Posts Tagged ‘victoria craw’

Christmas pressies – without the guilt!

Posted:12.12.2010

Have you done your Christmas shopping yet? If like me, you’re a last minute mall rat that ends up buying whatever is cheapest/easiest/most convenient, you might want to read on….

This year, in an effort to become more charitable with my giving, I’m going to make a point of buying gifts that give you the warm fuzzies inside and out.

A friend of mine works for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre in Melbourne who produce a fantastic gift guide for Christmas. Chocolate, tea, spices, soap, candles, wrapping paper and the best part? It’s all reasonably priced, fair trade, charitable loveliness that means Christmas without the shopping hangover!

If you want to give a thoughtful gift this Christmas, here are a few places to get you started:

Asylum seekers Resource Centre
Oxfam
Home-made Christmas treats
Head along to your local Finders Keepers Market
Or check out some great local blogs – Daydream Lily and Renee Anne have been known to produce spectacular gift guides in the past

Happy shopping!

Victoria Craw has a degree in Political Science and English and is currently based in Sydney as a finance writer. Victoria has also worked as a foreign exchange writer in London, a journalist in Samoa and at a winery in a small corner of New Zealand. Described as a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ she occupies her time reading, writing and thinking about how to finance the next trip overseas. Read her personal blog at http://www.victoriacraw.blogspot.com/

What would you do if money wasn’t an issue?

Posted:10.15.2010

Victoria Craw has a degree in Political Science and English and is currently based in Sydney as a finance writer. Victoria has also worked as a foreign exchange writer in London, a journalist in Samoa and at a winery in a small corner of New Zealand. Described as a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ she occupies her time reading, writing and thinking about how to finance the next trip overseas. Read her personal blog at http://www.victoriacraw.blogspot.com/

Such a huge, exciting and un-nerving question…Nowadays, finance and money plays such a huge role in our lives. While they can be stressful and frustrating, understanding your finances properly can allow you to make choices. Always a good thing right?

Yet figures consistently show that people, women in particular, often put their money in the ‘too hard’ or ‘too boring’ basket and do their best to forget about the issue.

Recently I went to a 10thousandgirl workshop which was packed with creative, talented women who wanted to realise their dream. They just needed to take the first step.

As an avid reader of art and design blogs, I always admire those that have been able to turn their passion into a productive reality. So to inspire myself and others, here’s the first in a series of short Q&As with other women as they explain how they took the nerve-wracking first steps to getting out there on their own.

Renee is a tremendously talented illustrator, designer, artist, stylist and photographer living in Sydney. As well as running an online shop and vintage store, Renee recently moved to working freelance and you can see her work on her website and browse her lovely blog.

A massive thank you to Renee for taking the time to answer these questions. Make sure you contact her if you are ever in need of a designer!

What’s a typical day for you?

I guess being a “freelancer”, my days are not often typical. I do try and create a bit of a routine of waking up early, getting into my email that need actioning first thing and checking if I have any deadlines. I would hardly say that I have a 9-5 working day, more like 24 hours! Sometimes I find myself checking my email in my sleep. But for the most part I try and keep up to date on “admin” type tasks, so when the creative urge hits (sometimes at 2am!) I can get onto it! (just for fun, here is a little “day tripper” story I did for Elle Girl Korea!)

What do you love most about your work?

The wonderful amazing people I get to meet along the way. Being a freelancer can be “lonely” but I have never found myself feeling that way. It also helps when you are dealing with people who are passionate and love their jobs.

What inspired you to take the plunge and start your own business?

I guess I have always been inspired to do such a thing, and it isn’t something that I really dove into, more something that has been a gradual thing that has evolved over time. Starting with working on business things “after hours” while managing a full time job, to slowly making the shift into working for myself… I have always had my eye on the goal, it is just a matter of taking the steps to get there… eventually.

Were there any major challenges along the way?

