KICK ASS BIZ MAMA #20 – LISA MINETT, MY MAMA SAID

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Kick-Ass-Biz-Mama-Lisa-Minnet-My-Mama-Said

Dear Ladies,

Today we are in the presence of movement, dance and theatre greatness, with Lisa Minett, former Head of Movement and Dance for NIDA, who now runs an amazing studio in Seddon. Combining the best of barre, pilates, yoga and dance to help women stay strong and healthy, Lisa is a powerhouse of inspiration and energy.

I wish my mama had told me about this before!

Collette

X

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Kick-Ass-Biz-Mama-Lisa-Minnet-Group-Shot

Tell us about your business – when did you start it and what is it all about?

My Mama Said opened doors on July 13, 2015. I’ve spent my life as an actor, dancer and choreographer. I’ve seen the benefits that having a strong connection to your physical presence can do for people professionally and personally. Unfortunately, most of the training out there cares little about your progress and is uncertain about how to nurture the unique beauty that lies in each of us. I wanted to offer a safe group fitness alternative where you can train in all styles of mind/body workouts.

What inspired you to start your business?

I had been working with actors as a University lecturer for the past 6 years and was tired, burnout and frustrated. I wanted to share all that I knew about movement with people in an environment that was more fun and friendly. I grew up in Williamstown and have always wanted to return and open up my own studios so i can share all of my knowledge with the people in my community.

What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting off?

Focus in on the product – which for me was to deliver quality classes.

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Kick-Ass-Biz-Mama-My-Mama-Said-Pilates

What was the most difficult part about starting your business?

Finding out I was 8 weeks pregnant a week before I opened!!!! Probably keeping it small to start. Not trying to do the bigger plan stright off. Let the business build.

Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned about running your business?

There are so many extra little costs that you simply forget about. Also, people will ask what seems like ridiculous requests to you. If you can accommodate them, then just do it. You are providing a service to them, not to yourself.

What has been the biggest sacrifice you’ve made in starting your business?

My husband and two year old daughter. I work a lot at night and that means less dinner and down time with them.

What is one thing you wish you had of known before you started your business?

That it will all work out in the end and you will never stop working to drum up business.

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Kick-Ass-Biz-Mama-My-Mama-Said-Pilates-Ball

What has been your biggest success so far?

The clients who have been with me since day one are inspiring and gorgeous human beings and i would never have met them if I didn’t open the studio. Watching them grow and glow is so rewarding.

After a long day/night/week what do you do to unwind?

I have a massage whenever I can. I’m also partial to a little flutter on a Saturday!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Still helping people discover the amazing abilities that lie within the mind and body.

Wet Wipes – Bernice Thompson

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Wet-Wipes-Bernice-Thompson

They seem like such a good idea at the time. Conveniently wet on demand, in a carry pack with a lid; disposable. But the problem is, these handy little wipes are often not biodegradable, yet people often throw them down the toilet, and if not, people often pop them into small plastic bags and throw in the bin. Often.

Ok, so in the scheme of things that we do wrong to the environment, it may not make the biggest impact on our footprint, but it is a teeny tiny thing that we can actually change, without having to put much effort in. And that seems to be the key – the less effort we have to put in to change our negative impacts on the world the more likely we are to make the commitment and change our behaviour. (Side note: some of the most difficult easy ways to reduce our environmental footprint include stop eating meat, stop having pets, stop flying on aeroplanes, and surprisingly, stop using glow sticks… I’ll admit I partake in three of these four activities, I’ll leave it up to you to form your own conclusions ;)).

Anyway, back to the things that we can easily do without changing our philosophies on life too much, and wet wipes. A disturbing picture that hit the viral current slipstream not long ago was a one tonne “fatberg” made up from mainly wet wipes blocking, clogging and blowing out sewer systems which, according to this article, around 80 per cent of sewer blockages resulting from people flushing wet wipes down the toilet. Part ignorant convenience, part irresponsible tissue manufacturers claiming wipes are flushable (and the definition of flushable does not mean “put them in the toilet and hit the button”, but that the tissue can break down/dissolve into leafy sea dragons or even just broken up tissue fragments), you cannot flush them down the toilet.

