Foreword: My interview did not go to plan. Faith has a way of taking things in her own, refreshing direction.
“If you really, really use your free time to think about this case, you cannot come to a different conclusion.”
“I think that you have a lot of negativity in these questions.”
Ramsey’s conduct during the interview is being described as “atypical”.
Just don’t feel sorry for him while you’re watching it.
She is one of Australia’s most successful models making a name for herself after long being known as the little sister of Victoria’s Secret model, Jessica Hart.
There is nothing not to like about Ashley Hart. She is the kind of woman you want as your best friend and at the same time, you aspire to be more like her: Always smiling, embracing a healthy lifestyle full of yoga and meditation, and of course looking absolutely stunning.
Ashley Hart is returning as the face and ambassador of Melbourne Fashion Week which kicks off August 28, making the already fashionable city even more trendy. The Melbournian is an obvious choice for the event and not shy to praise her hometown.
As most successful models, Ashley lives in the USA dividing her time between LA and New York, but she’s always happy to come home to Australia. We caught up with the top model and newlywed and asked her about her shopping tips, her secret to happiness, and plans for the future.
You’re the official ambassador for Melbourne Fashion week again this year, which shows are you most looking forward to?
I know this will sound like a cop out – but all of them! Each show is different and has something for everyone in it. I like to mix it up with my fashion so I am excited to see whats out there. It‘s like a one-stop-shop where you can sit there and make notes about what I‘m going to go out and buy.
When it comes to shopping, are you an online-shopping girl or do you prefer the old-fashioned way and actually go to stores?
I love going into stores. There‘s nothing like touching and feeling the garments and chatting to staff. I really like fashion stores. Whenever I buy online, it might be for jeans or something where I‘ve already got a pair I know I like.
Are there any stores/boutiques in Melbourne that you love?
Christine! It’s my favourite store in the city. Beautiful hand picked product from local designers and around the world. Christine, the owner, is a beautiful person who cares very much about her product and customers.
I was looking through your Instagram photos and noticed that you’re always smiling, which I love! What’s your secret to happiness?
Meditation. I take a lot of time to meditate and breathe, and being in the now.
2015 seems to have been quite the success for you so far, both in your career and your personal life (congratulations on your wedding!), what are your plans for 2016?
I have a great job with a few brands and plan to travel from the USA to Australia a few times! Other than that I will see what the year brings, but if it’s the same as 2015 it will be busy!
Watch this video for an insider look behind the scenes of Melbourne Fashion Week and get to know Ash Hart even better.
Are you stuck in a slump when it comes to dressing for the office? Take some style inspiration from House of Cards character Claire Underwood, who always looks impeccable and put-together regardless of what her job entails.
Dress for success with our expert tips from stylist, Inez Garcia, who outlines a few items all women should have in their wardrobe, how to emulate Claire Underwood’s look and how to make the most of your basics for the office.
Why do you think Claire Underwood’s style is so influential in the series?
Claire’s style is an extension of her intriguingly seductive character, with a wardrobe that so perfectly compliments her potent mix of strength and femininity.
What are some ways women at home can recreate her look?
Claire’s wardrobe is simple but always so perfectly tailored, ensuring it’s flattering but never frivolous. You can recreate her look by investing in classic, tailored separates in a timeless, neutral palette of black, white, grey navy and tan.
What are some essential pieces all women should have in the work wardrobe?
- A selection of classic silk and cotton blouses.
- Blazer in black or dark navy.
- Flattering pair of tailored black pants.
- One simple black shift dress that can be worn pared back for work and then accessorised for after hours.
- One camel coat.
- Slim line pencil skirt.
Are there any trends women should stay away from?
Women’s fashion is so wonderfully diverse. We have so many options available to us. One thing all women of great style have in common, however, is that they’ve worked out what suits them best and stick to this regardless of seasonal trends.
Once you find what styles and shapes work for you, shopping becomes so much easier as you’ll no longer be distracted by the shiny, pretty things (that you’ll most probably never end up wearing!).
How can women feel more powerful and confident in their clothes?
The most important thing is to maintain your clothes – make sure they fit properly and have them cleaned and pressed regularly so you don’t look disheveled and unkempt. Pay a little extra to have your hems and sleeves altered, spot clean your tailored pieces and invest in good quality wooden hangers.
Could you name some must-have workwear accessories every woman should own?
- Black leather handbag.
- Simple black pumps.
- Classic watch.
- Slim black leather belt.
- One pair of great, flatteringly face-framing sunglasses – essential for those days when you need a little extra help!
For more information on Inez, visit www.inezdaily.com.
House of Cards Season 3 launches on August 8th
Ever wanted to get long, luscious runway lashes at home? SHESAID has enlisted the help of makeup artist, Helen Dowsley, who has created beauty looks for celebrities and reality shows around the world. Some key faces Helen has worked on include Jennifer Hawkins, Ruby Rose, Michael Buble, Jackie O, Kate Ritchie and even Ed Sheeran.
Most recently, Helen Dowsley is the chief makeup artist for The Bachelorette and Celebrity Apprentice Australia.
How can women get runway-ready lashes at home?
False lashes are key here! I would apply the Helen Dowsley Lashes ‘Natural’ Lash. Cut it to the eye to fit, and then cut it in half to make application easier.
My hot tip? If you apply under your natural lash, it saves time and gives a nice natural lift to your own lash. This ultimately thickens and lengthens your lashes in quick, easy steps.
How do women choose the right lashes for them off the shelf?
The first thing to ask yourself is whether you would like a natural look or do you want to make a statement? For a day look, choose something simpler that thickens your natural lashes such as my ‘New Loves’ lashes, which open your eyes when applied. For evening, or to make a more almond-shaped eye, try the Helen Dowsley ‘Favourites’, which have a built-in eyeliner and will hide a hooded eye in seconds.
What is the benefit of ethically sourced lashes over non-ethically sourced ones?
I didn’t originally go looking for ‘ethical products’ when travelling to find my lashes and I didn’t like some of the things I saw. Being a woman and an animal lover, I want to protect and empower rather than take advantage and I believe everyone should be more mindful about where our beauty products – and all things we consumer – come from.
What lashes do the contestants on Celebrity Apprentice love?
It depends on the day, however the ‘New Loves’ are always the go to lash. Teagan Martin (Miss Universe Australia) wears anything from a ‘Natural’ lash to a ‘Funtimes’ lash. Sophie Monk looks great with my ‘Favourites’ and ‘Flirt’ underneath. If I’m really smoking the eye up, I’ll apply ‘Smokey’ and to give a more separated look, I’ll layer ‘Fablash’ over the top.
What is the trick to making blue eyes pop?
Think of the colour wheel when you did art at school. To make blue eyes pop, oranges and browns in warm tones are best. Opposites attract!