Of course. There always is, and I still wouldn’t say that I am “there” yet either. There isn’t just a day where life just goes “pop” and says “you have a successful business now, enjoy”. It is a constant challenge and a lot of hard, but rewarding work.

Do you have any advice for young women looking to do the same thing?

Take your time. Think things through. Don’t rush. Consider all options.

Can you recommend any great sources of support or information?

I don’t think there is any one hub, especially online as everything is always evolving, moving and growing. There are SO MANY great blogs out their, full of information and inspiration. Try leeloo.com.au, thefinderskeepers.com and meetmeatmikes.blogspot.com

Thanks so much Renee!

The 10thousandgirl workshop

Posted:06.01.2010

Victoria Craw has a degree in Political Science and English and is currently based in Sydney as a finance writer. Victoria has also worked as a foreign exchange writer in London, a journalist in Samoa and at a winery in a small corner of New Zealand. Described as a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ she occupies her time reading, writing and thinking about how to finance the next trip overseas. Read her personal blog at http://www.victoriacraw.blogspot.com/

On a swirling winter’s day in the heart of industrial Alexandria, I blustered in from the rain to the HQ of Napoleon Perdis, for my first introduction to the 10thousandgirl project.

Not knowing what to expect, I was amazed to stumble upon a hive of feminine activity. Part boardroom, part boudoir, the Napoleon office was filled with warm chatter, smiling women, soft music, and the smell of hot coffee. The large table was strewn with make-up, copies of Flirting with Finance and plates of dainty biscuits, with not a man or a briefcase in sight!

Led by the effervescent and positively charming Zoe, we all made our introductions and I was amazed at how open and individual everyone was. The aim of the day was to paint a picture of where we wanted to be, and create a road map to get there.

Firstly, Zoe asked us to look at our value systems, our beliefs, and habits – that when trotted out like a pair of well worn slippers, can become inhibiting. ‘I never have enough time’ or ‘I’m terrible with money’ immediately sprung to mind.

We looked at why we held these beliefs and if we wanted to, what we could replace them with. By saying ‘what’s the worst that could happen? Or ‘trust your instinct more’, it suddenly seemed easier to find a sense of empowerment to move forward, rather than stay in a rut.

We made vision boards, ate sushi, had makeovers and in my favourite part, painted a picture of our lives in 10 years time. By creating a story that involved living by the water, kids, pets, rustic furniture, a library full of books and for some reason, fruit trees, it made it easier to imagine this as a reality. We did the same thing for five years time, one year and eventually, broke it down into specific steps to take away.

One of the ‘light bulb’ moments I had was the feeling of connectivity in a society where people seem innately competitive. Where furtively checking out a women’s outfit can be more common than giving a compliment, it was great to meet people in an environment where everyone was open about their dreams and desires. Any bad decisions, relationships or work environments were obstacles to be overcome, not secrets to hide away.

I came away energized, positive and inspired. It’s easy to be ‘too busy’ or ‘too broke’ and I was happy to have spent time shutting off the background noise and thinking about what I really want. My goals include more writing, building a website, paying off my student loan and eventually owning my own home.

Since I’m a firm believer that to be inspired and positive you should surround yourself with positive and inspiring people, I’m going to embark on a series of interviews of inspiring women who have turned their passion into a day job.

Stay tuned to see how they did it!

Life Planning Workshop

Get a life and finance makeover ..and a beauty makeover! The first series of one day Life Planning Workshops are being held at Napoleon Perdis Makeup Academy venues in capital cities from February to June 2010.

More info and register now

Personal Finance Program

Find out more about the one year Personal Finance Program. Available from June 2010, we're looking for girls to jump on the boat early. Provide feedback on each of the modules and receive your program free!

Click here for more info

Share Your Inspiration

Get involved in the discussion! Looking to build your writing portfolio? We're looking for active blog contributors with all kind of fun and exciting rewards and incentives, you'll play an integral part in collating stories and helping us all stay in tune and inspired.
Contact us for more information