Rebecca Van Leeuwen // Soul Connection

By EHM Editor Jade McKenzie

Luminous, vibrant and like a gorgeous ray of sunshine, Bec Van Leeuwen is the epitome of a woman on purpose. As the Founder of Soul Sister Circle, Bec burst onto the scene only a few short years ago and hasn't looked back since.

As a complete and utter event nerd, I keenly followed the Soul Sister Circle events and wished dearly that they would come to Melbourne. When I first heard about the events my spidey sense was going off - I just  knew that this was something special. 

And here we are, a few years down the track and Soul Sister Circle has blossomed into something truly incredible. But no words that I can say will do it justice, so we sat down with Bec to hear all about the creative journey she has been on with SSC and ask her what is on the horizon. 

Thank you so much for your time today Rebecca, it is so wonderful to have you with us! We'd love to hear how the beautiful idea of Soul Sister Circle came about and how it makes it you feel to see where it has got to today?

Soul Sister Circle was born to fill a void in my own life. I had recently started working full time as a Life Coach and had began to experience the isolation of being in business for myself. I was also struggling to gain traction with bringing in a consistent stream of clients. My mentors at the time really advocated Networking. They suggested that if I want to find new clients and grow my business that I needed to get out there and start making new connections. Uncertain and lacking confidence I pulled on my big girl panties and I started to attend local business networking events, but what I experience was actually quite disempowering. I would walk away from these events feeling really disillusioned. I didn’t resonate with any of the people I was meeting and instead felt more isolated and alone in business. At the time, there were a few heart-centred coaches and businesses emerging online that I really connected with. “They are my people” I though to myself. How do I find and connect with them? 

Through my search, I connected with a small group of bloggers in Brisbane who were my very first Soul Sisters. In no time at all we were supporting one another, lifting each other up and sharing our innermost thoughts, doubts and fears. It was everything I had been searching for and exactly what my soul had been craving.

It was really from here that the idea for Soul Sister Circle germinated. Despite having no formal event experience, I felt strongly that there needed to be a sacred platform for like-minded women to come together and connect on a deep and meaningful level. Somewhere for them to be seen, heard, and be free to express themselves authentically. And so, Soul Sister Circle was born. 

It took a lot of guts for me to start Soul Sister Circle and when I reflect back at how much she has grown my heart swells with gratitude. I truly have the most remarkable community of women around me, women who inspire me every single day with their courage, curiosity, determination and commitment to serve. What a gift it has been to be, in some small way, part of the evolution and blossoming of these women. And I am immensely proud when I look back and acknowledge that despite me fears, doubts and lack of expertise, I created something truly beautiful and purposeful.

Bec-Van-Leeuwen-3-1024x654.png

Your events are infused with layers of inspiration, wisdom and practically; how important is it to provide your guests with a dynamic yet relevant experience?

For me, delivering experiences that are nourishing, inspiring, relevant and uplifting is rule number one. I want my guests to walk away feeling completely nourished, connected and empowered. I achieve this through the sum of all the little things. Paying close attention to the small details makes such a huge difference.

You describe Soul Sister Circle as like "entering another dimension" (sign me up!). How do you create this incredible experience for your guests and how do you find speakers who compliment your vision so beautifully?

When women with intention come together, it is like entering into another dimension. I can’t describe the vibes in the room at a Soul Sister Circle event in any other way than pure magic.  It sincerely is the most supportive, open and loving space. My intention is very clearly to nurture my guests on all levels of their being, and this sits at the forefront of every decision I make when planning an event. 

The beautiful thing about live events is that you get to excite all five of the physical senses and I make it my mission to delight each and every one of them through providing delicious organic food, creating a visually stunning environment, burning lots of candles infused with essential oils that work in harmony with the overall theme and energy of the event, playing soothing sounds and giving lots of hugs. I’m a huge believer in the healing power of touch and so I try to hug everyone as they enter the room at one of my events.

When it comes to finding guest speakers for my events, I rely heavily on my intuition. In one way or another, I will be guided to connect with someone, and more often than not it will lead to them speaking on my stage. In 100% of cases, these women really get what Soul Sister Circle is all about and are excited to shine their light into her. I have been so incredibly inspired and blessed by these women, and it is an honor to be able to provide a platform for them to share their wisdom with the Soul Sister Circle community.

Why do you personally believe it is important that women are continually moved by their own authenticity and creativity? And how do you find in-person events assist women in feeling this way?

Creating a life of great meaning and purpose starts within. We simply will not arrive on our souls path by seeking externally, and doing what we ‘think’ we ought to be doing. Instead, we must prioritise the way to authentically knowing and understanding ourselves, and then tap into our own creative magic to freely express our gifts in the world. 

When we sit behind a screen, peering into the lives of others, what we see is an illusion. Things are never what they seem, and yet, we create benchmarks for ourselves based on what ‘other people’ are doing. It’s kind of bonkers when you think about it. Live events help to lift this veil of illusion. When we connect in person, we get to experience the person as they are, not as they appear, or how we perceive them to be, and this really helps to close the gap of separation that exists between us. A well executed live event can and will create unity amongst its audience and this is one of the founding principles of Soul Sister Circle - unite the Sisterhood.

What is your most favourite thing about running your events?

