Thursday, June 30, 2022

celebrating women in Business



On Wednesday March 2nd 2022, The Leader Newspaper published a special feature to celebrate International Women’s Day, held on Tuesday March 8th.

Complementing the lead story in the newspaper were multiple articles highlighting local women in business.

Read on to learn about some of the regions ambitious female business owners and their staff.

My Ability Pathway

>> Barbara Lightburn of My Ability Pathway

Tell us a bit about your business...
Describe your role.

We are in the people business. We support people to live a fulfilling life and to reach beyond what they thought was possible. Our staff and our clients are of equal importance so we create a team approach to everything we do.

How do you interpret this year’s theme #Breakthebias?

You can’t break the bias and maintain the status quo.

It’s time to stop measuring women as victims and start measuring men as perpetrators.

I don’t want to see statistics like X out of y women have been sexually or physically abused. That leads to labelling women as victims and creates a space for blaming and shaming them. I want to see a statistic that say X out of y men have been sexually or physically abusive towards women or girls. Let’s hold men accountable for their behaviour.

When you see inappropriate behaviour, bullying, stereotyping, or gender inequality, be brave and call it out.

What would be your advice for a young woman thinking of going into business?

Age is not an issue. You are never too old or too young to start something new or to continue to do something that you love.

You are way smarter and braver than you think you are. Doing your own thing is not hard work. Its fun, its inspiring, its rewarding. Just have a go. Its way better than “working for the man”.

Vine Inn Barossa

>> Kathryn Schilling of the Vine Inn Barossa

Tell us a bit about your business...
Describe your role.

As the chairperson of a community hotel our charter as a board is; “The objects of the company are to act and carry on the business of a licenced victualler hotelier, caterer or supplier of food, liquid beverages (including Alcohol) and accommodation and similar businesses or such other business as the members of the company may approve at a Special Meeting of the company,to perform charitable and benevolent work in Nuriootpa and the surrounding district and to promote and foster the interests of the town of Nuriootpa and the district and amenities thereof and to assist recreation, sport, education, art, charity, science and literature in Nuriootpa and the surrounding district”. We do not get involved in the day to day operations of the business but work closely with the CEO to ensure there are profits that can support the community. Approving capital works to continually upgrade the business and protect this iconic community asset.

What do you enjoy most about your business, or being a woman in business?

Contributing to my community to help others and make a difference. The Vine Inn is a great contributor to not just Nuriootpa but the whole Barossa supporting service and sporting clubs along with disadvantaged young people.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

A world where difference is valued and celebrated with inspirational stories of those who have achieved great things.

What is one of your personal highlights?

Becoming Chairperson of the board after serving for 24 years as the only woman on the board, until our 2021 AGM when two more women joined the board. Another highlight during the past year was to win the AHA Hall of Fame award for Community Service and Support.

Do you have a motto or goal that you strive towards?

My measure of success is contentment.

What would be your advice for a young woman thinking of going into business?

Its challenging but extremely rewarding but establish boundaries early and don’t try to be everything to everyone. Don’t be afraid to fail because that’s how you learn to do things better and always make a plan first.

Me & Mini Me

>> Melissa Caven of Me & Mini Me

Tell us a bit about your business...
Describe your role.

Hey, I’m Mel Caven. When I was pregnant with my first child, I struggled to find maternity items and shops that I could get a range of pregnancy and baby gear in one place. This sparked the idea to open my own online store as a ‘one stop shop’ for mums and bubs. Whilst I was on maternity leave, I got to work and started Me & Mini Me. I love to support other mums and small businesses by stocking as many brands that are designed and made here in Australia. I have grand plans for this business with one of them being to open a brick and mortar store with a twist #watchthisspace!

What do you enjoy most about your business, or being a woman in business?

It’s something that I really enjoy doing and have a lot of fun with. Since becoming a mum I’ve been reborn and have found a new love and passion in life. Working with my daughter by my side and inspiring me every day is pretty special. Motherhood is certainly an adventure but it doesn’t define who you are. You can be a successful business woman and a mum!

As a successful woman in business, what advice could you give to other businesses?

If it’s something you are passionate about, go for it. Get off the mouse wheel and pursue your dreams or goals, it is hard, but stick to it and keep going. Believe that you can do it and put your mind to it. Your mindset is the only thing stopping you. And never be afraid to ask for help!

Homburg Real Estate

>> Felicity Cock of Homburg Real Estate

Tell us a bit about your business...
Describe your role.

I have been involved in all things real estate for around 30 years, the last 16 or so with Homburg Real Estate as a Sales Consultant.

My background prior to working with Homburg Real Estate was as a Registered Conveyancer, Project Manager for AVJennings and Valuation Assistant with one of the big banks.

My current role as a Real Estate Sales Consultant in the beautiful Barossa Valley is the best thing I have ever done!

I was always in trouble at school for talking too much. Now I get paid for it!

