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Celebrating fabulous women of Frankston

Celebrating fabulous women of Frankston

Frankston has a pretty amazing community that inject energy, passion, creativity and pride into our city. So this International Women’s Day, we thought we’d celebrate  amazing women who help make Frankston the incredible city that it is.

These women are a range of ages, all with different stories to share.   From creatives, to future leaders, business owners and those forging their way in traditionally male dominated industries. They all create a positive impact on Frankston for our neighbourhoods, our visitors and our community as a whole.

On a day where we celebrate the achievements of women, and help increase their visibility, let’s take a look at these women’s stories and what they’ve achieved.

 Kate Barton

Kate Barton – Co-Founder - That Spirited Lot Distillers 

In the past, the spirits industry has traditionally been conquered by men, but women are really starting to rise to the top. What drew you to the industry? 

There’s already been a lot of change in the spirits industry over the past 10 years here in Australia, and more recently in the past 5 years with many new distilleries and drinks businesses popping up, so I never felt intimidated entering as a newcomer.

I had been looking for a change from my previous career for quite some time, so I followed my passion of food, drinks, flavour and creativity, and with the encouragement of my family (brother-in-law and sister) we made the brave step into the new industry together. I was ready to learn a set of completely new skills, to be in situations that put me out of my comfort zone, and to enjoy a new business created by ourselves, a group of family and friends.

Which other women do you admire?

One of my most used business tools is the online design platform ‘Canva’, I actually couldn’t live without it, it’s an amazing resource and allows you to be creative – so I really admire its creator Melanie Perkins.

She took an idea and made it simple and accessible to people. She started small, tested out her ideas, and made her ‘big dream’ become a reality. Now Canva is in the hands of anyone, school students, business owners, less tech savvy people to the more advanced. In the click of a few buttons on a phone (the canva app), you can create a new product page, new social media campaigns, a new menu, that looks really clean and professional, then when I have more time - I could be on there for hours just playing around because you can integrate your own logos and photos on there.

Also another women I admire is Carolyn Creswell, the founder of Carman’s muesli, reading her story gives me inspiration that you can start small, work hard, surround yourself with the right people, and if you make ‘challenges into new opportunities’, you can take yourself the places you want to go! Carman’s has gone from being stocked locally, to being stocked in 30 countries, and growth into new countries on the horizon.

What are you most proud of?

It was a proud moment to launch That Spirited Lot’s sidekick ‘Peninsula BLVD.’, in June 2019, a range of mixers crafted from the excess of fresh fruits left over from the distilling process (we wanted to re-use all of our ingredients and couldn’t bear to waste any of the beautiful fruits we had). It had been many months in the making, heading out to markets to purchase local fruits and checking what is in season, lots of peeling and juicing, creating and cooking up recipes, designing the labels and the look of the brand, and finally having two flavours to put on the shelf to sit alongside our newly released spirits. THEN the very first customer to purchase a bottle EVER. That was a VERY exciting moment! Throughout the course of the year, we were busy mixing up new syrup flavours, now with a range of more than 10 varieties!

What have been your biggest challenges (or potential barriers) that have you faced throughout your career as woman?

As mentioned, coming from a different career background and entering into the spirits and drinks world, we were all the new kids on the block (that nobody knew of!). Most of our start-up has been during the Pandemic, it’s involved approaching new customers, a lot of phone calls, emails, zoom meetings, with people that we couldn’t meet face to face, to explain our story and our passion for drinks, and tell them that they had to taste test our range we had created from our love of travel and flavours. It’s meant being extremely confident about ourselves and what we’ve created, no matter who you’re talking to, many of them being industry guru’s who have been around for many, many years, and with us being very new, and from a variety of different career backgrounds – our confidence comes from knowing when they try our drinks they’re going to be impressed.

What advice would you give to other women who dream of a career in a predominantly male industry?

Follow your passion and stay committed, you don’t always get things right first time around but learn from every experience and apply what you have learnt next time around. Know your company values and constantly keep them in mind, don’t settle for a result that you’re not 100% happy with. You know that ‘Gut’ feeling, just trust it!

What are you most excited about for the future?

For 2022, I’m excited to welcome people back to visit our Distillery in Seaford, to all the locals that have supported us over the lockdowns - head down and see where we produce all of our drinks, sip on a G&T (or a fresh soda) and we can chat to them in person!

I’m also excited to be able to hit the road a visit all the amazing customers, such as the venues and bottle shops, that have supported us over the past two years, supported us because we’re independent, supported us because we’re local, because they believed in what we were creating! And because one of our favourite things to do is explore new flavours, especially food and drinks, we can support them in return by grabbing a bottle take away, or having a bite to eat & a drink! There’s a lot of catching up to do ?

I’m especially excited to see where our journey takes us next, we have grown our business in a difficult time by keeping our heads high and making difficult decisions, and have big plans on the horizon, with a new 2nd distillery being commissioned, just down the road in Seaford, national growth of our products, and international export on the way – That Spirited Lot Distillers. WATCH THIS SPACE!

 

Lisa Byrne resized

Lisa Byrne – Director – McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery

The arts industry is full of many incredible women, what do you think draws women to creative industries?

What drew me to work in the arts sector was my curiosity about the world, in particular about people and culture. I am very interested and motivated by ideas.  In the arts you get to work with and meet so many people with creativity at the heart of their thinking, with different perspectives about the world we all live in, and it never ceases to amaze and inspire me to be an active participant of and contributor too.

Which women do you admire or are motivated by?