I love to witness the ripple effect that my events have in people’s lives. I have watched on with a full heart as women have discovered the courage to show up more authentically, pave the way for more meaningful careers, create greater abundance and welcome more joy into their lives. This of course then ripples out into their families, their clients and their communities. It’s breathtaking. During an event, I cherish the hugs, the divine ambiance and watching on as women open up and connect on a deep level, forming strong and lasting friendships.

This is one cheeky question we like to ask our cover girls, just like musicians have riders, business owners usually develop their own little list of must haves when they are at events. What can’t you live without at your events?

I always arm myself with grounding and balancing essential oils, crystals, flat shoes and lots of filtered drinking water.

And finally, 2016 is here and ready for action! What is on the horizon for yourself and Soul Sister Circle?

My goodness… I don’t really feel qualified to answer this question, as there are a lot of personal shifts and changes happening for me right now, and this of course, is trickling over into my business. I can say that there are some really exciting new offerings on the horizon including the Soul Sister Circle Podcast launching very soon, a delicious eMag bringing together beautiful minds, inspiring stories and timeless wisdom, and we will finally be bringing our events interstate and jumping across the ditch to share some love with our kiwi sisters. Kinfolk Festival, our glorious one-day outdoor event is set to be the most magical experience this year, with a stella line up of speakers, workshops and high-vibes. Beyond that who knows? I try to remain as fluid and open as possible as there are always doors that open along the way. Regardless, 2016 is looking pretty beautiFULL.

 

I think you will agree with me when I say this is one woman who is paving the way for others! What an incredible example of a beautiful intention to connect coming to life and creating a strong and vibrant community. Do yourself a favour and keep up to date with all things Soul Sister Circle HERE and get yourself to a SSC event as soon as you can! 

 

All images belong to Soul Sister Circle

3 Ways to Promote Your Event on Facebook

By Bianca McKenzie

So you have finally decided to run a workshop or host an event. You have set a date, booked your venue and planned out your day. Now all you need to do is sell tickets. Easy right?

With so many tools available to use it may seem easy and it is totally possible, but it most definitely takes work. It’s not a matter of telling your tribe once and you’ll be booked out. If it does work that way for you, that’s amazing, but for most of us it takes a little bit more work.

One of the amazing tools available to us is Facebook. Love it or hate it but it has the potential to reach billions of people and I’m sure that your tribe makes up part of this group. 

Facebook is a wonderful tool to promote your event or workshop, and there are a number of ways you can utilise it. Let’s look at 3 ways to promote your offline event on Facebook.

1. Post it on your business page and/or personal profile

Your Facebook page should be the first place on Facebook where you start promoting your event. You can even start doing this before you have decided on a topic by asking your tribe what they most want to know or learn. You can then be sure to deliver what they most want to hear from you. 

You can also use this space to build up excitement for your event by posting teasers, pictures of you working on your content, a sneak peek of the event venue and other behind the scenes shots. Involving your tribe in the ‘making of’ will create a stronger connection. Then when the time is right to promote your workshop and sell tickets they feel like they’ve been part of the journey. 

When you go into your full launch period, make sure that you keep talking about it. Don’t just post it once but keep reminding people that you’re running this event or workshop. Come up with different pieces of copy and images to post on your Facebook feed.

The key is to remind people quite a number of times. Give them time to warm up to the idea and then make sure you keep being seen.

2. Use Facebook Advertising

You may have come across the term ‘pay to play’ and yes, it’s one that is quite relevant for Facebook. In order to get your event or workshop seen by more people, it’s a wise decision to invest some dollars into Facebook Ads. 

Facebook advertising allows you to specifically target those who are most likely interested in your event or workshop. To start, I recommend targeting those who already follow your page to give you the best chance of having your post seen. This you can simply do by boosting the post you are already posting on your page. 

I also recommend running an advertising campaign that specifically targets people who have visited your website or are on your list. This is called re-targeting and it works because they’re already familiar with your work but may just need the reminder. 

You can also run a brand new campaign to a brand new audience, but this is usually a little harder because they are most likely not familiar with your work. Nevertheless, it might be worth testing. 

3. Host a Facebook Contest

Another option to promote your event or workshop is to host a Facebook contest. This is a great way to get people to interact with your Facebook page. Ask them to do something in return for prizes, such as take an action on your page or submit something. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the rules as Facebook is quite strict on contest rules. 

Fun ideas are ‘caption contests’ where you ask your audience to caption an image, a Q&A contest where you ask for an answer to a multiple choice question or a photo contest where you ask your audience to submit a photo. You would award a prize to the winner of the contest as an incentive to participate. If you can link this contest to your event you create awareness for your event and can steer people in the right direction with a call to action like booking tickets or signing up to your list. Make it fun!

To make the most out of building connections and engagement, make sure you interact with your audience before, during and after the event. Build up excitement before the event, show behind the scenes during the event, talk about what is going on during the day and then keep the momentum going after the event by sharing what was said, lessons learned, pictures of speakers and lots of other fun happenings. Go into your page and post personalised comments to those who left a comment on your post, thank everyone for attending, tell them where they can find photos of the event and how to stay in touch to find out more about the next event etc. 

Be active online and make an effort to build relationships. Have fun promoting your event or workshop!


