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,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Battery World Ipswich Take 4 for the Team!


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.



Thursday, February 2, 2012

Celebrations of a New Business Year


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.