Eleanor Pendleton // The nitty gritty of founding Gritty Pretty
I flew to Sydney last week to chat with one of the most tenacious, well-rounded and motivating young women, Eleanor Pendleton, and we got along like a house on fire. Eleanor is the founder of Australia’s first dedicated online beauty magazine, Gritty Pretty, known for its pioneering beauty without the bullshit coverage of the industry.
I LOVE her story so much not least because unlike many of us who still don’t really know where we’re heading, Eleanor has always known she wanted to end up in magazines and beauty and wasted no time getting there. She entered the workforce at 19 having landed a job at Cosmopolitan halfway through her qualification, under Sarah Wilson and under the mentorship of Zoe Foster Blake. She then became the youngest beauty editor Australia has seen for FAMOUS magazine when she was just 20 and the moved on to the more global In Style magazine where she found her dream job.
But her insatiable thirst for growth and challenge soon had her itching for more, so she resigned and revived her old blog Gritty Pretty, which is now four years into an incredibly successful journey. So excited to share our chat from the beautiful Freshwater on the Northern beaches.
Nic Davidson // My seriously smart, silly, sport-loving, serial entrepreneur of a fiancé
As for his bio which I’ve had to write many a time, it still astounds me all the things he’s managed to squeeze into his 34 years. I don’t think he gives himself enough credit for most parts of the story, so I’ve tried to weasel some of it out of him. Starting off as a country boy in outer Devonport, Tasmania, Nic’s a serial entrepreneur and often laughs at how he’s never actually had a real job. His first career was as an international athlete which took him all over the world and, as mentioned in Jana’s episode, he was Jana Pittman’s training partner on his own Olympic journey until ongoing injury stopped his career short. On returning to Melbourne, he was poached from his retail job into the night club scene where he really cut his business teeth building Baroq House into its glory days and let me queue jump which is the romantic story of how we met. While there was definitely a lot of partying, he and his team started to develop their own marketing and design skills to take things in-house, which eventually morphed into his current full service digital agency, the Bushy Creative.
His self-teaching and inner dork has gone to such lengths that Nic’s tech skills ventured even as far software development and he’s had two full scale tech spin offs that he talks about in the episode. He’s also got an aerial asset capture business taking photos out of helicopters and that’s all before Matcha Maiden or Matcha Mylkbar were even a dot on the horizon. So sometimes, he’s a very serious tech head businessman but most of the time he’s a serial joker – life is NEVER boring when Nic’s around. He’s the sole reason I was able to leave law for my funtrepreneur life and turned this regimented, conservative lawyer into a crazy adventurer. His abs aren’t bad either, as you’ve probably noticed. This was the hardest episode I’ve done so far as I’m way too close to be objective so hopefully I’ve done him justice! Introducing, Nic Davidson…
Janine Allis // From sailing with the stars to smoothies and startups
She is now the founder of Retail Zoo which is the mother company not only of Boost Juice, but also, as of 2007, Salsas and another business she founded, Cibo Espresso, which has since been acquired in 2012. Retail Zoo turned over just on $2 billion dollars (as of May 2018) with over 630 stores in 15 countries, sales of over $250m per annum and 7000 staff.
Unsurprisingly, she has been recognised as Telstra Business Women of the Year, Amex Retailer of the year, Awarded Exporter of the year and this year BRW named her one of fifteen people that changed the way Australia does business in the last 35 years. She works alongside husband Jeff Allis and is a mother of four. I was lucky enough to speak alongside Janine recently in Fiji at Nurture Her and was captivated by her energy, sense of humour and wisdom. So excited to have her hear today for an express episode that we squeezed in to her crazy schedule to kick start your year and give 2019 a boost!
Jana Pittman // From hurdles to Huggies to her Hippocratic Oath
If Jana didn’t already have you in awe, she is also a Mum of three, author of Just Another Hurdle, motivational speaker and… wait for it… FUTURE DOCTOR currently undergoing her studies in Medicine. She will graduate with several different degrees (likely top of her class the way things are going) and is doing her Masters and Honours in different things at the same time while also undergoing charity work with various organisations including the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation. Her incredible achievements are too many to list and I can only imagine that her motivation and drive will continue to shine through in her medical career.
