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Episode 9 · 41 minutes
Iantha Yu (Freelance Beauty Journalist)
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In today’s episode, we dive into the inspiring journey of beauty expert Iantha Yu; from her beginnings of a creative childhood that didn't quite align with traditional expectations, through to her influential roles in the beauty editorial world, and onto her leap into entrepreneurship with Kick Studios.

We discuss the significant steps and decisions in her career, the challenges of navigating the fast-paced beauty industry, and how her past experiences and industry connections have shaped her business approach. Join us as we explore the blend of creativity, business skills, and the proactive mindset that drives Iantha Yu’s ongoing journey in the beauty sector.

Key Takeaways

  • Embrace Your Unique Path: Follow your passion, even if it diverges from expected norms. Iantha's early love for creativity over traditional careers led her to success. Start small, like a social media page or personal blog, to gradually build your path.

  • Don't Wait for Your Big Break: Don’t wait for a big break to start your career. Use platforms available to you (like blogs or social media) to showcase your work and initiate your career journey.

  • Utilise Your Network: Build and maintain relationships within your industry. These connections can lead to opportunities, like internships or collaborations.

  • Learn & Adapt: Always be open to learning and adapting. Iantha's transition from magazines to starting her own business highlights the importance of resilience and versatility in the face of industry changes.

  • Diversify Your Skills: Iantha’s combination of Journalism with a minor in International Business prepared her for various challenges. Consider cross-training in complementary skills relevant to your field.

  • Create a Personal Brand: Develop and communicate a clear personal brand. Know who you are, be consistent in your messaging, and execute with confidence. This clarity will attract the right clients or employers to you.

  • Embrace the Digital Shift: Acknowledge and adapt to the digital transformation within your industry. The move from print to digital in Iantha’s career illustrates the need to evolve with technology and consumer behaviour.

  • The Value of Comprehensive Service Offering: Consider offering a range of services that can cater to different needs and budgets. This approach not only broadens your client base but also allows for flexibility in project scopes.

  • Setbacks Are Redirections: View setbacks as redirections, not failures. Redundancy led Iantha to entrepreneurship, demonstrating that challenges can pivot us towards fulfilling careers.

  • Know Your Worth: Understanding and asserting your value is crucial. Charge accordingly for your services and don’t undersell yourself, reinforcing the importance of confidence in your professional journey.

Who is Iantha Yu?

Iantha Yu is known for her extensive background in the beauty industry, having served as a beauty editor and director for renowned publications like Beauty Crew and Marie Claire. Her journey took a significant turn when she leveraged her experience and network to establish her own business, Kick Studios. In this new venture, she focuses on offering a range of services including copywriting, strategy, and content creation for brands.

Iantha Yu also works as a beauty mentor at Online Courses Australia, where she guides future beauty industry professionals. She shares expert insights from her own career to help students navigate the beauty world and carve out a successful career in beauty. Iantha’s story showcases her adaptability and entrepreneurial spirit, highlighting her transition from editorial roles to business ownership in the beauty sector.

Links & Social Media

Tap Into Your Entrepreneurial Potential with Online Courses Australia

Ready to turn your passion for beauty into a thriving career? Online Courses Australia is here to guide your journey with our range of industry-leading beauty courses.

With Iantha Yu as one of your mentors, you'll gain insider knowledge and practical skills to navigate the beauty industry confidently.

Whether you're dreaming of becoming a makeup artist, beautician, stylist, or creating your own brand, we’ll teach you how.

Get started on your path to success with Iantha Yu and Online Courses Australia today.

Listen on:

[00:00:03.440] - Speaker 1

Welcome to the Learning Without Limits podcast for The Learning Lounge. I'm your host, Melanie Wernickele. This episode, I'm chatting with the amazingly talented, Eanthi Yu. Now, she's come from a beauty background as a beauty editor, as a beauty director for the most prestigious brands such as Beauty Crew and Marie Claire, and now the owner of her own Picsudios. Talk about being able to do it all. She has the right contacts because of the rapport she's built over many years in a successful career. Now she brings it all to life within her own business, choosing after redundancy to take a step forward, owning her confidence and owning what she does. This wonderful woman knows who she is, and now her business does, too, and her clients appreciate it. Please welcome my wonderful guest for today, Eanth, the You.

[00:00:49.760] - Speaker 2

Thank you.

[00:00:51.310] - Speaker 1

I want to start with when you were growing up, tell me, did you have any idea of what you wanted to do growing up or what you thought you might wanted to have done?