What is the trick to making brown eyes pop?
As above, purples and pinks make brown eyes really pop!
How can women make their lipstick last?
The stronger the pigment, the better lasting on the lips but the more drying it can be. Prep your lips prior – when brushing your teeth in the morning, lightly brush your lips to take away dead cells. Apply a lip balm (Perry’s Lemon Myrtle is the best) and then apply lip liner all over your lip. Apply your lipstick, tear tissue in half and lay over the lips, before applying translucent powder over this with a brush. Removing the tissue, this will make colour really last all night.
What is The Bachelorette Sam Frost’s favourite makeup look and how can we copy it?
I love Sammi and it is an absolute delight to have her in my chair! Sammi does the natural look really well and the ‘Rose Ceremony’ look even better! Sammi loves my ‘In Love’ lash and I always apply these daily, for both day and evening. In the evening, I would also apply ‘Flirt’ under the lash. Let’s face it, every girl loves a bit of drama and so Sammi’s evening look is always a hit.
To copy it, apply your foundation as you would normally apply your base. Highlight under your eyes and down your T-zone. Use blush to contour your cheeks and then apply a black gel inner-eye liner on the top and bottom lash lines. Colour in your brow using a similar colour-way to your natural brow, and apply your lipstick in a natural colour (the same colour as your mouth, not always ‘nude’) in the method explained above. Voila! Simple, sexy Sammi beauty.
Through her work as a makeup artist, Helen Dowsley saw a niche for an ethically-sourced faux lash product and created the incomparable Helen Dowsley Lashes. Easy to apply and created with light-weight, hand-made synthetic fibre, Helen Dowsley Lashes are available in 14 styles, while individual lashes are also available in short, medium or long lengths.
Want to know the difference between your highlighter from your illuminator? Australia’s makeup maestro Napoleon Perdis is running his very first set of exclusive ‘Next Gen’ Makeup Masterclasses at MYER this weekend. Napoleon will be accompanied by the next generation of his empire which includes his wife Soula-Marie and daughters Lianna, Athina, Alexi, and Angelene.
SHESAID was lucky enough to chat with Napoleon Perdis about his favourite products from the collection, his ultimate makeup faux-pas and the skills guests would learn from the masterclass.
What type of skills will guests have the opportunity to learn at the masterclass?
My customers will learn a full everyday makeup routine, plus two trending colour stories. I’ll take my guests through cleansing, priming, brows, reflective contouring and base, plus an easy every day eye, a smoky eye, blush and a bold lip.
How important is it to possess some basic makeup skills?
For a woman in control, it’s a must. From a tinted moisturiser, brow and gloss to a full routine, makeup will allow you to look polished and perfected however you choose to take on the day.
Do you have any favourite makeup looks at the moment?
I’m loving a natural contour (no more chocolate bar contours!), a strong blush to awaken the complexion and nude in all its extremes. Nude doesn’t have to mean naked, it’s just all about neutral tones.
Could you name the number one product from Napoleon Perdis which every girl should have in her kit?
Remember, ‘Not to Prime is a Crime!’ My Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Skin Primer makes your foundation last longer, look smoother and help you to achieve that fresh foundation finish.
What are some makeup mistakes you see other women make?
Mask-like foundation! Your foundation should accentuate your complexion, not hide it. Blocky brows are another mistake I see so often – it doesn’t flatter the face or create a natural finish. Instead keep the perimeter of the brow soft and natural for a more modern, feminine finish.
Are there any ways to take your makeup look from day to night?
So many ways! First touch up your base, brows and mascara. From here, sweep a warm, medium shade shadow or contour colour through the socket of the eye and lower lash line and press a neutral metallic shadow onto the centre of the lid. If your eye requires more definition, run a black liner along the upper and lower water lines and gently squint your eyes together to blend. Next, touch up your blush and highlighter and finish with a lipstick or gloss to suit your colour story. It’s all about adding a little more intensity to your look.
What is your favourite part about running the masterclass with Myer?
This is my first workshop with MYER, so I’m excited to meet my customers and discover more about her. I’m also excited that my family will be joining me and I want my consumer to feel a part of it all. It’s the next generation of Napoleon Perdis and I can’t wait!
To secure your position at the ‘Next Gen’ Makeup Masterclass, purchase the tickets online at MYER or at the counter on the day. Tickets are $149 and redeemable on Napoleon Perdis products on the day.
Date: Friday, 7th August
Location: MYER Melbourne City
Time: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Date: Saturday 8th August
Location: MYER Liverpoool
Time: 1pm – 3pm
Up and coming fashion designer Karen Wohlsen launched her namesake label, indyK, in February, 2015. indyK is a brand dedicated to the effortlessly chic woman and is made from light fabrics that are quick and easy to wear.
Her bright leather bags and cuffs are a great addition to any outfit, from a summer festival to your everyday dressing. Karen gives us her top tips on living a well-rounded life and showing personality through your wardrobe.
How did you start indyK?
I started by making clothes for myself and as I started making them, friends liked what I was wearing, then I made some for them. It all happened very organically and effortlessly, which is the ethos by which I run indyK also.
What’s the best way for women to showcase their personality through style in the corporate world?
The best way in a corporate world is to make sure you dress for the job and while corporate dressing can sometimes be bland, it is important to have an element – whether the shoes, the accessories, the suit, or the shirt – to reflect an aspect of yourself. If you love colour, the easiest way to add a splash is through your accessories or your makeup. If you’re ever unsure, don’t be afraid to ask your HR department if the colour ways you’re incorporating work within their uniform policy.
Which women inspire you and why?
I love strong, fiercely independent women with great style. Rosa Parks, Emmeline Pankhurst, Emma Stone, Diana Vreeland, Coco Chanel, Mary Quant, Angelina Jolie… These women have all empowered their femininity and other women through their various endeavours and risk-taking, and should all be admired.
One handbag for always, or multiple handbags for different occasions?
Multiple handbags for different occasions and looks! The bags and shoes make an outfit.
How do you support other women?
I celebrate their successes and I am there to help them when they stumble. I’m also the first to pop the champagne on a Friday and debrief about my week with girlfriends.
How can women become confident and sure in themselves and about their life path?
One of the hardest parts of being a human can be having confidence in your life choices, especially when we’re (luckily) surrounded by so many options. I find a glass of wine and a notebook and pen writing out your life goals and dreams is a nice way to start, and then breaking down those goals and how you can reach them makes them more manageable. Ultimately, if you have any doubt or are feeling negative about something you’re doing or portraying, it’s worth taking a step back and looking at why that is and then making changes until you feel happy again.
What is your one tip for wellness?
Touch everything you do with love. Always come from a place of love and if something feels bad, surround it with love and release it. This goes for family, food, exercise, relationships and work.