Fun fact – Nic was her training partner way back and a groomsman at her wedding and I’m so lucky to have known the absolute powerhouse that is Jana Pittman for quite a few years now!!
Steph Claire Smith & Laura Henshaw // KIC'ing goals (and getting engaged!)
This one's been a little delayed after a technical glitch destroyed our first recording, but the second time around was even bigger and better PLUS conveniently timed after both Steph and Laura's partners proposed!!!!!! If you haven't heard of this dynamic duo, Steph and Laura are passionate advocates for instilling confidence in young women and are helping thousands of girls around the world with their business, Keep It Cleaner, that has a fitness and nutrition app, a delicious grocery range, an inspiring blog and community events throughout the year.
Both starting out as successful international models, Steph and Laura have openly shared their experiences and challenges in the modelling industry, finding body confidence, navigating their relationship with food and building resilience to inspire other young women on their journey. If that weren't enough, Steph also co-owns Soda Shades and Midnight Co as well as continuing her career as a sought after model and brand ambassador for the likes of Bondi Sands, Bras N Things, and more leveraging her 1 million+ followers. Laura is also completing her Law/Business degree (just casually) and has ambassadorships of her own, particularly as face of Jaggad.
Still only in their early 20s, they have both been incredibly smart about their success and also own houses and, as mentioned, are now planning for their weddings! They've also just released their first book, A Girl's Guide to Kicking Goals, which shows how down to earth and real they both are and shares such important messages about confidence, positivity and balance. LOVED chatting with these two so much that we went over an hour and a half, so consider it a little festive bonus!
Elyse Knowles // Campaigns, catwalks, construction and camping… The true blue Aussie model who loves to get her hands dirty
Among a string of impressive achievements in just 26 short years, Elyse is an ambassador for Myer, Seafolly, Aveda, Davidoff and Vital Everyday as well as a charity ambassador for WaterAid. She is also a savvy business woman launching her own fashion label, Evrryday, and she and Josh are continuing as a killer renovation duo having recently moved into their second home after selling their completely transformed Coburg home in November last year.
If you follow Elyse along with nearly a million other people, you’ll know she can do full glamour better than most but prefers to go make up free by the Murray and loves camping, cleaning up the local beaches, motorbikes and her fur babies, Isla and Harlow. To top it all off she has just released her first beautiful book, From Me to You, sharing her story, challenges and top tips on beauty, fashion, health and fitness. So excited to have her here to chat more about the book and how she seizes her yay!
Dany Milham // The ultimate tech-based disruptor saving our time, sleep and koalas
Starting with just a mattress, the vision for Koala was always a furniture brand with tool-less 5 min assembly furniture delivered in 4 hours and they have an exciting, innovative pipeline of furniture products ahead. They are also a social good business in that they adopt koalas for every mattress sold and turtles for every sofa they sell with conservation project around Australia.
While some grow into their entrepreneurial selves, Dany has always had a business brain. Born in laid-back Byron, he swapped the boardies and surf life for computers and tech, finding his love for tech and business as young as 13 years old when he founded his first startup. He has also launched a successful app, his own digital agency, has a computer science degree and was poached by prestigious agency, Ogilvy, before his Koala journey. And this was all by the age of 25!!! What an absolute legend, so excited to have him here to pick his brains!
Danny Kennedy // Fitness, food and flexibility
He’s a certified strength and conditioning coach with a cert ¾ in fitness and diploma in sport and management and is all about flexibility and sustainability when it comes to workouts and nutrition. With a background in many different sports, injury led him to try his hand on stage as a men’s physique athlete which helped him develop his expansive knowledge on healthy weight control, leaning up and building strength. He’s also the trainer for Keep it Cleaner alongside the amazing Steph Claire Smith and Laura Henshaw along with many other big names in the community which is a testament to his talents. So excited to have him on the show to share some of his top tips and how he seizes his yay.
