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Bede, Soren & Shaun: Smile Clothing

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Bede, Soren & Shaun: Smile Clothing

Bede is more than an adventurous person who loves the outdoors. He found a need and lives a life of purpose through starting and running Smile Clothing. This wonderful brand started with Bede, Soren Molineux who is a life long friend of Bede's and is based now in Indonesia. Smile also has Shaun Denaro who looks after all the numbers behind the scenes. There may be three main people involved but it is the type of brand we can all be a part of as soon as we purchase a product it goes to provide a uniform and clothing for children less fortunate. As you will see it puts a smile on everyones face!

"Give First, Wear Second.

Our premise is relatively simple – for every item of clothing we sell,
we will donate a School uniform or T-shirt to a child in need. 
One for One.

This notion we feel offers a sustainable way of providing for children in parts of the World where simple things such as clean T-shirts or School Uniforms are not plentiful, or in some cases, available at all.

2010 saw us begin our clothing programs throughout Indonesia and give away 300 shirts to orphanages and schools in low socio-economic regions throughout Bali and Lombok.

Since this time, we have successfully given away over 7,500 School Uniforms & T-shirts to children in need. Our clothing programs during this time have spanned across Indonesia, Cambodia, India, Indigenous Australia, Kenya and Sri Lanka."

Smile is also passionate about the planet and is a part of '!% for the planet'

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"Smile Clothing has joined 1% For The Planet. A goal of ours for some time now, we are beyond excited to report back we are now part of a growing initiative of businesses Worldwide that donate 1% of all sales to environmental groups and causes. 1% For The Planet's mission is to build, support and activate an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthier Planet. Please head over to http://onepercentfortheplanet.org/to read more and see the amazing work being done. We are humbled to be part of this growing collective, and are excited to be able to give back in another way". 

Follow:

@smileclothingco instagram

 Smile Clothing Facebook

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Melanie Platt: Physiotherapy

I've been a Physiotherapist since 2007 and have taught pilates since 2009. I knew I wanted to help people and become a Physiotherapist from about the age of 15. As a Physiotherapist I have treated women with incontinence issues and taught them how to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles. I also taught pregnancy pilates classes in the hope of preventing incontinence and allowing women to prepare as best they could for their pregnancy and labour. It was really heartbreaking seeing these women who didn’t know there was anything they could do to prevent complications and feeling like surgery was their only option. I realised I could reach people on a far greater scale if I brought what I knew to an online platform. Hence I have started my website Perfect Pelvic Floor. Pregnant women can sign up and have access to pelvic floor exercises, leg strengthening, stretches, posture advice and loads of labour and pregnancy tips. The best thing about it is they can access the video’s in their own home! 

My clients and patients are the ones that inspired me to start my business to help reach out to them and give them the tools to create a better life for themselves. This is who I am! I've recently moved to the north NSW coast from Sydney to create a better life for myself, where I can enjoy the beach and the sunshine, and find that elusive balance in life. I grew up in a tiny town near Bathurst but I've always believed that I could reach whatever goal I set for myself and I do become very determined in the process. The biggest challenge with starting Perfect Pelvic Floor has been learning a new skill set in design and online marketing. It's been difficult at times but fun and I'm grateful I'm challenging myself and learning something new everyday. The first highlight of starting my business was seeing the website for the first time after giving what I had hoped was clear direction on what I wanted and it being just that. Secondly, was when I sold my first program! It made all the hard work worthwhile.

www.perfectpelvicfloor.com


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George & Smee: Styling and Events

ROAR: Hey Katie & George, tell us about your awesome brand George & Smee! How did it start, who is involved and what do you offer?

G&S: George & Smee was born over a few glasses of wine when we, George and (Katie) Smee, chatted about our mutual love for creating beautiful spaces from blank canvases using our imagination, creativity and some fun! We quit our full time jobs and started sourcing and restoring a big collection of props and furniture.

 ROAR: We were lucky enough to attend and organise the music (Dusty Boots with a latin twist) for one event in particular and were blown away by your professionalism, attention to detail and authenticity. It's obviously your passion! When did a passion for styling come about and who encouraged you to develop your business?

G&S: Thank you!  We absolutely loved you being there!  I think we both knew that our jobs at the time weren’t fulfilling us and we needed to do something we were passionate about. 

What's the point in working 50 hours a week on something that doesn’t make you excited? Although it was definitely a bit scary, it also felt like a totally natural thing to do.

 ROAR: What are some challenges in starting a business and what has been some highlights?

G&S: It’s hard to ever switch off, there is always more you can do.  But the positives far outweigh the negatives.  We’ve learnt so much, met so many awesome people, worked harder than ever and pushed ourselves to the very edge and yet always had fun whilst doing it!

ROAR: Can you give our readers 3 tips on running a successful business?

 G&S: You’ve got to do something you’re really passionate about.  That way when you’re working all hours of the day and night, it’s ok because it doesn’t feel like work!

- Accounting is not really our strength, and we’re ok with that ;) We’ve got a brilliant accountant to help us with that side of things but we’ve also worked hard to understand our finances because having a good understanding of your business is absolutely crucial to a successful business.

- Enjoy it!  Work hard but make sure you laugh every day and make it worth it.

ROAR: What are you most excited about for 2015?

G&S: We’ve got quite a lot of awesome events coming in 2nd half of this year which we’re really excited about!  Some awesome launches, Christmas parties and incredible weddings.  Check out our instagram page for the pics ;) @george_and_smee

Follow and contact: @george_and_smee instagram  George & Smee Facebook Website

Check the clip below of a special secret supper styled by George & Smee where Dusty Boots organised the music.

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Matilda & Kurt: Andamooka Yacht Club

ROAR: We are so excited to introduce you to Matilda and Kurt! They are on an awesome adventure out in South Australia! 

Kurt has recently completed his Masters of Architecture at The University of Melbourne with First Class Honours. He has had extensive experience in the building industry and all aspects of project development from design, documentation through to construction. Kurt developed his interest in community based projects when participating in a community driven design and construct project in a small outback Indigenous Community in NT. 

Matilda completed her double degree of International Studies and Bachelor of Design in Visual Communications at UTS in 2013. She worked in Sydney as a designer and tour guide taking design and fashion tours for a publishing company in Surry Hills. 

ROAR: Tell us about your exciting project!

M&K: Currently we are building a space in Andamooka that will be the community hub for the locals and people of the Far North Region (and the only cafe in Andamooka.) Our business plan has three main elements; a cafe, a display of young and local metal-smiths displaying the local opal, and a designed map guide to the local area.

We will have some recycled bikes and a map guide to give people the opportunity to ride around the town and experience the landscape and main points of interest. The space will be designed as a contemporary mesh of cafe culture, raw materials and outback lifestyle, using as many recycled and up-cycled items as possible. The initiative aims to support outback tourism and provide local knowledge of the area.

ROAR: The name Andamooka Yacht club sounds intriguing for being out in the country?!

M&K: The business name is an ironic play on the outback location of Andamooka, created to capture people’s interest. The names relevance also comes from the historical lakes that surround; Lake Torrens and Lake Eyre, now existing as dry land.

ROAR: How did you end up in the outback South Australia?

M&K: We first came to this part of Australia to visit family, and we just couldn’t believe the freedom of being in a place so geographically isolated. After visiting a few times to bring friends back to experience the area, we decided to make the move. We hired a relocation 6 birth camper van and drove all our belongings across from Sydney. It was epic to have a whole week to drive 3000km and experience all the little outback towns between. There’s so much of Australia that Australians haven’t had the opportunity to experience.

ROAR: What makes Andamooka so special?

M&K: Since moving to Andamooka we’ve met many colourful characters, the people in the town are so awesome, theres a lot of history here and most people have stories to tell about what it was like in the early days. Being one of the original mining towns theres so many different cultures here, which makes it really interesting. Last week we got a lesson from our neighbour on traditional German bread making. 

One of the first few times we visited Andamooka we got chatting to some of the local opal miners, and hatched the idea to team up with some metal-smiths to create young contemporary opal jewellery. At the moment most opal jewellery is really traditional and we think theres an opportunity to create a new market for the stones, based around more simplistic youthful pieces. We saw this start to take shape when friends visited Andamooka with us and fell in love with opal, when they had previously thought it was unappealing. Once you spend some time with the miners and see the earth where the stones come and how its mined from you have a more appreciation for what it is and how it was formed. There's even dinosaurs bones out here that have been opalised, as this was a prehistoric ocean.. its wild picking up a shell in the middle of the desert. 

We’re aiming for an opening party in the beginning of August!

 Follow the Adventure: Insta is @andamookayachtclub and website is andamookayachtclub.com

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Anthony Hill: Family Trivia Van Tour

ROAR: First of all, your a quiz master!? How does one become such a master?

Anthony: Yeah, I get that question pretty much every time someone asks me what I do. It’s such an aggrandising title as I guess any title with the word master in it seems to be. 

