Interesting people

Update

So I’m obviously not great at updating the website… but work has taken over and I’m not complaining. But I have strayed mainly because any content I write or produce I tend to let live on the website I did it for, rather than simply repost here. Meaning, I haven’t done anything solely for the website in a while. I’d say this is primarily because I’m not always sure what Three Quarters Full is about… but I suppose that’s what makes it mine.

In any case, I’m going to recalibrate and bring you up to speed.

I’m knee-deep in books on spirituality, mysticism and real life stuff. I’m going to try to get into a novel again soon. But I seem to be increasingly leaning towards non-fiction. On that note, I have to say that I quite enjoyed actress/comedian Lauren Weedman’s  Miss Fortune: Fresh Perspectives on Having It All from Someone Who Is Not Okay. Before that I read Leah Remini’s
Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology. I find the scientology stuff pretty interesting.

But it’s not all Hollywood. I also dove into Raja Shehadeh’s Language of War, Language of Peace: Palestine, Israel and the Search for Justice. Beautifully written – it’s bursting with emotion even though it’s as much about politics as daily life. I highly recommend it.

Here is a segment I did for ABC RN’s Life Matters program recently – part of an ongoing migrant series I’m doing there between producing on the show.

Alissar Gazal in her kitchen, where she cooked up a storm while sharing stories about her life and connection to the kitchen

Alissar Gazal in her kitchen, where she cooked up a storm while sharing stories about her life and connection to the kitchen

I’m also writing for SBS Life – this is a feature I wrote after reading a provocative update by Ophelia Haragli on Facebook. She runs My Sisters Keeper, and as a cancer sufferer, has a lot to share on living with cancer, and how feel-good campaigns can affect people when they’re unwell.

And for Junkee, I wrote this screed on Hollywood’s tendency to take inspiration from, and exploit, real-world geo-politics in its stories.

Time for tea

Like every self-respecting journalist, I have a vice, and it’s generally caffeine (and you can probably include sugar, too). But, and this is the truth, I know I need to curb the addiction. So lately, despite going from a three-quarter full coffee to a piccolo size, I’ve been gravitating towards tea. And there is certainly no shortage of them. The supermarket aisle is bursting with options, and there are dedicated stores dispensing every kind of tea you can imagine. I particularly love the range at Perfect Potion – lots of soothing blends.

So I was interested in a new line of teas by naturopath Mim Beim, called Beaming with Health Herbal Tea. The range seems to address common issues relating to digestion, anxiety, colds, low energy and so on. I wanted to ask Mim about the healing qualities if herbal tea, and address the scepticism you often come across when products claim to target certain conditions. (Think supplements and vitamins, etc).

Hope you enjoy the Q&A I did with Mim – even if you don’t subscribe to naturopathy (I can’t say I do!), I would give these lovely teas a try.

Mim Beim

Why is tea so good for our health?
It is important for good health, let alone glowing skin to be well hydrated. Herbal tea is the perfect alternative to soft drinks, alcohol or coffee. Herbal tea is not only and excellent way to fulfil the fluid quota in your day, but they are also medicinal. For instance peppermint tea helps with bloating and flatulence, chamomile helps relax your nervous system and the sweetly delicious liquorice tea helps restore flagging adrenal glands while  ginger is excellent for improving circulation and as an anti-inflammatory.

Nighty Night tea

Nighty Night tea

What differentiates your tea from other teas on the market?
Beaming with Health herbal teas are blends that are made from medicinal herbs that are predominantly grown organically in Australia. The blends are based on over 25 years of my clinical practice. The big difference with my medicinal blends is that not only are these teas good for you, they taste amazing. This is so important for patient compliance. No matter how good something is for you, no one is going to drink 3 cups of something that tastes awful.