Photo credits belong to Fi Mims Photography

Bianca McKenzie demystifies marketing technology for female entrepreneurs. An intuitive marketer, natural connector and qualified teacher, Bianca brings marketing strategy and technology together with ease. Bianca is a regular guest blogger on ROOOAR, a Beautiful You Coaching Academy guest speaker and E-Course Launch Formula expert contributor.

Venue Spotlight // Mantra Lorne

By EHM Editor Jade McKenzie

As an event professional who works with venues all over the world to manage events, nothing excites me more than finding venues that can do EVERYTHING in one place. This helps provide a seamless experience for you and your attendees as you not only have everything at your fingertips, but you also know that you are going to be well looked after by the staff who know your event inside and out.

In December I was lucky enough to experience Mantra Lorne and all it had to offer. When I left my mind was buzzing with the possibilities and from intimate retreats to large conferences, there isn’t much you can’t do here.

We stayed in a beautiful self-contained one bedroom apartment with an ocean view that was perfect for our little family. Later in the evening we enjoyed drinks in the foyer and a tour of the event spaces, which include a large conference room where you can actually hang a car from the ceiling (no joke) and a whole range of function spaces for all events large and small. We then moved over to the Heritage Ballroom for dinner, and wasn't it gorgeous!

Built in 1864 and still featuring the original pressed tin walls, barn doors and stained glass windows, it really was stunning venue to be in. With a singer on stage with his guitar, an Argentinian barbeque being cooked out the front and individual food stations inside the ballroom for the bar, breads, salads, seafood and one impressive watermelon (ask me about it the next time I see you ;) ), it was definitely a feast for the senses and the tastebuds.

But my favourite part of the evening was when we were surprised with dessert under the stars. We were led out to a grass area adorned with festoon lights, wood fire pits and burners, wingback armchairs and blankets. With waiters ready to assist with trays of drinks, the ingredients to make smores over the fire, a buffet of decadent desserts and some wonderful company, this really felt like a little piece of heaven. I could have stayed out there all night. In fact, I didn’t leave until after midnight!

Set over 12 acres on a beachfront location, Mantra Lorne has just gone under a refurbishment and their facilities include:

-          A range of different accommodation types from hotel rooms to self contained apartments

-          Conference and meeting facilities for 12 guests up to 500 guests

-          Croquet pitch and tennis courts

-          Endota day spa

-          Golf putting green

-          Gym and steam rooms

-          Indoor heated pool

-          Restaurant and lounge bar

-          24 hour reception

This is the type of place that I would personally love to use as a retreat with a mix of business workshops and leisure activities – including a drive down the gorgeous Great Ocean Road. If you want something different from your usual event, this is definitely worth checking out. You can find out more about Mantra Lorne HERE or email me for an introduction.  

 

All photo credits belong to Mantra Lorne

Embrace What Sets You Apart And Showcase Who You Really Are

By Lauren Callaghan

It’s 2016, the era of entrepreneurship! Along with that comes, the online world and that means it’s more important than ever to visually showcase who you are. People are searching for inspiration, purpose and connection and we, as business owners, rely on this engagement to flourish.

Insider Tip: A huge asset within your business that helps create this connection is your visual imagery. 

If you look to the left, to the right or even in front of you, you’ll see women all over the world creating a business and life they love.  So how are you setting yourself apart from the crowd?

Over the past four years I’ve been photographing women entrepreneurs, helping to capture visual branding imagery for their business and when it comes to creating something that is unique and engaging, there is one key ingredient that you need and it might surprise you to know that it already exists…

YOU!

You are your brand! Putting it simply I know but it’s also an ingredient that so many people seem to forget about. When your community feel a connection to you, it fuels their passion and desire to buy from you. Yes, you might have an amazing service and/or product. But that only goes so far and when you can embrace what is uniquely yours and share it with your audience, they’ll want to get to know you more and will continue to find ways to connect with  you. 

Have you ever been to a networking event where you finally met someone you’ve been following for a while, only to think; “Oh! They look completely different!” or “They’re not at all like the person I thought they were?” Oh! It hurts a little doesn’t it! It’s a very strange thing to have a perception of someone and then find out you were completely off the mark. This is what I call, incongruent visual branding.  A brand that uses imagery, showcasing a person differently to who they are in “real life”.  They’re just NOT showcasing their true self.  

The women who are embracing themselves, in every sense of the word are the ones who are truly shining in their business.

Remember, it takes only seven seconds for your ideal client to make their assumptions and judgments about you and we want these judgements to be good ones. We want people to see us and think; “Oh! I really like her spunk!” And even better, “I really want to work with her because I feel like she gets me!” 

So in this online world, when our attention spans are so short and another website, another business, another expert is only a click away, it is more important than ever to visually communicate who you are, gain trust and be remembered.

You are unique! 

There is no one else in the world that has a spirit quite like yours!

It’s this unique spirit, your unique essence that sets you apart from the crowd and THIS is what your audience wants to see. We want to connect with you, so get out there and let YOU be visible.