I actually just fell into the role as quizmaster at a pub I was running in Bergen, Norway. There were no pub trivia nights in the city (or country that I later found out) so we started one up and after our first quizmaster quit, I was it, as no one else wanted to do it. I’ve always been a bit of a showoff - so here was a chance to act the goat on a weekly basis in front of a captive audience. Making the quizzes was the hard part - you have to include a bit of everything whilst not making it too difficult for the average punter. I think that’s where a lot of quizmasters go wrong. When the questions are far too hard, people are not having fun and maybe feel a bit dumb. I also chucked in a bunch of other little side-competitions to spice it up a bit. I ended up also doing trivia shows for private parties, student groups, corporate events, TV and radio - it’s been a pretty wild ride. That was 20 years ago and I must say, it’s been a pretty fun way of earning a living.

ROAR: You have chosen to use your creativity and energy to connect with communities and raise awareness about plastic pollution. Tell us how you achieve this.

Anthony: I attended an international conference on marine debris in Oslo last year and it was agreed by the end of the conference that the biggest "problem about this problem" was that most people do not realise the extent to which plastics are now infesting our oceans, affecting marine life and ultimately us. Maybe if enough people became aware, we could affect change on an individual, community and legislative level. 

But people are being bombarded with doom and gloom 24/7 and this was yet another crisis that I was about to bring onto their radar. There’s a fair amount of apathy to environmental crises out there but I think this is partly due to this sheer bombardment by environmental groups and the media. I reckon that many people who also have their own day-to-day issues to contend with, end up just burying their head in the sand.

Around the same time last year, I attended a seminar on The Psychology of Activism by a very smart kiwi, a professor of Psychology from the University of Auckland called Niki Harre. Niki also wrote a book called Psychology for a Better World. Her main message is that if you want people to follow your cause and be activated, you have to find a fun way of getting your message across and engage them.

So a little light bulb went off in my head and the concept of "trivia nights around Australia to raise awareness about plastic in our oceans" was born. Aussies love their trivia, hopefully as much as they love their ocean so here was an opportunity to get lots of them in a room together, slam them about the plastic issue, have a bit of fun but most of all, learn about how we can combat the problem. 

I don’t want these nights to be about doom and gloom and they definitely aren’t. It’s mostly about solutions, tips, community projects and encouraging creative ways to use alternatives to plastic. I don’t want people to forget about the issue when I’ve left town so I usually spend over a week there trying to get initiatives started that will help build a non-plastic movement.

A big part of the tour is about going into schools, holding talks for the kids and suggesting projects that they can get behind. The kids are amazing - they’re really engaged, concerned, immediately understand the problem from top to bottom and are full of questions and ideas. I think it’s the kids engagement that drives me most.

ROAR: What bought about your choices to focus on the ocean and plastic pollution? What have been some highlights through your travels and connecting with communities?

Anthony: I talk about this at the trivia nights. It’s about love and I think we need people to fall in love with their natural environment. I’m an ocean lover. I think it began when as a baby, my mum took me baby-swimming in the ocean baths. I grew up in Coffs Harbour, was in nippers, had a surf mat, boogie board and eventually a surfboard. I also sailed, fished and was just always at the beach. I have an affinity for the ocean that is shared by many surfers and others. Having lived in Norway for a really long time, I didn’t get to surf so much but ended up kayaking on the fjords in summer. More and more I was picking up plastic floating around in this seemingly pristine part of the world. As a quizmaster I was always researching different topics so I decided to research plastic in the ocean. It was then that I found out about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (The North Pacific Gyre) - a rotating area of concentrated  plastic as big as NSW and one of 5 such patches in our oceans. Humans dump 4.6 million tonnes of rubbish into our oceans every year, up to 80% of which is plastic. Unlike other human waste, plastic doesn’t break down and disappear back into the web of life. It just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces becoming what is now termed micro plastic. Plastic also attracts other water borne contaminants like DDT, PCBs that stick onto it. It’s being ingested by creatures at every level on the food chain from Zooplankton to birds and large marine mammals. With us being at the top of the food chain, you can see what’s happening. Not to mention millions of creatures dying from entanglement. 

I couldn’t just sit on my hands and do nothing so this is the “something" that I can do.

Driving around Australia in a camper has always been a dream. This project has made it far better than I ever imagined. I originally thought that it would be surfing, sight-seeing and doing some trivia nights but the project itself has become the main thing, taking up 90% of my time. People are inviting me into their homes, not only for dinner or coffee but to stay (in some places for 2 weeks!) which has saved me uncountable bucks in campground fees. Talking and connecting with like-minded people and experiencing the engagement and concern from people of all ages many of who are already actively doing something about the issue is something that I never would’ve experienced on a simple road-trip. We’re also engaging public figures, politicians and creating solutions as we go. I highly recommend to anyone who’s thinking of an extended road trip to find a cause that they’re passionate about and just get out there and connect on the road.

I’ve enjoyed every trivia night so far (there’ve been 21 plus about 35 other events). Some have been well attended and others not so but in little Inverloch, South Gippsland over 200 people turned up which was just overwhelming and I reckon I was on a high for a week after that. But it’s funny when you ask about highlights, it’s like the whole thing is just one big highlight. It’s going so well that I’ll be spending about 2 weeks applying for funding and grants to continue as my money is fast running out.

ROAR: How can people get involved with what your doing and get initiatives happening in their community?

Anthony: If people would like to have a Family Trivia Night in their town or suburb, they can contact me and I’ll send them the info. I have everything they need, they just need to have the passion and energy. This will also lead to them initiating other projects in their community that will hopefully last forever. People can also join or support other groups like Surfrider Foundation or The Australian Marine Debris Initiative and get involved with other likeminded people. Or, just simply start picking up plastic whenever and wherever they are and lets start a movement where it’s cool and admired to clean up your environment.

ROAR: Your life sounds very adventurous which inspires us! What do you love most about getting on the road and exploring new places?

Anthony: It’s funny, I’m a very social person but I also love being alone for long periods. Being alone on the road or in nature whether it’s the beach or the mountains has become really important for thought and reflection. But not only that, in nature there are no distractions, no expectations - it just “is" and you can just "be”. It can also be inspirational and bring on lots of crazy ideas. Some of these ideas I’ve used, some I haven’t but half the fun is dreaming them up. Living on the edge financially is also part of the fun - you’ve gotta be very careful with your shopping and creative with your cooking, maybe go without a meal sometimes which is actually good for you. I’ve found that having few or no expectations seems to be the key to personal fulfilment - just moving organically on this journey and seeing where it goes.

ROAR: What are you most excited about in 2015?

Anthony: As well as trying to get funding, I’ll be changing the concept slightly towards the end of the year so stay tuned for more info about that. It’ll be exciting to see how it goes. I’ll be moving the tour to Qld until it warms up a bit in Vic so, heads up everyone for some Family Trivia Nights on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane Aug, Sept, Oct!  Then back to continue the tour of Victoria on the Surf Coast and Melbourne area from November. If anyone would like to get involved in Qld or Vic, just email or contact me on Facebook (The Family Trivia Tour).

Best regards,
Anthony Hill
The Family Trivia Tour - Saving Oceans from Plastic Pollution
Mobile: (+61) 0403 755 803
Website: www.triviatour.quizwest.no
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/familytriviatour?ref_type=bookmark

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Chris: Wilde Gluten Free Beer

ROAR: Hey guys, thanks for chatting with us! First off, how did you get started? Where heard it's quite a story!!

Chris: The answer to that is two fold. The idea was originally sporned, believe it or not, from a close encounter with a family of black bears, in Alaska. While taking a walk to visit a glacier, we were with an armed guide...due to the native wildlife. I lagged behind and suddenly a tussle to my left in the thick bushes, then, one.....two.....three tiny baby black bears popped onto the path not two metres from me. My heart swelled, how gorgeous! Then came the startling realisation that mumma wouldn't be too far off! I looked up, the group (which consisted of our other two founders and the guide) were a fair distance ahead. As mumma bear stepped out into the path between me and the group I should of been terrified but suddenly I felt totally calm. She was magnificent! Huge and deadly, but totally magnificent. She stopped, looked into my eyes for a lingering moment and then moved forward towards her babies and all four crossed the path, disappearing into the bushes. The beating of my heart suddenly pierced the silent calm I'd felt and I ran to catch up with the group. I shall never forget that moment our eyes locked….fiercely magical! Afterwards we went to Alaskan Brewing Co. for a tour and had a few good beers! I needed one! The idea seeded at that point.

Back home we had an organic vineyard and we continued to be asked if we would make an organic beer. We had however several friends who were either gluten intolerant or Coeliac, who kept asking, “Please make some gluten free beer because we can’t find any that are nice.” So we decided to make a great tasting beer that was also reasonablly priced. We have done that and it’s very popular even with people who are not gluten intolerant because they like a nice tasting pale ale that is a healthier choice.

ROAR: What a crazy story! Your one lucky guy! What is your company name and what does it involve?

Koala Beer Pty Ltd is our company name and WILDE is our Gluten Free beer brand.

Our key focus is Gluten Free! Which is so important as many people are now being diagnosed with Coeliac and need to abstain from Gluten.

ROAR: How do you make beer Gluten Free?

Chris: Beer is usually made from barley and/or wheat. Gluten is a component of many grains, including barley and wheat. Gluten triggers a response in people with Coeliac disease and in those that are gluten intolerant, that makes them feel unwell. Since around 1% of Australians are gluten intolerant or allergic it is dangerous for them to drink ordinary beer. There are also many that remain undiagnosed but they know they feel better if they avoid gluten. In addition, some people have a wheat intolerance or allergy. So, Australian Koala Beer Pty Ltd, has had a technical breakthrough with alternative grains that do not contain gluten, to produce a quality gluten free beer at a reasonable price and that tastes amazing!