Looking for a little more guidance in your life? SHESAID has teamed up with author, Domonique Bertolucci, to provide a few tips from her new book, The Kindness Pact. If you can’t get your hands on her novel, head over to Domonique’s official website for free video training on how to break the exhaustion/dissatisfaction cycle once and for all and get rid of that nagging guilty feeling forever.
Congratulations on the new book! What inspired you to write The Kindness Pact?
Thank you! The first seeds for The Kindness Pact: 8 promises to make you feel good about who you are and the life you live were planted a few years ago when I was walking in the park and observed a scene that left me feeling quite uncomfortable. A young boy of perhaps six or seven had climbed a tree and gone beyond the height he was confident to get back down from and I could hear his mother berating him for his lack of courage: “‘Don’t be so pathetic.’ ‘You really are being stupid.’ ‘What a wimp you’re being.’ ‘You really are useless.’”
It was awful to hear, but at the same time the words this used were the very same words I had heard countless people, both in my professional and personal life, use to berate or belittle their own efforts. You see, most people are terribly unkind to themselves. They make harsh judgements, engage in endless self-criticism and are unforgiving of even the smallest of failings. At the same time these people are often loving and kind parents, generous and encouraging friends, and supportive and committed colleagues. They give everyone else their best, only to give themselves their worst.
The Kindness Pact is about learning to treat yourself with the same kindness, love and respect you give the other important people in your life. When you keep the pact, you will build your self-confidence, nurture your self-esteem and have more energy to do what you want to do and be who you want to be.
What are some of the main ways to stay positive in this day and age?
The three best pieces of advice I have for staying positive and feeling happy are to:
- Be present: Learn from the past, plan for the future, but live in the moment. Focus your energy on making today the best day possible and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.
- Express your gratitude: Regardless of what you want or still want to achieve, appreciate all the wealth and abundance already in your life.
- Be generous: Give willingly and not just with your money. Be with your time and energy too. The more you give the more you receive.
Could you list a few different ways to turn an I can’t into I can?
The three most effective ways to turn an I can’t into an I can are:
- Reframe your ideas with logical thought based on facts. “If I follow a training plan I will build my endurance and be able to run a marathon.”
- Reform your thinking with affirmations: positive, present tense, personal statements. “I have run a marathon and I couldn’t be prouder of myself”
- Take action and prove yourself wrong! Start running, feel yourself getting fitter and stronger and realise that your goal is in reach.
How can our readers use these tips to change their outlook in the workplace?
- Reframe: The key to reframing most experiences in the workplace is not to personalise them.
If things aren’t going the way you want them to, don’t be a victim and think, “why is this happening to me?” Instead, acknowledge that it is happening and focus your energy on what you are going to do about it.
- Reform: Believe in yourself, your abilities and your potential to do well in the workplace.
The more authentically confident you are in the workplace, the better you will be treated and the faster you will progress. People want to work with people they can put their faith in and the fastest way to show them that they can believe in you is to believe in yourself.
- Take action: Be proactive about your career and the experience you want to have at work.
Seek out mentors and create your own learning agenda based on the path you want your career to follow. Learn to accept constructive feedback for what it is, feedback about the work you’ve done, not the person you are.
Many people find it difficult to say they’re happy. Why do you think these feelings are hard to vocalise?
A lot of happy people prefer to keep quiet about their happiness. They’re tired of being misunderstood and having people think that by saying “I’m happy,” they mean “my life is perfect” and that they are big-noting themselves in some way.
You see, most people are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. They think they’ll be happy when they’ve done this or got that; a promotion, a pay rise, a partner, a perfect figure, perfect kids, the perfect home. But true happiness is not a state of doing or having, it’s a state of being. Truly happy people know this and are happy regardless of the size of their house, bank balance or on label of the clothes they wear.
How can readers stay in touch with your tips when they’re constantly on-the-go?
Happiness is a choice, but you can’t just make it once. You can’t say: “Happiness… I think I’ll give that a try next Tuesday.” You need to choose to be happy every day and then continually and consistently make decisions that support that intention.
Before you go to bed each night, take a minute to express your gratitude for today and set your intention for tomorrow. When you wake up in the morning, before you leap out of bed and race around doing a million and one things, reconnect with your intention for the day and use this to anchor your day in positive way.
I also have a whole range of free resources at domoniquebertolucci.com, to help people get the life they want while loving the life they’ve got. These include downloadable workbooks, my free video course Life: Make the Most of Yours and the 100 Days Happier iPhone app which will send you an inspiring thought to help you to maintain your happiness each and every day.
Fans of the Australian hit show, Love Child, are in for a treat aligning with the DVD release of season two. SHESAID had the wonderful opportunity to chat with creator and producer, Sarah Lambert, about main themes of the series, how becoming a mother changed her perception of the world and some of her favourite characters from the show.
What was the initial inspiration behind Love Child?
People often ask where the idea for Love Child came from. If it came from a personal experience or something in my family. And the answer is yes, it does feel personal to me and I guess what drove me is Love Child is the kind of series I’ve always wanted to see on our screens. I’ve always felt the lack of female driven stories. Stories that looked at our history as women. Stories that illuminated our experiences as girls, sisters, mothers, aunts, friends, lovers, leaders, fighters…
I remember in terms of television the impact the miniseries Brides of Christ had on me as a teenager. Set in the 1960s, it told the story of a group of nuns in a fictitious inner city convent school in Sydney. Great writing and great female driven stories. And later films like Girl Interrupted– a film with Winona Ryder and a young Angelina Jolie about a girl entering a mental institution after suffering a breakdown in the 60s made a big impression.
Going inside these hidden, secretive places, watching the unlikely friendships that happen when girls from all backgrounds are brought together, shining a light on female friendships and different roles that we play over our lifetimes has always drawn me in as a viewer and a reader.
There’s another common denominator with those pieces is the 60s. I’ve always had a fascination for the period. Maybe because my elder brother and sister, fifteen years my senior, went through their teens in the 60s and early 70s. They’d regale my brother and I with stories of the Yellow house up in the Cross, parties and rallies.
It was the era that saw the birth of the civil rights movement, the rise of feminism – the amazing shifts in music, fashion and culture. Everything was being challenged and reinvented. In a world which is increasingly more conservative and rule bound, I guess part of me wanted to make a show about the 60s that would remind us all the revolution is sexy. To fight for what you believe in and fight for the rights of people, for peace, for the environment for those worse off than ourselves…
Beyond that the story of Love Child comes from something more profound. A moment from my childhood that had haunted me and that made me aware of a secret history of women in this country that was never discussed.