 

3 WAYS TO EMBRACE & SHOWCASE WHAT SETS YOU APART

 

1. Create an Emotional Connection

Images evoke emotions. That’s power of visual imagery! In an instant, you can create a connection based on the images you put on your website. Let me ask you this; How do you want your ideal client to feel when they visit your website? How do you want this person to feel when they see an image of you?  Write down three key emotive words that come to mind when you consider this and keep these emotions in mind when you create your visual brand.

2.   Express your Authenticity

I believe there’s a difference between being authentic and doing authentic. It’s not about what other people are doing, it’s not about doing something because you think you should. Just because it may have been successful for someone else, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. When you create value through products and services that are authentic to whom you really are, they become invaluable. They become authentic to you and they become the key ingredient to what sets you a part from the crowd.

Finish this sentence;

If I gave myself permission to be authentically me, I would showcase....

3.   Showcase Captivating Confidence

Easier said than done, I completely understand. Ironically, when you have a visual brand that showcases who you are, when you have imagery you are really proud of, confidence shows up! Honestly, I’ve seen it every single time. I’ve watched many businesses change, evolve and completely up level because they have consistent visual imagery that is inline with their brand. 

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work, gains success. Greatness will come. ” - Dwyne Johnson

 

I'm Lauren, an intuitive portrait photographer from Sol + Co and I specialise in creating authentic imagery that captures the true essence of women entrepreneurs. I have a fascination with photography! Combine that with ambition, spirit and really high standards and you will find one genuine and determined lass. I promise, when you step outside your comfort zone and create imagery that showcases you and your business in an authentic way, it’s worth it!

How Events Can Grow Your Business

By EHM Editor Jade McKenzie

Events are a versatile way to get in front of your audience and connect with them on a deeper level. As much as the online world provides us with a great platform to share knowledge and build community, there is nothing more fulfilling than bringing that community together in person and engaging with them on a truly human level. 

I really want to challenge you to think about how you can bring an event to life in your current business. It can be as big as a five date tour up the coast or as simple as a casual gathering at your local café but whatever it is, I want you to step up and shine. 

When you look around, do you notice that every successful entrepreneur you admire either includes events on their yearly calendar in line with their launches and offerings, or that they grace a stage regularly? They know that events:

// Are a sure fire way to keep increasing their brand awareness

// Are a brilliant way to sell out their latest offering within a short amount of time

// Help generate social media buzz, free publicity and insane amounts of word of mouth recommendations

// Keep them relevant and in the public eye

 

And we know that events:

// Can create to actionable and positive change

// Can lead you to a community of people that make you feel like home

// Can give you heart bursting moments of joy

// Can motivate you, inspire you and MOVE you!

And I know, that you can delight in all of this too by running your own events.

The real beauty of events is that they can be as intimate or as large as you like. There's no hard and fast rules for what is 'successful'. Having a room of 10 can grow your business as much as a room of 100. Heck, I ran an event for 3 people which grew my business!  

If you haven’t put on an event before and you are not quite sure what type of event would suit you, you can think about doing:

- Workshops

- Spoken Word Presentations

- Retreats

- Networking Events

- Launches

 

As an event professional, I have seen first-hand just how rapidly events can grow a business and the positive effect they have on your brand.

Being online business owners and entrepreneurs, we are so used to working with our clients online but a beautiful and inspiring way that we can give knowledge and impart wisdom is in person. How amazing do you feel when you walk away from a great event?

One of the most important things you can do for your community, your clients and yourself is to give with purpose and events allow you to give your talents, your skills, your compassion and your gifts in a way that is fulfilling to you and empowering to them.

Whether you are a coach, a consultant, a creative, a yogi, a service provider, a graphic designer, a photographer, an author, a blogger or an ice cream maker, events are an amazing way to establish yourself, connect with those who need you and take your business to a new level.  So go on, give them a try!

And if you are keen on learning how to run your own events like a pro, registrations for my 8 week eCourse Workshop Wonderful close today. Learn how to create purposeful events with powerful outcomes AND have me guiding you along the whole way. 

Hop on over HERE to learn more and get in before doors close for another six months! x

 

Meet the Maker // Gutsy Girl

By EHM Editorial Assistant Kate Cooper

Meet Sharyn; the effervescent, joyous & gorgeous lady behind Gutsy Girl - A place that projects truth, wisdom and encourages women to find their inner energy and confidence. 

Sharyn is all about developing deep trust within yourself through her homemade products and workshops, with this in mind we asked Sharyn to tell us more about the story behind Gutsy Girl and how it all came about.

  GAIA INTUITIVE ESSENTIAL OIL BLENDS $28.00

 

GAIA INTUITIVE ESSENTIAL OIL BLENDS $28.00

Tell us about the Gutsy Girl mission and how did your business come about?

The Gutsy Girl mission is to provide transformative events and intentional products & resources to help women and girls to align with their truth, cultivate self-confidence & deeper self-awareness, practice spectacular self-care & self-love, embody positivity and conscious healing to become the heroine of their own life.

I began Gutsy Girl in 2012 as a mixed media and handmade jewellery artist with an Etsy shop and sold my creations at local handmade markets. After many years dabbling in multiple creative and artistic pursuits, a question formed in my thoughts: why not me? So from there, rather tentatively and with huge fears, I began and haven’t stopped since.