WILDE tastes like normal beer! WILDE is preservative free, it is a clean natural beer. WILDE is the tastier, healthier option for the health conscious drinker.

Chris in his element

Chris in his element

ROAR: You have won some awesome awards! Fill us in on the awards and how it made you feel to be recognised for such a great quality brand.

Chris: Thankyou! Yes we feel very excited and proud every time we are awarded. WILDE Gluten-Free Pale Ale, brewed by Koala Beer Pty Ltd, has been awarded a Silver Medal at The Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA), a Gold medal by the New Zealand Brewers Guild in 2014, as well as two bronze medals.

The AIBA is renowned for celebrating and promoting brewing excellence in both Australia and around the world. The AIBA is the largest competition for the beer industry in the Asia Pacific region. 

Medals are awarded according to a stringent points system to reflect quality standards. In 2014 a record number of 1,560 brews were entered from 294 brewers in 31 countries and were assessed by an expert panel of 40 judges from Belgium, Norway, USA, UK, Japan, Australia and NZ.

Unlike Swimming where there is a gold, silver and bronze awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd fastest, beer judging is the same as wine judging, points are awarded for a range of attributes and gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to the entrants who achieve a certain level of points to recognize the beer’s quality. Therefore there could be several golds or no golds depending on how many beers are above the threshold value. It is particularly difficult to have a perfect flavour profile in the gluten free class.

It is generally recognized if a beer has achieved any medal it is a fine example of the class. In the AIBA 2014 no gold was awarded in the Gluten-free section, so our Silver was the top award!

ROAR: There must be some challenges in creating a start up. Could you give us a couple? There must be highlights too! What's your biggest highlight?

Chris: The beer sector in Australia is an enormous industry with powerful multinational companies that can sometimes be difficult to compete with or deal with. Expanding distribution as demand grew was one of the biggest challenges in the early years.

Koala Beer is still operating after 8 years and doubling our turnover every year. One of the highlights of doing business in this industry is that the largest independent distributor /wholesaler in Australia contacted us because of our WILDE beer. This relationship is working so well that it allows us to operate in all states, including Tasmania very soon!

ROAR: That's exciting news! Tasmania would love it! What are you most excited about for 2015?

We are most excited about releasing our new beer WILDE Raspberry Gluten Free Pale Ale and later in the year we will release our third beer which is still under wraps.

WILDE Gluten Free Beer - Tasting notes

WILDE Gluten Free presents as a golden Pale Ale. 

Careful selection of hop variety gives the beer a citrus and pine character in the aroma with floral hints which rounds out the beer, with a bitter but clean, flavorsome finish. A slight tartness from the malt balances nicely with the bitterness, giving a lift that leaves you wanting more. The beer has been crafted with no added sugar, colour, nor preservatives.

Gluten Free WILDE Raspberry was created to give health conscious drinkers and Coeliacs the opportunity to enjoy another refreshing and interesting beer in the WILDE range. The daring inclusion of fresh raspberries provides a delightful pink hue, a raspberry aroma, and a fruity balance to the bitterness of the varietal hops. Natural raspberries are fermented with the grain to provide a delicate complexity and a mid-strength 3% alcohol. Your nose will also pick out citrus, orange and mandarin aromas. WILDE Raspberry is a refreshing Pale Ale style of beer with a wonderful colour and flavour, crafted with no added sugar, colour, nor preservatives.

Koala Beer provides peace of mind for the growing number of health conscious, gluten intolerant and environmentally aware consumers, who demand tasty products to support their healthy lifestyles. Koala Beer Pty Ltd was founded upon the premise that beer should not only taste great, it should be a clean natural product.

Koala Beer brews clean natural beers –WILDE Gluten Free Pale Ale, and WILDE Raspberry Gluten Free Pale Ale.

ROAR: We love how you have been starting to support small business, sponsor events and choose some exciting ambassadors to share your brand and what you stand for! Fill us in on some of the things your getting involved.

Chris: We love supporting small business as that's how we started! As we are a healthier option we love supporting likeminded events and entrepreneurs. These include Bound Yoga apparel (@boundyogaapparel) which is a small Newcastle (Where we are based) start up business hand screen printing organic and fair trade yoga apparel. Michelle (the owner) loves Wilde and says it's her favourite beer which is also a bonus! We feel their mission is in line with ours and supported their launch. We also have a surfer Jay Mulherin who is a successful longboard surfer and owns the surf shop @driftwoodcoastalculture. We will be helping Jay with fundraising. We have recently sponsored Vanlife (@vanlifediaries) and their gatherings in Australia which is really exciting!

Follow Wilde: wildebeer.com , @wilde_beer instagram, Wilde Beer Facebook

Thanks guys for sharing your story!

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Lauren & Elythea: Octopus Garden

ROAR: We never knew plants could be used to create art!? After following you and Octopus Garden it's clear plant art exists! Tell us how your creativity took you to where you are today?

OG: Even before Elythea and I met, we always loved plants and flowers. Both creatively driven, it was so nice to pair up and motivate one another. We are both so different in our art/technique, we are constantly sharing, inspiring and pushing one another. Elythea loves the BIG projects, she is never intimidated by a large scale. I have learnt to take on bigger pieces and be excited about them. From me, Elythea may have learnt a bit more of the finer techniques and between the two of us, it makes sense. So I believe where we are today has been a collaboration of two passionate people whiling to share and learn from each other. 

ROAR: We love Octopus garden and when ever we are at Long Jetty we always drop in to say hi and see what you legends are up too. Who is involved and how did the brand come to life?

OG: Elythea and I (Lauren) are both owners/creative directors, started the Octopus’ Garden as a pop up and market stall. With an overwhelming response for events and weddings, Elythea invited me to partner up with her (I have never looked back).
The little A frame we get creative in now, came up for lease and I literally took the biggest risk of my life with Elythea. We worked so hard, together to create a beautiful space that would welcome, encourage and inspire people. I feel like Elythea and I have grown together as a team and the Octopus has rapidly grown with us.

ROAR: Who would be the main people or groups that purchase your goods and what other programs do you have going on that people can be a part of?

OG: The Octopus really does seem to attract all types of people off all ages, plants are welcoming. We do a lot of weddings, events, deliveries from the shop and workshops/private parties. The space is a really encouraging place to learn and enjoy creating. Elythea and I really enjoy running workshops and showing people what they are capable of making in a really fun and relaxed environment. 

ROAR: We loved it when you told us about heading to the markets in Sydney and exploring all things flora! Take us through a day at the markets!

OG: We wake up at around 4am, on an ideal morning, Elyhtea and I will drive together. We have a few favourite suppliers that we go to as soon as we arrive. We get our greenery, natives and seasonal flowers, pick up any pre orders, go to the wholesaler for any vases, wires or wrapping that we need. After that if we have time, we do love a little leisure lap where we can just slowly walk through and take a little extra time to notice anything weird or things that we haven’t seen before. There are some smaller growers that can be easily looked over in a rush while we carry big boxes or piles of flowers, so it is nice if we get the time to by those little extra bunches that give our shop and bunches that something different. There is also comic value to appreciate while taking laps through the market, growers bargaining and yelling at each other, cheeky remarks from people probably trying to pass time (or they are going slightly crazy from being there since 1am!!) The place can be absolute manic during peak hour and it is honestly one of our favourite times of the week.

Whether we have time or not, we never leave without grabbing a tea or coffee for the drive home, where we debrief and plan for the day and/or week ahead. I personally feel that these trips have been some of the nicest bonding times for Elythea and I, on both a professional and friendship level. 

ROAR: What are some challenges of running a business such as Octopus Garden and what are some highlights and achievements you guys are stoked on?

OG: Challenges are the same as any small business I guess, everything falls back on Elythea and I, sometimes waking up and feeling like you have had 3 hours sleep for the whole week. Sometimes making designs that aren’t usually our style, things like that. However, the good is all so much more than just worth it. Our work has been on the cover of two big bridal magazines, more weddings and workshops than we could have ever imagined. We get to fill our space with new amazing florals all the time, people trust us with their wedding florals, we get to be a part of some of the most emotionally charged occasions that people will experience, we are there to help people celebrate life and love, we can help people say "thank you" or "sorry". We get to work with some of the finest materials that Mother Nature has to offer.

ROAR: In one sentence give us your best advice for life!?

OG: Do what you love, do it well and share it with the world.

Lauren King Creative Director/Owner
Octopus’ Garden 
310b The Entrance Road Long Jetty
Shop: 0497082748
Email: octopusgarden02@gmail.com
www.octopusgarden.net.au
Facebook
@octopusgarde instagram

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Tarsh & Cuzzie: The Apparel Collective

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Tarsh & Cuzzie: The Apparel Collective

ROAR: What is 'The Apparel Collective' and who is involved?

T&C: The Apparel Collective is our lifestyle... or a brand that allows us our lifestyle. Haha. There's myself (Tarsh), Jase (Cuzzie) and Byron (our Palm Beach store manager). Jase and I started The Apparel Collective in 2013 after a string of pop up stores around the area. We popped up in Freshwater and loved it so much we stayed. It's a store that offers an eclectic mix of fashion,art, antiques and boards.