How has naturopathy influenced your tea products?
I created the Beaming with Health blends in order to complement my naturopathic practice.  For each patient, in addition to dietary changes, and if necessary herbal tinctures or nutritional supplements I find recommending a herbal tea is a nice way to add to the treatment without being another tablet.  Drinking herbal teas is a way of bringing medicine into the day to day.  Because they taste so good, they can be enjoyed anytime of day, before meals or before bed.

A lot of people I know are skeptical about things that claim to be for a specific ailment. For example, tea that is good for stress, etc. How do you feel about that?
Herbs are mankind’s oldest medicine. There are more and more studies that back up the long history of the therapeutic benefits of herbs. Every culture has a history of using herbs and particularly herbal teas as medicine. Herbal teas may not be as strong as a herbal tincture or tablet, and for this reason are often recommended as an adjunct to a treatment plan. And as they are more gentle, can be enjoyed by all ages.

On average, how much tea is suitable for daily consumption?
The general recommendation is three (3) cups of a particular herbal blend daily to see therapeutic effects. It depends on the health condition. Something like reflux will respond almost immediately to a cup of Settle Petal, where as a skin condition such as eczema may take a few weeks to improve. Herbal tea can be enjoyed at any time, hot or cold and can be a large part of your fluid intake. You can’t really overdo it.

What is important to know about drinking teas that address bodily functions? E.g. water intake.
All herbal teas will add to fluid intake and will help the kidneys flush out bodily wastes and toxins.   Depending on the herb, this will determine what part of the body will benefit. For instance Dandelion Root is very good for liver function, calendula helps the lymphatic system and Echinacea helps your immune system.

Where can we find your teas?
My teas are available from www.beamingwithhealth.com.au

Beaming with Health tea by Mim Beim

Q&A with Rita Balshaw

It’s been a while, but my second novel (due out in October) has been taking up most of my non-work time. But not to abandon things completely, here’s a great interview with Rita Balshaw, life coach, aromatherapy expert and author of Hippies in the City. I met her at a workshop at Perfect Potion and found her to be thoroughly engaging and in love with her work. Make sure you read to the end for a very cool giveaway!

Rita Balshaw

Rita Balshaw

In five words, how would you describe yourself?

Creative – Calm – Curious – Caring – Complacent

Have you always been an earth- and health-conscious person?

Yeah, I truly have. Natural therapies, cooking and conscious living has deeply touched my heart ever since I can remember. I feel that I was born into the subject matter, and as a young girl I always found peace spending time in nature and pursuing creative projects. My passion for holistic living only continues to grow…

You live your message, evident in the way you eat, cook and work. Do you ever find it to be challenging the way so many of us do? Or is that healthy living is just your reality? (I.e. you don’t need to convince yourself not to eat junk food, because you actually don’t want it!)

I don’t find respecting my body a challenge, as each day I am rewarded by feeling physically and emotionally nourished! I actually find not living a healthy lifestyle a huge challenge, as it makes me feel miserable, uninspired and disconnected. Some days I feel out of balance, normally induced by lack of sleep or hormonal challenges, but I always observe myself and treat my body well.

You are a multi-talented guide to natural living. What first led you into such a natural, holistic approach to living?

I believe my life purpose is to inspire others to achieve a more happy and meaningful life though natural therapies and holistic living. I was defiantly lead to live this life by a source greater than myself, and for this I feel most grateful. When I left school I studied nutrition, this gave me a great foundation to understand food and the workings of the human body. I also believe that being diagnosed and treated with a melanoma when I was 23 years old had a lot to do with how I look at health and lifestyle.

Your book, Hippies in the city, is an encyclopedia on living your best life. From cheeky spells to nourishing winter recipes, as well as aromatherapy oil coverage, it’s clearly a blueprint for a healthy life. What was the process of discovery like for you? I.e. developing this guide to living?