Following what I believed was a massive failure at my first group art exhibition where I didn’t sell a single artwork, I embarked on my own vision quest of sorts, to ‘know thyself’ and to work on core beliefs through self-healing, diving deep into every trauma and anxiety I ever experienced using creative expression and art as my medicine. It was extremely hard and a very painful process to go through. I can look back now and know that I needed to go there but it still shocks me how dark it all was and how dormant trauma is a roadblock to living a wholehearted life.

It wasn’t until late 2014 that I really took myself seriously and really started exploring all that I create now.

I’m a mama to a free spirited almost 10 year old girl and I see every day that what I’ve been doing for these past few years has been of tremendous benefit to her. She has seen me laugh and cry (a lot) through it all. I don't think silencing our emotions or our tears, sends the right message to our children.

When I started Gutsy Girl it was my secret hope that something beautiful would come from it. I see the effect in my daughter’s personality every day. She is rarely without a smile and she truly believes she can do anything. I know she can. I feel it.

 

You hold regular workshops which we love to see! What kinds of workshops do you run and how do these help the women who attend?

During 2015 I led several Full Moon gatherings where I would focus on a different topic each time according to astral energies and my intuition. These gatherings included shamanic drumming journey, reiki, meditation, chanting, singing, movement, journaling, creative expression and conversation. On paper it appears very simple. The commitment each individual makes to themselves by showing up and participating ignites the path to self-mastery. Doing the work is important. You can have all the rituals, tools, teachings & meditations in the world, but if you don’t apply them and practice them in your life outside of the gatherings, change will not occur.

I also taught a Creative Fire & Desire Map weekend workshop which combined intensive journaling, art, storytelling, breathwork and Desire Map training to uncover core desired feelings. The combination of these activities reinforces the lessons learned and discovering core desired feelings through The Desire Map enables participants to hone in and focus on how they want to feel every day and following on from that, aids them in setting goals and intentions they wish to fulfill.

  MORE THAN WORDS: MANTRAS & CRYSTALS $35.00

 

MORE THAN WORDS: MANTRAS & CRYSTALS $35.00

Did you have to overcome any personal fears or doubts to run your own events? If so, how did you overcome these?

Oh yes! Next to driving, public speaking is, or should I say was, my biggest fear. I think both are very similar and to illustrate, these are a few thoughts that come to mind: it’s being behind the wheel, having to take control and be in control, being ‘it’, being safe and providing a safe space whilst also not being in control at the same time because of all the external factors involved.

I’m an introvert and have worked very hard on building self-confidence. I’m forever learning and building trust and confidence in myself. It's not something you learn from someone else, you learn yourself. It's trial by fire sometimes.

It took me many years to overcome my fear of driving and remarkably, a much shorter period of time to overcome my fear of public speaking once I felt it had something to do with my life purpose. When I’m teaching at a workshop or gathering, I’m in my element and whatever fear was there at the start, dissolves. I’m passionate about what I do and what I want others to receive from the experience.

Continuing to show up has helped to quell the fears of being seen and heard. Doing deep soul work solo and Reiki are the two practices which have supported me. It has been hard work and very uncomfortable at times but this is how I know I’m growing! I was attuned to Reiki soon after I realised that I was an Empath and Highly Sensitive Person at the end of 2014. Feeling all the ‘feels’ is my superpower.

 

You say that you believe in teaching others to trust their inner wisdom to attain TRANS-FORMATIVE self-mastery. How do your beautiful products and tools assist people on this journey?

Every product is created to provide and support spectacular self care and self-love. Essentially, I create what I need, use them myself and then I share it with others.

The Gutsy Girl One Word Mantra necklace handmade by me in 100% recycled sterling silver, is an extra special intentional gift and a way for the wearer to be reminded every day of their one word mantra, core desired feelings or guiding word. This necklace is what birthed Gutsy Mantras, a beautiful set of 16 mantra cards which I released in mid 2015.

  CRYSTAL ADVENTURES $40.00

 

CRYSTAL ADVENTURES $40.00

How can other event hosts and facilitators use your products within their own workshops and events? 

Gutsy Mantras are a great focus tool that can be used to affirm and reignite inner truth during grounding, balancing and journaling activities. I would say that many of the mantras act as mini teachings themselves. They can be read out loud as an embodiment tool for each person to gauge how the words feel in their bodies, to find deeper meaning within themselves and to stir their souls in a way where personal shifts in self-belief and trust occur.

Gutsy Mantras also make an excellent inclusion in goodie bags for event attendees and coaching gifts to clients.

Gutsy Gift Boxes provides a wide selection of handmade, holistic and healing gift boxes, plus custom options designed to fit your requirements, client and event needs. Gift box contents include handmade jewellery, crystals, inspiration products, organic and natural skin & body, spiritual tools and accessories. I collaborate with other product artisans to bring unique and handcrafted products to my customers.

I also create essential oil, gemstone and essence blends intuitively based on core desired feelings and intentions.

 

What keeps you motivated to explore more and continue to be inspired?

I’m a Seeker and eternal soul student. I’m always looking for greater knowledge, to understand myself and others better and to be of service to others. I’m driven to ‘know’ and ‘feel’ in synchronicity! Being multi-passionate means that many things keep me inspired, it takes a lot to keep me entertained! But I seek that from myself, I don't rely or expect others to do that for me. I like to experiment and try new things creatively, to keep things interesting, to never be bored and always evolving. The rabbit hole is never ending in my reality, and I like it that way.

