What drove you to start your own business?
I have modelled for the past 10 years and I felt so frustrated that most of the clothes I was modelling for sizes 14+ were frumpy, shapeless and just sad. There was a moment that I was walking in a mixed straight and plus catwalk show - I was wearing these god awful three quarter capri pants and a moo moo (like a circus tent). I have a figure that I’m pretty proud of (I work out at F45 Glebe) and I felt that it was getting lost in these horrible clothes it made me feel so bad about myself. The worst part was all the straight size models were wearing the most INCREDIBLE clothes. NONE of it went to my size - it made me feel like a second class citizen, like I wasn’t good enough to wear beautiful clothes. I went home and I was MAD, I raged at my good mate and that’s why I named the business Hear Us Roar - I was tired of feeling voiceless and forgotten.
What has been your greatest challenge so far?
Keeping momentum! There is so much to learn when starting your own business, I recently received an email from my investor and writing back thinking I know all the answers. Then I got her response and it felt like an anvil had been dropped on me. The email was so long I ended up writing it into a table with over 42 rows. Most of the table was colour coded red for I HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT THIS MEANS!!! You’ll be happy to know that most of the table is turning green. But it’s the consistent feeling of not knowing what you are doing and learning to overcome that feeling.
What has been one of your best highlights?
There have been a few! I would say getting into the UTS Hatchery Program, it felt like I had my idea validated disappointingly I had to pull out as it was essentially a full time program and my full time job didn’t allow for me to do both. The second was this - I seriously had no expectation when I entered the competition that I would be so successful even if I go no further I’m pretty chuffed that I got into the Top 12!
How do you keep motivated being a boss lady?
I’m passionate about it. Every time I hear a lady tell me they feel bad about themselves in one form or another I secretly get mad at the world for making women feel like that (I’m getting rage as I type this). It drives me to give women a vehicle for self esteem. I know that I am targeting a small portion of women but having retail therapy is not a luxury afforded to all women equally, Hear Us Roar (H.U.R) is my way to extend that privilege to plus women. That’s what drives me knowing that I’ll be able to help women feel good about themselves!
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Two people: My Mum - she was always bigger growing up and she did talk about being bigger but it never stopped her from doing anything EVER. I’ve always tried to live by her philosophy of not caring about what others think and just living my life - she certainly taught me to Seize the Day in every form. My second is my modelling agent Chelsea Bonner: Chelsea took me on at 19 and she never told me to change. Her business is built around women and seeking the best opportunity and stance for every woman she works with. Chelsea did it all on her own and with hustle and she is the epitome of nice girls finish first. She is truly inspirational and I owe her strength, guidance and resilience to inspiring me to follow my own dreams and she has been nothing but supportive during this process.
What blogs/mags or insta feeds do you follow for your business?
Plus Model Mag, The Collective do a great job, Like Minded Bitched Drinking Wine (Facebook group), Sydney Startups (Facebook group), Dream and Do :-) I love your visuals guys!
What is the best quote, book or piece of advice that has been given to you on this journey?
Listen to your gut and if it was easy everyone would be doing it.
What would winning the #BOSSLADYDREAM competition mean to your business? How will it change things for you in particular?
It will help me to launch successfully and effectively. This business has so many facets (marketing, international shipping, freight forwarders, multiple suppliers in varying time zones, websites, investors and financial modelling, social media, the list goes on!), sometimes I feel overwhelmed with how many things I need to do and know to get it up and running. I think the package will essentially give me structure and confidence in myself to achieve the things I know I need to achieve in order to launch into market sucessfully. I’ve had an incredible support network surrounding me during this process, but I sometimes feel like I ask too much of my loved ones. More than anything I want this to succeed so that I can support others around me and eventually build out a women’s empowerment course or getaway. It will also give me the courage to do this full time and to really throw all my energy into this baby! I have been Dreaming for too long and now it’s time to DO!