[00:01:00.810] - Speaker 2

I think growing up in a Chinese household, I think my parents really tried to push me down the lawyer path or the doctor path, but that was definitely something I wasn't interested in. I really loved being creative. I loved colour. I loved putting things together. In fact, I remember as a kid, I actually put together my own magazine. I just used clippings from other magazines and put together colour pages like blues and oranges like that. That's awesome. Looking back, I think that was really telling of what I really wanted to do as an adult. Yeah.

[00:01:29.000] - Speaker 1

It's funny, isn't it? You naturally just, I think, have an affinity towards something. But then did you end up going, trying any of the things that your parents were asking you to do and they hated it, or you just really stuck to your guns and went in your direction?

[00:01:44.340] - Speaker 2

I think at the end of the day, my parents were really like, Look, you can pick whatever you want to do as long as you just stick to it and you're serious about it. At the end, I was really serious about getting into magazines, being an editor and telling stories. I got into Uni, and that was the path I took, and I was very serious about it.

[00:02:03.970] - Speaker 1

What did you do at Uni?

[00:02:05.480] - Speaker 2

So I did a Bachelor of Media, Communications, and Journalism at UN SW, and I did a minor in International business as my backup. Amazing. So it was a lot of fun. I think Uni was fun in itself, but I just couldn't wait to get out into the real world, get experience, get an internship, get a real job, and actually play the part properly.

[00:02:28.810] - Speaker 1

Yeah, I think it's when you really want to get your hands dirty because you love something, you're just itching to break out and do that. When you said you wanted to go an intern, is that what your first stepping stone was moving into the magazine? And how did you find your internship and where did you go?

[00:02:47.080] - Speaker 2

So rewind a little bit. In the first or second year, actually at the end of high school, I actually launched a blog. It was just on blog spot. It was just things I really liked, like makeup, hair products that I was buying myself. And then I started getting invited by beauty brands to events, and I started meeting or sitting with editors. And I remember sitting with a particular beauty editor at the time at Shop So You Drop. And she was like, I actually am looking for interns. I was like, great, I really want to get into the magazine industry. And so that was where my internship started. And that was actually where I landed my first job as well.

[00:03:22.070] - Speaker 1

Do you know what? I think that's such a smart idea. People sometimes wait till they're really finished. But just putting yourself out there and creating your blog, you're starting your career before you've even finished all the skills because you can do that these days. I think that's the beauty of all of the different online platforms. You can start at any given moment. I think the fact that you're brave enough to just be putting your work out there through things that you love, what a beautiful way to start your career. But then you put yourself into an environment where you're with the right people. Then once people know you, it's an open door. It's so much easier than having to cold call everybody, Hi. It's like those sales call you get at 7:30 at night, How's your electricity? It's like, I don't want to talk to you. I don't know you. But when people are familiar, there's this beautiful openness because you're already at the events. Then they just open that door and then you've got a chance to step through it if you choose.

[00:04:20.730] - Speaker 2


[00:04:21.690] - Speaker 1

Shop to your job. God, I loved that magazine.

[00:04:23.880] - Speaker 2

It was one of my favourite places to work as well.

[00:04:26.950] - Speaker 1

It's just everything. The whole crew in the background of that was amazing. And then on top of it, the content was fun. It's what people really want. And it was such a different platform in a magazine than what had been available.

[00:04:42.050] - Speaker 2

Yeah, definitely. And just to think that such a big team could have been on a monthly. I think we had something like a team of 24 of us working on one monthly magazine. I think that's absolutely unheard of these days. Now it's the absolute opposite. You've got people doing social, you've got people doing online, the magazine itself. It's just such a different role to what it used to be.

[00:05:02.790] - Speaker 1

Yeah. I found in the magazine world over the last few years before a few of them disappeared. And what I did find was that certain people were working across three magazines. When you once had a role for a particular magazine because the budgets weren't there anymore, it was really hard for people because they'll just stretch so thin.

[00:05:24.220] - Speaker 2

It takes the enjoyment out of the work.

[00:05:26.400] - Speaker 1

Yeah. I found that personally as well. Being on set, there's so much They were trying to do 130 shots the other day, 130 outfits, and each outfit has five shots. So it's just this quantity, quantity, quantity, rather than the quality. Absolutely. And when you're used to seeing such a beautiful image and the love and the care that goes into it, to literally getting screamed. It's a very different environment. And it's not all the same for all mags, but I think certainly for e-commerce, for certain brands and things. You get pushed.

[00:06:00.760] - Speaker 2

Yeah, it's about quantity, getting the result.

[00:06:05.220] - Speaker 1

After working at Shop To You Drop, you moved, was it to Beauty Crew then?

[00:06:10.240] - Speaker 2

No, so I worked at Women's Health.

