Three inspiring women in business

Three inspiring women in business

Conquering fashion, philanthropy, and food - Tess Brinums shines the spotlight on three women who are killing it in the world of business.

By Guest Styler | 20th April 2014

By Tess Brinums

An idea came to me recently. More specifically, it came to me when I attended an International Women’s Day breakfast, and the idea was this: Brisbane, Queensland, and Australia in general has an incredible collection of women in business who are just killing it and completely owning their craft. I heard about three women in particular whose causes and belief in their brand were so inspiring that I simply had to share their stories. So here we go, three gals who are not only owning the world of business, but also having an amazing time doing so and definitely inspiring others along the way.

Sarah Timmerman of Beginning Boutique and the beginning boutique logo

Sarah Timmerman of Beginning Boutique

Sarah Timmerman

Business: Beginning Boutique
Australia’s raddest online shopping store – your destination for all things fashion.

Favourite aspect of running a business?
I love having fun with customers! Everything BB does is for its customers, so it's great to be interactive with them on social media, and with events like our annual pop-up sale. Creating something cool every day really makes it worth it, from the perfectly styled outfit, to designing the coolest printed tank.

What motivated you to launch the business? How did it all start?
The brand started when I visited an incredible store in Paris. I loved the experience that I got from the store and wanted to bring this back to Australia. I am passionate about creating an awesome experience for customers, so much so that my personal mission statement is to create a shopping experience that is awesome. BB is all about making online shopping fun.

How has BB evolved into the renowned brand it is today?
Insanely good customer service is something BB invests a lot of time and energy into. Every garment that is sent to our customers is quality checked and hand wrapped with a personalised postcard. I think the amazing team work that goes into giving our customers the best online experience, is what makes BB such a loved and reliable brand.

What gets you up in the morning?
I really love motivational quotes and love having them pop up when my alarm goes off every day. Also a genuine love for what I do makes getting out of bed worth it. Coffee and snuggles with my kitten Louie are also morning faves.

What lessons did you learn when starting your own business?
I would say get your cash flow right from the start.

Any big plans for the future?
There are always massive plans in the works for BB. Launching a new website in the near future is something I am looking forward to. The idea of working more with local bloggers and creatives to make interesting content for our customers is also in the works.

What advice would you give to would-be entrepreneurs?
It’s going to be way harder than you think so get ready!

The Rogue and Rouge Foundation's Nicole Gibson and the Rogue and Rouge Foundation logo

The Rogue and Rouge Foundation's Nicole Gibson

Nicole Gibson

Business: The Rogue and Rouge Foundation
A charity dedicated to providing prevention and solutions to the challenges, stigma and awareness surrounding mental health issues in young Australians.

Favourite aspect of running a business?
The contact with young people across Australia. The one constant, reverberating thing I have found while travelling across Australia is that whether rural or city-based, regardless of geographical location, we all want the same thing. And that’s connection and acceptance – wanting to feel connected to one another and feel accepted for your true self.

What motivated you to launch the business? How did it all start?
I started the foundation on my 18th birthday. I’d been battling with my own mental health issues, in particular Anorexia Nervosa, and honestly, I was frustrated at being treated like a number in the system. Because mental health issues shouldn’t be classified as an illness; it’s not an illness, it’s a challenge – there isn’t something wrong with you. And experiencing being part of the system made me realise that there needs to be more done within the community to raise awareness and release people from the stigma that mental health issues hold over them.

What gets you up in the morning?
I feel like I carry a sense of responsibility wherever I am. I want to make a difference, a positive difference for people who are struggling with mental health challenges. I want to make the world a better place, and that’s a responsibility and a drive that I carry with me 24 hours a day.

What lessons did you learn when starting The Rogue and Rouge Foundation?
It’s important to nurture a positive relationship with yourself and recognise feelings when they come to you. And don’t face your decisions based on other people’s opinions of you. When I started The Rogue and Rouge Foundation, a lot of people believed I would fail because I was so young, but you have to know yourself, and trust what you’re capable of.

Any big plans for the future?
We visited 250 Australian schools in 2013 and connected with 50,000 young people, which was such an amazing experience. Moving forward, we want to extend our educational program and work within the education system, directly connected with young people, rather than see them being put on professional medication as a first-choice solution. We’ll continue to engage the community to improve mental health awareness alongside The Parliamentary Friends of Youth Mental Health and ultimately, aim to shift the perceptions attached to mental health.

What advice would you give to would-be entrepreneurs?
Maintain your integrity – the sun will always come out from beneath the clouds. There will always be doubt and challenges, whether personal or from others, but if you maintain your honesty, integrity, and transparency you can be sure that what you are creating is pure.

a delicious iced coffee in a mason jar beside an image of Alisa Barnes of Cypher Coffee

Alisa Barnes of Cypher Coffee

Alisa Barnes

Business: Cypher Coffee
A small, NY-inspired Sandgate café taking the foodie world by storm with cheap, delicious eats and coffee.

Favourite aspect of running a business?
Having the best team that I could possibly ask for. My staff members are the face and ambassadors of my business and I couldn’t be prouder of them. Running a business is hard work and it’s crucial to have trustworthy people around you who make life bliss.

What motivated you to launch the business? How did it all start?
When the shop space became available I thought it was the perfect opportunity to begin building my vision. I sold my aqua blue, 1965 Chrysler Valiant Safari named Valerie and used the funds to renovate the store, which I saw had great potential. Although I cried when Valerie left me, it has all been worthwhile.

What gets you up in the morning?
About 10 alarms shortly followed by 20 espresso shots! But seriously, when you love what you do, waking in the morning is easy. Sure, sometimes you feel overwhelmed and exhausted, but being your own boss is truly rewarding. Having an incredible support system in my friends and family certainly helps keep me motivated. I always aim to do one extracurricular activity per day that helps me to relax, whether it be watching Ricky Gervais, training at the gym or catching up with friends.

What lessons did you learn when starting your own business that you want to pass along to other women?
Do it for yourself. Surround yourself with good, honest people who want to see you succeed and it will make the whole experience so much more worthwhile. In short, be with those who help your being. Whatever you want to achieve is possible, nobody can tell you otherwise. Finally, be grateful and humble; never take people or situations for granted.

Any advice for would-be entrepreneurs?
The first and most obvious thing is actively taking the steps to crack into the industry you want to pursue. Don’t be scared of stepping away from a job you’re comfortable with to go for a job you’re passionate about. Have a solid plan for what you want to achieve both in the short and long term and use this to guide your business-related decisions. Take responsibility for both the good and bad and never let a mistake defeat you. Be realistic, because set backs do occur, but it’s how you recover that is testament to your character.

Any big plans for the immediate and/or distant future?
Yes, I am currently in the process of extending our opening hours after the Easter holidays. At the moment it’s still a matter of trial and error to see what works but eventually we would love to have evenings at Cypher with great food and entertainment. From there, we’d love to expand our customer base and be known as one of Brisbane’s go-to locations for excellent food, drinks and good times.


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Article by Guest Styler

This story has been written by a Guest Styler for Style Digital.


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