11 Inspiring entrepreneurial women who call the Coast home
Strong female leads are just what we need to celebrate the UN International Day of the Girl here on the Central Coast of Australia.
With a growing network of entrepreneurial women bringing their ideas, business or life to the Coast, we’re sharing a snapshot of female-driven businesses supporting local and growing tourism in our region...
You may be familiar with International Women’s Day, a global movement to empower women and promote equality, but there’s also a profound annual sister holiday that focuses on growing freedom and opportunities for young women. This is something that impacts all of us.
Known as International Day of the Girl Child, and taking place this year on 11 October, this is a chance to support the young women in your life by exploring ideas behind this year’s timely theme, ‘Digital Generation, Our Generation’. To inspire the young generation of females across the Central Coast and beyond, we’ve looked to our community for some standout examples of success on a local scale.
Introducing a snapshot of 11 local women who, as masters of their chosen craft and savvy entrepreneurs, have recently helped to support the Central Coast visitor economy during a tricky period. Their drive to do what they love can inspire opportunities for the next generation of girls to pursue what they love.
This is by no means an exhaustive list - we encourage you to explore the amazing stories from the wider Central Coast community and its diverse female leaders. Start with our chat with Paralympian Rae Anderson and Indigenous musician Tessa Thames on their favourite places to visit. Meet the founders of global environmental movement Take 3 for the Sea - Roberta Dixon-Valk, Amanda Marechal and Sarah Beard, plus read about the incredible activism success story led by Tracey Howie (Guringai Tribal Link Aboriginal Corp) and Tassin Barnard of Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park.
Sheridan is an advocate for sustainable practices on her family’s Mooney Mooney based operation, Sydney Oyster Farm Tours, operating for over 15 years. Following a recent shock fire at their site that almost decimated the business, she is determined to rebuild and relaunch their signature luxury experiences, plus announce their exciting, new immersive in-water experience, all while pursuing official ECO Certification with Ecotourism Australia. We’re inspired by Sheridan’s immense resilience despite the challenges of 2021, and her dedication to sharing her families hard work with the world.
As one half of the Central Coast’s award-winning gelato creators, Mr Goaty, Julia has brought the brand to life at Bar Botanic with her partner Dan, after churning their first batch in their kitchen and serving their first scoops of Mr Goaty at Bondi markets. Moving into their HQ at The Fragrant Garden, Julia has helped to raise the profile of the Central Coast’s “food bowl” by creating new flavours daily, and has launched innovative events such as Gin Yoga to connect people to their products.
Two inspiring business women, Danielle and Natasja, have created the internationally successful wellness food brand ‘Food to Nourish’, selling their nutrient-rich products in Australia and overseas including Canada, The Phillipines and Sweden. They hand-pick all the ingredients used in their products, ensuring they are produced ethically and sustainably. This duo inspire us with their vision to encourage better food choices for our bodies and the planet.
As one half of the Central Coast powerhouse build team, Kyal & Kara, appearing on The Block and Reno Rumble and most recently airing the story of their Blue Lagoon Build at Toowoon Bay, she represents what you can achieve with dedicated teamwork and passion. Kara first studied as a physiotherapist, but today has a strong entrepreneurial career as a Brand Ambassador for the Central Coast plus some of Australia's big brands, co-leads a successful building & design business, and has recently expanded K&K to sell curated homewares online.
Virginia leads her family’s hinterland business, Grace Springs Farm, based on the belief that healthy soils lead to healthy pastures which lead to healthy animals. Despite obstacles thrown her way during the pandemic, she has proven a tireless commitment to running a sustainable farming business on the Central Coast harvest plateau, hosting interactive tours to inspire families to learn more about paddock to plate and grass-fed farming. In addition to this, she is actively pursuing ECO Certification with Ecotourism Australia so Grace Springs Farm can connect with like-minded visitors to the Central Coast.
This Central Coast winemaker heads up a 2.5 hectare winery with her husband, Francis, which follows organic permaculture and regenerative farming practices to produce award-winning fruit wines. They even host a monthly produce swap at their winery to support growing local in the community. Each wine Nadia crafts is made from scratch using nature’s ingredients, many sourced from their luscious garden fruits and botanicals. We’re inspired by Nadia’s clear passion for the art of winemaking and her return to the Central Coast community after travelling for years abroad to become a leading female producer working directly with nature.
Carlie Ballard leads a pioneering Australian fashion brand advocating for more ethical and sustainable practices in the industry, and her line represents high quality, independent designs. Carlie inspires us as her work supports the protectors of our planet, and is a major advocate for introducing ‘slow fashion’ into the every day, offering unique collections with minimal impact on the planet.
You may have noticed the idyllic fashion & lifestyle boutique, La Boheme Lifestyle, tucked away on the scenic road between Terrigal and Avoca. This Central Coast business was founded in 2018 by Steph, who first moved here from Scotland with her family in 2014. She since launched La Boheme Girls in 2020, a brand inspired by travel, offering timeless, modern lifestyle clothing for today's bohemian woman. Steph inspires us as she has created a ‘destinational fashion brand’ in her local community, with La Boheme being a place where everyone is welcome and encouraged to find fashion that makes them feel fearless and free. Watch this space for Steph's story - soon to appear as one of our Brand Ambassador's for the Central Coast!
Weave Dibden-Neck is an international fashion designer and artist based at Avoca Beach on the Central Coast. She’s the incredibly talented tailor behind plenty of big stars, including Nicole Kidman under YSL for Marie Claire, has designed award-winning outfits for The Sapphires movie, and has even established her own fashion label, Ukiyo-co. She’s a local gem and we are inspired by her commitment to support a more ethically minded industry through art and design, inspired by her chosen base here on the beautiful Coast.
Introducing the Central Coast’s Doughnut Empress, who launched Daily Dough Co in July 2020, a tough time to launch any new foodie venture! Daily Dough Co. serve up a mouth-watering collection of fresh ‘hole foods’ daily, led by Emma’s passion to share fresh doughies made with the finest ingredients to be the No.1 place for doughnuts on the Central Coast. We’re inspired by this young businesswoman making a daring success of a gap in the gourmet baked goods market during a pandemic, and building an iconic local brand with a huge fan base – all at just 19 years old. That takes a hole lot of focus, hard work and energy, which Emma clearly has a dozen times over!
This Central Coast Australia Day Ambassador’s work has been pivotal in reinvigorating the ‘support local’ message on the Central Coast in late 2020, with the launch of Coasties lifestyle magazine and the Coasties Card membership scheme. Amy is a journalist whose work has been featured in publications including Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Refinery 29 and Grazia. Amy inspires us with her digital savvy approach to supporting local when they need it most, and her enduring commitment to the growth of the Central Coast.
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