[00:06:11.990] - Speaker 1

Women's Health, that's it.

[00:06:12.910] - Speaker 2

Then the Carousel, and then And I was part of the launch team for Beauty Crew, which was super exciting. We were Australia's number one online beauty destination for, I think, the three or four years that I was there, which was absolutely incredible. That's amazing. To build something from zero followers. Beauty Crew was a new It wasn't like I was working at Marie Claire, where it had a lot of tradition behind it. So working on an absolutely new brand, building up all the socials, having relationships with advertisers was super exciting. And then at the end of my publishing career, I was acting Beauty Director of Marie Claire. That was such a nice reward.

[00:06:48.350] - Speaker 1

Yeah, exactly. Marie Claire has just always been that beautiful magazine. Trusted. Yes, it is. It's trustworthy. I think also what I loved about Beauty Crew being that online destination It was one of the first publications in Australia to really go that all out online. It was that big stepping stone where people realised that traditional magazines were moving in that direction. What a nice thing to be a part of.

[00:07:13.970] - Speaker 2

But it still How did that editorial feel. It didn't feel rushed. It didn't feel like we were just buying images off the internet. We were still taking a lot of care into shooting our imagery, doing proper videos, having a crew, actually executing it to such a high level that everyone took an interest in it and actually wanted to be a part of it.

[00:07:30.710] - Speaker 1

The video content that you guys were making for that, because I just am content obsessed. But it was really beautifully done. It was that next level. No, but it's true because there's so many things out there that are that I think it was a bit rushed, but to see something done with quality and the execution of the old Polaroid photo in that sense in my mind, to see video done that well, it was really beautiful.Thank you.Yeah. Now stepping away into your own business and walking away from big corporate world. You started Pig Studio, which is your bubba. Talk to me a little bit about that and why you decided to not go down the corporate route anymore and go out on your own. It was the start, I think it was April 2020.

[00:08:15.670] - Speaker 2

I actually got made redundant from my role at Marie Claire. So it was a big mass redundancy across the board. There were so many redundancies. It was out of my control. And it was like a fight for survival. What do I do now? There weren't that many jobs going. I had no choice but to launch my business. And so it was a business doing copywriting strategy, shooting content for brands, doing photos, doing videos, branding, a bit of everything, because it was based on the skills that I collected along the way in the publishing world. And I just had to run with it. And now it's been what, almost two years, and I'm absolutely loving it. I think I'm a real big believer of the universe. I think I always wanted to do freelance anyway, and this was the push I needed to do my own thing. And I haven't looked back. I absolutely love what I do.

[00:09:00.960] - Speaker 1

I think, look, I've worked for myself for such a long time, and as much as it's tough.

[00:09:08.640] - Speaker 2

It's tough. It is really tough.

[00:09:10.230] - Speaker 1

The struggle is real sometimes, but the joy And the passion and to be able to do it with your touch is a really nice thing. I think what you were saying before when you were at Uni, you also did the business. Do you find that that knowledge helped you starting your own business as well, having that little bit of understanding?

[00:09:30.040] - Speaker 2

I think we all know more than we think we know. And I think once we're put into difficult positions where we just have to run with it, have to go with it, you just know what to do. Also, there's so much information out there on the Internet. You can Google how to launch a business. How do I do this? I'm terrible with numbers. I use a programme called Xero. I put all my invoices through that. It's easy. I know when things get paid. There are so many tools out there now which can actually help you run a business. Yeah.

[00:10:01.000] - Speaker 1

I think that's what you're saying. So it's always funny. If I don't know something, I can easily learn it. Google it. And when you're in that position with your own business, you're not like you're going, someone else will do it. You have to do it. You've got to do it. And so it gets done. And the way that you teach yourself, you just take it on board really quickly. You're just open to learning all the time, I think, when you work for yourself.

[00:10:22.620] - Speaker 2

It's quite humbling as well. There is actually so much I don't know as well.

[00:10:26.710] - Speaker 1

I always say to people, the more I actually know this lifetime, The more I realise, I don't know. But there's definitely something in that. So when you're doing your images and you're creating for clients now, so you literally can do everything from the copyright to the styling of the image to shooting of the image.

[00:10:49.220] - Speaker 2

We do packaging design as well. We do the words on the boxes. We do website copy. We literally do it from the zero to 100 level. You can come in and out of whatever you need.

[00:11:00.140] - Speaker 1

Whatever your brand needs. I think to be flexible like that and offer a full package or people can take and apply what they need for them as a really smart business model.

[00:11:09.530] - Speaker 2

That was off the back of COVID. I needed to have a business that could service a large number of people, that people could dip in and out of. It wasn't like I was just offering this one thing where that was the only service that I offered.