2016 is well and truly here! What is on the horizon for Gutsy Girl?

Definitely more events, workshops and collaborative opportunities.

February 2016 sees the launch of Sister Soul Medicine Sanctuary. At this stage there will be once a month Sanctuary women’s circle held on or around the New Moon – a great time to set new intentions, connect with kindred spirits, create and learn spiritual and creative practices. The first one is on Friday 5 February at Soul Space Brisbane and I've joined Global Sacred Circle where women will be hosting events like this all around the world. The second event is on Wednesday 9 March at Silo Paddington.

Under construction at the moment is a 4 month in person foundational program titled Sister Soul Medicine for women who are committed to diving deeper into their spiritual journey. There will be in person circles, Skype calls, weekend workshops, assignments to provide practice and reinforcement of the teachings and a celebration ceremony on completion.

I’m hoping to have further opportunities to guide teen girls following a guest spot teaching Crafting Your Personal Gutsy Mantra at the Shine From Within Personal Development Course in January 2016 – such an amazing experience! This year is all about creativity and connection so I'd also like to begin mother and daughter creative workshops.

What else? Additions to the Gutsy Mantras collection. I'm also having fun making incense blends, altar tools, bath and body products & a tried & tested self-care kit for Empaths - so expect to see an expansion of those offerings very soon!

 

How exciting does this all sound? Keep up to date with all things Gutsy Girl HERE!

Event Photography with Fi Mims Photography

By EHM Editor Jade McKenzie

Today we sit down and talk all things events and photography with the amazing Fi Mims from Fi Mims Photography. Fi has photographed many of my clients and my own events and in my eyes, there is no-one better for the job! I believe that great event photography is something that all businesses should aspire too as it is something that you can use in your marketing and branding all year round AND it is a beautiful way for guests to relive their experience.  

Fi shares with us her experience at events and how you can include and prepare for event photography.

  

You have photographed many different events from corporates to entrepreneurs to women’s networking days. Why do you think more and more people are getting photographers on board these days?

As doing business online has increased and social media platforms like Instagram have become a must for business, so too has the need for good visual marketing.  Being able to showcase great images from events or networking days has become an important way for businesses to connect with their audience, as well as share experiences and keep customers up to date. 
 
It has become much easier and faster to start businesses in the last 10 years – the ability to learn skills, network and connect with suppliers online has meant product and service businesses come to market so quickly. It also means that the marketplace is much more saturated and competitive.  As a result having a strong brand, including imagery, that quickly stands out and attracts your target market is fundamental to success. 

Businesses that connect most successfully online to their consumers use imagery as it brings a more emotional and deeper brand connection that text just can’t deliver. It builds trust and loyalty much quicker and more authentically.

Why do you feel it's important to have a professional capturing those special moments at an event?

My husband works in hospitality and is an amazing cook (yes he’s a keeper!), and watching him throw together a meal he always makes it look so easy. But I struggle in the kitchen, even if I’m working to a recipe.  

I think photography is the same.  It’s very easy today for people to pick up a camera and take photos, but learning how to be a good photographer can take years of learning and practice. You often don’t know what the conditions will be like until you turn up on the day so you need to know how to work in all kinds of light.  You also need to know how to deal with all kinds of people, and for events in particular you need good timing and the ability to capture moments that convey the feeling and emotion of the day.  

These are all skills that professional photographers spend a lot of time working on.  And in addition, we invest a lot of money into equipment that we know will help us capture good quality images.

 

How do you prepare for an upcoming event? 

If my client has a website or online presence I always check them out so I can get a feel for their brand and how they like to connect with their audience.  I might also look at what type of images they like to share on social media. I use this to develop a creative shot plan for the event which means I can merge their brand with my own style of photography.  I also work closely with the organiser to make sure I have all the event info I need such as speaker profiles and timelines so I know what is happening and when, that way there won’t be any surprises on the day.  

How do you ensure your clients receive the images they are after?

I aim to capture all the detail, from overall room shots to something that catches my eye, for example a goodie bag sitting on a chair with beautiful ribbon and the clients logo.  That way I cover all bases and hopefully don’t miss a thing!  But I do also liaise with organisers ahead of events to check if there’s anything in particular they would like.  And most will have a couple of key shots they really want.  That could be shots of particular speakers, crowd photos or images for sponsors.  If I know what the key shots are, then I can make sure I cover those off and spend the rest of my time capturing additional images I think they will appreciate and be able to use.

 

Has social media played a part in how you conduct your shoot and turnaround times on editing your images?

Absolutely!  Social media plays a huge role for most of my business clients.  It’s how they connect with their audience and is also a big way for them to attract new people. When I started out as a professional photographer social media didn’t exist (yes I’m old!) so there was a lot more flexibility around turnaround. 

However, fast forward to now and I know that sharing event images on social media as soon as possible after an event is a way for my clients to keep the momentum from the day going, and the sooner this can happen the better.  It also gives attendees a chance to reconnect with them and other people they met at the event, and it allows my clients to share the day with people who weren’t there. 

