Monday, March 26, 2012

The month that was IWIB March 2012

March introduced a unique networking event in the form of an early morning exercise session, a local shopping tour, FourthChild grew even more and their was an opening of Ipswich's newest boutique, The Chocolatiere on Ellenborough . Yes please!!

Networking 101: We all met up at sparrows fart at Limestone Park and were greeted by the friendly Kerri of Step Into Life Ipswich.
The networking event was like no other before and all the ladies were pumped to see what Kerri had in store for us.
Kerri and her team offer unique Outdoor Group Training Sessions with all the motivation and encouragement you can imagine; all the while making new friends. That is exactly what we did. Exercising with a stranger and letting them see you while you are sweating and feeling out of your comfort zone is definitely a unique ice breaker. There was no standing up in a fancy restaurant introducing yourself. It was the test of the toughest. We all wanted to do well and it was fantastic.


45 minutes later we were all pumped up and ready to dive into our divinely prepared breakfast that Janette & Louisa had organised for everyone who had participated.
Fresh yoghurt and oats served in gorgeous little glass jars, fresh fruit, juice, water and locally grown strawberries.
The whole event was a hit, and we were meeting new like minded individuals with a passion for their life and business. Thank you Kerri.

Boutique Shopping Tour: I (Amanda) headed up the lead act of tour guide alongside number one bus guide, Russ McCarthy of Rusco Bus Services.
14 excited women met myself & Russ at the Riverheart Parklands for what was to be an exciting morning of shopping through the local boutiques in the Top of Town Ipswich and outer suburbs. The ladies were taken along to Vast Interior West Ipswich, Wray Organics, Obsession
Each of these shops are owned and operated by local women in business. They all offer a wide range of products and different services and we highly recommend each and every one of them. If you haven't been in to any or all of them, give yourself the afternoon to explore them and support these local women. They are all fantastic! Go Ipswich.

The Pork Chop:
Not what you first think, I assure you. Rather a diversion to the real venture that was going on, the shops that are normally Precious Packages and Serendipity were boarded up for a fortnight while magic was created behind closed doors. Rumours flying about town, The Pork Chop - although delicious - had nothing on what was to be revealed to be the newest addition of boutique shops last Tuesday night.

The Chocolaterie on Ellenborough; Chocolate Boutique.
An anxious crowd of to-be supporters were grouped around the red door on Ellenborough street at 7pm, ready for the two anxious owners Janette & Louisa to make their entrance. The brown paper was ripped off the windows, smiles all around as guests were greeted with ice cold coffee and beautiful hand made Mayfield Chocolates.
Yes. At last. Ipswich now has a unique one of a kind gift and chocolate shop like no other.
They offer a wide range of elite chocolate some of which include White Dairy Farmers, Dark Chocolate Bars, Sunshine Truffle, Kakadu at Night, and the Nipple of Venus.
If you weren't able to make it on the night, be sure to pop in and see for yourself. Yummo.

Cakelove: For those of you who aren't familiar with Fourth Child Ipswich, we highly suggest you make yourself familiar as soon as humanly possible. Literally that soon.

Fourth Child is located in the Top of Town Ipswich and offers a daily rotating menu of gourmet food served at both breakfast and lunch. They also create the most scrumptious cake for supper. If you're full after lunch, be sure to take some away with you. This one of a kind cafe has grown in leaps and bounds over the last month and has also been busy renovating, which lead to reopening twice it's size a fortnight ago. We are all so proud of Amanda and her teams achievements and wish them all the luck in the world.

Sadly March wasn't all so positive as it is with a heavy heart that we said goodbye to local woman Shelley Dwyer of Team Cupcake, as she could no longer fight the terrible disease that is Cancer. Shelley's funeral was held last week, in which friends and family waved her goodbye by letting go of what seemed like hundreds of pink, mauve and black balloons. It was 100% Shelley! It was beautiful.

We know Shelley will be looking over everyone and our best wishes go out to her family. Rest In Peace Shelley, you will be missed.

If you have anything you would like us to share or if you would like to come along to one of our Networking Events, be sure to get onto our mailing list or follow us on Facebook.

Thank you for all your support and the support you give each other,
Team IWIB


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Battery World Ipswich Take 4 for the Team!

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Lots of exciting things happening at IWIB, inlcuding a new addition to the team, P.A Amanda Taylor, and IWIB member Ruthie Farrar taking on the big wigs of Battery World and winning.

