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

So, it finally happened. We convinced Nic, my partner in life, business and golden retriever parenthood into coming onto the show. I know a few of you have been eagerly waiting to hear this one and I’m always surprised to hear when people say Nic’s quiet or mysterious but then I remember he’s actually quite shy (which to some of our closer friends is laughable as he’s the OPPOSITE once you get to know him). When I think about how he probably comes across in my stories or in take 527 of a photo together, you probably don’t see much of who he really is or how we are as a couple so I’m excited to share what I think is one of the most inspiring ways to yay so far. One of the things I love about him most is that there are so many dimensions to his personality, but if you only know one of them then you’ll meet a few of the others in today’s episode! And perhaps I’m a bit the same – we’re both equal parts nerdburger and arty farty” as I always say which is why we’re 10 years in and getting married later this year!

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

In this episode, we are joined by one of my business idols, the amazing Janine Allis, who many of you will know as the founder of pioneering wellness empire, Boost Juice, and an investor on Shark Tank. She launched Boost in 2000 from a kitchen table in Melbourne after seeing the juice bar trend in the US at the age of 30, with no previous business experience.

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

Our first guest for 2019 couldn’t be a more perfect inspiration to kickstart a new year. Jana Pittman is an iconic Australian athlete who not only represented the country at three Olympic Games, but was also the first female athlete to compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympic games. She’s a 2 x world champion and 4 x Commonwealth champion PLUS, when injury cut her hurdling career short, she pivoted to bobsled to compete in the Winter Olympics landing in the top 15. And the best bit? Her athletics career was only the warm up…

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

Today’s guest is not only one of the most breathtakingly stunning people I’ve ever met, but also one of the hardest working, motivated and down to earth despite her many successes. While many of you will know Elyse Knowles as a leading Australian model and winner of the Block in 2017 with her legend of a partner, Josh, we’ve known Knowlzy since years before that and she’s as humble, outdoorsy and unpretentious now as she always has been.

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

I know they say you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but Dany Milham has shown that reinvention can be an incredible platform for success. Dany and co-founder Mitch Taylor have reinvented the mattress with their booming business, Koala, which has skyrocketed to a multimillion-dollar empire and disrupted an age-old industry. If you’re the 7 people in Australia who haven’t seen their ads yet, they developed their own foam that prevents you from feeling your partner’s movements in bed, the mattresses can be shipped to anywhere in Australia in 4 hours and are now the highest reviewed mattresses in Australia.

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

You may have seen a couple of weeks ago that I joined legend Danny Kennedy on his own chart-topping podcast, The Fitness And Lifestyle Podcast, and if you’ve ever listened to it before you’ll know he is a FOUNTAIN of knowledge giving people a fresh, simple approach to wellbeing and fitness and helping them achieve incredible results. In a few short weeks, he’s already helped me enormously and if you watch my stories you’ll see I’ve doubled the weight I’m lifting already, so I figured especially as we enter Summer and the silly season of splurges is upon us, we’d get him on to share some of his wisdom.

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

In most cases, being a mother of five is an all-consuming role in itself but Emma Isaacs isn’t your average woman. Running her own show since the tender age of 18, Emma is the definition of business woman and is now the founder and global CEO of Business Chicks – Australia’s largest networking community for women that has now also entered the US market where Emma and her family now live.

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

We’ve had some incredible guests so far and I’ve said before that I feel like I’m running out of positive adjectives to do them all justice! But Kayla Itsines is truly one of the world’s most inspiring and influential leaders and very special to me as she topped off the “dream guest list” when I first started the podcast.

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

This is our first duo interview with two incredible people both in their own right and as a couple. Few people have faced the adversity and challenge that Barney and Kada Miller have endured, again, both separately and together and even fewer have come through it with such positive energy and resilience. They have taught me so much about visualisation, the power of your thoughts over your body, and the strength of your human spirit. I am so excited to share their story of seizing their yay.

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

Agapi is one of the most effervescent and energising people I’ve ever met and a true Greek Goddess, born and raised in Athens with her sister, Arianna Huffington, founder of Huffington Post. Given her jam-packed schedule, this is an “express episode” that we squeezed in during our amazing Nurture Her immersive retreat in Fiji, but to get even half an hour one on one with her is a blessing.

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

In this episode, we welcome our second male guest to the show, Tim Robards (another Bachelor connection, but I promise that’s not the criteria for all guests!) What I love about Tim is that while he was indeed the FIRST ever Australian Bachelor (and the first marriage to come out of the show with the beautiful Anna Heinrich), he is far more than just a pretty face.

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

While I’ve mentioned I don’t want Seize the Yay to be about just business, health and women, I couldn’t help but showcase another incredible female founder and CEO in the wellness space, Julie Stevanja, who I am also lucky to call my friend. Like Lisa and Rach, I met Julie at my first major speaking gig a few years ago and am continually in awe of how stylish, successful and savvy she is! She is CEO of one of my favourite online retailers, Stylerunner, which grew by 1736% to a multimillion dollar company value in the first three years. The website ships to 100 countries around the world and stocks more than 50 brands, including their own label Flight Mode which I absolutely adore. 

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

I’ve been pretty blown away by ALL our guests so far, but I’m truly in awe of this one. I am so grateful to have the legendary Osher Günsberg (aka Andy G, Spidey, Batchie host, etc.) on the show to chat about his new book, Back, After the Break, the accompanying live show, and the heart wrenching story that both tell more candidly than most would expect.

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

I know I said this wouldn’t just be about business, health and women (and the coming episodes ensure that) but I am just so lucky to have some incredible business women in wellness around me and Rachael Finch is one of my all-time favourites. This was actually the very first episode I recorded and I couldn’t have picked a more down-to-earth yay-type personality (see what I did there?) than the beautiful Rach to kick us off.

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

So excited to host another incredible woman who epitomises the “seize the yay” life philosophy, and who shares my great love for motivational quotes and beautiful stationery. Joining us from her motherland in Sweden, our second guest is Kristina Karlsson, founder of my favourite stationery brand, Kikki K.

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

What a fabulous person to kickstart the podcast – the woman who not only epitomises the “seize the yay” life philosophy, but who has dedicated her life to helping others do the same. Yep, our first guest is, Lisa Messenger – CEO of Messenger Group, founder of globally acclaimed Collective Magazine, prolific author, inspiring speaker and all-round legend.

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.

Sarah Holloway // Welcome to Seize the Yay

The very first episode of the Seize the Yay podcast giving some context to who I am and what this is all about. If you’ve heard the story already, feel free to jump ahead to the first official interview which will follow in a few days.I roped in my mini-me, Ang Roan, who works across all our businesses and is a dear friend for some casual get-to-know-you banter since I get bored with my own voice after a while so can’t expect you not to!Our Q&A covers not only what Seize the Yay means but also my lawyer to funtrepreneur transition, some of the nitty gritty behind the scenes along the way, being adopted, a special guest appearance from Mama Holloway and lots of laughs in between. Hope you enjoy!

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