For something fun I often take i-phone photos and post them to social media with the event hashtag during the event, to create some excitement and exposure. For the edited shots, I‘lI usually turn them around within 24-48 hours.  If the event is large and the sheer number of shots doesn’t allow for this, I send clients a small gallery of highlights so they have something to share while they wait for the rest of the images to come through.  


What keeps you motivated to explore more and continue to be inspired?

One of the things I love most about being a photographer is that no two shoots are the same. Every time I have someone in front of my lens it’s a new challenge to capture something authentic and amazing for them and I love that!  It’s impossible to get bored in my job   I’m also a bit of a perfectionist (which has its pros and cons!) and that part of my personality continually drives me to work harder and be better at my craft.

I also have a weakness for design magazines (luckily they are cheaper than shoes!), whenever I flick through them I always see a story or image that inspires me to try something new.

It probably sounds clichéd but my clients are the biggest and most continual source of inspiration for me.  Seeing how excited they get when they see their images, how much joy they feel and how treasured their photos become, that motivates me every day and makes me want to continue creating images for people for as long as I can!


All photo credits belong to Fi Mims Photography

Event Review // Rise Sister Rise

By Rhiannon Colarossi

Rise Sister Rise was my first event for the year and I could not imagine a more perfect way to begin 2016, which is why I’d love to share my experience with you.

Rise Sister Rise was a beautiful collaboration between Rebecca Campbell and Belinda Davidson – two amazing Earth Angels.

This inspiring event was held at The Convent Gallery in Abbotsford, the perfect setting for 150 beautiful souls to unite.

In essence, the core message of the day was – ‘shine your light, rise up and be seen because our world needs you to do so’ – and this message wholeheartedly resonated with me.

Early on in the day, Belinda and Rebecca enlightened us as to how they came to be where they are today. As I listened to them share their journeys and the wisdom they had gained along the way, something struck me – they were both so effortlessly authentic and you knew absolutely for sure that they truly walk their talk. Later in the day they gave us the opportunity to ask questions during a Q and A session. Some brilliant questions were asked and enlightening answers were flowing! 

Rise Sister Rise was full of fun, light, music and sisterhood. A couple of times throughout the day the entire room rose to dance together and boy were these mini boogie sessions magical!

One song that we danced to was Katy Perry’s ‘Love Me’ (which is now one of my favourite songs). Katy’s songs are laced with beautiful messages and my favourite lyrics from ‘Love Me’ are ‘I don’t negotiate with insecurities, they always seem to get the best of me. I found I had to love myself, the way I want you to, love me,” – they are so beautifully written.

Belinda shared with us a serene chakra meditation, which had me feeling light and luminous within minutes. So that I could tune in to the wonderful light and luminous feeling again, I purchased Belinda’s Chakra Essence Journey Meditation. It’s now my favourite wellbeing evening ritual – I lie down in bed, pop the audio into my ear and drift off to sleep in a state of relaxation and bliss. 

During the lunch break, I took a slow walk around the grounds with my gorgeous soul sisters before dining with some of them at the local Lentil As Anything. Another aspect of the day that filled me with joy was indulging in the divine ‘SpiritualiTEA’, which was available for us to sip throughout the day (and I may just have ordered myself some to have at home!).

Rebecca is a brilliant author and I’m just about finished reading her book called ‘Light is the New Black’ which I highly recommend to those who love being inspired and love learning how to elevate their Spiritual Wellbeing. 

Rise Sister Rise will be etched into my heart for quite some time. It has inspired and helped my daily wellbeing practise rise to a higher level, and for that I’m truly grateful.  They will be hitting up New York later in the year so keep an eye out for event information on their websites!

 

Photo credits belong to Fi Mims Photography

Rhiannon Colarossi is a wellbeing coach for mums. She inspires mums to value, nurture and celebrate their everyday wellbeing through The Wellbeing Web.

Things to Know When You're Hiring a Stylist

By EHM Feature Writer Eliska Lam-Chan Siy

Not sure what to look for when hiring a stylist?

It can be a bit overwhelming at first but if you know the right things to look for it will be easy for to choose the right one to turn your event to something spectacular. 

1. A stylist is great if you are time poor, have no idea where to start or would need someone to come up with fresh new ideas.

2. Good stylists will create a style that reflects who you are and what you are about. They will pick on the simplest things you say and turn it into one of the details you'll see on the day. 

3. Ask for samples. A stylist's past work will show you what they can create. Find someone who sees the way you see things.

4. When asking for a quote, request for a break down of all costs. Be sure to ask for any delivery fees, GST, etc.

5. Remember to ask if they provide a hire collection. This will save you from buying things you will be using only once.

6. Be sure to find out what time your venue will allow set up and pack up. This information will help the stylist know how to work out their best on the day and make sure that everything goes smoothly. 

7. Lastly, be honest about your budget. Ask your stylist how you can create the look you want according to your budget. 

Choosing a stylist is like choosing your best friend for your event. They will be the one that you will be talking to about your vision for the day and they will be the ones helping it come to life, so find a stylist that you can talk to with ease and who you can connect with the most.