ROAR: We love your style and every time we are in Freshwater we love dropping in. When you go about setting up your store what thoughts come to mind to add a vibe and culture that make people want to hang out?

T&C: The store has really grown into what it is today quite organically. We set out to create a space that we would want to hang out in and somewhere we would want to shop. The vibe is very much a reflection of us and the stuff we love. The local vibe of Freshie has definitely influenced the store with a lot of the art, antiques and small brands
coming from the locals.

ROAR: Starting a business is challenging and it is clear that you are doing very well with two stores in Australia in a short amount of time. What are a couple of challenges and also some highlights so far?

T&C: The challenge and the highlights are kinda the same for us... having never initially set out to be a permanent retail store I think our biggest challenge has been in learning as we go...everything has been new to us and so we learn as we go, this has also been a bit of an
asset to us as we're not stuck in our ways about how things 'should be.' The highlight has been creating a business that we enjoy and that allows us to travel and go exploring, surfing and snowboarding for a good chunk of the year!

ROAR: You both obviously love travel and the whole lifestyle that goes with skate, surf, snowboarding gear. What has been your number one adventure and why?

T&C: Umm...thats a tough question but the number one adventure (which is now more of an annual one) is Snowboarding in the Japanese backcountry.


ROAR: What are some exciting things in the future your working toward with your brand?

T&C: Lots of exciting things on the horizon...we're just about to launch a studio space called Los Amigo Studios with a buddy of ours along with a rad little clothing collection. Goodtimes ahead!

Jason: 0451 677 101 Tarsha: 0403 690 192
e: theapparelcollective@gmail.com
w: www.theapparelcollective.com
Facebook @theapparelcollective instagram

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Llyse & Allie: Hrvst St.

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Llyse & Allie: Hrvst St.

ROAR: Hey ladies where and who is involved in Hrvst St.?

HRVST: Hrvst St. consists of two Brisbane locals, Llyse Filipuzzi + Allie Harris 

ROAR: For those of us a bit behind the eight ball on juices can you tell us about Cold pressed juice and what makes Hrvst St. so special!?

HRVST: Haha don't be so hard on yourself, ok, I'll explain / we use a commercial grade hydraulic press machine which presses gently + completely extracts all the natural goodness, vitamins, minerals, enzymes + other vital elements. Cold pressing is a method of juicing that enables the juice to be bottled (without preservatives) and allows it to hold a shelf life of 4-5 days. So a simple way of putting it is, Hrvst St cold pressed juice is a raw/fresh/unpasteurised jar of goodness! We believe, juice should NEVER be pasteurised, ever. A lovely customer described our juice as 'Victoria's Secret in a jar', having feedback like that proves to us that we have created a beautiful, clean, sexy drop!

ROAR: Congratulations on starting your own business and already gaining a good range of happy customers! Tell us how this idea came to life?

HRVST: Ahhh thanks guys! Over the last few months we have been taking our business step by step and keeping the brand super clean and simple! We put it out there on social media a month prior to launching to see what kind of response we would get and were quite overwhelmed with the immediate positive interest that was generated. From there we have listened to what our audience is looking for in a Cold Pressed juice and are slowly building our brand trying to have something that appeals to everyone in some way or another. We saw a gap in the market for a unique branded product to support small local business' that wasn't a product of a big supermarket chain and that is how Hrvst St has come about.

ROAR: Can you give us a couple of challenges and also some highlights you have had so far in starting your own business? 

HRVST: Starting your own business has a few interesting little things that pop up along the way that's for sure! I guess the challenge of that would be both working other full time jobs + running a business full time is alot harder than we thought it would be, having that work/life balance can be quite challenging. 

The highlights have certainly outweighed the challenges though - we have received overwhelming support from other small local business' which has been amazing. The extremely positive feedback we have received from random people who have tried our product keeps our hearts smiling also. 

ROAR: So you are set up in Brisbane and are gaining a really good name for yourself. Are you thinking of expanding and if so where too? We can't wait to get some!!

HRVST: Thanks! Yes, all set up in Brisbane! We do have a couple of little things up our sleeves but we can't go into too much detail..... We are super passionate about supporting young, up + coming artists, and are working on a project as we speak. 

Lovely chatting with you, Jonny + Jess / Thanks for doing awesome things!
Much love, Allie + Llyse X

Follow Hrvst St. 
Website link, Facebook link, @hrvst_st instagram link email: Hrvst@gmail.com

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The Drifter: Ming Nomchong, Photographer

Tonga

Tonga

Tonga

Tonga

Surfer: Lauren L. Hill

Surfer: Lauren L. Hill

ROAR: It is evident you are an amazing photographer and creative soul. Was this passion instilled in you growing up? Who played a role in supporting your creativity?

Ming: I've been taking photos since I can remember and I've always loved it. But I'm not one of those wonder kids who picks up a camera for the first time and the shots are amazing. I've worked hard at it for years before it started to flow really naturally for me. It took, time, effort and lot's and lot's of shooting, watching and learning. My mum was definitely a huge supporter of my photography when I was younger and still is to this day.

ROAR: Where did you grow up and how did your environment play a role in making you who you are today?

The beautiful lady behind the lens, Ming Nomchong

The beautiful lady behind the lens, Ming Nomchong

Ming: I grew up in Sydney and lived there until my early twenties before searching for adventures across the globe. My adventures finally brought me to Byron Bay and I've been here on and off for the last 5-6 years and now working on my craft as a photographer.

When I was working on a boat in Fiji a couple of years ago, my boyfriend at the time had a water housing for his camera which I would steal and explore shooting underwater with it and thats where my addiction began. So yes the ocean environment definitely played a massive role in my journey.

ROAR: What are some creations and designs that you have been involved in recently and currently that you are excited and passionate about?

Surfer: Lauren L. Hill

Surfer: Lauren L. Hill

Ming: I just got back from a trip to Tonga with fellow ocean addicts Lauren L. Hill & Chrystal Fitzgerald. We were on assignment for summer-site.com and Billabong Women's & Conner Hats among other sponsors to create content for some articles about adventure travel in the tropics. It was a pretty awesome week of whale swimming, surfing, coconut tree climbing and all round Tonga exploration.

But currently, on the side of my shooting jobs, I'm constantly working on my blog The Drifter, which is a surf, fashion and lifestyle blog about anything that has to do with living ~ a salty life ~. It's my little creative baby that features my own content and all things salty.

ROAR: We have noticed that you collaborate with and support other creative inspirational people. What is the importance of this to you?

Tonga

Tonga

Ming: I love working with other like minded creative people because it's these people that drive the way forward in positive thinking and world changing actions. If we can all work together and support each other then we're one step closer to making a difference in our world, in one way or another.

ROAR: We see you as a great role model for young women. What is some advice you would give to girls growing up trying to figure out who they are and what they what to give and achieve in life?

Tonga

Tonga

Ming: The most important advice I would give is to listen to yourself and not what others are saying or doing around you. Find out what makes you tick and chase after it. It doesn't matter what it is, if you love it and do it, you will be come successful in it.

ROAR: What is something you are really excited about for 2015?

Ming: I'm super pumped about some upcoming collaborations next year that will see me travelling over to Hawaii and the States, West and East coast. My little brother lives in New York and I've been trying to find an excuse to go and visit him and it looks like the universe is delivering…. So stay tuned for more fun in the sun….

M i n g   N o m c h o n g   

P h o t o g r a p h e r

+61 (0)410 682 090
www.mingnomchong.com
http://thedrifter.me
instagram/thedrifterblog

Surfer: Cloudy

Surfer: Cloudy

Tonga

Tonga

Ellie Jean Coffey

Ellie Jean Coffey

Surfer: Cloudy

Surfer: Cloudy

SeeaSurf

SeeaSurf

Tallows Sunrise

Tallows Sunrise

Ellie Jean Coffey

Ellie Jean Coffey

Byron Bay Surf Festival

Byron Bay Surf Festival

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Eloise & Charlotte: Rode To No Wear

Eloise & Charlotte are two sisters that have recently started their rad fashion label 'Rode To No Wear'. Read below to get an insight into what it involves and see some of their beautiful images and range follow their Facebook, Instagram and purchase on BigCartel. The photographer is Tannar Eacott, hair and make is by Luxe Makeup Artistry website. Models include Holly Lees, Maddison Rigg, and Alanda Mccoy. Follow these girls on their exciting journey. Big things are happening! Interview and more images below!


ROAR: As soon as we saw a pic from 'Rode To No Wear' we had to follow. The style is so rad and unique! Where did it evolve from? Who is involved? 

C&E: Rode To No Wear is a recently founded women's clothing label, created by two sisters, Eloise and Charlotte Ashford-Meehan.  Evolving from their life long love of clothing and all things fashion!


ROAR: It is clear you both have awesome style that relates to coastal and festival clothing. Where has this inspiration come from? 

C&E: We have drawn inspiration from our personal favourite clothing brands, including Spell + The Gypsy Collective, One Teaspoon, Free People and many others. Rode To No Wear aims to create statement pieces that are a mix of bohemian luxe, raw, and with a fresh style.  A huge chunk of inspiration has also come from our travels and road trips to the amazing Byron Bay.  A town which captures the true essence of life, the way in which we want to live it!  Creativity flourishes throughout the town and the constant happy, feel-good atmosphere, healthy living and local talent, encourages us to want to strive and follow our fashion dream.
 