[00:11:25.160] - Speaker 1

I think that's, like I was saying, just a smart way to look at things and also people's budgets, you're not just limiting yourself to a smaller company or a larger company. You're opening yourself up to all those different brands because you can go, Right, here's the full package if you want it, and hand the work over. Or, Hey, we've actually only got budget for this. This is where we'll spend it with you. And as their business grows, you get to grow with them.

[00:11:48.240] - Speaker 2

A huge part of my business is actually doing e-commerce photography. Startup brands that are launching maybe two or three products, they can actually just send those two or three products to me. I will do the e-commerce imagery where it's just It's the front of a serum bottle, the back of a Serum bottle. It's literally just three to six images, and I charge per that. It's not like they have to book in a half day shoot with me just to shoot e-commerce for three products.

[00:12:12.830] - Speaker 1

That's wonderful. Now, do you have your own studio space? Are you hiring Studio Space? How do you like to run your model?

[00:12:18.680] - Speaker 2

I'm reliant on a lot of freelances to help me out. I've got different suppliers that do different things. I've got an art director overseas who helps me with packaging design. I do my own copywriting. I've got a couple of photographers in Sydney that help me with the product photography. I've got videographers on my books. I think it's really important as a business to have that variety of people that you can tap into because everyone's got a different skillset.

[00:12:44.370] - Speaker 1

A hundred %. And I think the beauty of having that career that you did with the magazines really would have opened you up to the best of the best in the business. So they also trust you, so they're happy to work with you. And those reports, I think people don't value enough. I think sometimes when I talk to different people, maybe some of the younger ones coming through, I'm like, Really understand how important it is to make connexions and strong business relationships and with authenticity, not just, I can get this from you or I can do that. Be genuinely, how can we support each other? Exactly. Then people are happy to work for you. Sometimes if the budget's not as big as what it normally is, even for me, if someone's booking me, I know that they've got me on full rate every other day. But if they're asking me for a favour, I'm more inclined to do it because I've got that rapport You've got that relationship. You build that over time. I was saying to someone, going back to when I danced and performed when I was younger, I was 14 and I was doing this show, and I still have relationships with three of the key people from that.

[00:13:46.050] - Speaker 1

I was 14, where you would think a 14-year-old wouldn't know these things. But I genuinely was interested in what these people did. And so even back then when I was at school, I just couldn't wait to get out of school. I just needed to get my hands dirty. I didn't even get to U10.

[00:14:00.650] - Speaker 2

I was like, Get me out of here.

[00:14:02.940] - Speaker 1

I just need to be out amongst it and let me fail. Let me succeed. Let's see what happens. But I went and did work experience with their businesses back then, and they were modelling agencies and agencies. And I just loved it. I loved being in the middle of everything, and I just wasn't one to sit on the sidelines. But that rapport to this day is so important. I still have done work, and they've obviously evolved as well in what they do, and so have I. So just seeing how the paths cross, those relationships just are so important. Definitely. Fiantha, when you first started your business, getting your first client can be bloody tricky. So how did that all come about for you?

[00:14:40.850] - Speaker 2

I just had to do a lot of cold emailing. I think a lot of people didn't know about me leaving Marie Claire, me leaving publishing, having my own business. So it was just a matter of emailing all my key clients. I probably emailed 200, 500 people. It was insane, but that was my goal for the first month or so just to get the word out there. Like, hey, I don't know if you remember me. I used to be at Beauty Crew and Marie Claire. I'm sure we've had a lunch or a coffee at some point. Do you remember me? But this is what I'm doing now. This is my offering. Just letting you know. And then most people would just be like, great. Okay, thank you. And it's a little bit disheartening at first because you're like, oh, my God. Okay, so you know what I'm doing, but that's it. But I'm all about keeping myself top of mind now. So whenever you need services like e-commerce or production or copywriting or packaging design or branding, whatever it is, I'm the person that I want to be the first person that you think of and you call me.

[00:15:38.800] - Speaker 2

So it was super exciting that way when things started clicking together and it all worked out when A few weeks down the track was, Oh, you know what? I actually do need e-commerce photography. Then I would win smaller things like that and then build the trust and then work on bigger projects.

[00:15:52.950] - Speaker 1

That's great. Your first client, was it somebody that you knew from one of the businesses that you'd previously worked with whilst you were at the magazines?

[00:16:00.640] - Speaker 2

I can't remember if it was the very first one, but one of my first clients was Alkira. They actually started Sookin a couple of years ago. We had that relationship from the beauty industry then. There was that level of trust. It all worked out in the end.