 

Photo credits belong to Fi Mims Photography

5 Reasons To Join a Guided Tour On Your Next Business Trip

BY EHM Feature Writer Ainslie Young

Writer Ainslie Young riding bike in Bangkok

Writer Ainslie Young riding bike in Bangkok

Over the last ten years I’ve enjoyed a significant amount of travel and I’m a huge fan of letting loose and exploring under my own steam. But I’ve also learned that when you’re travelling for business, gallivanting around a city solo isn’t always the best option. Recently I’ve briefly visited cities across Asia including Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Seoul and I’ve experienced many benefits of jumping on guided tours, which I share below.

1. Save Time

 Wandering the lovely lanes of a city does have a romantic and carefree vibe about it, but let’s face it…it’s not practical if you’re short on time. And if you’re anything like me you want to maximize your travel time! Joining an organised tour of a city or a specific destination saves you valuable time by not having to worry about catching public transport all around the city. Plus tour companies use their local knowledge to schedule activities to avoid peak hour road and tourist traffic so you get the most out of your experience.

2. Sit back and relax  

Similarly to saving you time, jumping on an organised tour saves you precious ‘brain power,’ as someone has already done the planning for you! You don’t have to worry about putting together a detailed itinerary and working out when and where is the best place to visit. You also don’t have to worry if you need to translate your destination to the taxi driver and whether you must line up in the mile long queue outside the Taj Mahal! Your tour guide has done the thinking for you and you can enjoy the exotic sites hassle free. Sounds good to me!

Ainslie in Seoul

Ainslie in Seoul

3. Get Educated

Yes, you’ll learn about your exciting new destination if you have your nose stuck in a guidebook, but nothing beats a well-versed tour guide. A great tour guide can be your golden ticket to unlock unique cultural and physical experiences that you could otherwise miss out on if you’re touring alone. A good guide shares stories and relevant snippets of history that add depth to your experience. Plus you’ll get the chance to learn by asking your guide questions on the spot – this means when you share your travel experience with your clients/customers/audience you’re more likely to report the facts!

4. Stay Safe

If you’re not keen or confident to explore a new city alone, then a guided tour is the perfect option for you. Being a part of a group reduces the risk of being a victim of petty crime, plus you won’t have to worry about getting lost! Depending on what type of tour you’re doing, your guide should be trained to keep you safe and healthy. I was keen to explore Bangkok by bike and I’m extremely glad I had our tour guide to help navigate the crazy traffic AND keep us alive!

5. Connection

As rewarding and exciting as solo business travel is, it can also be quite lonely.  Taking in the wonders of a Thai temple or sampling authentic Korean BBQ isn’t the same when it’s done alone. Being a part of a guided tour offers you the opportunity to meet and connect with like-minded people and share in new life experiences. It’s quite likely that not everyone within your group will be your cup of tea, but even if you just hit it off with one person, they may turn into a life-long friend! Priceless!

So why not consider taking a guided tour on your next work trip so you get the most out of your heard earned leisure time!

 

EHM Attends // Royal Stacks Launch

By EHM Editorial Assistant Kate Cooper

MELBOURNE + SUMMER + BURGERS… DOES IT GET MUCH BETTER?

Royal Stacks; the newest addition for burger master Dani Zeni (think Grand Trailer Park, Easey’s, Dandenong Pavilion and Truck Stop Deluxe) has opened and attending the launch was a feast for the eyes, literally. 

Guests were met at the door by staff who encouraged everyone to take a seat at the Royal Throne before being whisked away for champagne & fries….what a combo! 

We were entertained with live music, mingled with new friends and were lucky enough to taste some of the delicious burgers all with a hint of royalty in their name like The King & Queen Bee. My favourite…. The Prince Harry: All Australia pasture fed beef patty, minced fresh daily, butter lettuce, American cheddar, Swiss cheese & a horseradish, shallot & gherkin mayo  

It was an awesome night, full of fun, noise, burgers & champagne!  I encourage you all to get down and try EVERYTHING!! 

Image Credit: Melbourne Girl

Image Credit: Melbourne Girl

Image Credit: Mons Adventure

Image Credit: Mons Adventure

Image Credit: Mons Adventure

Image Credit: Mons Adventure

  

OUR TIPS FOR A GREAT LAUNCH EVENT

  

1.     GET INTERACTIVE

The Royal Throne was a brilliant way to involve guests as soon as they entered; the intended atmosphere and vibe was felt as soon as you walked in the door! By getting interactive with your guests it can loosen up the whole event, encourage networking and it also is a great opportunity for you to take photos with your guests for future marketing and promotion. 

2.     SHOWCASE! SHOWCASE! SHOWCASE!

Show off everything that you are offering! By offering everyone a try of their burgers, sides & drinks, guests (like me!) were left not only wanting more but able to then pass on their actual tastebud experience to future guests!

Enabling people to sample your best work, your ideal client/guests will absolutely come back time and time again and develop a loyalty to your brand

3.     UNEXPECTED ENTERTAINMENT

I certainly wasn’t expecting a live band when I walked in! This was such an awesome surprise, it really made the night feel like one big celebration and also showed they had thought about the guests that were coming and tailoring an evening to suit them! 

Have a think about the guests coming along to your launch and what type of entertainment would not just suit, but surprise them! 

Royal Stacks
470 Collins St
Melbourne

Opening Hours:
Monday - Sunday 11:30am-10:30pm
*Kitchen closes at 9:30pm