ROAR:What are some goals your trying to achieve with your brand? What are some highlights so far? 

C&E: Rode To No Wear aim to create clothing that makes women feel both confident and comfortable in themselves and what they are wearing.  Although we are only just new to the industry, we really want to spread our story and share with others our passion and style throughout our clothing.  We class Fashion as high as we class food, a must-have necessity! A major highlight for us so far, is the positive feedback we receive from happy customers, no better feeling then knowing you have contributed to someone else's happiness, even in such a small way!  As well as seeing girls wearing and loving our clothes as much as we do.

ROAR: How can people get in touch with your brand and purchase your styles?

C&E: We have our own little website, which is a work in progress as we are still learning this side of things, check it out at www.rodetonowear.bigcartel.com, or follow us on our instagram @rodetonowear and like us on Facebook

ROAR: Tell us something we should know about 'Rode To No Wear' 

C&E: Our name 'Rode To No Wear' originated from one of our best friends Emma, a talented singer who one night was singing the well known song 'Road to Nowhere' by Talking Heads, we tweaked the spelling a little and thought the name represented our style and brand Perfectly!  'Follow us on our fashion journey, on a Rode To No Wear.'

The two sisters making it happen!!

The two sisters making it happen!!

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Kane Brown: Photographer

ROAR: After meeting you whilst surfing in Byron we were keen to check your creative work. You have a unique style for ocean, coastal, nature and surfing photography that sets you apart from others. Where did this passion and creativity come from?

Kane: Definitely growing up i've had a strong connection with the ocean, waking up in the early hours before school and Racing down the beach with friends, seeing who can ride with out hands the longest (ah they were the days).  It would've been about my 15th birthday until i got my first camera. Early stages were just mucking around documenting friends surfing and skating bluh bluh maybe the odd landscape photograph. My passion has rapidly grown over the past two years. Having you're licence and the freedom to pack up the camera gear and leave, would have to be the best feeling about the whole thing. 

ROAR: Where are you from and how has this influenced you style?

Kane: The Sunny Coast. It's not the most consistent place for waves but being a pretty motivated person it ain't so bad. Living on the coast, there are already few guys out there taking photos, so the next shoot you're always trying to look for something new and different, to set you apart from the others. 
ROAR: What are some rad photo shoots you have been involved in so far?

Kane: I haven't been involved in anything to rad. It's always something special adventuring to new locations, especially when you score it with you're friends
ROAR: Is the plan to make a career of being a photographer?

Kane: It wouldn't be the worst gig i can tell you that, but for now i'll continue being a struggling artist selling prints down at the local markets and some extra part time work. See what happens in the new year. 

ROAR: What are some things that you are excited about for 2015

Kane: I'm definitely looking forward to more trips overseas and down the coast in the commo

. You can follow Kane on his instagram @kanebrownphoto and on his website Kanebrownphoto.com

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Hayley: 'Her Who Dreams' website

Photo by Stella Crick

Photo by Marty the rad surf guide

ROAR: It is evident you are very creative soul. Was this passion instilled in you growing up? Who played a role in supporting your creativity?

Hayley: Well Thank you :) Growing up I was definitely not good at maths or numbers etc ( I still don't know my times tables haha) But I guess I always tried to see the beauty in everything and had a very active imagination. For example I thought I was a mermaid until I was about 12 and would snorkel in the bath and pretend I was under the sea. My parents always encouraged me to be who I was 100% and to believe in my dreams.

Photo By Richard Kotch

Photo by Richard Kotch

ROAR: Where did you grow up and how did your environment play a role in making you who you are today?

Hayley: I grew up in Sunny Coffs Hardbour until I was 16 and then we moved to Penrith..(yes I know...huge change) Coffs was all I knew..... it was where all my family and friends were but as strange as it sounds Penrith was a great move. It was in Penrith that I finished school and became serious about whitewater Kayaking and I grew into the women I am today. Changing schools and being put into such a foreign environment only makes you stronger. Doing sport at a high level taught me to push myself and to work hard to achieve goals.When I finished school I realized that I wanted to be back by the ocean and wanted to surf everyday. Living in the northern Beaches makes me a happy Vegemite, It is a beautiful community to be apart of with so many awesome people doing great things and living here makes me smile everyday! 

ROAR: What are some creations and designs that you have been involved in recently and currently that you are excited and passionate about?
Hayley: I guess the biggest thing is my website, www.herwhodreams.com I wrote a book a few years ago called A Girl Like U which was all about encouraging young girls and women to be inspired and encouraged to live the best life they can. My website is just a continuation of that. Life is hard sometimes and I wanted somewhere for girls to go to feel inspired if they are having a bad day. I wanted to share yummy food that I create and just have a space where they can go to get a big smile on their face. I just want this to grow and grow and grow!  You can also follow my Facbook and Instagram and YouTube.

ROAR: We have noticed that you collaborate with and support other creative inspirational people. What is the importance of this to you? 

Hayley: There are soooo many amazing girls and women out there doing such amazing things! I think its important to show off these people and for anyone to be able to see their stories and hopefully they can read something that resonates with them and encourages them to be the best they can be. 

ROAR: We see you as a great role model for young women. What is some advice you would give to girls growing up trying to figure out who they are and what they what to give and achieve in life?

HayleyOnce again thank you. I really do hope so :) I guess I just want to empart what i have learnt along the way with as many girls as possible. My life isnt all rainbows and sunflowers (even if it looks that way from my instagram,) I have days where I feel sad, I have struggled with weight, I have struggled with self worth, With mean girls, with heart ache and although none of us girls have the same life troubles, I do think we can learn from each other and unite. Being kind and smiling is important and believing in yourself are a few of the things that can help. 
 

ROAR: What is something you are really excited about for 2014?

Hayley: I guess I am always excited about life in general...every day you wake up and you really don't know what is going to happen in that day. Life is a gift and everyday is an opportunity to do your very best and create the type of life that you want! I really do hope that the year ahead holds some wonderful adventures, time with my loved ones and I hope Her Who Dreams grows into something really rad! 

Photo by Stella Crick

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Alison Turner: Van Life & Photography

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Have you ever thought of living out of a van? We have! Alison is the real deal when it comes to van life! We are constantly inspired and amazed at the adventures her and her puppy Max get up to in America. Read on to find out how Alison changed her life to follow her passions and check out some of her beautiful pictures.  You can check out Alison's adventures on Facebook, Instagram, blog and her website just click the hyperlinks. 

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ROAR: Tell us a bit about your background and upbringing that has allowed you to make choices to live a creative and passionate lifestyle?  

Alison: I was born and raised in Southern California and my family had a station wagon that we took everywhere to camp and explore.  I suppose camping resonated with me at a young age and I’ve loved it ever since.  My mother is an artist and when I was younger, I hated being dragged along to her shows and going to her classes. I wasn’t into art much then, but I can’t imagine my life without it now.  I was raised with a father and grandfather that had very strong work ethics so when I went to school and years later, I worked hard in corporate advertising until it became too unhealthy for me.  My father died at a young age of 55 so I wanted to be able to explore and do things now.  You never know when your time might be up.  

ROAR: What inspired you to live a life in a van with your favourite friend Max? Tell us a couple of highlights of the van lifestyle.

Alison: Before there was “Campy”, my van, there was “Trailie” my teardrop trailer and I spent two years traveling with a tent.  After the two years in the tent, I had my eye on a campervan and researched it for many months until I found the perfect one.  I jumped on it and haven’t regretted it at all. The van is so much more luxurious then living out of a tent.  I loved the trailer but the way I travel, I like to change my direction at a moments notice so the van works well for that type of travel.  I feel safer too.  One of the highlights on the first few camping trips was a refrigerator!  I didn’t have to mess with an ice chest anymore!  It sounds simple but man, it was such a delight to have a cold drink ready whenever I wanted one.  Unfortunately, it’s had problems since then and stopped working.  But I will cherish those days when it worked like a charm.  I don’t plan as I go along so every day is a surprise.  I have found some nice campsites just by chance and some of my favorite moments are waking up and looking out the window to the forest, listening to waves or the creek. Those first moments in the morning are the best.  Then it gets even better after coffee is made.

ROAR: What inspired you to live a life in a van with your favourite friend Max? Tell us a couple of highlights of the van lifestyle.

Alison: Before there was “Campy”, my van, there was “Trailie” my teardrop trailer and I spent two years traveling with a tent.  After the two years in the tent, I had my eye on a campervan and researched it for many months until I found the perfect one.  I jumped on it and haven’t regretted it at all. The van is so much more luxurious then living out of a tent.  I loved the trailer but the way I travel, I like to change my direction at a moments notice so the van works well for that type of travel.  I feel safer too.  One of the highlights on the first few camping trips was a refrigerator!  I didn’t have to mess with an ice chest anymore!  It sounds simple but man, it was such a delight to have a cold drink ready whenever I wanted one.  Unfortunately, it’s had problems since then and stopped working.  But I will cherish those days when it worked like a charm.  I don’t plan as I go along so every day is a surprise.  I have found some nice campsites just by chance and some of my favorite moments are waking up and looking out the window to the forest, listening to waves or the creek. Those first moments in the morning are the best.  Then it gets even better after coffee is made.