So not flushing them down the toilet is one thing, but limiting to your use of them altogether is also something I’m into. Plus, they also often have chemicals and alcohol in them, which can be harmful to the sensitive bottoms of growing Dictators. Plus, they’re just not necessary. Our children do not need to be sterilised to be clean and hygienic.

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Wet-Wipes-Bernice-Thompson-TSD

“How on earth can a parent in this world survive without wet wipes??!!!” I hear you exclaim. Lean in, things are about to get all kinds of crazy right now….

  1. A water bottle with water and a teaspoon of olive oil, shaken, not stirred
  2. A flannel/cloth
  3. A bucket with cold water and vinegar for soaking*
  4. A washing machine*

I don’t think I need to write out the method. You’re all smart people. Oh, just remember to pop a plastic bag in your bag to transport it all home… otherwise it’s all gonna get too real! 😉

*keep these items in your home, transportation can be troublesome.

Peace,


Berns xx

KICK ASS BIZ MAMA #19 – BRONWYN HOWELL, RETROBUB

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Kick-Ass-Biz-Mama-Bronwyn Howell-Retrobub-Profile

Dear Ladies,

Today’s amazing business woman is so modest about her achievements, it makes me cry out in pain! For over 20 years she has been designing and producing a range of the cutest baby wear clothing, when most other people in the fashion industry have chosen to get someone else to do it for them, or have gone off-shore.

My hat goes off to you Bronwyn – it is so rare to find someone else ‘crazy’ enough to make all their own designs – you are massive inspiration to me. Thank you!

Collette

X

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Kick-Ass-Biz-Mama-Bronwyn Howell-Retrobub-Products

Tell us about your business – when did you start it and what is it all about?

I started 20 years ago – can you believe it ! I make childrens wear with a focus on baby wear – under the label Retrobub.

What inspired you to start your business?

I was inspired after the birth of my daughter. I had a background in fashion design and was appaulled by how boring childrens wear, and babywear in particular, was. So I set out to produce a range of babywear that was fun and fashionable. I quickly found that people where looking for baby clothes that where cute enough to give as a gift to people expecting, but they didn’t know the gender of the baby, so I started with a range of gender-neutral babywear to fulfill this need.

What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting off?

It wasn’t when I was just starting off, but a few years in, my accountant gave me a talking to about paying myself properly. It is very easy to not include every hour you work into your pricing, but in the end you are just exploiting yourself. If something is too expensive, then you have to find a way to make it cheaper (less detail, cheaper materials, made in a more time efficent way) – you can’t just make the price lower and rip yourself off. And if you can’t get the price down, then its not a profitable product and maybe you should scrap it and concentrate on an item you can make more profit on.

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Kick-Ass-Biz-Mama-Bronwyn Howell-Retrobub-Child

What was the most difficult part about starting your business?

All the business stuff. I am a designer and creative and I find that side is my strength, but all the things that make up the other aspects of running a business are very difficult.

Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned about running your business?

To listen to customers, but to take their comments with a grain of salt. Customers and people are always giving you advice, but they do so very flippantly. I have learnt the hard way that customers that like your product just buy it, they don’t need to talk about it. But people who give you lots of advice, saying “you should make this…”, don’t actually share your vision, and are not the best people to listen too. Listen to your sales, and work on the things that are selling.

What has been the biggest sacrifice you’ve made in starting your business? 

Time and weekends !! Always working weekends selling at markets has affected my social life, and people think I am crazy when I ask if they want to do something on a Monday which is my day off.

Also business can be good but it can be slow at times too and cash flow can be a real problem.

What is one thing you wish you had of known before you started your business?

How hard it is, but if i did I never would of started! As I said before, my strength is the design and creative aspects, and in hindsight, I would of tried to find a partner for the business that had strengths in the other areas of admistration.