An impossible question to answer, there are so many hardworking, fabulous and talented women for a variety of reasons and contexts. I would prefer to answer in terms of the qualities of the numerous women I admire and these are integrity, respect, innovation, and I have great admiration of women who affect lasting cultural change through adversity.

What are you most proud of?

Being respected as a valued contributor to my field and my immediate family and colleagues who support me to achieve and be a good citizen.

What have been your biggest challenges (or potential barriers) that have you faced throughout your career as woman?

Without doubt the juggle of a busy career and wanting/having a quality family. As a woman it really does take tenacity through adversity at times to be everything you need to be and find some space to be and for yourself as well. I have achieved and at time been lacking on this front, and am so grateful for my families and friends understanding.

What advice would you give to women just starting out in their career, who want a future in the arts?

Have a strong sense of what you want, find where to apply this best, and persist with what you know you do best and for whom, don’t doubt yourself.

What are you most excited about for the future?

I am looking forward to being in the world again in a larger engaged way, reconnecting and reinventing ways to foster a future that is worth inheriting by our future generations. I am committed to growing respect for people and cultures in as many ways I can contribute to, and modelling behaviours that my children and others are proud of and as a basis for their engagement with the world.  

 

Abbie Minty Greenhouse resized

Abbie Capper – Business owner – Minty Greenhouse

You have recently opened a fabulous new business in Frankston, Minty Greenhouse. Why do you think so many women are keen to begin their own business venture?

For me, beginning my own business was a no brainer. I think women in general are pretty creative, and we all need an outlet, so Minty Greenhouse became mine! Having my own business has also given me tonnes more flexibility, in regards to family life, than I probably would have found working for someone else. Something I have needed in spades this past year! Perhaps this is also true for other business owning women?

Which women do you admire or are motivated by?

I admire any woman who is truly following her dreams. It sometimes takes time to realise them, but seeing a woman who is happy and content living her passions is honestly the most inspiring thing I could think of! 

What are you most proud of?

Opening my shop AND becoming a Mum all within 12 months!

What have been your biggest challenges (or potential barriers) that you have faced throughout your career as woman?

I can't say I've ever faced any barriers. Well, none that come to mind when writing this anyway!

Probably my biggest challenges have been making the leap of faith in beginning my own business. I had unbelievable support around me, and still do! But to make the jump was pretty terrifying (particularly that we were on the brink of a global pandemic!!)

What advice would you give to women keen to get their own business up and running?

Honestly, it sounds cliché, but just do it!! You never know if you don't give it a go!!

What are you most excited about for the future?

The growth of our little business! It will be 2 years in August since we opened and we certainly have not seen anywhere near what it can do. We've endured every single lockdown since they became a part of our vocabulary just 4 days after we opened, so we have not been able to grow our business in a "normal" capacity. I'm just really excited for the next "covid free" chapter of Minty Greenhouse and for even more people to discover us and hopefully love us and what we do. I'm excited to see continued growth of Frankston (it's really happening in Playne Street!!) and the fabulous businesses we have on offer!

 Sarah Mall Image resized

Sarah Mall - Centre Leader - Pines Forest Aquatic Centre

You’ve recently been nominated as PARC’s “Emerging Leader” in the Aquatics and Recreation Victoria awards.  You clearly have a passion for your local community and your team. Why do you feel community connections are so important? 

I think having a community around you brings the best out of people. Those connections give you the strength and confidence you need to try new experiences and believe in yourself. We have managed to create an amazing community at Pines - a community where people feel supported to try different things, allowing you to see what is possible. Having a community also allows people to share ideas and seek feedback in a safe environment without judgement, to bounce ideas around, and this is when great things happen.

Which women do you admire or are motivated by?

My mum, she is my rock! I see what she did when I was little, running a business, looking after 3 kids, doing everything! She was always busy, but she was always there. And that’s what matters. Now she is my sounding board, to any and all issues I and my siblings have. 

Professionally I feel really lucky to be surrounded by so many supportive, inspiring women who empower you to be yourself and lead the way that comes naturally to you. We all seem to motivate each other in different ways, and support each other’s strengths!

What are you most proud of?

Being PARC's nominee for the industry wide Emerging Leader Award would certainly be up there. But I guess what I have done over the last couple of years as Pines Aquatic Centre Leader. It would have been very easy to give up and change industries with COVID and not being able to work for such as period of time, but instead I chose to educate myself by completing a Cert 4 and develop my leadership skills. 

What have been your biggest challenges (or potential barriers) that you have faced throughout your career as a woman?

I feel really lucky as to date I have not faced any barriers due to being a woman within the aquatic and recreation industry. Peninsula Leisure is very focused on supporting and empowering the next generation of female leaders within the business. Saying that, there were certainly times while I was younger and working various casual jobs that there was the perception that somethings were “too hard” for me to tackle, or I wasn’t “strong enough” for different tasks… Don’t worry, I very quickly proved them wrong!

What advice would you give to other young women, potentially just starting career who may not always have the confidence to put their hand up when leadership opportunities arise?

Firstly, just go for it and don’t give up!!! Ask questions, ask for training, ask to be involved. Ask, even if you think it’s a dumb questions, because you never know where the answer could lead. And find someone that you can learn and grow from, whether it be a mentor, a manager, a sibling or a friend.

What are you most excited about for the future?

Everything – there are so many positive things going on both professionally and personally that it’s so exciting to see what is going to happen next.

 

If you’d like to learn more about International Women’s Day, head to https://www.internationalwomensday.com/  

Women painting a different picture for Frankston
Bursts of colour, music that makes you move & food...
 

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