Celebrating International Women's Day with female founders paving the homewares space

As we celebrate International Women's Day, we had the pleasure of interviewing inspiring female founders dominating the homewares space and asking them to reflect on their journeys, challenges, and successes. From career advice to personal growth, each woman had valuable insights to share. Read on to discover their wisdom and be inspired by their stories.

Meet design duo and The Block favourites, Alisa and Lysandra, the founders of home favourite Al.ive Body 

If you could have dinner with an inspirational woman, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

Inspiration can be found everywhere and anywhere, connection is so important! For us, we are inspired by our Mum and our close friends, as well as the women in our work place. But, if we had to choose, it would be Oprah. We have heard Oprah live, and found her life, career and interviews/stories super inspiring.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Trust your gut- there's a lot to be said for intuition and reading into how you feel.

What do you think helped you get this far in your career/business?

Hard work and persistence! We were raised by a single mum who started her own business, so from a young age we were brought up in our mum's shop. Everything we have done has required us to dig in whether it be applying for and working in the Police force to coming off The Block and starting our Interior Design business, which also led to al.ive body. It has required us to keep our goals in mind and keep striving.

Meet Loni, creator and founder of Australian based Interiors magazine, Adore Home Magazine

Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?

Yes for sure, the whole pay inequality is a very real thing. I was in a job previously doing the exact same role as my co-worker who was male. I found out I was getting paid less, and was baffled by it. Equal roles, should result in equal pay, no matter what your gender.

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?

There’s no such thing as failure, only lessons. A friend told me this, and she was so right.

What's one message you want to send out to young women thinking about their career?

Know your worth. Also to work hard. If you’re thinking about starting your own business, it can result in a lot more hours than your traditional 9-5 job, however it can be more rewarding in the long run (both financially and emotionally).

If you could have dinner with an inspirational woman, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

I’d probably choose Alannah Hill. I was obsessed with her (not in the creepy way) in the early 2000s and loved both her creativity and vision for her brand. Her photoshoots were always next level amazing and the fashion to die for.

Is there anyone that inspires you in your career/business?

There are a tonne of inspiring women in the interior design world. Mariah Burton of Folk Studio, Kerrie-Ann Jones, Alison Lewis, Leah and Fliss Pitman from Bone Made, and Lee Talbot of Maven Home just to name a few. I could go on for days haha.

Why do we need more women in leadership?

I think women can offer a unique perspective in a leadership role. We think differently and we communicate better (generally speaking women speak more words in a day than men), so I think that can only be a positive when it comes to leadership roles. Having more women in those types of roles (in particular politics) can also inspire younger girls to take up roles and jobs that were once male-dominated. And this can only be a good thing right?

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would have told my younger self to quit my full time job a lot earlier and trust that I can make my own business (Adore magazine) work. I was so petrified of taking the plunge to do Adore full time, but when I did, I never looked back. It was the best life decision I’ve made. Being your own boss is hard work, however the rewards can be so sweet. I think if I stayed in my 9-5 job I would never have been able to save up a deposit to buy my first home. I’m financially better off by taking that risk. That being said it doesn’t always pay off. I had two failed businesses before starting Adore.

What do you think helped you get this far in your career/business?

I worked in publishing (in graphic design) for about 10 years before starting my own magazine. I learnt so much in that role as I worked closely with both the editorial team and advertising reps. Having that experience really helped shape my knowledge of how to run a magazine, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

Meet Kristy and Nat, best friends behind Malvern's favourite homewares store Norsu Interiors

What is the most important piece of advice you’ve been given?

This one is really easy to answer actually - Simply to always act with integrity. In every aspect of life, whether at work, home, an event or doing the school drop off, following your own code of morals, trusting your female intuition and being honest means that you never have to be anything but true to yourself. There’s a real sense of ease that comes with being honest and ethical and it’s one piece of advice we live by religiously.

What's one message you want to send out to young women thinking about their career

We really want to shout from the rooftops to them that "you can have it all”! Trust your instincts and skills - things like being natural multi-taskers and networkers lead to opportunities that only grow over time. We’d also like to tell them that you don’t need to choose between being a parent and having a career. We won’t lie and say mum guilt doesn’t exist, but we love being a role model for our children, and how we operate as families with working parents is a joy because we have consciously made it that way.

What do you think helped you get this far in your career/business? 

There’s two things that we live by when it comes to business. Firstly - perseverance. Failure, or things going unexpectedly provides the biggest lesson in persevering. Without that ability to pick yourself up and try again (and learn as you go), we’d not have gotten nearly as far in our career. Secondly, networking! Embracing every opportunity to connect with people (male and female) is undeniably one of my biggest thrills and what’s led to our greatest professional success. 


Meet Laura, owner of Inverloch's beautiful homewares store and one of our stockists Dot & Lu Boutique

What's one message you want to send out to young women thinking about their career?

 It's never too late to change your career. People think you have to have it figured out once you finish high school. I don't believe this is true. Give anything a shot you are drawn too it's better to say I gave it a shot but wasn't for me rather than having regret. Even if you are enjoying your career for a long time then feel like a change, don't be scared you can always go back to it.

What do you think helped you get this far in your career/business?

My family and friends have been my number one supporters from day one. You do need a solid little group around you. I knew running a business was going to have its ups and downs but I never really knew the extent until opening my store and running it, especially opening my business during a pandemic . Starting out is a 24/7 job which people don't realize. I thought I would be able to do it all but no one can. Just getting messages from people saying you're doing a good job can really make your day without them realising.

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?

I once read somewhere "Remember when you wished for what you have now" this has always stuck with me. When you're having your off days in business or having those moments or wanting to move on or questioning yourself just sit back and think this is what I wanted and wished for you got this! People are always wishing for something, getting it and not appreciating it and quickly moving onto the next thing. We need to sit back and appreciate how far we have come and be in the moment.