes go but look for cute finishing touches such as a sweet bow to lift it and make it a little more interesting.

Stylish work shoes Ganni Sabine suede slingback pumps

Ganni Sabine suede slingback pumps

Cutout pump

This style means business! Whilst a super high heel would probably be better suited for those days when you know your desk will just be a few metres away these are sharp, chic and the kind of power work shoe you pull out for big meetings.

Stylish work shoes Jimmy Choo Vanessa 100 cutout textured leather and suede pumps

Jimmy Choo Vanessa 100 cutout textured leather and suede pumps

The Mary Jane

The ever adorable Mary Jane style shoe is a perfect style for the office but look for finishing touches such as a coloured strap or textured fabrication.

Stylish work shoes Gucci Sylvie grosgrain trimmed leather pumps

Gucci Sylvie grosgrain trimmed leather pumps

Tell me—what are your go-to styles when it comes to work shoes?
Fashion

How to look chic on a job interview

17th August, 2017

A job interview can be a nerve-racking experience so it’s important to feel confident in how you present yourself on the day. A polished appearance is crucial for making a good first impression and along with your top notch interviewing skills is one thing that could help you stand out from other candidates. Here’s how to nail a killer interview outfit.

Stick to the company dress code

A clean, pressed outfit is a given when going to a job interview but one thing to keep in mind is to dress for the company you’re interviewing for. Do your research into the culture of the business and tailor your outfit to suit. For example if you’re going for a job in a place with a creative culture then a suit might not be the best option—you want the interviewer to see that you can fit seamlessly into the company and the first impression they get will be based on your attire.

Keep makeup to a minimum

Heavy makeup can be a little off-putting in a job interview setting so a fresh-faced approach is best. Keep your beauty look clean and polished to maintain a professional appearance. Also, keep your hair neat and tidy and avoid any overly messy or flamboyant styles.

Go for a clean approach to accessorising

Over the top accessories can be distracting in an interview. This is definitely one instance when you want the focus to be on what you’re saying so save your statement earrings for the weekend and keep your jewellery to a minimum.

Comfort is key

A job interview is not the time to be worrying about your outfit when you should be focussing on being a standout interviewee. This is why it’s important to ensure that you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing—this means you should be able to walk in your shoes, not be fidgeting with buttons or straps and everything should be a perfect fit. If you feel at ease in what you’re wearing then you’ll present better, which can only mean good things for you and the end result of your interview.

What are your big interview no-nos?