Listing and selling real estate means long hours and working weekends, but it also means taking time to walk through wonderful properties, drive around this amazing region and take in the beautiful landscape.

And most importantly, chat with sellers and buyers to help them navigate what can sometimes be considered a stressful process in selling or buying a home.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Not only is International Women’s Day a celebration of women, it is about raising awareness against the discrimination and stereotyping of women. #breakthebias is certainly a very fitting theme and promotes gender equality. In the words of Gloria Steinem “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights”.

What is one of your personal highlights?

It is always a personal highlight when my clients show their appreciation for my work ethics by providing glowing reviews of their real estate experience with me. Anyone can tell you how fabulous they are, but proving your ability with actions over words is incredibly important. I love running into past clients who have either bought or sold and their face lights up as they describe what they have done to the property since buying or where they have moved onto since selling.

Your Foot Doctor

>> Rebecca Healey of Your Foot Doctor

Tell us a bit about your business...
Describe your role.

I’m Rebecca Healey, the owner and director of Your Foot Doctor and I am loving my new role in my business as mentor and director. We are a multi-disciplinary health clinic. We have created a new purpose-built facility including a new rehab studio and added exercise physiology and myotherapy to our team. Our goal is to provide premium client/patient centred healthcare to the Barossa area now and into the future.  We want to be the number one clinic for rehabilitation and treatment for a wide range of conditions and injuries.

What separates your business from the next?

We search for better ways to help others by using extraordinary thinking to solve ordinary problems. Being prepared to give it a go and are always thinking about what we can do next. We make things personal by helping you feel part of our family. Having our client’s goals at heart and treat the person not just the symptoms. We empower our clients to be strong and confident with their body and it’s abilities.

What is one of your personal highlights?

The opening of our new multidisciplinary clinic at Beckwith Park.  Our clinic is purpose built with four treatment rooms, an orthotic lab and a private gym as well as an inviting reception and meeting room for our team. I’m so incredibly proud of my team for working together to make this happen.

Professionals Kapunda

>> Donna Daniel of Professionals Kapunda

Tell us a bit about your business...
Describe your role.

My business is definitely about the people. At Professionals Kapunda we strive to achieve the best possible outcome with the highest possible prices for all of our clients. I enjoy a challenge and finding solutions.

Buying, selling and investing. They say ‘Lead by Example’. I have experienced and learned a lot throughout my career. Finding the right investment property, another renovation project, helping friends, family and clients sell one home to buy their dream home.

I love what I do.

What do you enjoy most about your business, or being a woman in business?

Helping people get what they want. I am very proud to be a women in business. Gone are the days where one income is enough to pay the bills. We come from very hard working families, who have, at times, struggled financially and our goal has always been simply to struggle less than our parents did.

We make decisions for ourselves everyday based on lessons learned and the mistakes of others. If I can help each person I meet make better decisions that impact their lives in a positive way, my job is done.

Were you hesitant about going into business? If so, what were your concerns? How did you overcome these?

Of course, yes. Starting a business in this pandemic, I had lots of people tell me I was nuts.

Are you sure you should? Is now the right time?

But people don’t know you’re a sales agent. What about your kids? Truth be told there will always be doubters.

How did I overcome this?

I have belief in myself and possibly I am a little nuts, lol. Now is definitely the right time for me and yes, my kids are going to be fine.

When the doubts creep in I am reminded I have state, national and internationally recognised awards in real estate sales and administration, together with extensive knowledge and experience in property management.

Since opening I have had a lot of positive feedback, knowing the local community is pleased to see Professionals Kapunda back in town fills me with great pride.

I am confident I am doing exactly what I am meant to be doing.

Valley Locksmiths & Security

>> Sydnee Storton, Admin and Administration

Tell us a bit about your business...
Describe your role.

We are a small, tight-knit business specialising in keys, locks, safes, and domestic and commercial security.

My primary role is managing the administration and accounts, whilst working towards a Cert III, but am getting much more involved in the retail sector of the business such as key cutting and making padlocks.

What do you enjoy most about your business, or being a woman in business?

Our business has a strong sense of family that makes coming into work and helping customers all the more enjoyable, knowing that we all have each other’s back.

The most enjoyable part about being a woman in this industry is that I get to bring a different perspective to what is a very male-dominated trade, whilst showing that I am capable of learning and developing.

How do you interpret this year’s theme #Breakthebias?

Women are strong and capable of doing a lot of the same things that men can, given the opportunity.

#breakthebias means it’s time for women to take and make the opportunities to prove this.

Dito Accounting

>> Amanda Fleet of DITO Accounting

Tell us a bit about your business...
Describe your role.

We do tax and accounting services for businesses and individuals. Including tax returns, GST returns, business advice and self- managed superannuation compliance. I’ve worked as a Chartered Accountant at Dito for 15 years and have been a business owner for about 2 and a half years now.

What do you enjoy most about your business, or being a woman in business?