Merge the two together and you get the following amazing blogpost.

Although lengthy, Ruthie is worth every word of type and we assure you it is a good read.

So make a cuppa, get comfy and get ready to be inspired by this amazing local Ipswich Woman in Business, as Amanda sits down and talks shop with Ruthie.

I walk into the immaculate clean Battery World shop front and am directed out the back, past the collection on newly won awards, to the busy Ruthie; owner of Battery World Ipswich alongside hubby Howdie. I am greeted with the normal cheerie Ruthie, all whilst problem solving a client request over the phone.

Ruthie's committed to her business more than most women I know. In her words ' I am my business'; she is dressed head to toe in purple.

Purple uniform, purple jewels hanging from her ears, purple nails and purple eyeliner surrounding her gorgeous bluey green eyes.

She finishes up her phone call and sits down with me to discuss their recent sweep of awards won at the Annual National Battery World Awards.

Proud of their recent achievements, she was ready to fill me in on all the details.

Only starting their business 2 years-3 months ago, Battery World Ipswich has come leaps and bounds. Looking around the back room, policies and procedures neatly displayed, it is not at all surprising.

The awards night held just last week was a pinnacle night for the duo and their team; they won 4 of the 6 major awards, competing against 76 other stores nation wide.

In her words 'Shock. We were just shocked.'

Accepting the first award for Community Recycler of the Year award was 'absolutely amazing' she said with the most widest of smiles. Her eyes filling with joy.

Ruthie & Howdie are big on business standards and even bigger on paying it forward. During the last year alone they raised $5000 by recycling old car batteries and donated the money to recovering Ipswich residents; post floods.

They also held other initiatives, amongst raffle prizes and the like, helping 7 schools raise funds in a similar fashion. Again, donating over $1500 dollars to schools for sporting equipment and the like. They also won awards for Franchisee of the Year 2011 ( 2nd year in a row), Marketing Excellence Individual (2nd year in a row), 5 Star Store Nationwide for 5 Star Excellence for 4 quarters in a row. Wow.

None of which they knew they were receiving until the night itself.

Deep in discussion about their marketing award, Howdie walks past and over hears our conversation. Like the tight team that they are, Howdie has to make a point of telling me how brilliant Ruthie is.

'She is innovative at marketing; not just mainstream media. She finds marketing avenues that others wouldn't even look for. I have great pride & admiration for Ruthie and what she does for the business'.

As I had his attention, whilst trying to serve gosh knows how many people and get daily routines completed, I ask him how he felt receiving the awards.

'We do it for the rewards, not the awards.' Well said I thought.

'The awards are just rewards for running a successful business, recognized by our peers'.

It's no wonder they are where they are.

On that, their success.

Like anything, you get what you put in. After a few prompts about how they got to the position they are in, Ruthie explains in detail 'the absolute key to our success, is the community. Without the support of the IWIB, Ipswich Chamber of Commerce, The Ipswich Council, Mayor Paul Pisasale and most of all, the Ipswich residents - our customers - none of this would be possible.'

I realise that starting a franchise is different to a initiating a raw business'.

'The main reason being the support network of the franchise itself and a proven business system. If you stay true to the business system and work hard at it, you will be successful.

It is then up to you how far past that success you wish to take it.'

'Howdie and I are so positive. Of course we have our down times but generally, we love what we do and that shows'.

With a massive 37.5% increase in sales, when the average nation wide is 12%, I think is evidence of that. Go Team Ipswich.

When I asked Ruthie, why do you do it? she pauses.

'No one has ever asked me that'.

She thinks about her answer and replies with a simple and energetic, 'because we love it!'

'There is a unique satisfaction in being able to help people every day.'

Never does someone come in and say, I need this battery to fix that product. It's always a matter of problem solving.'

Initially the idea of opening their own buisiness was a case of a sea change for the energetic pair. Having both served in the armed services, over a period of decades, they needed a change.

Howdie familiar with the Ipswich area (and it's rapid growth), the RAAF base, Mayor Paul Pisasale and the Chamber; it seemed the only option.

What a perfect option it turned out to be.

'We will live here always and retire here.'

'So where to go from here?' I ask.