An encyclopedia! I like that! It makes me feel happy to hear, as the book was very much a labor of love. I put everything I had into creating Hippies in the city and was desperate to share as much knowledge as I could with my readers. The process was organic and fluid. I wanted to formulate something unique that covered all things healthy living; food, aromatherapy, yoga and more. Inspiration is always available to me, and I was lucky that I was blessed with the drive, self belief and discipline to make the book come alive. And yes each day I learn so more about food chemistry, human behavior, plant biology and spirituality.

Hippies in the City by Rita Balshaw

Hippies in the City by Rita Balshaw

What do you think some of the misconceptions about aromatherapy are? I.e. do you think it gets lumped in with alternative treatments that aren’t scientifically validated?

People who haven’t regularly treated their health with natural therapies are often skeptical about the helping powers of plants, and will say things like, “does this really work?”. This for me is exciting, because you get to show them that “yes, nature is your most effective preventive treatment”.

As someone who gets to interact with consumers regularly, through your work at Perfect Potion, what do you think are the most common issues people face and want help with?

People come to us with an assortment of physical and emotional health concerns. Eczema, psoriasis, acne, anxiety, stress, depression, fatigue, insomnia, body weight and hormonal related issues are the most common. Perfect Potion has everything needed to assist with the body’s healing process, making my job super easy and very rewarding.

What do you consider to be the general benefits of essences, and do you think they should be combined with a holistic healthy life plan to be truly effective?

Essential oils affect us physically and emotionally, working on multiple levels to benefit the whole being. Yes, it is most certainly best to combine aromatherapy treatments in conjunction with other holistic healing methods. A clean whole foods diet, exercise and meditation will compliment a holistic living plan perfectly.

Rita Balshaw

Rita Balshaw enjoys retreats

It can be quite daunting to approach something as expansive as aromatherapy without the knowledge of what the essences do and their potency. What can beginners start with to get acquainted with oils, etc? What tips would you give to someone who is new to alternative methods of dealing with stress, physical and mental ailments, and poor diet?

Be open to the process of learning. If your intention is to start to feel healthier, happier and more connected to yourself then please trust that you will learn what you need to when you need to. The study of aromatherapy is indeed expansive, and little by little you can learn about this ancient and medicinal craft. Practical steps like attending our workshops at Perfect Potion and reading the Hippies in the City book is the best place to start. The beginning of my learning journey started with treating myself as the experiment as I explored all things holistic living. I do heaps of research and attend various yoga classes, workshops and seminars, simply because I enjoy it.

You do a lot of teaching, coaching and inspiring. What do you find most appealing about your work, and what’s next in terms of creating awareness?

My job is fundamentally to empower, educate and inspire others. I love the fact that each day I get to heal and nourish myself and help others. My professional and personal life is not at all separate from one another, it’s like I never clock off! It is nice to live a life each day of purpose and complete authenticity. What’s next? My second book, along with many workshops, wellness retreats and a Hippies In The City television series!

Finally, do you have a website and where can we buy your book?
At www.hippiesinthecity.com and #hippiesinthecity for some instagram fun!

Rita is kindly giving away a product from Perfect Potion (I think it’ll be a sleep one!). To enter, send me a message via this website’s contact form or like my Facebook page and send me a message there, and tell me what the secret to good sleep is!

Q&A with life coach Stin Hansen

Stin Hansen thought coachA few years ago, I began in earnest what I like to think of as my self-development journey. I knew that I needed to address the internal monologues and change the language of my brain. Well, maybe not completely change – we are all imperfect creatures – but switch to a more positive way of seeing myself, the world around me and my own potential.

I don’t remember how I came across Stin Hansen, but her soothing voice reciting affirmations had me at first download. Her podcasts are free to download, and years later, I still tune into certain recordings when I need refuelling.

It was my absolute pleasure to have a phone chat with Stin recently. And I have to say, hearing her “in real life” was kind of a thrill.

AA: I’m a big fan of your meditations and affirmations, and I started using them at a really important time of my personal growth. Is it important for you to know who you’re reaching? Do you receive feedback from around the world?