ROAR: How do you survive financially living in a van and exploring many destinations?

AIison: saved my money when I worked in Advertising, made some good investments (buying a home), and I rent my home out when I travel.  I have freelance jobs here and there but I am not getting rich by any means.  I travel smart and stay with friends, walmart, or free land camping.  Also, I make all of my meals in campy and don’t buy a lot of “stuff.” The most expensive travel expense is gas.

ROAR: What are some exciting achievements since undertaking this project and starting your website?

Alison: Oh man… not sure I can list them all.  I am so fortunate that people are recognizing my images and giving me opportunities to shoot, be in a show, or license what I already have. It has really been a blessing.

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Luke McLeod: Got Soul

We have known Luke since he was a teenager and to be able to be a part of his exciting journey has been inspiring! We were so pleased to get the opportunity to talk with Luke about his business 'Got Soul' and share his passionate life and ideas of positive living and choices with you. Read below to learn what it takes to start your own business, why it is so important to be socially responsible, find out about awesome ethical products and more! You can be a part of the 'Got Soul' journey and find out about great ethical and sustainable businesses by clicking here on the Got Soul website and by giving the Got Soul Facebook a like! 

ROAR: What is Got Soul?

Luke: It started out as a question to help myself make better decisions, has it 'Got Soul'? I wanted to become more conscious of what I was spending my money on and be able to understand the broader and deeper sense of the whole product almost instantaneously, not just a key element of it e.g. organic, eco, fair trade etc

I feel that the word Soul captures that, but it can also be quite hard to define, so I've had to try and set some criteria to make it easier to find brands/companies that have 'Got Soul'. I came up with three standards that I feel best determine whether a product has 'Got Soul'.

1. Quality - The highest standards of quality throughout all their business. Including materials sourced, equipment used, branding, people involved, working environment etc 

2. Care - They have a genuine care for the environment, their community and employees with policies and practices to support these views.

3. Cause - They are using their business as a means to solve/improve a social/economic or cultural problem.

ROAR: What encouraged you to step out on your own?

Luke: I don't think there was a particular moment that made me want to start Got Soul. I've always known that I wanted to create something of my own. About 10 years ago I made a life plan of what I wanted to achieve and by when, and one of those was to launch a project that I was passionate about and that 'made a difference' on some level before I was 30.

I'm really big on intuition too. Training yourself to listen to your 'gut instinct'. I'm not saying not to listen to other people's opinions and feedback, I mean at the end of the day what ever feels right deep down. Even if it might be the complete opposite to what everyone around you is saying, go with that, it will serve you right almost all of the time.

ROAR: What is some advice you could offer for young entrepreneurs?

Luke: Number One. Just start. Almost everyone I talk to has an idea that their passionate about but are resistant to make something of it. Why they don't generally boils down to one word - Fear. Fear of failure. Fear of what other people might think of them and their idea. Fear of how much time and effort it will take. 

I think once you accept the fact that what ever you do, it's never going to be perfect and that it's about the journey, not the destination. The thought of starting something doesn't seem as daunting. Then once you have it out there begins the process of continual improvement and refinement.

2. Don't expect to be paid, but do plan to. If you're going to start something purely for the money, more times than not, it won't be a success. You need that passion there for the times when things aren't looking so great, when the cash situation is tight and the doubt creeps in about whether it was the right decision. If you don't have that passion, you'll more than likely pack it in and try something else (even though just another week might offer that breakthrough you were looking for). And don't expect that the money is going to walk in the door either, in regards to how good your idea is. Create a cash forecast and bust your ass to make those goals a reality.

3. Surround yourself with good people. Find those important people that have already done and succeeded in what you are trying to do and just ask them for advice. You'd be amazed at the amount of time people will give you if you are genuine about sourcing out help on how you aim for achieve what you want. Second is to take a look at the people in your inner circle and assess whether they are helping you head in the direction you are wanting to go or are hindering it. This can be a tough one to swallow, but it is extremely important. 

ROAR: Who has inspired and motivated your journey?

Luke: My mum would be number one. She has an unbelievable work ethic and is an eternal optimist. She raised four kids practically by herself, working multiple jobs at the one time to put all of us through a good school. She's now 61 and has more energy and focus than anyone I know. 

Business wise, I know it might sound like a bit of a cliche but Richard Branson is the man! His autobiography is the definition of a brilliant entrepreneur. His recent work with Virgin Unite and the B Team are also extremely inspiring. I'm also a big fan of legends Elon Musk (Pay Pal founder and most recently founder of Tesla Motors), Blake Mycoskie (TOMS) & Tom Szaky (Terracycle).

Lastly, and I know a few of my buddies are going to give me some slack over this, but Kelly Slater. I think he is the greatest sports person in history. I know that is a big call, but there's no one else that has dominated at the highest level of any sport for so long. His competitive spirit is legendary, now aged 42 and hungry as ever to win another world title. Absolutely inspiring!

ROAR: Can you give us a bit of background of your life up to this point?

Luke: Well I'm a country boy at heart, but moved to the coastal town Newcastle when I was 12 after my parents divorced. I wasn't the most astute student, I was more interested in making my own way. So I left school at the end of year 10 and started working anywhere I could find it. I then joined the ARMY Reserves when I was around 20 and went to uni to study business.

After getting my degree I worked for a variety of different corporate consulting/training companies, mainly because I got to learn twice as much as I would working for a direct service/product company (all of the training we were doing for our clients l was also benefiting from haha). These skills I learnt ranged from sales, management, risk analysis, OHS, project management, customer service, lean business practices, public presenting and many more. I've made some amazing friends and mentors from these years and am extremely grateful to all those who helped me get to where I am now.

By then I was then ready for a bit of a break and to start Got Soul, which is now starting to gain some momentum. I have some exciting developments coming up over the next couple of months! I can't talk about them too much right now, but you can join the Soul Circle (Got Soul's network) and follow our social media to keep tabs on what we've got planned.

ROAR: Why do you think it's important for a company to be socially responsible?

Luke: I don't think it's just important, I think it's an absolute must. We factually know that we are now living beyond our means. We use the equivalent of 1.5 planets to provide the resources we consume each year. This means it now takes the Earth one and a half years to regenerate what we use in one year. Now mathematically this is clearly not sustainable and is why I don't understand why more enterprises can't see the obvious reality. If they don't become more sustainable, they (and us) will eventually fail.

Which leads me to my next point, that it makes good business sense to do so too. People want to relate more to what they are spending their money on now. They want to buy things that are aligned with their morals and lifestyle. It's not longer about who's the biggest, the best or most expensive, it's about 'who know's me the best'. 'Who understands me and what's important to me'. This is why I believe in Got Soul so much. I want to lead that movement for those brands and companies that act and think that way. Creating a place that makes it easier for us to choose better.

Luke inspiring his audience at the 'Got Soul' launch night.

Luke inspiring his audience at the 'Got Soul' launch night.

Ethical and sustainable products that Got Soul supports.

Ethical and sustainable products that Got Soul supports.

Ethical and sustainable products that Got Soul supports.

Ethical and sustainable products that Got Soul supports.

The 'Got Soul' man himself laying down a sweet soul carve.

The 'Got Soul' man himself laying down a sweet soul carve.

Ethical and sustainable products that Got Soul supports.

Ethical and sustainable products that Got Soul supports.

Luke often goes on soul inspiring trips researching ethical and sustainable products. This is a pic from Joshua Tree National Park on his latest trip.

Luke often goes on soul inspiring trips researching ethical and sustainable products. This is a pic from Joshua Tree National Park on his latest trip.

Ethical and sustainable products that Got Soul supports.

Ethical and sustainable products that Got Soul supports.

Thank you so much Luke for taking the time to share your passionate ideas and business with us. We hope you are all inspired to get out there and support ethical and sustainable products! View the 'Got Soul' promo clip below.

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Marty & Nat: 3Fish

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Since the beginning of Rebel on a Rainbow, we were always keeping an eye out for the right clothing company to align with to make our shirts. Whilst in Western Australia on a van adventure we met a wonderful person who told us about the awesome company 3Fish Fairtrade Organic Clothing Company. We were excited to find out it was an Australian business based in Victoria started by a beautiful and loving family.  Marty and Natalie Dillon are truly amazing people who we were fortunate enough to visit on their property and get a firsthand look into their sustainable lifestyle and how their inspirational brand started out.  Read on to learn more about 3Fish and how you get involved in supporting this wonderful business.  We have also included a couple of pictures of the Rebel on a Rainbow shirts we got 3Fish to make for us.  We couldn't be happier with their quality!

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ROAR: How did 3Fish come to life and who are the founders?

Marty & Nat: 3Fish is the distillation of many ideas, over many years. Both of us are the founders of 3Fish. We had travelled extensively in developing countries before having children, and so developed an affinity for working with people from all over the world, a genuine interest in getting to know people in small local communities, and a passion for creating a business that created opportunity for all. Before 3Fish, life in the big pond included for Marty, working with Promotif, and Corporate Express and for Natalie, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks, Vanguard Investments and Local Government.