One Christmas when I was about eleven, we were at a close family friend’s house and there was a knock at the door. I opened it to find a woman in her late 20s outside. She introduced herself as the women we were staying with’s daughter, given up at birth. She’d been looking for her for years and finally tracked her down.
I’ll never forget my mother’s friend’s face. She went so pale. Her knees gave out from under her and she collapsed. No one, not her children or my mother or any of her friends knew anything about this lost daughter she’d had at 16. Sent away from Brisbane to Sydney to an unwed mother’s home in Darlinghurst – all alone at the most vulnerable moment in your life.
Their reunion was troubled and hard. So many incriminations, so much guilt and shame. Over the months that followed, I found out little snippets about what happened to her at the Unwed Mother’s Home and at the hospital. And it was a story that was repeated to me again when I started researching Love Child. It was harrowing to say the least. I was utterly horrified and scared by the stories. My mother said it was just what happened back then if you got yourself into trouble. Even at 11 I knew it was something that shouldn’t be talked about. It was too painful, too dangerous somehow.
So after that year, we never talked about it anymore. So cut to thirty years later when I read about the NSW inquiry into forced adoptions I was deeply interested. The report that came out from that inquiry was a staggering reading: 250,000 women had gone through this system from the late 50s to the early 80s. The experience of our family friend was replicated over and over on its pages. I knew then I wanted to tell this story.
How would you describe the second season for our readers?
The second season sees the original girls who were brought together at Stanton House, a home for Unwed mothers, finally all have their babies and have to deal with life after Stanton House. Can they go back to their old lives after everything they’ve been through? Or has the experience changed them forever?
It’s about finding chosen family – the sisterhood of these women bonded through such extremity and loss. It’s about all the characters forging new futures as they step into the 1970s when Australia was a cultural cross roads. The series also follows Joan’s new role as a resident at Kings Cross hospital facing the hurdles of being the only female resident in a very male dominated medical establishment.
The series explores the rise of feminism and the civil rights movement in Australia. Is this a topic you personally feel passionate about?
I do feel passionate about feminism and civil rights. It’s part of my attraction to the era of the late 60s and early 70s. You only have to look at the issues facing women in particular back in the late 60s and see how far we’ve come, and how much we take for granted as modern women.
You could only get the pill if you were married. There was no sex education to speak of. You were still expected to leave your job when you got hitched. Having a real career was challenging to say the least. Getting a loan from a bank as a single woman was impossible. Equal rights and pay were just slogans (still are really!) and single parents were pariahs who had no support. We’ve come a long way but there’s still a way to go.
Even in my lifetime so much has changed in society. My family split up when I was about four and my mother became a single mother of four children, moving back to Australia from the Phillipines. I remember her feeling very ashamed about leaving our Dad and how hard that was for even when it was the right thing to do. The only thing to do. We rented in house in Balmain and started again. It was the early 70s and I watched her struggle and ultimately forge a future for us.
She went back to school to get an education – thanks to Gough Whitlam – and went on to have an amazing career. It was an exciting and complicated time and we were exposed to lots of different ideas, people from all different walks of life. There were always political discussions going on and varied people coming together around the dinner table.
Watching her fight the battles she did for us and our future made me very aware of how incredibly lucky I was to born in an era where I could get an education, learn about my body, have choices about my reproductive future and plan to have a career in any field I could imagine. So much that we take for granted now was forged by ordinary women challenging the system and just going about trying to have a life. And that fight for basic rights and equality for all people goes on and we all need to be part of that struggle.
If you had to pick just one, who would be your favourite character and why?
That’s impossible question. It’s like picking a favourite out of your kids. I think each of the characters is unique and flawed. They are all people I can relate to even when they do crazy things. Maybe especially when they do crazy things. You create these characters then the actors make them live and breathe. I feel so blessed to have the cast we have as they’ve brought such unique qualities to each role. It’s amazing to see these characters growing and changing over each season.
Congratulations on the birth of your second child! How has being a mum of two changed your perception of life?
I think having children changes you in so many ways. I love spending time with them and find them so fascinating. Tom was a huge surprise. After I had Tilly I was told the chances of us ever conceiving again were less than 4 per cent. I had accepted that we would have one child and had moved on. So getting pregnant while doing Love Child was not on the agenda. He really is a miracle baby. I love watching them both grow up. All the different stages, seeing who they are as they emerge into the world.
It’s so precious and I feel so lucky to have been able to have children at my age that it really makes me question every job I take as to whether it’s worth spending time away from them. I feel like this time is so precious that my work has to really mean something. It has to be something I can believe in and feel passionate about. Something that I can show my kids and feel proud to have been part of.
So having children has changed how I approach everything. It’s given me a work test, I guess. If a project is going to take me away from these little beings I adore, I want it to be working with people I like, who inspire me; creating work that stretches me to be the best I can be and is work that has a truth and authenticity. Beyond that I think being a mother you get to play again – and that is a lot of fun. There’s a lot of daggy dancing and singing that goes on in our house and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Love Child Season 2, $39.95
Looking to get fit and healthy playing one of the world’s most popular sports?
Ultimate Soccer will be launching its state-of-the-art soccer facilities, that will bring the 5-a-side experience from the UK to Australia. Supported by the Football Federation of Australia and ex-Socceroo Brett Emerton, its flagship location is right in the heart of Fairfield, Western Sydney.
SHESAID chats with CEO of Ulimate Soccer, Emir Mani about the benefits of soccer, how to book your own pitch, and how the idea of Ultimate Soccer was initially created.
How did the idea for Ultimate Soccer first come about?
The inspiration for Ultimate Soccer emerged from a number of different thoughts I was having about 5 years aIntroducing go.
The first thought was ‘how am I going to evolve my music marketing business (that was fairly successful) with the advent of iTunes, Spotify and other digital offerings’?
My second thought was to move into a business area I am passionate about and love…
My third was a decent ‘brick and mortar’ business would combat investing into a new digital concept that could become obsolete a day, week, month later.
My fourth and final thought was the business idea and replicating the hugely successful UK 5 a-side football business model here in Australia. The reason it has been so popular is that the floodlighting, shorter game times and small team numbers make it more accessible and convenient for busy people that do not have the time to exercise due to work and family commitments.
The issue for me was not so much the about reinventing a brand new concept here in Australia. It was more about the right approach in terms of how do I raise $4m to build this thing, how will Australians respond to this new concept, will there be demand, how will I get the land etc.
Why do you think soccer has become such a much-loved, world game especially for women?
It is the most popular sport among both boys and girls at school (according to the ABS) so kids are familiar with the game and playing from an early age which helps.
It is a non-contact sport relative to rugby league/union and AFL and promotes good values, in terms of teamwork, discipline and skill development. This is important to parents to want to keep their kids active in a positive playing environment. The fact that it’s a very enjoyable game contributes to the popularity.