SH: I do, and I have to say it’s a weird thing that I do, because there aren’t faces or stories really when I start writing content. But when I hear back from people and there are stories, it makes such a huge difference to help me keep going.

And there are times when I’m writing, I always try to meditate and get centred spiritually before I write. Sometimes I’ll just have certain impressions of things to write, and I also have a notebook where I keep ideas.

And I don’t know how it all works, but I know there’s some sort of pull towards things that people need. Some times more than others definitely, but there are some where I will just have this strong impression and sometimes I hear back, sometimes I don’t. But it feels right, it flows so easily and it’s just, I don’t know, little angels everywhere (laughs).

AA: So it’s a very intuitive process for you then? There are rules for affirmations, but where’s the spiritual element for you?

SH: The best part of it is it does require me – if things aren’t right inside, nothing comes. It’s almost as if everything’s just blocked up. It’s a pretty miraculous process. And I know it does help that I have had to use all of these things on myself during difficult times, and they’ve worked, so I have a lot of faith in the process.

But there is something else, there’s something special. Not everyone will resonate with my voice or what I have to say, but the ones that do, I feel a connection with them somehow. There’s just something there.

AA: You have a very soothing voice, and I can understand why it’s such a comfort to people. Even the cadence…

SH: Yes, and as much as I hate listening to my stuff, occasionally I do. At the beginning I spoke too fast, and I don’t like to meditate to my voice, but when I do, it’s always helped me improve. Because I speak too fast, or I don’t pause long enough. You learn.

AA: If you don’t like listening to your own material, is there someone you go to for meditations?

SH: I do my own meditating, or sometimes I’ll be working on my own affirmations that I write, things that I want or intend for myself, that I probably need to change or improve on in my life.

There are times though, when things are more difficult than others – my dad passed away, I had a really hard time getting back in the groove. I knew that I needed help from someone else, so I just kind of put it out there. I wrote down in my journal what it was I felt like I needed, and invited the universe to bring it to me.

I don’t think everybody does it that way, and I’m sure there are plenty of people who think it’s crazy, but it’s been so consistently good for me to do my life that way, it makes things so much easier. Because I trust that it’ll show up, and when it does, I know that it’s the right thing at the right time.

AA: So something came in response to your request to help you?

SH: Yes. Two friends from completely different circles had mentioned somebody they had been working with, and I knew that that was where I needed to go. And it really helped me. It was, I think, reiki, but it helped me so much.

So there are people and there are books and there are words that are written that I’ll come across years later. And a lot of times it’s my own journal. I am a big journaller. So when I get lots of ideas or impressions and I write a lot, sometimes it’s not until years later that I go back and realise that that’s my answer.

AA: You’re well known for your podcasts and website. What else do you do? Is there speaking or a book on the way?

SH: There are some things happening. I’ve got five kids and taking care of them is a big part of my life. It’s interesting, because they all have such unique individual needs. In fact it was my son’s anxiety that really got me moving forward in really researching anxiety management, and the anxiety meditations that I’ve done have been so – I mean, just millions of downloads, because it’s such a huge need. And it’s interesting that that’s how it came about.

And now he’s in high school, and I was in the airport with him, looking at colleges, and we were walking through the airport and for the first time in about five years he started to have an anxiety attack. And he was talking about this visit, and he was concerned about all these big decisions he had, and it was starting to hit him. And I watched him just work it through, and say all the things that my little meditations … ‘This is just a thought, this isn’t who I am’, ‘where in my body am I feeling this? OK, yeah, there it is’.

And it was just this huge football player, high school kid going through this really remarkable process to calm himself down. And that was really awesome for me, because I didn’t have to say a word. I just watched him be his own coach.

AA: That’s fantastic, and you want to empower people to be their own coaches. I know some of yours by heart now. How did you find yourself in this area in the first place?

SH: It’s actually all of my failures that eventually led me to realise what it is I was really supposed to do. You try out different things, and sometimes they worked but they didn’t fit as well.