The arrival of children and the journey into parenthood brought all this into focus.  We decided that when our kids ask us about global warming, environmental degradation, child labour and sweatshops we wanted to be able to say that we did something to make a difference. So we decided to create a clothing company – lets create the perfect tee said Marty. And so it began...we’ve been perfecting the craft of the perfect tee since then! We are married and share this journey with 3 children; Zoe (10), Jasper (9) and Ethan (7). “Our kids are growing up with sustainability as a baseline to their lives, and an understanding that there is much greater similarity amongst the peoples of the world than differences, and that we can all effect change."

ROAR: What is the purpose of 3 fish?

Marty & Nat: By establishing our company ethos as “Do The Right Thing”, every internal system, every decision, every goal we set, our entire business planning process, every improvement we make in our systems, is geared toward creating the most sustainable company we can, minimising our footprint and maximising the benefit we can create with every single item we produce. 

Our goals and objectives revolve around:

  • creating a commercially successful business with a foundation of social and environmental responsibility; 
  • providing a quality alternative for individuals and organisations who wish to purchase sustainable, ethical clothing in Australia;
  • continually developing our world class ethical supply chain, free of sweatshops and child labour, with a positive environmental impact; and
  • through this tackle extreme poverty through trade.

ROAR: Why organic cotton and fair trade?

Marty & Nat: After extensive research into the international garment industry we were horrified to learn the following statistics:

  • 1.4 billion people live on less than $2 per day
  • 160 million children aged 5-14 years are engaged in labor around the world
  • 22,000 children die in employment per annum
  • Approximately 1000 conventional cotton farmers commit suicide annually in central India because of the overwhelming debt cycle
  • in 2008 the production of conventional cotton used over 284 million pounds of pesticides in the United States alone, with hundreds of millions more pounds sprayed worldwide.  Additionally, seven of the ten pesticides most commonly sprayed on cotton are on the EPA’s list of known, probable, or likely human carcinogens.

After extensive research, including walking our supply chain to the absolute source and meeting the farmers who grow our cotton on the cotton fields of central Maharashtra, we selected India as the location to source our organic cotton because India is the perfect environment to grow cotton.  The organic cotton used in 3Fish garments is 75% rain-fed by the monsoonal rains of India, which is the largest rain event on earth, and handpicked. We estimate that through the sales of our fairtrade organic cotton garments, caps and bags, 11.3 Tonnes of pesticides & insecticides have not been used in production since of first orders in August 2008. We also selected India as our manufacturing base as we could achieve all our fairtrade, and organic cotton certifications in service providers, who are also able to meet our quality specifications in closer proximity to the cotton fields, limiting the movement of our product, and thereby making achievement of carbon neutral status more commercially viable.  

Producing our products sustainably and ethically is about so much more than simply using sustainable materials in production.   We decided that instead of the traditional trade-off between People, Profits and Planet in conventional supply chains, we would aim for a balance of these 3 elements:

  • People – ensure people are paid fair price for their labor and that they are employed in decent conditions
  • Profits – a more even distribution of profits along the supply chain
  • Planet – manufacturing as sustainably as possible to protect the planet

We demonstrate this by treating the owners of factories as business partners with the universal principals of trust, respect and integrity, paying deposits in advance, including pre-ordering of fairtrade organic cotton yarn; we want our factories to make profit on our orders. 3Fish prides itself on selecting and working with supply partners who treat their employees with respect, pay them a fair price for their labor, provide safe and hygienic working conditions and are in no way involved with child labour.    

We also decided to set our goals at achieving the absolute best standards possible to contribute to solving these.  To that end we set our garment standards as the following:

  • Fairtrade Certified, FLO ID 20301
  • Australian Certified Organic ACO Licence No.11058W
  • Only use GOTS certified Dyes and Inks (Global Organic Textile Standard)
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ROAR: What types of clients do you provide clothing for?

Mart & Nat: The 3Fish client is atypical.  Overwhelmingly, they are lovely people with their heart in the right place, with a commitment to quality and a design aesthetic, set amongst a strong world view. We work with large and small companies and organisations that seek their merchandise to reflect their values.  We work with both fledgling brands and some well known names to create fabulous garments that are great on every level.  

Some people come to us because they’ve heard we make a fab tee.  Some people come to us because they love the way our organic cotton tees and hoodies feel – they might have bought a tee at a concert, or come across us on the necklabel of an event tee or a company they admire.  Some people hear about our design focus, that we love creating garments that range well or engage and support their campaign or brand message. Some people come to us because they might of heard about us in a University Supply Chain management Case Study! A friend of my parents was at a U3A lecture and 3Fish flashed up on the big screen!

We also do a lot of work with not-for-profit organizations who look for their brands and campaigns to be well represented through quality garments and great designs, but who also understand the ripple effect of their choices and who also have the desire to inspire and empower their staff by walking their talk through what they wear. Often times, companies and organizations come to us because of the passion and vision of just one person within their organization, someone who says “fairtrade is important” or “organic cotton is better for the environment”, and who stuck their neck out to make their point.

ROAR: How has doing 3 fish changed your life and your outlook on the world?

Marty & Nat: Through the work of our clients we are continually left breathless by the enormity of some of their work.  Our world view is continually expanded and coloured by the magnificent people we get to work with every day.  Of course working with our supply chain partners means that as a business we are intrinsically linked to happenings around the globe and so we are continually reminded how interconnected we are. 3Fish has enabled us to work in a manner that reflects our values both personally and professionally.  And it means we can create a work life that is flexible with the ebbs and flows of family life.

ROAR: What are some exciting things happening in the future for 3 fish?

Marty & Nat: These days, commercially speaking, 3Fish is at the forefront of sustainable business practices, and is a leader in creating and facilitating change and inspiring innovation in environmental, social and economic sustainability across a wide variety of channels. More and more we understand the need to help people, companies and organisations undertake this journey, to help them take the first step, to have a positive experience and gradually expand the reach of their ethical purchases.  We get excited every time a new client comes on board and makes that change.  We get even more excited when they get excited about how much their customers or staff love their new fairtrade, organic cotton merchandise.

Why is every single one so exciting? – because every single one, is part of the picture that gives consistent demand to our factories, and thereby the cotton farmers along our supply chain, who then lead lives of opportunity and dignity.  Its the sound of healthy happy communities, educating their own children, boys and girls, for fabulous self determined futures.  We’re pretty happy doing that every day!

You can contact 3 Fish by their website, click here 3Fish and follow their business on facebook as well, click here 3Fish Facebook

 

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Below are pictures of our Rebel on a Rainbow shirts which 3Fish made for us. We are so happy with the quality and feel of these shirts and everyone who has purchased them always comments on how much better the quality of 3Fish shirts are compared with others.

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Brayden Wilkinson: Artist & Skate Brand

Brayden is a talented young Graphic designer and artist from Newcastle, Australia. I was lucky enough to teach him at School when I was a full time teacher. As a teenager Brayden was constantly sketching and designing ideas in and out of class. His classmates and I knew he was going places with his art. It is so exciting to see that he has started his own skate and design business with Head Quarters. We hope that you are as inspired as us to check out his adventure in starting his own business. We at ROAR will be keeping a close eye on Brayden for sure, as he follows his dreams and uses his talents to offer something fresh to the community.

ROAR: What inspired you to get into art?

Brayden: When I think back on when I first started drawing or being "arty", I was definitely most inspired by my older sister. We were and still are pretty competitive throughout most of the things we do together. I used to see all her sketches and water colourings she would leave scattered throughout the house and it became something of a goal to be as great as I saw her to be. As time passed and I was found constantly drawing on desks or my arms during class, staying up till morning hours trying to imitate other artists work that I would find online. Driven to learn their line work and produce my own originals. After that, I was just very lucky to have received an overwhelming amount of positive reinforcement from family, friends and peers at school, which only put fuel on the fire for me to seek out art to be a lifestyle that I wanted for myself.

ROAR: What types of art are you involved in and what types do you enjoy the most?

Brayden: I tend to do a lot of doodling. And these doodles tend to be focused around previous conversations I have had with friends about our childish ideas and imaginations. A lot of my art tends to be cartoons with a dash of japanese influence. All my art starts out as pencil on paper and eventually make their way onto a computer screen to be digitally coloured in or adjusted slightly. But I do love nothing more than to sit down with a screen full of japanese tattoo designs and just become inspired to create my own pieces, drawing waves, masks, demons, foo dogs, dragons and the list goes on. I find it to be such a beautiful balance between detailed line work and serene simplicity that it demands you to focus and almost meditate on what you are trying to create.

ROAR: We heard you have started a brand with your art?  Tell us a bit about it?

Brayden: I've got a brand named Head Quarters, and it started when I was out skateboarding a couple of months ago, and one of my mates was raving about how sick the design was on the bottom of his board. And all I remember thinking was "I can do that". So I decided try and walk the walk, make a few phone calls and start putting plans together to get a business going. It's all still very much trial and error at this stage, with getting stock and trying to maintain funds. But I'm having fun and thoroughly enjoying the experience so far.

ROAR: Where can people check out your work?

Brayden: Most of my work and the lead up to finished projects gets put up onto my instagram @bwiliknson, up at the loop www.theloop.com.au, I also have facebook.com/hqskate but not to much is really going to get posted up there until more of my business plans really get nutted out.

ROAR: What are some exciting things planned for you and your art in the near future?