Why is it popular specifically with women, this is a tough one – it could be a number of factors including the success of the Matildas in the previous World and Asian Cups, it could be that Australia is a sports nation and women are not hung up with it being perceived as a male game which obviously it isn’t. Due to the popularity of the female game, accessibility to women’s football’s team could also be a reason. It is worth noting that there are more registered female football participants in Australia than in England, which is pretty amazing considering the difference in populations.
Who can partake in Ultimate Soccer, is there a specific age group or target?
At Ultimate Soccer we aim to appeal and to be accessible to men, women, over 35’s and kids across beginner, intermediate and advanced levels for league competitions. We wanted to ensure that we created an environment were people wanted to participate in the game regardless of age, gender or cultural backgrounds.
How important was it to hold the first flagship facility in Fairfield?
Pretty important…we knew that just half of all Australian people that play football occasionally and regularly resided in NSW with a heavy focus on Sydney (Roy Morgan). We just needed to find the perfect location within Sydney. Ideally it had to be in the home of football where demand would be strong and that be amongst the Western Sydney football community. It needed to have good transport links and be visible from adjacent main roads. Fairfield High School was particularly receptive and excited about the opportunity of getting a $4million facility and this made a big difference to our decision.
Are the fields open for training, or just a casual game with mates or work colleagues?
We offer one-hour pitch bookings for friends to play amongst themselves in a friendly environment or for local football teams to train, so you’re able to enjoy Ultimate Soccer in a casual or competitive capacity.
In addition, we offer one-day corporate events for team building exercises and for companies adjoined to a particular industry and adult bubble soccer for bucks and hens parties at weekends.
We have kids coaching, kids parties and kids bubble soccer. So there’s definitely something for everyone!
What type of health benefits does a simple game of soccer offer?
The high intensity nature of 5-a-side soccer ensures a quality cardiovascular and muscular workout. The game will build long-term fitness, burns fat, lowers cholesterol and reduces blood pressure. Professor peter Krustrup from the University of Copenhagen said, “Playing 5 a side football is healthier than running or lifting weights. The intensity and range of movements involved in the game, including kicks, twists, turns and sprints, provide better overall exercise, according to a series of studies. And five-a-side is more beneficial than a full-scale game, as it ensures that all players get a vigorous workout.” So its health benefits have even been scientifically proven.
What’s next for Ultimate Soccer? Do you have any plans to open pitches in other locations?
Yes we certainly do. The company objective is to launch a further 10 sites in the next 10 years. We have a pipeline of 4 other sites and will be monitoring the first site in Fairfield closely before activating a full-scale expansion strategy.
For more information or to book your own pitch, visit: www.ultimatesoccer.com.au
Who doesn’t love to be spoiled with a bouquet of flowers at work? Little Flowers is a local Sydney start-up offering a unique bunch of flowers for $30 each day – this includes free delivery to almost anywhere in Sydney.
Australia’s fastest growing online florist operates from a garage in Marrickville and offers some of the most amazing floral combinations you’ve ever seen. Simply log onto the website, choose the flowers of the day and send a sweet note to a loved one! SHESAID chatted with Sarah and Chris about leaving their jobs and starting their own successful business.
How did the idea of Little Flowers come about?
Co-founders Ben Sampson, John Kane, Chris Berents and myself realised there was a huge gap in the market. From our own experiences we knew that while it was really awesome to get flowers, we didn’t send them as often as we’d like to because they were really quite expensive. They were also big. And awkward – and sometimes a huge bouquet wasn’t right for the occasion. My partner, Chris, would often send me “just because” flowers and while I felt incredibly lucky to get them, a part of me also felt quite guilty because I knew they would have cost him an arm and a leg and unfortunately, they were going to die in a few days.
The four of us met in advertising and were very good friends. So when we unearthed the idea of taking the ‘bigness’ out of the flower industry, we all got very excited about the possibilities and potential, and quickly began developing the concept.
We loved the thought of making flower delivery more accessible and something that people could do for any reason, big or small, serious or ridiculous, and knew we could have a lot of fun with it. For me personally, the whole concept was also really exciting because it appealed to my emotional side. I loved that I would be helping to spread smiles across the city by delivering these messages and beautiful little bunches of flowers.
What was it like quitting your job and starting in another industry?
It was nerve-wracking, on one hand. I’d been in advertising for over ten years and I felt I was really going against the grain to throw it all in. In retrospect, I’m sure my friends and family must have been quietly questioning my decision to jump ship, as it was quite out of character. But it was time. I felt ready to try something new and to explore other possibilities.
I told myself I could always go back to it later and that I could just think of this as a ‘sabbatical year.’ Not that I intended to, but the idea of turning my back on the familiar and going into the complete unknown was, in some ways, quite terrifying! But I was so utterly passionate about this idea and really, really excited about the possibility of running my own business. It felt audacious, but the possibility of making it a reality was exceptionally enticing. I couldn’t die wondering. None of us could.
What is the most rewarding part about starting your own business?
Well, I find this hard to describe, but I think overall the best thing is this sense of ‘wow.’ It’s a combined feeling of satisfaction, relief, excitement and possibility. I think it’s human nature to sometimes doubt what we are capable of, so to see your dreams come to fruition is immensely rewarding – and what’s more, it makes you excited about what else you could be capable of in the future.
If you had to do it over again, what are some dos and don’ts you would suggest to others in your position?
- Dare to dream.
- Back yourself.
- Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your idea.
- Hire people who can do what you can’t.
- Look after yourself and look after the people who work with you.
- Stop to celebrate all the victories of your business, big and small.
- Be true to yourself and your brand.
- Be scared to ask for help. Starting your own business is a steep learning curve and a huge workload. You can’t do everything yourself.
- Be too hard on yourself. Most small business owners at some point get overwhelmed with the enormity of what they are trying to achieve. Break the big tasks down and just keep chipping away.
- Be scared of making mistakes. You learn more through your mistakes than anything else.
How important is social media in spreading the word about your business?
Really important. We don’t have a shop front, so it’s our way of meeting, connecting and conversing with our customers and our beloved Little Flowers community. Ever since we launched, we have posted the day’s flowers to social media channels to announce what’s available and it’s a lovely way to keep our customers up-to-date with the fun things that are happening behind the scenes.
What’s next for Little Flowers – spill!
We’ve just opened our delivery zone to Chatswood and we’re planning to keep extending to new suburbs in Sydney over the course of 2015 – and then, hopefully a little further afield in 2016… Watch this space!
Who knew that this wasn’t the first collaboration between street wear label, Vans, and another amazing media and entertainment company which we have all grown up with? SHESAID chatted exclusively with the team behind the collaboration of Vans and Disney about those pieces men, women and children need to get their hands on.