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Kick-Ass-Biz-Mama-Bronwyn Howell-Retrobub-Baby

What has been your biggest success so far?

I don’t think I have had any success (Collette’s note: Bronwyn is WAY too modest, go and check out the quality of her work every third Sunday of the month, at the Shirt & Skirt Market at the Abbotsford Convent)  – it is a work in process.

After a long day/night/week what do you do to unwind?

I like to spend time with friends and family, at the beach and dining out.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I would like to see the online store to grow.

Do You Wish You Had a Red Tent? – Caitlin Fitzpatrick

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Caitlin-Fitzpatrick-Do-You-Wish-You-Had-A-Red-Tent

Dear Ladies,

As the full moon kicks in this week – well, actually a Blue Moon – holistic health specialist Caitlin Fitzpatrick talks to us about the importance of focusing inwards on our bodies and our menstrual flow. It is a time to reflect, reminisce and re-evaluate, to meditate, pray and nourish your body as it performs its natural cycle.

Eat well & hide out in your tent!

Collette

X

Do You Wish You Had a Red Tent? – Caitlin Fitzpatrick

In ancient times as a woman approached the dark moon in time with her cycle, she would go to the red tent where she would menstruate with other women. It was an honorable, beautiful and highly respected time.  Women would often leave their communities and families to go to the red tent for answers. They would return with wisdom and insight to share.

In the lead up to the new moon is a very beautiful time, yet so often in our modern society, many women don’t know how, and have never been taught to embrace the profound and divine experience.

I have now have marked in my diary the dark moon and the full moon in each month. I try to not book big events on the new moon, to allow myself this sacred time and space. When it’s a full moon, I plan new projects, make decisions and get creative. And while I don’t have a red tent to go to monthly,  I create my own sacred space.

 (But I sometimes really wish I did have a red tent to go to).

Do you wish you have a red tent too?

Blessings beautiful women,

Caitlin

xx

Post original appeared here.

Raw Kale Pesto

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Kale-Pesto-Dip-Made Final

Dear Ladies,

The other week, I was lucky enough to attend the opening of a new store in Port Melbourne – About Life. It is jam packed with a range of healthy, organic, locally made food, and we were able to sample lots of their pre-made food, including this amazing Raw Kale Pesto. I use it as a dip, but you can add it to salads, pasta, rice, whatever you like – just add more or less water to suit.

Enjoy!

Collette

X

Raw Kale Pesto

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Kale-Pesto-Dip-Ingredients

What you need:

  • 1 cup of raw cashews
  • 1 cup of filtered water (or more if you like it more runny)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan salt (or whatever one you have!)
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh kale leaves
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

What you do:

  • Chop kale into strips, removing stalks.
  • Soak chopped kale in apple cider vinegar and a little bit of warm water for 5 minutes.
  • Drain kale and add to blender with the rest of ingredients.
  • Blitz it until it is smooth.
  • Serve with crackers, vegetables or whatever you like!

YOGA MOVES FOR HOT MAMAS #20

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Yoga-Moves-For-Hot-Mamas-Pose-20-BW

Dear Ladies,

 

Well, it has finally come  – the last of our yoga series and the last pose that will help you get through your pregnancy – and perhaps the most simple of all. Just sit, breathe in, and count to six before you breathe out again! (Or head to our friends at Bikram Yoga, Yarraville if you need some extra help)

Collette

X

Pose 20 – Blowing in Firm Pose

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Yoga-Move-For-Hot-Mamas-Pose-20.1
Sit on your knees, facing forward, with your hips balanced, your spine straight & your shoulders relaxed.
AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Yoga-Move-For-Hot-Mamas-Pose-20.2
Bring your palms together to rest at your heart-centre, then begin breathing. Count to six as your breathe in, then exhale for a count of six. Repeat as many times as you need until you feel your body & mind completely release.