But I had done a lot of physical personal training for athletes and a friend of mine had gone through breast cancer and was kind of in the throes of it, and had asked if I would work with her, because she knew I used to be involved in it.

And at this point I was in a completely different field – I had started some random film company, and just doing all kinds of whacky stuff. But I started to help her in the gym, and as we were going through that process, every time we would finish, I would always take her through some sort of visualisation. She was really struggling with accepting the diagnosis, and visualising a future and trying to figure it all out.

So I would always give her a guided visualisation at the end, and sometimes I would have her do different workouts. And when I couldn’t be there for the workouts, I started just recording my voice so that she would always have that, because this is kind of a lifeline for her, the relationship that we developed.

And it kind of spring boarded from there. I really felt like that was what I was supposed to be doing, and started taking on more clients. And then I started a company called Fit DJ, which was just back 10, 15 years ago, CDs; I did guided workouts, and the guided workout always finished with some sort of visualisation or meditation. And then from there, when podcasts began, in 2006 I put up a few of my recordings on a couple of different podcasts, and I did my workouts. And I thought, definitely the workouts are going to be huge.

But then I put some of the meditations up, and it was actually the meditations that went viral. It was incredible. Within a couple of weeks, I was number two in all of iTunes, which is pretty awesome. And that was when I realised I had hit some sort of pulse there.

And they were really bad. I mean, I was doing my recordings in my closet. It was really bad, you know, just putting socks over the microphone. But there were so many people around the world who found it, and of course technology made it possible that people I would never meet or know would somehow hear my voice, and it really created a way for this business to happen.

Throw it out there, and whoever needs to find it will find it. That’s my belief … that’s my prayer, every day. That whoever needs it, help them to find it, whoever needs something that I’ve said, ever, help them to find it. And then the internet does the rest.

AA: Have you moved out of the closet for your recording sessions?

SH: (laughs) I do have a studio, it’s not in my closet anymore.

AA: You said anxiety is a popular download. What is your most popular and what is the most common thread amongst people who want to listen to you?

SH: Anxiety’s an interesting one, because people who are anxious are highly motivated to feel better. And so they’re the ones who are searching, they’re the ones who, if my website is down, I have a stream of emails in my inbox, and I can tell, it’s the people who have got anxiety, that need to find an anchor. And so they’re really the meat and potatoes of what I think has helped me. People who struggle with anxiety and have resonated with my voice, there’s something calming about it for them. Because people who are depressed are not really motivated to do anything.

So my anxiety ones are probably most popular ones. But I think meditation’s had its day. A lot of research has come out about the benefits of meditation. People don’t know how to really start. I think for 80 per cent of the world [meditation] is so far beyond what they would be able to do – sit still for 10 or 15 minutes, with nothing but their thoughts. It would be overwhelming. So to have somebody coach them all the way through to having a relaxed body, and a centred place where they can go, is very helpful.

AA: There are people who are motivated to change and people who aren’t. Do you get a lot of skepticism about what you do?

SH: The good news is they never look for my content. People that are skeptical don’t ever download me. It’s perfect. And the day will come. Everybody eventually gets to their moment, their more-than-they-can-handle, and that’s usually the thing that motivates them to find me.

AA: When it comes to people finding you, what are the tips you have for people who are having trouble getting started and making change in their lives?

SH: It’s tough. I do think that life is kind of perfectly designed to take people to a point where they can’t remain complacent for too long. But it’s either going to get so difficult that they really need help or they really are motivated to make changes. It gets them off the fence.

I don’t think that life … is getting intense for everybody. It’s kind of amazing. Everyone really has as much as they can handle, and there are moments of valleys and vistas, but for the most part, life is pretty hard, and it’s intensifying, and there’s a fear in the world – the unknowns are hard for people to try to navigate through.

