Why did you choose to move from Sydney to Byron?
I actually spent time growing up in Grafton and lived in Byron about 15 years ago, so the move felt more like a homecoming.
I have always loved the natural beauty and creative spirit of Byron, and for all those years I was away I couldn’t wait to get back. The natural beauty of Byron Bay takes my breath away on the daily. I’m always in the ocean, and can never get enough of seeing whales and dolphins jumping within reach. It’s breathtaking.
So much has changed in Byron since I last lived here, and what I love about it today is the incredible entrepreneurial spirit. Byron has always been such a creative place, and it’s so wonderful to see that creativity celebrated and punching through onto the global stage. I actually always say to my friends here that we’ll look back on this time like people looked back on Woodstock, an incredible energy, creative, and mind blowing time.
What is your favourite nook at your home?
Definitely our music corner. With Fernando being a singer/songwriter, music is a huge part of our life, and it feels like such a treat to have this little nook to share that. There’s usually racks of guitars there that our family and friends pick up when they come around and have a play – it’s very cool.
What inspiration you take for decorating your home?
To be honest I just collect things in my home that I really love. Whether it’s something we’ve gathered on our travels, or a local artisans handicraft – I don’t put too much thought into how it’ll all look when it’s all put together, because for me it’s all about how our home feels. Everything in our home has meaning to it, and feels quite special, reminding me of a significant time in our lives. Most recently I added a huge peace flag by Kawaiian Lion, which made me feel both liberated and like I was 14 all at once. That’s the kind of feeling I want in my home.
You will notice that our house is ALL wood, and for the longest time I really resisted it. However in the last little while I’ve embraced it, and the warmth the wood brings into our lives. Being only a few minutes from the beach the floor is always covered in sand, there’s surf boards everywhere, and beach towels drying wherever you look. I love the casual, coastal, and uncurated style of our home – it really mirrors us!
How did you and Fernando meet and when did Maverick come to your life?
Fernando and I met very randomly at Glebe Markets just over 10 years ago. He was performing, and we got chatting afterwards. Interestingly, I was living in London at the time, and was supposed to be visiting Australia for just 10 days to renew my UK Visa. In the most crazy turn of events, a few days after we met the house I was house sitting in Marrickville had a huge internal flood and I found myself with n-where to stay. Fernando (ever so kindly) offered for me to stay at his place, and I never left. We’ve lived together ever since! So yes, we moved in together just a few days after meeting. It was such a leap of faith, but actually worked out perfectly.
Maverick came into our lives five years ago and he’s so much fun. He is full of personality, and is just the cutest little guy. He’s a HUGE part of my whole extended family and absolutely spoilt rotten. We quite often joke that he’s getting all the inheritance.
What is your favourite routine together?
With Fernando often on the road touring and me running my business we live incredibly non-routined lives. One thing that has stuck with us over the years though is eating pancakes together on a Sunday morning. It’s just a little thing, but because we often work completely opposite schedules this is the one meal that we’re both around for every week. Fernando will always take savoury pancakes, and I’ll take nothing but maple syrup. Maverick takes whatever he can get.
Although it’s not routine, we also drop over the back of Lennox Point and walk along the back of the headland whenever we can. It’s so wild and windy back there, and absolutely spectacular. There’s rarely anyone else on the track, and you can easily get whole beaches to yourself. It’s the exact reason we live here.
How did the Owners Collective begin? What’s your purpose behind it?
I started Owners Collective because when I began working for myself ten years ago I felt completely isolated and lacked any kind of good support or community. It was an incredibly difficult time, and as I learnt and grew along the way I became very passionate about creating a supportive, encouraging and educational space for early-stage entrepreneurs.
I stated with no budget or backing, so was just fuelled by my own experience and an incredible amount of passion. I built my own websites, launched courses and groups with very little idea of what I was doing and poured every cent I made back into growing the Owners Collective community. I worked night and day, and taught myself everything along the way. It was a one-woman show for the first five years.
From these super humble beginnings we’ve now put over 13,000 early-stage entrepreneurs through programs, and have build such an incredibly strong community to support them. I’m incredibly proud of that.
What would you describe as the biggest problem entrepreneurs come across their path?
There’s a few to be honest. I work mostly with creative women, and sometimes they’re amazing at what they do, but they may not know too much about running a business. So education is a really big part of that. I have always delivered my teachings in as practical a way as I can. I’m not a big fan of theory, I just want to give people the strategies that will actually help them build sustainable and profitable businesses, and give them their lives back.
The other biggest problem is isolation. We’re so lucky here in Byron to have an incredibly supportive community, but it’s not the case for so many people who are hustling solo in their businesses. Isolation breeds self-doubt, and this is really dangerous in business. Through connecting with a like-minded tribe it becomes so much easier to see that we all have good days, and bad which provides a much healthier base to work from.
How you can grow a business and at the same time the people in them?
My background is actually in Psychology, so self-care and development is always high on my radar for our members. Within my mentoring programs I work closely with Founders to make sure that they’re firing in all areas of their lives, not just business. Everything in our lives works as an ecosystem, so happy humans make the best business owners. Within each of my programs, we’re constantly checking in with how everyone is going personally, and supporting them with insights, skills, space, and resources to help them navigate the balance of business and life.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Be a good human.
I don’t think that I was ever given this advice, but I live by it every day. To be generous and kind, helpful and honest. I don’t think there’s anything more important than this. It encompasses both business and life, and makes for a kinder world to live in.
What is next in your life?
I’m just about to launch a passion project One Wild Ride, which is purely a creative outlet for me. At its heart it’s about expanded living and features the people, places and experiences that facilitate this process. I’ll be launching the podcast and blog mid-April and I’m super excited to share it with the world. Recording the podcast has been such a deep dive with people that inspire me – many of them local. I’m also off to California in just a few days, and beyond excited to get out into the desert and explore all the goodness Cali has to offer.
Photos: Victoria Aguirre
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