Emma Isaacs // Winging it as a wonderwoman
Emma bought Business Chicks at only 250 members after seven years of running her own successful recruitment company (which followed her dropping out of her business degree as it wasn’t moving fast enough) and has now grown it to its present glory running 100 events annually, publishing a magazine called Latte, and bringing the likes of Kate Hudson, Richard Branson, Seth Goden and Nigella Lawson to her audience. She has also just published her first book, Winging It, documenting the process with a refreshingly honest and practical approach and I’m delighted to have her on the show.
There were a couple of technical glitches but we got there in the end and you can enjoy a bit of typical LA background beats along the way…
Kayla Itsines // Fitness, fame and family first and foremost
Kayla doesn’t really need an introduction having fast become a worldwide household name through her life changing Bikini Body Guides, but just to recap quickly, she is an Adelaide born personal trainer, author and entrepreneur who has educated and encouraged millions of women around the world to improve their health and fitness. Her 28 minute workouts have revolutionised the fitness world, focusing on strength and confidence through both training and recipes. She has also released an incredible meal planning and workout app, Sweat, founded by her fiancé Tobi (also featuring leading trainers Kelsey Wells and Sjana Elise) and at just 26 she has created the world’s biggest female fitness community with over 10 million followers on Instagram and 23 million on Facebook!
Her success has been recognised with many accolades including Time Magazine’s 30 most influential people alongside Kanye West, Cosmo Woman of the Year, and the BRW Young Rich List. More importantly, Kayla is incredibly down to earth and endearingly family focused embracing her Greek heritage and always making time for her relationship, her relatives and her huskies, Ace and Junior. While most of us are well acquainted with Kayla’s work and her online persona, I am SO excited to share a snippet of the beautiful human behind the scenes.
Barney & Kada Miller // Resilience, recovery and redefining happiness
I won’t reveal too much here because the episode covers a lot of the story, but for some quick context Kada’s happy country NSW childhood was shaken with several tragedies of suicide and accidental deaths among her friends leading to a downwards spiral of bad decisions and habits. Barny was a promising young surfer also in country NSW looking to go pro when he was a passenger in a terrible car accident and was told he would never breathe independently or use his legs again. Ever stubborn, Barney refused to be defined by his quadriplegic diagnosis and has since made leaps and bounds in regaining mobility and even become a world champion adaptive surfer.
I’ll let them inspire you with their grit, determination and beautiful love story that followed ending in Barney even standing to dance at their wedding. They also have a documentary, You & Me, and a book, The Essence of You & Me, that I cannot recommend more highly (with a box of tissues nearby) and I’m so excited to have them join us from California where Barney is working with world leaders on his rehab.
Agapi Stassinopoulos // Waking up to the joy of you
She is a powerhouse of wisdom and love and I can’t say this short chat really captures her true essence, sense of humour and energy so consider it a taster that you can find out more about in her latest book, Wake Up to the Joy of You: 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life. As even Agapi mentions, to tell the full story would involve a Greek odyssey along the lines of Homer and the Iliad!! Taking a different pathway to her older sister, Arianna left Greece for London to study acting with her heart set on Hollywood. One of my favourite quotes from her is that everything good in her life now is the result of not getting what she thought she wanted.
When her acting career didn’t take off, she began a soul-searching journey leading her to receive her master’s degree in psychology from the University of Santa Monica and go on to become a world-renowned speaker, best-selling author and spiritual leader whose meditations are among my very favourite. She’s even very kindly included a bonus meditation at the end of this episode about finding the joy of you. She is currently conducting workshops for Thrive Global, another company founded by Arianna, to help change the way we work and live. She divides her time between New York and Los Angeles and is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. I’ll include links to all her books, meditations and other resources in the show notes and hopefully this short half an hour gives you some insight into her vibrancy and wisdom.