So I figure if they’re not there yet, that’s OK. Some day, life will bring them invitations to improve, whatever that is, and whatever path is right for them. And everyone’s story is different. People are highly motivated to become as self-actualised and productive as they can, and that’s part of what we’ve brought here with us, that nature. But some aren’t, some are just doing it, and that’s their personality, but eventually life will invite them.

There are so many things that people can numb out with to and just stay in a place where they never have to feel really deeply. But in the inside of everyone is that yearning or that aching for more. And whether it’s me or not, I know there are so many great thought leaders out there and so many people offering their gifts to the world, that wherever they find it, it’s available. That’s the good news, it’s available. There’s so much great stuff out there.

AA: You talked about guided visualisation, but what are the rules of affirmative thinking? You can’t focus on what you don’t want, you’re supposed to focus on what you do want. Any tips?

SH: That’s a really good question. For some people, there are times that it’s too much of a stretch to say an affirmation of something that you want. [Saying] ‘I have an abundant financial future’ when you’re bankrupt is a hard stretch for people to really believe, and so that’s an interesting place.

And there are a couple of places where people can kind of make that jump. And one is to do that EFT. EFT is a really good precursor for affirmations.

EFT is really a matter of, where is the file in my brain – because your brain is always filing things away – and especially anxieties and worries and skepticism. Those things are stored in the brain in little files that come out when other things trigger them. So there’ll be something, say, that you love chocolate, and so when you see chocolate, that file is wide open and all of the good thoughts about eating chocolate are just wide open. What EFT does is it sort of bypasses that pathway in your brain that is just going to always go to a certain response to something.

And it works really well with people who are having panic attacks, to kind of tap through those things and say all of the thoughts that are coming up, that are not what you want. The place you’re allowed to say the things that you don’t want is in EFT. When you tap through those places, you will say, ‘I am afraid of this happening’, ‘I’m worried about this happening’, and when the file is wide open and you’re actually feeling the feeling of being afraid of that thing, or being worried about it, is when you would do that tapping. It kind of just juggles things up a little bit in the brain, so that then you can put an affirmation in there and start to go back into a more proactive creation of what it is you really want.

AA: But there are certain places on your body you tap, like the pulse points?

SH: Yes, but you don’t know exactly which point is going to be right for you. So there are points that you go through and it may be three, but it’s hard to say which one it’s going to be, where it is you’re storing it. So you just tap your head, and there are those points – you say, ‘I am afraid of…’ or ‘I release the feeling that I’m never ever going to get my financial life in order’. You tap in between your eyebrows and go up. You’re just giving words to a feeling in your body, and all of those things that are in that file of anxiety or worry, that are keeping you from believing your affirmations, these are the things that you’re letting go of and releasing.

You’re putting your intention out there and if put your intention of letting it go as you tap through those EFT points, it’s remarkable how then, after that, if you do your affirmations, they stick, and it’s like your brain can accept them and believe them and see a different future for you. If you’ve been really stuck, it can help to imagine something far beyond where you were before the tapping.

It’s kind of an exciting field, but that’s a trick, if anyone is stuck with affirmations, I have them tap through all of their resistance. What is keeping you from believing that this could be a possibility for you?

For Stin Hansen’s podcast streams:

Meditation for Children and Teens

Meditation for Children and Teens

For iPhone apps, see here:

Meditate Now SLEEP – Stin Hansen

Meditate Now Kids – Stin Hansen

My New Body – Stin Hansen

Meditate Now II – Stin Hansen

Meditate Now II – Stin Hansen

Meditate Now ANXIETY – Stin Hansen

Meditate Now HEAL – Stin Hansen

Q&A with … Samantha Wills

Samantha Wills embodies her own brand

Samantha Wills

She’s one of the few brand owners who also make for the most stylish of ambassadors. Samantha Wills has taken her bohemian-luxury brand global, and is expanding into products beyond jewels.

In an exclusive interview with Three Quarters Full, Samantha speaks to me about her business, the wanderlust lifestyle she shares with her captive social media audience, and what she has in store for fans in 2014.