Still not loosing the excitement from her voice, Ruthie continues on to tell me 'we have even bigger goals for the next 5 years'. They plan to open a second store and eventually step back from the business. Not leave, just be in a position to step back and have well trained staff that are then able to take some of the workload from us'. We expect our business to work above the highest level of service. We hope to inspire people and even have our franchise as a 'training store' for new shop owners looking into expanding the Battery World Name.

Ruthie, a frequent member of IWIB, we have seen grow over the last 2 years. Although always a confident character, she is quite frankly now in her prime. She is a fantastic role model for anyone who owns & operates a business and a great advocate for Ipswich businesses.

If you want to meet Ruthie & Howdie in the flesh, they are holding an IWIB event in April.

Stay tuned for details.

From all the members and team of IWIB, we want you both to know how proud we are of you.

You deserve all the success that comes your way.

Congratulations!

Team IWIB

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Celebrations of a New Business Year

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Ipswich Women in Business are thrilled to be back in 2012. The celebrations at the Metro Hotels Ipswich International on Tuesday evening for the New Business Year saw that despite difficult economic times, this is a group of success driven, future focused women with a passion for strengthening our local community.

Due to the tireless efforts of local business, we are seeing this incredible response to Ipswich as overwhelmingly positive and in 2012 we very much look forward to this developing.

We would like to thank all the ladies who attended our first Networking Drinks this year and with our glasses raised we toast to an exciting year ahead, seeing you at our future events and watching businesses flourish.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Who Am I? Yourself, Your Very Best Self

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We've had so much fun playing the Who Am I game and we hope you've enjoyed trying to work out the puzzle. We would love to say a huge congratulations to Gayle Richardson from Mummy's Wish who came up with the correct guess, Irish woman Caroline Casey and will receive 6 months worth of free events with Ipswich Women in Business.

Why we chose Caroline is quite simple. Caroline is an incredible role model and shows us that we should not allow ourselves to be limited in any way shape or form but in the process to truly be yourself. Born legally blind it was not until she was 17 that she was informed as such. Her parents had chosen not to tell Caroline before this so not to be "labelled" and allow her to grow up feeling she wasn't limited or requiring special needs.

As you can imagine to find out that she was in actual fact legally blind momentarily took the wind from Caroline. But then determined to not let this stop her from achieving she became highly educated and was employed in high profile roles such as a global consulting position, all the while maintaining she was "normal" to the outside world.

Two and a half years into her consulting job in 1999 Caroline's luck was to run out and she really began to struggle with her "disability". She had to admit to her employer that she couldn't see and needed help. Caroline was then sent to an eye specialist who looked past her blindness and to her issues in needing to maintain a guise of being "normal" and why was it she was fighting so hard not to be herself.

In self pity she took herself for a run which she often did without any issues and on this day she fell on a rock which had never happened before. Sitting there where she'd fallen over she began to ask herself, "Who am I going to be? What Am I going to be?". As a child she had enjoyed the idea of being Mowgli from the Jungle book with the sense of being free and the wind in her hair. And as she sat there as a 28year old woman she decided that why couldn't she be Mowgli.

Nine months later saw Caroline in India on the back of a 7 & 1/2 foot elephant called Kanchi riding 1000km across the country, having an incredible adventure and being free with the wind in her hair. That trip allowed Caroline to raise funds for 6000 cataract operations and from there she became a social entrepreneur with her own charity named after her beautiful elephant "Kanchi".

Today Caroline's focus is not on "disability" but rather "ability" with her most important message being not to deny your true self by "believing in the wrong thing and not believing in yourself". And to always be the very best of ourselves and to loose any labels.

We hope you've found Caroline's story inspiring also and that you're not only asking yourself "Who is my real self" but being that wonderful person too.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Goodbye Mrs Guilt

Hearing the footsteps down the hallway……..

What comes to mind?

Is it the pitter patter of bare little feet, someone special coming home, your boss bringing you another task to complete, a hot cup of coffee on its way or is it your footsteps echoing back at you?
The chances are that they could be all of the above excluding the hot coffee if you are a working mum.

From the moment you wake, whether it be by choice or by child or alarm, there is a responsibility to be someone, go somewhere and do something and when we make time to drink the cold cup of coffee and bite on the soggy biscuit that we made at 6.57am and don’t get to have until 3.48pm, Mrs Guilt still comes knocking….

So lets get our time in perspective and take a glorious guilt free moment. Are you ready? It may have been a while and we can’t rush ourselves into something we might find satisfying.

