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International Woman's Day 2022

March 07, 2022 9 min read

To mark IWD I spoke with six female, creative, small business owners and asked a series of questions. 

I am grateful to call these talented woman my friends and have had the privilege of getting to know each of them and their business' over the past 10 years. 

It was a pleasure reading through these authentic responses. I found myself nodding in agreement and bookmarking all of the reading recommendations.

I hope you gain as much from these talented woman as I have. 

 

 

International Womans Day Blog Middle Child

Website - Middle Child Instagram - @hi_middle_child

 

Share a female owned business you love? 

I love the work of Support Your Girls, which is a business that was created by the late Shonel Bryant to raise awareness and educate people around the importance of self-checks/breast examination. Sadly Shonel passed just last month but the Support Your Girls initiative will continue to thrive and inform through her dedicated circle of family and friends that continue to do the work in her memory.


Share your favorite female artist

My favourite artist is Brittany Ferns I was blessed to receive her artwork entitled 'Quietly in the Sunday Sun' for my 40th birthday last year and I will treasure it always.


Share your favorite female author

Gosh I haven't read a non-business book in the longest of times. I'll be looking at the other responses herein for some inspo!


What is the biggest challenge you have experienced as a female running a small business?  

The single biggest challenge was learning to balance motherhood and a small creative business. Five years on I still haven't figured it out as the challenges are always changing. I have very much had to alter the way I operate and the expectations I place upon myself.


What is the thing you love most about being a female business owner? 

I love that my daughter is witness to me doing a job I am passionate about, I hope this guides her when she is older, in knowing that she can write her own rule book and play her own game in this life.


How can we better support other women led businesses? 

I think it is important to share authentically what it looks like behind the scenes of a small business.  Especially when you're delicately balancing family-life and nurturing little humans.  Through these real and more transparent lenses other women can breathe in knowing they are not alone in their experience. 
 
International Woman's Day Dan Tan Portrait

Website - Little Art Yurt Instagram - @handmadelove

 

Share a female owned business you love? 

Uncanny Animals. Annie who runs her super colourful pet grooming business is hands down the best! I don't own any pets at all but I've been into her shop to purchase gifts for my friend's fur babies and she is always so helpful. I love how she truly puts her heart and soul into her business. I love how she takes the time to share informative little tips on caring for fur friends. I wish I had a little doggie just so I could send him to Annie! Haha.


Share your favourite female artist

Madeleine Stamer - My beautiful and very talented fellow artist, art educator friend! She creates all these magically gorgeous artworks of which I wish I could own them all! Hah. And over the years, she's just been one of the most patient, kind and caring artist friends. Someone who is always willing to share ideas, tips, secret good finds and advice. Maddi's a true gem!


Share your favourite female author

Enid Mary Blyton! I have always and will always love her magical tales!


What is the biggest challenge you have experienced as a female running a small business?  

Being told I'm not good enough. Or that I'm a mum and so business will have to wait. Or I simply don't get taken seriously. People often think I'm just a mum with a side gig of running a few classes a week just because I like working with kids. Ummm. I'm much more than that!

I'm a fun mum to an energetic 2 year old - yes! But I'm also a proud business owner! I am an artist and educator. I have actually been working with children and families for the past 19 years! I spend my week teaching children from over 40 families. I also collaborate with brands, museums, schools and run programs and cool stuff for families! I love that I get to share my love of art making with everyone. It's such a wonderful job and I love it! : )

Yes, it's a hard juggling act, trying to always manage life with a child, being a business owner. Not having any family help as our family all live overseas. We don't send our little guy to childcare as well so he's with me 24/7. It's a struggle but I am still so grateful I get to do it. Being a mum has definitely made me take a step back in my business. But I love how I'm able to stand back and focus on the important stuff and I always make sure I give it my 1001%! <3


What is the thing you love most about being a female business owner? 

I love that I get to make a difference as a woman! People often think businesses can only have male bosses. I love that I get to prove them wrong! Hehe.


How can we better support other women led businesses? 

Share about the business with friends and families. Shop from them!


International Woman's Day The Well

Website - The Well Instagram - @thewell_hub

 

Share a female owned business you love? 

Assembly Yoga is where I have just started teaching. I did my teacher trainer with the owner Melissa and I have not come across someone who actions their values through their business like her. She values community and a laid back approach to a studio vibe that can sometimes be intimidating or a tad exclusive. I share her passion for yoga (and wellness) being fun and for all.

Share your favourite female artist

Does K Y L I E  M I N O G U E count? HA! Apart from my friend Daniella Leo I am a very big fan of Martine Emdur’s work. She is a contemporary painter and captures the intimacy and beauty of the ocean like no other! 


Share your favourite female author

There are a few but at the moment but it has to be Glennon Doyle. Her ability to raise such feeling through her conviction in her writing inspires me daily. Her latest book Untamed us a MUST for all women.


What is the biggest challenge you have experienced as a female running a small business?  

I have always had a passion for conversations and paths not readily walked. Many of my career goals have encompassed my personal and very passionate interest in Women’s stories so as you can imagine I have met many brick walls and MANY glass ceilings. I worked in the Commercial Media industry for ten years and it was full of prehistoric beliefs and prehistoric… people.