Tim Robards // Sports, science, screenplays and starting TRM
As a sports chiropractor by trade, Tim has degrees in physics and medical science as well as a masters of Chiropractic. He is also a wellness educator through his program, the Robards Method, which we’ll chat about in the episode and now an ACTOR making his debut on Neighbours as Pierce Greyson earlier this year. If that weren’t enough he’s also moved into producing through Robards Productions, is a pianist, and has a more woo woo side than you might expect. Introducing the multifaceted legend, Mr Tim Robards…
Julie Stevanja // Fashion, fitness and founding an activewear empire
She is the epitome of style, somehow integrating Activewear into street style in a way that very few others could pull off. At that very first speaking gig when I was super nervous, she told me she was a closet introvert and gave me a quick schooling on the psychology of power posing and I’ve never forgotten it. So glad to have her on the podcast to share some of her many other pearls of wisdom. And since the sun was shining on this beautiful day we recorded outside so the birds provide some beautiful ambiance but you’ll have to excuse an airplane or two!
Osher Günsberg // Back, after the break
Starting with the more conventional story, there aren’t many Aussies who have had a more successful TV and radio career starting with Channel V, through to Australian Idol and now Australia’s favourite The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise. Osher also has an incredible podcast of his own, the Osher Günsberg Podcast, lots of other highly sought after gigs, a family and now of course a book deal.
But what the book has revealed is the tumultuous battle with mental illness and addiction that lies under the effervescent and charismatic demeanour of Osher’s TV persona. From his name change, to rehab, to going plant-based, to becoming a father, it’s a moving and honest memoir that sheds light on the unfortunately still stigmatised issue of mental health and goes a long way to breaking that down. It’s an inspiring example though of how you can find your yay again and I’m so grateful to have had him share so openly and generously in this episode.
It’s a little longer than usual and I could have gone for hours longer, but it’s a ripper with lots of laughs, almost tears, dog woofs and cameo appearances from Nic too. I was so worried about doing his story justice and I hope it’s gone some way to doing that and showing a VERY different perspective of seizing the yay….
Rachael Finch // Body, brains and babies
We met when she was MC at my first major speaking gig a few years ago, so she’s talked me through the newbie jitters more than once. She’s not only more beautiful in real life than in photos or social media, but also the warmest, kindest and humble person despite a hugely successful career under her belt. From Miss Universe to business to motherhood, Rach shares her highs, lows and in betweens candidly and with lots of laughs in between.
With legs starting at my shoulders, she is not only a stunning model but also a TV presenter, qualified PT, health coach, published author, savvy business woman with Bod by Finch Activewear and Body by Finch online health and fitness program to her name, she’s also a mother to two beautiful children – a modern Wonderwoman, right?
Kristina Karlsson // Your dream life starts here
I was lucky enough to meet Kristina in her Melbourne home (although it would have been lovely to visit the one in Sweden) on International Women’s Day for fika (a Swedish coffee and cake break) and she truly lives and breathes her brand in everything she does. She is insatiably curious and the ultimate dreamer, which she has captured in beautiful Swedish style in her new (and first) book, Your Dream Life Starts Here.
Her philosophy on dreaming is fascinating and the book is filled with practical tips, anecdotes from her impressive network and insights from her own inspiring journey behind the scenes of one of our most beloved Aussie brands. She is celebrating the book release with a series of Dream Life Masterclasses too along with Dr Tererai Trent (Oprah’s favourite guest) and an amazing line up. Details shared below in the show notes. Hope you enjoy our chat!
Lisa Messenger // Losing it all and loving it
When I met her a few years ago, I was completely taken aback by her uncensored, down to earth and crazily passionate nature belying the seriously successful CEO that she is on paper. She hasn’t changed one bit and is all the more inspiring for her openness and authenticity. Her latest book, Risk and Resilience, shares in surprising detail the nitty gritty of her rollercoaster closure of the much-loved Collective Magazine and we caught up to chat a bit more about why the biggest loss in her career has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
If there’s anything I wanted for Seize the Yay, it’s to show some of the less glamorous behind the scenes of finding your “yay” and explore the ups and downs of creating a life you love. Lisa has gotten us off to an amazing start, showing the importance of pivoting, cultivating resilience and finding the silver lining.