Step One
Remind yourself of something you have done today for someone else.
(Wash bubs clothes, Confirmed your bosses dentist appointment, Packed a lunch box)

Step Two
Thank yourself for doing something for someone else day.
(Yes out loud…. If you need to add in a hug for yourself - DO IT! And even giggle after.)

Step Three
Reward yourself by allocating ten minutes of your day to boil the kettle, make the coffee and drink it while it is still hot remembering that you have done something today for someone else and in return you are allowed to drink a hot coffee completely guilt free.

Now lets get our week ahead in order……. or even tomorrow.

Get your diary out. If you don’t have a diary, now is the time to get one so you can schedule all of the important ‘to dos’ including coffee breaks.
In your list for tomorrow, include the chores, the tasks, the jobs, the outings, the meals and the moments you need to thank yourself for being extraordinary.

Monday, January 17, 2011

{The Flood Relief Raffle}

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What started out as an idea to raise money for the flood victims up north has turned into a fundraiser that includes are very own community, friends and family. We've now lived through it and seen homes decimated, lives destroyed. It is truly heartbreaking.

Mumatopia and Precious Packages are going ahead with our raffle for the Queensland flood appeal, with a renewed sense of purpose in the light of the last few days.

We are putting together prizes into $150 prize packs (except for really expensive prizes which will be raffled off as individual prizes).

Every cent will go towards the Premier's Flood Appeal. Tickets $10 each!

We call on other Ipswich businesses to join us and create the mumma of all raffles so we can raise heaps for the flood appeal!

To donate a prize: Please drop off prize or post to Janette Adams at Precious Packages, 17 Ellenborough Street Ipswich. If you are a retailer donating a prize and wish to help sell tickets, please let Janette know and she'll give you a raffle book. Email Cas to let her know so she can update the FB Event Page with your donation cas @ mumatopia.com. Post a piccy on the event page of your prize on offer too!

To purchase tickets: Phone Janette at Precious Packages during business hours to pay by credit card over the phone. 3281 6020 or pay in person at Precious Packages.

Prizes (will update list as we get prizes offered. We've only just begun!):

So far...

Jam Pot Candles in Karalee -- 4 beautiful mosaic candles to the value of $80.00
Mumatopia -- Family pack of reusable sandwich wraps (X4) valed at $70
Precious Packages in the Ipswich CBD -- $100 gift pack and more
Deann's Coffee House in the Ipswich CBD -- morning tea and coffee vouchers
Jodi Cleghorn --(Nothing But) Flowers Anthology (book)
Violet Spice in Ipswich-- TBA
Power Mums Mums outdoor exercise classes in Brisbane--1 week of group classes and a goal setting and motivational session. Valued at $95.
Jax Naps--TBA
Chasing Purple Dreams in Ipswich-- painting worth $395!!!
Gemütlich in the Ipswich CBD $50 voucher
Boutique Très Chic in Woodend-- $50 voucher
Liz Kirkham-- something handmade TBA
Sue Russ of Lavender Leadlights in Ipswich--sun catcher
Popeto Portraits in Ipswich -- portrait sitting
Terry Currie -- Jewellery roll or bag
Whole Woman Magazine -- Subscription
Birthing Journies --Cool fitness accessories
Trevallan Lifestyle Centre in Brassall -- $150 give your life some TLC pack
Lorelle Mac in Fernvale-- hand beaded necklace
Just Lush Make Up & Beauty in North Ipswich--5 ionic detox vouchers valued at $45 each
Mixed Spice -- $20 Voucher
The Wine Club -- 12 Bottles of Mixed Wines
Fuze Hair and Beauty -- A Cloud Nine Straightner Pack -- worth $369
Poetic Gifts -- Journals
Vintage By LouLou -- 5 x $20 gift certificates
Esteem Jewellery -- $150 jewellery
Vanilla and Rose -- 5 x $20 gift certificates
Birch Carroll & Coyle Cinema, Ipswich City Square -- 5 family passes!
Under the Stairs, Ipswich CBD (Old Flour Mill) -- $20 gift voucher
Master Therapies at Karalee has donated 2 vouchers for an acupuncture treatment valued at $85.00 each

Please tell everyone!!!!! Let's support the Qld Flood Appeal. This is on our doorstep and across the State!

Proudly supported by Ipswich Women in Business!