It’s a rarity (read, ‘never’) that Helena and I get to see and feel our events from the perspective of our attendees. That was exactly what we did at Pursue Your Passion for Mums, and what a privilege it was. Hence, why we are writing this blog post today and not sourcing one of the amazing bloggers we would have usually approached to do the honours (also because we kinda forgot about it before the event;)).
A sunny day, set in the garden surrounds and function room of Osteria, Casuarina, on the Tweed Coast, on Saturday 27th February, our 200+ guests were all high-vibing - mostly kid-free - in celebration of all it means to be a creative, passionate, entrepreneurial mum.
While Pursue Your Passion (PYP) is the flagship annual event in our suite of smaller inspirational events bearing the same name, the idea for a PYP specifically for the mamas came to us some time ago. We knew it had to be birthed at the right time. A true reflection of our journey as mothers to young children in need of inspiration to support our entrepreneurial pursuits and transition to stay-at-home mums, we embodied every aspect of the event. We sourced the speakers to address the struggles of us, and many like us, in trying to achieve balance amongst child-wrangling and ambition. We wanted a stellar line-up of women, mothers also, that would fly the flag for a wide demographic of mothers, from those new mothers with ideas or start-ups, to mothers with already quite successful established brands, to those who would simply like to be mothers and maybe pursue a creative endeavor one day. The result was a speaking panel which comprised an eclectic mix of personalities from varying walks of life and industries, that shared their journeys and strategies on how they made it all work, within reason, in the hope that our audience would interpret and adopt learnings for their own situations.
A garden soiree set the scene for a relaxed day, with ladies donning drinks in hand, canapés being enjoyed, the meeting of new friends, the catching-up of old ones, business cards being circulated and smiling faces being snapped (and Snapchatted). Under the lively chatter of our happy guests, Triple J unearthed artist Jackson James Smith provided a cool and melodic arrangement of chilled acoustic tunes – his soundtrack contributing to the mellow, connected and uplifting mood of the whole day.
We then moved into the cool, air-conditioned comfort of the Osteria function room, dimly lit with fairy lights, complemented by greenery arrangements by THP co-founder and stylist Helena. If a mantra could have been attached to the whimsical atmosphere created in that room it would have been, “anything is possible”. Guests took their seats on padded Americana chairs hosting goodness bags housing the divine treats of Lunch Lady Magazine, Cocobella coconut water, The Bar Counter raw snack bars, Coco Daydream smelly balls, Dermalogica lotion by RY, Byron Bay Tea and TOM Organic sanitary products.
Our MC for the day - as she usually does - proved she is far more than meets the eye as a well-respected TV icon. Shelley Craft is the consummate professional. She was born to be on the stage, delivering messages, and doing so in a cheerful, positive manner. What many may not know about Shelley is that she is not only the real deal but she is brimming with soul. She stood grounded and at-one with everyone that she interacted with at the event, whether attendee/fan, staff member or one of the speakers. She has the belief that we are all equal and we are all worthy of what we desire in our lives – a belief, which, before we even knew it, was the attractant behind our relentless requests to work with her 18 months ago. We just love Shelley, and even more that she said “yes” to aligning with THP! Shelley carried herself perfectly in the role of MC, creating a beautiful flow between speakers, audience reactions, intermission and Q&A. As the epitome of an ambitious mother, her insights were highly regarded and very welcomed by all.
Our first speaker, Kimberley Welman, was an unassuming source of inspiration. Known more widely as Stay Strong Mummy, a brand which she built on the back end of having three children within 19 months (yes it IS actually possible!), Kimberley is also a business owner and health and wellbeing advocate. She is also as down-to-earth yet determined as they come.
She kicked off the session with a meditation, which allowed everyone to just let go and surrender to anything holding them back from being fully present in the room. It set the tone for a moving and purposeful speech where we were given wonderful insights into how she effectively manages to run her businesses, her household, cater to her children and still find time not only for herself but also her relationship. We loved her Friday night strategy: no day sleeps in order for the children to go down early, so that she and her husband can enjoy a bottle of wine and sacred time together! Pure genius!