This pose is great for:

  • improving oxygenation to the body
  • ridding the body of toxins (did you know that you actually breathe out fat?!)
  • energising and revitalising the body
  • helping bring mental clarity and alertness
  • preventing post-natal depression – breathing exercises are vital for the control of your energy or prana

But be mindful of:

  • avoiding strain on your abdomen muscles – if in doubt, breath out!

KICK ASS BIZ MAMA #18 – Kathy Wong, Moeloco

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Kick-Ass-Biz-Mama-Kathy-Wong-Moeloco-Profile-Picture

Dear Ladies.

Most of us are probably familiar with the Tom’s shoe concept of one-for-one, which, while stylish in Australia, has had varying levels of success overseas. But today’s socially-minded business woman Kathy Wong has proven that is is possible to impact communities this way – giving shoes to over 3,000 children in India, enabling them to go to school.

What an achievement! Keep up the great work Kathy, and ladies, maybe this is a good present for someone next summer?

Collette

X

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Kick-Ass-Biz-Mama-Kathy-Wong-Moeloco-Thong

Tell us about your business – when did you start it and what is it all about?

I started Moeloco in November 2014. It is a fashion social conscious product – ‘Moeloco’ means dream crazy. I began this brand to inspire people to be their best, live a life they love and to make a difference. My own difference is to help children in poverty and I have started making my social footprint by creating the Moleloco thong which leaves positive messages in the sand such as love, peace and happiness. For every Moeloco sold, I donate a pair of school shoes to an orphan living in poverty. We have so far impacted just over 3,500 lives in this last year.

What inspired you to start your business?

I had an epiphany that I must go and make a difference in the world. I know this must sound clichéd, but it’s true! It was very surreal really. I did try to ignore it. However, we all know how that works. The more you avoid, the more you get chased.

I had a good life. I retired young, lived my dream, and now it was my turn to give back. Now I run a social enterprise – meaning a business with purpose – and its structured on a commercial business model of one-for-one. We design and manufacture an inspirational rubber thong ( flip flop) that leaves positive messages in the sand. For every pair we sell we donate a pair of shoes to a child living in poverty in India so they can attend school. Many schools in India won’t allow children to go to school without shoes due to the healthcare issues there. Education is the long term solution to poverty and thats why its imperative the kids have the shoes and they protect their feet.

What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting off?

Know your numbers and really know what you can risk and be prepared to do.

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Kick-Ass-Biz-Mama-Kathy-Wong-Moeloco-Profile-Children

What was the most difficult part about starting your business?

Finding the charity partner and then learning how to manufacture – it is still a challenge to me.

Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned about running your business?

There are two – firstly, trust in my own decisions. Secondly, each time I’m hitting obstacles, and wondering if I can go on, I remember my WHY, which is the children we are supporting. That immediately stops me from feeling sorry for myself .

What has been the biggest sacrifice you’ve made in starting your business?

My own self care. I’ve put on weight that I’m finding difficult to shift because I don’t cook anymore, I eat more carbs and don’t get enough sleep. I am working on that to get more balance and down time – 20 hour days are not good at all!

What is one thing you wish you had of known before you started your business?

How difficult it is dealing with the Chinese in manufacturing. My heritage is Chinese but I was born here, so I’m really an Australian. I wished I had known this before, not to accept whats being said to you on face value, as its caused so many time delays and budget blow-outs.

What has been your biggest success so far?

3,600 shoes on our kids feet. Shoes are so critical to these children in India. They can go to school and change their lives through access to education.

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-Kick-Ass-Biz-Mama-Kathy-Wong-Moeloco-Profile-Artwork

After a long day/night/week what do you do to unwind?

After a long day I like to watch a good movie with my husband or stretch and meditate. At the end of the week I love to go on long walks down to the beach. I feel so peaceful and grounded down there. I also love catching up with family and friends over a good meal.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years I see myself speaking regularly to corporate groups and inspiring them about finding their purpose and making a difference in the world. I would like to see we have created a learning experience where we take people to India to visit our charity with us, and where we are a well-known, respected successful, international social brand that has impacted 1,000,000 children.