Happy International Women’s Day, friends and allies! After having so many insightful conversations with women owning their craft and running the show, one thing became strikingly apparent—it's not a sprint, but a marathon and you always need your people to be present and supportive to help you get where you need to be. So with that, we were itching to know one more thing. Which woman or women inspire them the most?
The answers are in and whilst there’s a definite trend emerging (mum’s the word), it’s a great reminder to spend today being thoughtful and inspired about how you can contribute to making this a better world for everyone, not just today, but every day.
Everyday women are my inspiration, along with the small but powerful gestures of flowers. One woman that inspired me is friend and florist, Melissa Oakes. Melissa fearlessly ran her Little Flower Shop six days a week on her own for three years until I helped part time whilst building up Greenpoint. Melissa had no website, no social media accounts—just word of mouth and a good reputation. I loved her energy and she made me realise you don’t have to have big money to start out, you don’t have to have huge loans or someone funding you. You just need to live and breathe flowers and work hard.
Eventually Greenpoint became full-time for me and yet Melissa and I would talk and text almost daily. She would keep me motivated. We lost Melissa to cancer mid last year. I know she would hate that I have said she was an inspiration, as she was a practical woman. But I was so thankful for her friendship and guidance and, for the belief she had in me.
My mum is my absolute biggest inspiration. She provided for me by herself for a long time and didn’t let anything stand in her way. She’s always been such an incredible role model growing up, and her strength and resilience through the ups and downs has really shown me that I can do anything.
All women who are following their dream, regardless of their situation or circumstances and doing something everyday that makes them happy.
Many women have inspired me through my life. Each has come into my life at the right time to offer me guidance. When I was 12 years old, Mrs. Arline Schutz, a teacher at Manurewa Central Primary School, was formative in encouraging me to be creative without limitations. To enjoy the process of being creative and to have fun with it. Currently for the past year, I've been inspired by Mel Robbins, the motivational speaker. She's candid, super positive and has taught me to continue to listen to that creative 12 year old, to dream big and to have fun with life.
My mum is my absolute biggest inspiration. She provided for me by herself for a long time and didn’t let anything stand in her way. She’s always been such an incredible role model growing up. Her strength and resilience through the ups and downs in her life has really shown me that I can do anything.
There are so many women but these four come to mind Pania Newton for her work she has been doing with Māori Land rights, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar for the courage and work they are doing as congresswomen in the states, Livia Firth for her work in social and environmental justice. We are lucky there are some great women out there doing amazing mahi to inspire us.
Chef Maneet Chauhan, an acclaimed American chef from my home land of India. Seemingly born with a ladle in her hand, she started her culinary journey at a very young age, inspired by her mother and grandmother. After migrating to Chicago, she was the only woman to go up against 40 male chefs for an executive chef position, which she got. Together with her kitchen they obtained many accolades, after which she opened her second eatery in New York City and soon after was nominated as the Best Import to New York by Time Out magazine. After being the first female Indian to ever compete on Iron Chef and a fierce competitor on The Next Iron Chef, Chef Chauhan is now a full-time judge on the Food Network hit show Chopped. She’s highly devoted to giving back to the community that has given her so much, with active support for various charities and has established herself as a leading figure and volunteer for prestigious culinary schools, industry events and nonprofits.
I am surrounded by so many inspirational woman, from family, friends and my clients. Women who kill at their careers, manage families—most of the time both! But also those who show me we can still live in a world where you can still get ahead, have balance in life and have fun. Enjoy the crazy ups and downs and support each other along the way.
Tiffany Witehira founder and creative genius behind Curionoir. She is the strongest woman I know. She stands up for what she believes in, is deeply passionate and loyal. She has a real appreciation for crafts people as she is one herself. Tiffany is a mother of three and the owner of an incredible luxury business yet she still somehow has the time to help other creatives around her. It blows my mind!
Lorna Jane. Her story inspired me, she ditched a safe job and took a leap of faith and now has a successful international sportswear brand. She continues to inspire and encourage all women to be the very best that they can be. The other woman (closer to home) who has inspired me is my long time boss Kath. She is smart, awarded, accomplished but kind and caring at the same time. If you’re reading this, thanks for putting up with me Kath.
My mum inspires me mostly. She is super smart and put on some pretty major events when I was a kid. We are very similar, she worked in music, film and events and raised me at the same time. I am raising my children the same way she raised me, so she is a daily inspiration I guess.
Image credit: Levi Guzman