Could you tell us about the collaboration with Disney?
Vans is revisiting a collaboration from our past. This isn’t the first time we worked with our neighbour down the street. The relationship with Disney started in the ’70s with Vans producing shoes for Disney employees, which over time lead to the collaboration with the fab-five characters printed on Vans shoes in the ’80s and ’90s.
What are some of the must-have pieces from this particular collection?
I think this is a personal choice as each character has a special place in all of our hearts. I’m personally a big fan of Winnie the Pooh, but I’m attracted to the bold styling of the Donald Duck Authentic.
There seems to be something for men, women, and children. What’s next for Vans? Any future collaborations you could share with our readers?
We can’t share anything yet, but I don’t think this is the last time we’ve seen something special come from Disney and Vans.
How does a collaboration like this occur? Could you give us some insight into the creative process?
We have a long standing relationship with the Disney and their design crew. I don’t remember who came to who, but it all happened very organically over time. When we all aligned on the characters, our team filled a large wall with ideas. When we narrowed it down, we submitted the ideas to the Disney crew and collaborated on ideas to push the concepts farther and incorporate some of Vans heritage into each design.
It was true Disney magic!
Where can our readers get their hands on the product?
The Disney ‘Young at Heart’ collection can be purchased from all Classic wholesale accounts and Vans retail stores. Enjoy!
Want to personalise your greeting cards without spending a small fortune? Mango Salute has completely changed the game by supporting up-and-coming artists and providing high-quality greeting cards and stationary for all occasions. SHESAID chatted with Shoshana Jones-Resnik about starting the company with her brother and found out what’s next for the brand in 2015.
Tell us how Mango Salute first started?
Mango Salute started almost as a game. Ariel (my brother) was always travelling and we moved around a bit. We noticed that our friends and family in the places we left felt a little neglected and as our friends started to spend more time on devices they all seemed to get lonelier.
We also noticed that the reason we had such great relationships was due to an emphasis my parents paid to written communication. Whenever we went to camp, my parents would send us letters for every day we were away – and my sister’s often got in on the action by sending riddles and drawings and other activities. Written apologies and thank you notes were also common in our house and of course, books were everywhere.
People don’t need much to feel happy and loved. Beautiful written communication made a big difference to anyone we sent cards to, so Mango Salute was our way of making this accessible to everybody.
What are some of your favourite card designs to date?
Card design choices are entirely subjective. I am a very intense, rather grounded person, with a twisted sense of humor. Which gives me a bias towards deep colours and strong lines which you will see in my three favourite designs (ok four – it was so hard to pick).
Golden Hair by Jesse Treece – well really anything by Jesse! He is one of those artists who just has a great sense of humour and I love his style. I sent this to a friend as an AMAZING JOB / CONGRATULATIONS CARD. I can tell you she had worked insanely hard and had amazing results. So this was the perfect representational piece for her at that moment.
Okay, I am a bit cheeky for this one – Full Moon by Ish Gordon. I like to use this as my default encouragement card. No, ladies and gents, it isn’t over till the fat lady sings!
You have got to laugh at the Irony! King by Randi Antonsen is a mixed media piece perfect for those times your friend thinks he is king of the hill, but then realises he was just following a path laid out for him. My sister’s husband got a good chuckle from this one:
This is for all my friends in the mad house! Whatever stage of crazy my friends are currently experiencing – this card seems to be multipurpose for almost any situation.
Can anyone contribute their designs to Mango Salute?
We have an open door policy for artists submissions, which means artists can come from all walks of life and come from over 30 different countries.
Whilst the submission process is open, we have quality control in place through our art directors. Our art directors carefully select only the best quality images (because we want you to have premium quality greeting cards) and double check content to ensure it matches with our values.
Where can our readers purchase some of the cards?
Wherever you are in the world, we will print and send them to you via your closest printer. All of our fine art cards can be purchased on www.mangosalute.com
Can you share what’s next for Mango Salute in 2015?
Mango Salute is in for an exciting few months. We have just launched our YouTube channel and are expanding our range of cards significantly. The Youtube channel is instructional – it gives best practices, step-by-step and various insights so that everybody can create great quality communication pieces. It also looks at how communication can enhance your relationships both socially and commercially.
Whilst the Youtube channel builds your know how, we are working hard to ensure that our art range is growing to meet more individual’s needs. We are focusing on growing the artwork to be more diverse culturally. From Muslim to indigenous artwork we know each culture has its own ways of telling stories through art, and we would like to embrace them all.
I can’t tell you more than that at present, but there are a number of great things coming up – so keep your eyes peeled!
Since its inception, Santa Vittoria is known for its low-sodium selection of beverages, especially the Acqua Minerale which is bottled at the source in Northern Italy.
The low-sodium range is perfect for mixing with your favourite cocktail, cooling-off on a warm day, or simply keeping the fridge stocked with a sparkling beverage. Either way you want to look at it, this third generation family-owned business is still as popular as ever.
We chatted to the brand to find out exactly what’s next, the inspiration behind the famous packaging, and of course, the best cocktail pairings!
What makes Santa Vittoria such a fashionable beverage?
Santa Vittoria is the must have accessory to get you through balmy summer evenings and scorching hot beach days! Available in still or lightly sparking and a selection of delicious sodas, Santa Vittoria will hydrate you in style.
Fess up! How does Santa Vittoria differ from other waters on the market, what’s your secret?
Santa Vittoria is one of the purest waters available and is bottled at the source in Northern Italy. The purity of the water, along with the extremely low sodium content makes it the perfect accompaniment to any dining experience.
Not to mention the stunning packaging, what is the story behind the famous label on each bottle of water, sodas, and mixers?
The painting featured on the label of the Santa Vittoria bottle is Alexandre Cabanel’s best known work – The Birth of Venus (1863). This painting was chosen to convey the purity associated with Santa Vittoria natural mineral water. The elegance of the Santa Vittoria label makes it stands out from other waters and sodas.
What’s the best way to incorporate Santa Vittoria into a classic cocktail drink?
The selection of Santa Vittoria sodas are the perfect mixer to any classic cocktail drink. Incorporate the fruit nectars for a sweeter cocktail or stick with our soda mixers for a classic drink such as a gin and tonic or a vodka soda.
What are some of the best meals to accompany a glass of lightly sparkling Santa Vittoria water?
Anything and everything! Santa Vittoria is the perfect compliment to any meal as its natural flavour does not alter the flavours of your meal.
Could you share what’s coming up in 2015 for Santa Vittoria?
The upcoming summer is going to be a huge one for Santa Vittoria! We will be partnering with some of the hottest fashion, food and lifestyle brands to ensure Santa Vittoria is at all of the right summer soirees.