You’ve just launched a new mantra bangles range, and you include affirmative mantras on many of your pieces. What inspired that approach?

We get such an overwhelming response every time I hand write beautiful quotes, so I thought it would be nice to wear beautiful words. So we created the Beautiful Mantra series from there.

What is your favourite piece with a mantra?

I like the ‘Live This Moment’ because so often we wait for ‘when something happens’ or ‘when this falls in to place’ and we wait and wait and wait – but living is right now, so it reminds me of this daily and I think that is important.

What has resonated the most with your customers?

The entire collection has had a huge response! So much so, I went straight into designing a new collection of them after their first day in the market!

You are not only a style icon, but also a great example of a healthy approach to life. How important is it to you think positively, and how has that helped you in your own personal growth?

That is very lovely of you to say – thank you! I think the concept of ‘thinking positively’ is very easy to say, but when you are having a really shitty day, or one of those weeks where it seems like EVERYTHING is against you, thinking positively is sometimes impossible. What I have learned as I have gotten older is that the moment will pass. I find great comfort in knowing that this challenging time you are in right now will not last forever. But you have to just sit it out, weather the storm – and most importantly – acknowledge that it might be really uncomfortable and painful – but it will pass.

Live this moment by SW

The SW Beautiful Mantras collection includes necklaces

When I interviewed you last year, you acknowledged that engaging in social media can be difficult sometimes. I.e. you can have an “off day”, just like everyone else. How do you deal with those moments?

The beauty of platforms like Facebook and Instagram is that you can post media and comments that are positive and give shine to others – it is not about body language or tone, which are hard things to conceal when you are having an off day.

What can you share with readers about an overall healthy approach to life? E.g. diet and exercise, and self-pampering.

I love anything with sugar in it! And in my 20’s, I didn’t think twice about eating as much of it as I liked. I think I approach my diet differently now – mainly for internal health and also to ensure you are mentally focused. Sugar and sweets are now on-occasion foods. I really try to eat well and as old school as it sounds, drink loads of water – this is an incredibly different approach than I took in my 20’s! As far as self pampering, in NYC, ALL nail salons have masseuses in them – this is genius. When you are waiting for your polish to dry, you can pop into the chair for a 20-minute massage, I see this as the perfect self pampering treat!

What does an average Samantha Wills day look like?  

My average day revolves around design, creative briefs, shooting content, creative planning, marketing and social media calendars… the time spent on each changes pending what is going on at that time, but they are the basis of my job. The PR & promotion of my job I try to condense into set days and in blocks, media interviews and shoots, shooting for my blog, or in stores – pending on travel and location, this is a little hard to manage!

What advice do you live by?

Find out the things in life that make you happy and make conscious efforts to do more of them!

Who inspires you?

My boyfriend Will inspires me – he has an energy for life and for saying yes to the most last minute of adventures that makes me live my life a different way. Since I met him, I feel like I get much more time out of my day and fit a lot more adventures and experiences in.

What advice do you give to people who see you as an inspiration and are pursuing creative pathways?

Persistence. It is going to be hard, and some days REALLY hard. It requires persistence, and patience and saying yes to every opportunity (in the early days). I used to have a sign on my desk that said luck is where preparation meets opportunity…. Opportunities usually come at the most inconvenient of times, so always be prepared – do whatever you need to do.

Find out the things in life that make you happy and make conscious efforts to do more of them

Can you share a favourite recent moment that took you by surprise?

I went to an Australia Day party in NYC this weekend. It was hosted by Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness. I have always known their reputation for being incredible humble and down to earth, but meeting them in person left me walking away feeling like a better person. It is really hard to describe, but they are such warm, caring & invested people.

What’s coming up for the SW brand?

SO MUCH! 2014 will see handbags launched (in stores July) & SW Eyewear (in stores October) and lots of exciting things in between!