I enjoy the flexibility in our business. When I first started in accounting I was one of less than a handful of female professional staff members and the hours were very rigid 9am to 5.30pm. We’ve had great progression in our business and these days hours are more flexible to facilitate a more manageable work life balance and allow for parents to work around their family commitments. 

This has enabled women especially to continue working and creates a great team atmosphere within our business, as we all chip in to help each other to service our clients needs.

Do you have a motto or goal that you strive towards?

Work smarter not harder is my motto. There’s no point in burning yourself out doing things the hard way.

What life lesson/s have you learnt in operating your business during the last 12 months?

During the last 12 months I’ve learnt to go with the flow more. With all of the uncertainty of COVID-19 it hasn’t been very easy to stick to a rigid plan. Being flexible and keeping an open mind has been essential through the last 12 months.

Century 21 Barossa

>> Rebecca Harris of Century 21 Barossa

What is one of your personal highlights?

I started out with Century 21 in February, 2021 working 2 days a week for our Principal, CJ Setlhong as a PA and have slowly worked my way up to a full time Administration position. I am so passionate about my role with a keen interest in the Real Estate Business as I am now undertaking my Real Estate Licence, Property Management and Auctioneering Training.

What would be your advice for a young woman thinking of going into business?

SAY IT OUT LOUD: This is about backing yourself but it’s also about holding yourself accountable to action. Although it’s uncomfortable but also helpful when people remind you of your goals and dreams!

ASK FOR HELP: No one is awesome at everything. The day you realise that you don’t have to be good at everything will be a truly liberating day. There are so many people out there that want to help you. If you keep your idea in your head because you’re being self-critical or a perfectionist, it will stay just there – – in your head.

DON’T APOLOGISE: As women, I think we do a lot of apologising. “Sorry, can I just say that?”.

Sound familiar? Starting a business requires confidence and momentum so I prefer the approach: ‘Do now, and (with great humility and respect), ask for forgiveness and not permission later.’

If this isn’t your style, try swapping out “thank you” for “sorry”.

You’d be surprised how much this tiny action changes your self-image from guilt to confidence. 


>> Teri Wenske of Century 21 Barossa

Tell us a bit about your business...
Describe your role.

I am a Sales Representative for Century 21, covering the Barossa, Kapunda and surrounding regions expanding all the way to Blanchetown.

I am an upfront and transparent sales representative, priding myself on my unique approach to Real Estate. I am here to ensure I make the buying and selling process stress free and enjoyable for my clients.

What do you enjoy most about your business, or being a woman in business?

I truly love Century 21 Barossa and what our company stands for.

We are a female dominated office, with the exception of our wonderful and supportive Principal CJ.

Loren Fowler and I are the epitome of “women supporting women.”  We are both extremely hard working women in our fields and we share the same amount of love and respect for one another. Daily we talk on the phone, sharing our day’s experiences, bouncing ideas off one another and lifting each other up to be the best we possibly can be.

Our field is extremely competitive, but one thing I can always count on is the support that I receive from my colleagues.

As an office, we celebrate each and everyone’s accomplishments. I am proud to be a part of the Century 21 Barossa Family.

What would be your advice for a young woman thinking of going into business?

My advice for a young woman thinking of getting into Real Estate is super simple: Be your true authentic self and people will love what you represent.

The Real Estate game is very male driven and it can sometimes be hard to be taken seriously as a professional woman.

You must be confident in your abilities, and be willing to stand up for what you believe in.

This will allow you to stand out in the crowd and be recognised as a strong empowering woman in your field.

Century 21 Barossa

>> Loren Fowler of Century 21 Barossa

Tell us a bit about your business... Describe your role.

I’m a sales representative in Real Estate and cover all of Barossa, Kapunda and surrounds.

My role includes property apprasials, listing, marketing, selling, contracts and the process til settlement.

Along with working with vendors to find them the best price and timeline for their sale.

Do you have a motto or goal that you strive towards?

My motto has always been, “No matter how you feel, get up, get going and get your lippy on”.

I think it’s a great motto for women in business, we can be wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, etc with juggling lots things all at the same time. It’s not always easy, especially when kids need you or somethings is dragging you down.

But keep going, you will never regret giving it your all, but you will regret doing nothing.

How do you think the next generation of women is being inspired?

My answer was always “get married and have kids”.

Not that that is a bad thing, but I feel disappointed with myself when I look back as I could want that, definitely.

But why not want that and a career?! I think this new generation is being taught differently to me. I have been a single Mum and do have two teenage daughters. I work hard to be a great role model to them, to want more out of life than I did. To strive for their goals. It is a juggle, but I really hope they look back and think, “Wow, Mum worked really hard for us” and they start to see me as a role model. 

Although my girls complain I’m attending openings on the weekend and my phone rings a lot. Life isn’t handed to you on a silver platter, you need to work hard for what you want in life. Aim for the stars and beyond and rely on yourself to put a roof over your head and food on the table. Never expect that someone will do that for you.