Amidst the craziness that was Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia , SHESAID had an amazing opportunity to chat with Jennifer McCloy – the mastermind behind Australian fashion label Jennifer Kate.
If you just can’t wait to get your hands on some of these designs, we are thrilled to announce that the runway looks are available this week through our friends at The Iconic.
Congratulations on the recent collection at MBFWA! What inspired you this season?
The collection this season is made up of the most buttery soft leathers, structured silhouettes and easy-to-wear suedes, and we have made the range very wearable – translating the fundamental beauty of the natural fibres to make leather relevant for any climate, any occasion.
As such, I would have to say our biggest inspiration is the people around us, what they are wearing and what they are enjoying.
Talk us through the design process. How does an idea or sketch turn into a finished garment?
We have a strong focus on tailoring, and it took us a long time to find suppliers that met with our standards. We have built incredibly strong relationships with all of our suppliers – they understand that we have high standards and they deliver on these for us.
If I am going to be honest, I would have to admit that they are likely to be frustrated by us at times, as we are often sending things back a number of times until it is completely perfect.
What is your favourite or must-have piece from the collection and why.
It’s hard to pick, but one piece I wear constantly is the Suede Capelet Blazer. With its strong shoulders, it is one of those pieces that can be thrown on with any outfit and really dresses it up to make a statement.
If you could see anyone wear one of your designs, who would it be?
I love Kate Moss. I know that’s a very standard answer, but no one can argue that she is the perfect balance between classic beauty and a little rock edge. Seeing Kate in a Jennifer Kate suede piece would be a dream.
What’s a typical day in the life of Jennifer Kate?
I always make sure I fit in some sort of exercise – there is always time, and I think that it is important to have that individual time to yourself every day. I think it is a good reminder that life is not always about deadlines and meetings, and that we need to all remember that. I also speak to my parents, who live in country New South Wales every day.
Lastly, when can we get our hands on the latest collection?
We are so excited to be collaborating with The Iconic to bring our runway collection to Australian consumers almost instantly! With the success of our collection internationally, we are super excited to be bringing it to Australian consumers – so excited in fact, that we couldn’t wait the usual six months after Fashion Week. Our runway collection will be shoppable for Australians this week – and we could not be working with a stronger partner than The Iconic.
As the leading online destination for Australian fashion lovers, The Iconic has been such a huge supporter of our business from the beginning and we are thrilled to be working alongside them to bring our collection to Australian shoppers – quickly, seamlessly and direct from the runway.
Images via Lucas Dawson
Ever wanted some exclusive tips on how to create the perfect contour and highlight from a makeup artist to the stars?
SHESAID recently chatted with Los Angeles-based makeup artist Lilit Caradanian about all things beauty, her makeup master classes in Australia, and who she would love to give a makeover.
How did you first get started as a makeup artist?
Good question! My mum has actually been a hair stylist for about 35 years now. So I decided to go to makeup school just for fun, help her out, and do some makeup and hair together.
So it started off as a hobby?
Definitely! It started off just for fun.
What is your favourite look to create on someone else?
I like the effortless glam. A beautiful face, flawless canvas, emphasis on the lashes, and gorgeous brows. Enhancing someone’s natural features is my favourite type of look.
What are some of the most common makeup mistakes you see other people make?
I would probably say that the most common mistake is not blending the contour enough! So you actually see the lines all around the face. Another thing would probably be not blending the eyeshadow enough either. I guess the key word there would be blending!
How long do you need to blend? I feel like many women have that problem.
Yeah, it’s a little tricky. If you blend too much, you can over-blend and get rid of everything you’ve done. So, try to blend until you don’t see anymore lines.
What are some of your favourite blending brushes to use?
I use brushes from every brand actually. I have a few different precision brushes from a variety of different brands that I cannot live without. There’s nothing specific or from one particular brand.
What are a few tips every girl needs to achieve the perfect cheek contour?
You definitely need a transitional colour, that is the key. I know that the average girl does not have the background knowledge of contouring, so they just take a dark colour and line it all over their face.
But you actually need a transitional colour because the dark colour needs a medium shade in order to blend into the skin. If you’re using contour powder, you also need to use a bronzer along with it.
Do you have any tips for girls with thin or over-plucked eyebrows?
There are actually some great products and pomades that are long-lasting, so your eyebrows aren’t melting off after a few hours on a hot day. Try to keep it very natural and very soft, it’s all about layering the product and not going too heavy with it.
Regardless if it’s a pencil, powder, or gel, you want to keep it subtle and make sure to layer the product.
How can you achieve a perfect highlight without looking too greasy?
There are actually very subtle highlighters instead of the shimmery ones, so you can use something like the MAC Cosmetics Mineralise Skinfinish ($47). They have a little bit of sheen and they give the cheek a subtle glow without all of the glitter.
Do you think it’s all about layering the product, as opposed to loading too much on the brush?
Yes, absolutely! It’s all about layering the product, and if you are going to use shimmer, then it has to be one that suits your skin type. If you have oily skin, you can’t go for a shimmery product all over the face because it will look very muddy.
You’re currently in Australia for a series of makeup master classes. How do you think this would help women with their makeup?
I think it will help them tremendously because all of the girls that are attending actually are makeup artists, and they’re all amazing! But there are little tips and tricks that will completely change the finished product. It’s not so much about what you’re using, but how you’re using it.
And finally, (past or present) who are some women you would love to makeover?
Absolutely, Kim Kardashian! She is the queen and the pioneer of the most trendiest makeup looks, and she has the perfect features for them. That is someone that I’ve always looked up to as a guru in the makeup world.
What about an icon from the past?
For me, the iconic beauty has always been Sophia Loren. She would be the ideal face for me.
Celebrity makeup artist, Lilit Caradanian is currently in Australia running an exclusive series of masterclasses for WeddedWonderland (www.weddedwonderland.com), the country’s leading online wedding magazine.
You’ve probably heard about the hydraluron series before. So far there are 3 miracle products in the line created by Indeed Labs: a moisture serum, a moisture mask, and a jelly moisturiser. All provide easy ways to achieve softer, smoother skin.
We speak to the woman behind the mind of Indeed Labs, Dia Foley, who has created some of the most nourishing products which tackle common skincare problems at any age.
How important is Hydraluron in a daily skincare routine?
There are a few key ingredients in cosmetics that truly help affect the appearance of our skin. One of those ingredients is hyaluronic acid. It not only helps to increase skin moisture after just one application, it also acts like a sponge attracting moisture. So it also boosts the performance of your topical moisturizer. Most consumers don’t realise that hyaluronic acid comes in a varying degrees of quality. At Indeed, we always provide the best quality of ingredients as well as the highest level of actives.
If one of our SHESAID readers could only purchase one product from Indeed Labs, what should it be – and why?