Brayden: I am a little excited about a couple of projects I've got coming up. I've got some work with an emerging band The Crispens, which has been so fun just to have artistic freedom with these boys that have just come back from winning the hunter schools rock off. But I'm looking forward to a collaboration I've got coming up with one of my friends projects called the Secret Cabin, everything is a bit hush hush keep it on the down low at the moment. But it's gonna be supercali-friggen-awesome.



Thanks for sharing your art and a bit of your story with ROAR. We are so excited to see where this venture take you. Good luck!

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Servio & Annie: Akela Surf

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It was really nice to get to know Servio and Annie through our Rebel on a Rainbow website. They have started their own Surf brand, Akela Surf, in Montreal. They get a lot of inspiration from surf trips to Barbados. We love to share creative ideas and we are pleased to provide an insight from these two inspiring people into starting and running your own brand and business. 

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ROAR: How did you start a surf brand in Montreal? Who were the main people involved?

AKELA: We started our Surf Brand 'Akela' in Montréal basically cause we were stuck here during the winter, Annie was pregnant and it was good timing to start this business that we always wanted to do. So far, the company is only us, and now Kaiko our baby boy, we also have other people that we work with in collaboration, located in France, Spain, Florida and Hawaii. We are always open to meet people and to work in collaboration with them.

ROAR: Where do you travel for your surf adventures and why?

AKELA: We travel to Barbados, because the surf is good there, it's not too crowded, weather is nice of course and its easy to get around. We still have to walk 2 km to the surf spot but it's worth it and it's a little adventure!

ROAR: What are some of the challenges in running a surf brand?

AKELA: Managing everything and keeping focused on what is important. It is challenging to get our name out there and get our products in the stores. It is a lot of work to build good relationships with our clients.

ROAR: What are some highlights of your business adventures so far?

AKELA: We are starting to get ready for the surf expo in Orlando, for Jan 2014. So it's a fun and exciting time to get our brand more well known.

Check out more radness from these two and their awesome brand, Akela Surf through the link www.akelasurf.com

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Mikel & Lauranne: Campy Camper Biarritz

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Campy Camper is a camper van rental company based in Biarritz, France. Created by two friends, this company was started through the love of van life adventures. The brand truly represents an adventurous lifestyle and an appreciation for enjoying this beautiful world we live in. We love their vans, it makes us want to plan a ROAR road trip through Europe.  

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ROAR: How did Campy Camper come about? Who was involved in starting this company?

CAMPY CAMPER: Campy Camper is the idea of two friends, after a road trip all around Australia and experimenting the camper van life. The concept of van life is not well developed and known in France, so we decided to create our own company and offer the opportunity of going on road trips from Biarritz, SW of France to anywhere you desire in Europe. 

ROAR: What is the purpose and mission of Campy Camper?

CAMPY CAMPER: Our main purpose is to allow travellers to discover our region and Europe differently. We really enjoyed our road trip experience in Australia and wanted others to share in the joys of van living. To ensure security, comfort, and efficiency we decided to use brand new Nissan Primastars for our Campy Camper vans and set them up with good equipment such as lights, water pump, electricity and a fridge. To give the authentic touch, we designed the inside of the van similarly to the vintage VW Combi.

ROAR: Can you share some highlights of Campy Camper so far?

CAMPY CAMPER: Created in April 2012, we have been experiencing some very exciting moments such as surf contests, where we have been partners for the events with other brands (clothes and beer).

Also our client’s stories are always really funny and enjoyable to listen to. 

ROAR: What is it like running a business in Europe? What are some fun things about owning a camper van business?

CAMPY CAMPER: I think that for this kind of business it’s really fascinating because it's pretty new in Europe and especially in France compared to the other continents like Australia or America. It was challenging in the beginning as everything was new to us, setting up a business can be hard at times. It took a lot of time, but now that we are here and getting more well known it’s going great.

Getting people to understand our concept, the advantage of van life freedom, is the best part. But as this is not their usual way of travelling it's sometimes hard to explain how amazing camping in a van can be. However, once they try it, they love it and this is our best satisfaction.

The good thing about running Campy Camper, is the atmosphere that we create around our brand and the partners that we attract, and the exciting work that we can do with them (sport, art, fashion). Creativity is amazing and rewarding thing.

ROAR: How can people get in contact with Campy Campers and be a part of your fantastic company?

CAMPY CAMPER: We have a blog where we like to share adventures, road trip stories and our lifestyle.

You can contact us by email at contact@campycamper.com or by our social networks http://bit.ly/FacebookCampy http://bit.ly/campytwitter http://bit.ly/campyvimeo http://bit.ly/campypinterest http://bit.ly/campytumblr instagram @campy_camper

ROAR: What are some exciting things happening for Campy Campers in the future?

CAMPY CAMPER: We are consistently growing in popularity in Biarritz and we look forward to more growth in some other big cities in france next, and hopefully in Europe too. 

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Sharleen Agudelo: Avani Candles & Aromas

Sometimes you have to take risks to explore and realise your dreams. Sharleen has chosen to focus on her creative talents and use these to form her own business that is also eco friendly: Avani Candles & Aromas. Check out our interview with Sharleen to get some insights as to how she made this possible and what inspires her to be creative.

ROAR: What made you decide to start your own business with Avani Candles & Aromas? 

Sharleen: After working in administration/reception for 6 years and never enjoying it I can honestly say I was being eaten away from the inside out. I came to the point where (for my own sanity and peace!) I had to quit my job, although I had no direction as to where I was headed to next. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not cut out for sitting behind a computer all day and answering phone calls. I am wired in a totally different way! 

So when I started making candles and found something I could use my creative side in, I thought why not give a business a go and be my own boss! 

Running your own business from home, what more could you ask for! It's really the best decision I ever made.

ROAR: Who has inspired you to be creative in your life and how have they done this?

Sharleen: If I had to pick someone in my life that has influenced me somewhat creatively it would have to be my dad. He is a great musician and I've played bass guitar since I was 13 so I give that credit to him. He introduced us to playing an instrument early on in life and I'm so glad he did.

But I also branched out further into other types of creativity, even from an early age. I remember always being good at sketching/painting and crafty stuff in school and of course it's something I will always love. I really believe it's a gift and something you are born with because you can't teach someone how to be creative, it comes from within.

But I do draw a lot of inspiration from nature, travelling, cultures and music when it comes to my life in general. The earth is absolutely amazing, how can it not inspire us?!

ROAR: Making and designing candles is a very challenging and creative process.  How did you get into doing this?

Sharleen: After I quit my job at the end of 2012 I got into a couple of different hobbies that I'd never really had a go at before. I bought myself a candle making kit and enjoyed it so much I started buying more supplies. Then, before I knew it I had a business name registered and I was on my way.

But yes, it does have its challenges, ones that you don't realise unless you want to be able to sell a good quality product. I've had to do a lot of research and testing to come up with the products I sell and as frustrating as it's been at times it's also been fun and very worthwhile.

ROAR: How do you differentiate from other candle makers. What do you offer that is special to your customers? 

Sharleen: I pride myself in knowing I am selling candles that I have put a lot of time, care and effort into. Image is everything when it comes to your business, it should never be compromised. But most importantly you should never skimp on the quality of your supplies! If you want to be the best, you have to provide the best. And for that you will reap the rewards.

I make sure all my supplies are eco-friendly and that my waxes are cultivated on plantations which don't harm the environment or wildlife. That is exactly what Avani as a business stands for - taking care of the earth and its environment while being able to enjoy what it has given to us.

ROAR: What have been some of your favourite successes along this journey of being a small creative business owner?

Sharleen: My very first customer came along before I had even sold a candle! I had just finished a yoga class at a well known yoga studio in Newcastle when I got talking to a lady in the lift. Turns out she was the owner. Just a few days before I had thought of what a perfect place it would be to have soy jar candles and what I could do to introduce my candles to them. So, long story short, the lift ride with the owner was perfect timing. As nervous as I was to ask her how I could go about this, I had a feeling that I just had to do it. I almost chickened out but right at the last second as we were parting ways I turned around, got her attention again and told her about my candles and how I was in the process of starting my business. Turns out they had been searching for someone local to buy soy candles from and didn't have any luck! The next day I was back in there showing them samples of my fragrances and they put their first order in. I now do their re-fills and they love them.

Talk about listening to that voice inside! If I hadn't I would have missed out on a great opportunity. It  taught me that I should always take opportunities when they are presented because really, the worst thing they can say is no thanks but you just never know when the answer will be yes!

ROAR: What are some exciting things in the future for you and your business? 

Sharleen: Eventually, my aim will be to focus mainly on supplying to day spas, hotels/resorts and yoga studios etc. Hopefully this is a niche that hasn't been tapped into too much yet, as it seems candles are more of an arts/crafts market type of product. So all going to plan I will get some good clients and that will mean large, regular orders. But of course, I will keep making them available to the general public because there is just so much you can do with candles. Home decor, weddings, baby showers, and any special occasion... there is a lot of room to expand and grow. So who knows where it can take me! All I know is I'm keeping an open mind and I am ready to enjoy the ride.


Thank you for sharing your passionate life with us Sharleen, we are so excited for you and wish you all the best with your business.

Check out Avani Candles & Aromas and get your hands on some of these beautiful products through the links below.

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