Next up were a sister act that did not disappoint. Emma Henderson and Victoria Beattie are a couple of salt-of-the-earth sisters – funny, smart and beautiful - who literally grew up on a boat, and had the most incredibly fun and carefree childhood. They exposed how their hugely popular brand, The Beach People, came about, and took us on their journey from establishment, to how they answer every single email they receive (amazing customer service, right?!), how they defined their roles within the business, to going big and setting up office in LA. We loved hearing about how entrepreneurship was a natural part of life for them, with parents who had several businesses and who weren’t afraid of hard work or risk.
As much as the event was about inspiring, networking, connecting and enjoying the stunning atmosphere (and having a cheeky champagne), its intention was also to shine a light on the challenges and struggles of mums in pursuit of their soul’s calling.
Tahl Rinsky truly showed us her soul. Her story was raw and beautiful – at times making us laugh, at times making us cry, but most of all, making us feel. The Israeli-born, Byron-dwelling yogini and portrait photographer found an outlet to share her message via her Instagram account, Trinsky Yoga, but as Tahl exposed, the sharing of her passions on Instagram became a channel for self-expression and self-healing. We were also treated to a beautiful poem about transformation, something that resonated deeply with the audience.
The day was wrapped with our final speaker – THE Fitness Food Motivator who has amassed a worldwide following in helping to inspire better health and movement in people, Dani Stevens. Dani is a natural motivator. She is bubbly and flamboyant on stage, where she feels naturally feels at home. Dani shared with us how her website Dani Stevens.com, combined with her health and wellbeing journey as a mum of four kids, was something that evolved organically out of her love and passion for motivating others. Dani discussed openly how she had successfully used social media and the power of the hashtag to attract popular lifestyle brands and key influencers to her cause. The biggest take-home message: just ask!
The day ended with a live Q&A with the panel and Shelley, where we gained a little more understanding into the inner workings of these successful women.
Overall, it was a beautiful day filled with wonderful people and positive vibes. Helena and I are very blessed to be able to see our creative visions come to life, which takes months and months, sometimes years to plan the full process.
You may or may not be aware that we work on THP - in some capacity - every day. This is both our calling and our job. We are also mummies and have other passion projects and commitments outside of THP. This is not to give ourselves a pat on the back - it is far from glamorous working solo with kids at your feet and is serious hard work. We say this to disclose that pursuing your passions and making a career of them (as all of our speakers at the event proved) is actually possible. It's just about making it work for you - in your time, your way and in accordance with your personal philosophy, honouring your truth and juggling the stuff that comes up in between work and #mumlife. It's challenging, and we are constantly raising, lowering and moving the bar to create the balance. Even then we are rarely successful. But we are human, and we get that life is a series of constant challenges, joys and learnings. However, when there's a light inside of you desperate to be shone, we feel there's no point suppressing it, because sooner or later, it's going to find its way out into the world. Otherwise, it may actually disappear. Which is scarier? For us, we'd rather feel the fear and do it anyway, than to not have done it at all.
So if you're wondering whether to answer the call of your passion, that yearning deep within you, to take that leap or not, our advice? Do it. There is SO much good on the other side of fear!
A huge thanks must again go to our event ambassadors and incredible speakers from PYP 2015 - Lizzy Abegg, Michelle Cassidy and Lisa Fitzpatrick, as well as our amazing sponsors:
Peppers at Salt
Lunch Lady Magazine
The Bar Counter
Byron Bay Tea Company
The Wholesome Hair Spa
Ivy Road Photography
We were very happy to donate a portion of the event proceeds to our charity of choice and wonderful cause, The Starlight Children’s Foundation.
AND our staff, which are made up of our family members and best friends whom without we could not do what we do: Angie, Lauren, Miranda, Elisha and Di. We love you and are so grateful for you!
Lots of love, and dream big, always,
Kristal & Helena x