It’s like favoring a child, it’s impossible.. since Indeed is not set up like a traditional regime brand, and we develop our products to address individual skincare concerns, every person’s needs are unique. However as I travel across the globe, everyone (woman and man) I meet mostly suffers from dehydrated skin. So I always recommend our hydraluron skin series, these are essential hydrating products that are great for all skin types.
Insider Tip: Always use the hydraluron moisture serum first before all other products.
Do you have any insider tips on how to best care for your skin?
Exfoliate at least once a week. It will help smooth out your skin and allow your products to penetrate better.
Insider Tip: Before bed, face-washing is never optional.
If you skip this step your skin can’t perform its restorative processes during the night, which ages your facial skin over time. I keep my serums next to my toothbrush so I never forget to apply!
What are some common misconceptions that women have about their skincare?
One of the reasons we were inspired to create Indeed Labs was to let women know that fancy jars and gold spoons don’t mean better skincare results! Quality of ingredients and good formulas with high actives gives you results, and at the end of the day that’s what matters!
The other point I really want to stress is that if we want to see results we must commit to using our products consistently! You didn’t get that wrinkle in one day so using products for a few weeks isn’t going to give your skin a chance to see results.
Could you let our readers know of any new and exciting things that are in works for Indeed Labs?
We are always searching for new products! As I mentioned earlier, we build on brand on finding products that answer our consumers concerns. We are super excited about our line-up for 2015! You won’t be disappointed!
Ambition Fashion is a recently established e-boutique offering unique and fresh designs so you’re always looking on-trend. Created by Kirsty Dayment, the online store stocks both mens and women’s clothes and accessories, which are always up to date and available nationwide. Read our exclusive interview with Kirsty below, to find out more about Ambition Fashion, and how to start-up your own e-boutique.
How and when did you first launch Ambition Fashion?
Ambition Fashion launched eight weeks ago but like anything worthwhile, it’s been in the works for a long time. I’ve been running my first company, Ambition Models for 12 years now, and as you know, modelling and fashion go hand in hand. A while ago, I was talking to a designer who desperately wanted to break into the industry and start a label, but they were a bit lost on their next step. Then funnily enough, I spoke to another designer, and they had the same problem. I then realised I had the capability, knowledge and contacts to help these talented people and the concept of Ambition Fashion was born – not only was it going to be an online retail store, but it was also going to have an agency aspect to it. That’s one of the many reasons on what sets us apart from other online fashion retailers.
With your recent success, could you share some tips for women looking to start up their own online boutique?
I think people misjudge how much work goes on behind the scenes, so anyone wanting to start up any business needs to do their research before even deciding if it’s something they truly want to pursue. Specifically for setting up an online boutique thought, a major tip is to know your competition – can other people wanting what you’re selling access it from another place? What differentiates you from them? How are you going to make someone purchase from you instead?
Other things to keep in mind is how realistic does your product play into people’s lives? Everybody wears clothes, but fashion is a luxury. You want designs that people will actually wear and implement in their lives, or at least want to.
Deciding to ride solo or form a partnership is also vital – even if you decide to take the journey alone, you’re going to need help from other people, so those end up becoming partnerships in a way too. Choosing those people based on their capability to maximise your brand’s potential is what I deem to be the most important value. Lastly, remember to set achievable goals, and don’t forget to have fun!
With plenty of emerging designers already on board, how do you find these unique and often up and coming collections to feature on your store?
Having a strong interest in supporting local labels is a big factor, but also websites like The Loop has become helpful, and of course, Instagram! Now that I have launched, designers have started coming to me, so it really proved that I was right in knowing there are lots of talent out there that just needed the right people to guide and help them to their full success. But back to social media – it really has changed the fashion industry in so many ways. It’s given designers a whole new channel for them to be promoted and noticed on.
The website also offers a fashion insider aspect, which really sets it apart from other websites. How important it is to identify these trends to your readers and future customers?
I’ve always said Ambition Fashion is a multi-faceted business. We’re a fashion agency, we have a retail store front and our online boutique also have a fashion blog aspect to it. At the end of the day, anyone can sell something on the internet, but we actually work really hard to make it a community. Fashion Insider helps us establish a relationship with our customers but also people who are curious about us – we claim we know our stuff, and I think Fashion Insider is further evidence of that. Both the blog and the newsletter has a real ‘editorial’ splash on it and I’ve built my team based on people with that experience. I know I sound biased, but the newsletter really is different to any other newsletter you get from an online fashion boutique – it’s almost like a slice of a magazine.
Could you share a little bit of what’s next for Ambition Fashion?
Well I can’t give too much away, as surprises are always fun and more exciting, however I can reveal the Ambition team is growing. We’re constantly finding ways to improve and if you’ve been reading our newsletters, you could definitely attest to that.
Something else I can share is two of the designers that I represent, DANYELLE shoes and streetwear label Beautiful Kaos are in the midst of shooting their look books for SS14, so keep an eye out – you will definitely be hearing more of them soon.
In the lead-up to spring, we have enlisted celebrated chef, restaurateur and food writer Karen Martini to chat about just some of her favourite dishes of the season. Lighter meals such as soups, salads and beans are a must since they won’t weigh you down but still keep you feeling full and satisfied. Keep reading for our exclusive interview with Karen Martini, and to find out her number one ingredient for most meals.
What are some of your favourite meals to prepare in the lead-up to spring?
A soup a week at the moment! Usually one with a chicken base broth-style. My latest soup recipe is a lima bean, ham hock and leek, which is quite nice for winter. I accentuate the flavours using smoked paprika. Traditional Minestrone never goes astray too!
Everyone wants a quick and healthy dinner recipe. What meal would you recommend if someone doesn’t have much time?
Apart from the obvious stir-fry; which is not a go to for me, I think quick grilled lamb cutlets and a salad are my favourite. Spaghetti with chilli, garlic, lemon and spinach is always speedy (available in my new cookbook KM Home).
Could you describe some of your favourite lunch and dinner recipes?
Truthfully… my next book is all my favourite dishes; it was shot off my kitchen bench! I am big on salad and vegetables, mixing it up with new herbs, grains and spices. A whole baked fish with bay and lemon is a favourite, and grilled whole fish if you can get your head around it.
What is one essential ingredient that people can use in every single meal?
Let’s just say my kitchen bench is never without a good salt, a good olive oil, lemons and garlic.
With spring just around the corner, what are some light and healthy meals we should be eating?
With spring around the corner, a substantial breakfast is a must. Start the day off right with super foods and supplements. Special K Nourish is perfect for this – full of nutritious ingredients such as quinoa, pepitas, almonds and cranberries. Another favourite is mine is poached eggs, avocado and feta on toast. Throw nuts and pepitas in there for texture and flavour.