What is the thing you love most about being a female business owner? 

An unapologetic merge of motherhood, family, friendships and business at all times. I am proud to share in interviews or conversations that I don’t wear many hats. I wear one hat with many parts of me under it. I refuse to see myself as a human who is separated (or segregated) into boxes and I am aware not everyone feels they have this privilege but it is something I have worked very hard to achieve and I love the flexibility it offers my life.


How can we better support other women led businesses? 

Being vocal day to day. I really do feel that many of us have such an internalised roar in us to support other women. Who wouldn’t?! We are amazing! But I do feel we still resist yelling out each other's names, successes, journeys because we still struggle to yell out our own. My wish for the next twelve months is that we are loud on the regular and not just on these special days!

 

International womans day CML portrait

Website - CML Studio Instagram - @cmlstudio_melbourne

 

Share a female owned business you love? 

I love to listen to podcasts and follow along with female creatives/business women. There are so many which I admire, it's hard to simply choose one. I feel inspired by women who push the boundaries, aren't afraid to be different and lift up community without needing affirmation. I am really inspired by woman like Grace Tame and Penny Wong. They aren't business owners, but they are women who are fearless and lead with their head and their heart.

Share your favourite female artist

Petrina Hicks - She is a female photo media artist. I love the style of her works and how it looks/feels. She usually has an interesting statement. 

Share your favourite female author

The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke. It was such a great read, set in the time of my own childhood, but told from the perspective of being a minority in the Australian suburban life. It made me think about my own position in society and the ecology of what this means and how this is intrepid by others.  


What is the biggest challenge you have experienced as a female running a small business?  

The balance of life and time, managing all aspects of running a small business and how to manage this with my life commitments. My life is not more challenging or busy than others, but it's been a long road of learning boundaries, staying motivated and connections. 


What is the thing you love most about being a female business owner? 

My biggest love transcends gender, it’s the ability to set my own goals and strive for my own successes. I love having other business owners around me who lift me up. I am a believer in community, and it takes a community/village to make everyone their version of success.
 

How can we better support other women led businesses? 

Treat everyone as you expect to be treated. We are all trying to make this work and we all deserve respect. 

 International Woman's Day Days of August

Website - Day's of August Instagram - @daysofaugust

 

Share a female owned business you love? 

Emma Kate Co, Bridget Bodenham, Luxeycup, Jenna Kutcher

Share your favourite female artist

Belinda Henry 

Michelle Harvey


Share your favourite female author

I have three, actually. I really enjoy Denise Duffield-Thomas, an Australian money mindset mentor who wrote three brilliant books which I think all business women should read : Lucky Bitch, Get Rich Lucky Bitch, and her latest, Chillpreneur.

Also Mel Robbins' 5 Second Rule and The High Five Habit are must reads for everyone - entrepreneur or not.

Another I really - really - enjoyed was Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo


What is the biggest challenge you have experienced as a female running a small business?  

I think that for most women, the biggest challenge is achieving some sort of work-home balance. I would imagine it would be even harder while having children, but I must say it's something I struggle with even without having any! It's easy to just keep working - all day, all evening, and all weekend - when the to-do list is never ending. 

I feel there's also a lot of self doubt that comes into play when you are a woman in business. Lots of imposter syndrome. It can become a real challenge to overcome (and you perhaps never fully get over it), but you get better at pushing through it over the years.


What is the thing you love most about being a female business owner? 

I feel women inherently want to help each other and believe in community over competition - even when it comes to business.

I'm blessed to be part of a tight knit circle of other women entrepreneurs. We support, encourage and celebrate each other. It's the absolute best!


How can we better support other women led businesses? 

By putting them front and center, so they can get the exposure and sales they need to keep growing their businesses.

Also creating more places where they can get together and grow a support network of their own.

 

International Womans Day Crayon Chick

Website - Crayon Chick  Instagram - @crayonchick

 

Share a female owned business you love? 

I have so many valued relationships with female owned businesses from suppliers, to stockists and my beloved circle of fellow makers who cheer each other along and trust we have each other’s back.

Share your favourite female artist

At the moment, it’s Georgia O’Keefe. An american artist in the early 20th century most well know for her expansive landscapes of her home in Santa Fe. She didn’t belong to any genre, she followed her own path. Goals right there.

Share your favourite female author

I am an avid reader but don’t have a favourite.  I have many.  Some of the amazing books I’ve read recently by female authors include “Small Pleasures” by Clare Chambers, “The Invisible Circus” by Jennifer Egan and “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tart.

What is the biggest challenge you have experienced as a female running a small business?  

The loneliness is real, although not a gender issue. It’s interesting to witness how I handle that compared with my partner while we were slogging it out working in isolation at home in lockdowns.

What is the thing you love most about being a female business owner? 

The feeling of empowerment and independence. That marvelous moment when you look at something you’ve achieved and think “I did that”. Whether it’s building an actual product, or figuring out the code for a website tweak. I’m yet to master the toner in the printer though.


How can we better support other women led businesses? 

Cheering. Loudly! Supporting with encouragement, engaging on social media, sharing work and buying their work. Support small business! By local! Support woman owned business!



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