[00:16:16.130] - Speaker 1

Trust is a huge key in those business relationships because they know you're professional and you know you can work on deadlines and you know you can get it done. Yes, exactly. And most people are like, oh, by the way, we need it last week.

[00:16:27.590] - Speaker 2

Great. Of course I can do that.

[00:16:30.120] - Speaker 1

Isn't it amazing how many things you just say yes to? I know. Then you make it happen.

[00:16:33.240] - Speaker 2

I'm such a yes person. I think in business, it's really important, especially when you're starting out to say yes to most things. You can't say yes to absolutely everything, but take the opportunities when you can and just run with it is so important.

[00:16:46.120] - Speaker 1

Yeah. It's amazing what you can actually do that you never thought was possible in a very short time.

[00:16:51.440] - Speaker 2

You get asked and you're like, Yeah, okay, I can do that. It's fun, though.

[00:16:55.630] - Speaker 1

I think that's part of the adrenaline rush that I like, which doing that adrenaline rush long periods of time isn't great, but there is something about that. Like, holy crap, did I just manage to get that done?

[00:17:09.860] - Speaker 2

That's probably the only downside to having a business as well is that you can't control the ebbs and forth. It blows me a lot. Some days I get really worried because I'm like, has the whole world forgotten about me? And then other days I'm like, I'm so run off my feet. I need someone to help me out here. You need three of you. You need to be cloned. I need to be in four different places at once. I think that's probably the only unsettling thing having your own business.

[00:17:31.710] - Speaker 1

Can I ask, if I was to come to you with something, could you take me through your creative process? From concept through to final execution?

[00:17:41.650] - Speaker 2

Usually, I would have a chat with the brand just to get an understanding of what they needed. If it's something smaller scale, like e-commerce, maybe we could talk about different references. Have they seen another e-commerce image that they really liked? Because when you actually look at e-commerce, there are so many different styles. You can have a product just on its own. You can have a product with slight shadow. You can have a product on a different coloured background. There are so many different styles. To get an understanding of what the brand is all about and what they offer is really important in the briefing process. I would always create a shot list. Even if it's 10 e-commerce images I think it's really important to know, am I shooting just front or am I shooting front and back? Because that's the difference between 10 images and 20 images. Then that affects my time and my photographer's time, right? So then we would shoot the images, we would hand it back to the client and then call it a day. Fingers crossed and touch wood. I actually haven't had to reshoot anything in my entire time having my business.

[00:18:37.950] - Speaker 2

But I think that briefing process is so important just to be on the same page as the client. We know what colour background we're shooting on, we know what angle we're shooting on.

[00:18:47.200] - Speaker 1

That's really important. I think that briefing process is where I would assume a lot of people don't get it right. Because you're used to working under such strict timelines with magazine, that briefing process is So it's so key to gaining clarity. And without clarity, you could be shooting anything. And also, I think when people are starting new brands, they sometimes don't have an idea. So it's about them getting clear on their brand. Do you help guide people through that process as well.

[00:19:17.010] - Speaker 2

Absolutely. Some newer brands, they haven't even launched a website yet. So they might tell me they're trying to emulate really high-end. They really like high-end brands like Louis Vuitton. And then you look at how they shoot their e-commerce. Do you like the look of that or do you prefer something a little bit more commercial where it's like softer lighting and no shadows? You really do talk them through that briefing process. But you know what? I think people actually know exactly what they want. I haven't really had anyone who is like, oh, I don't know what style I want. People come to me and they already have a vision. I'm just there to execute it.

[00:19:53.180] - Speaker 1

That's really good. That's a nice thing because I think, yeah, I speak to a lot of young business people, not young in age, but young starting out. A lot of them just aren't quite clear. They know what their craft is or they know what they're good at. There's normally people with a skillset rather than a product. What they haven't known about is the clarity around their personal brand and what that stands for and what that looks like when you're translating it to a website or to a social media platform. I think what we try and say is to try and look at yourself or think of your branding like a product. Yes. Can I ask, your personal branding? I think your social media platform on Instagram really represents a nice personal brand on who you are. How important is it that people understand your personal brand when looking at you to represent your business?

[00:20:50.110] - Speaker 2

I think it's super important. I am the founder, I am the salesperson. I am the front person of my business. So it's really important for people to know that's That's who they're dealing with, that's who they're trusting with their work, that's the level of professionalism that they're going to have throughout the project. I think, yeah, it's super important to have that personal branding out there.

[00:21:10.880] - Speaker 1

And I think when you represent your business on social media, there's a lot of people out there who just sometimes don't see that it needs to be cohesive. Do you help to explain that to people sometimes as well?

[00:21:23.450] - Speaker 2

Yeah, definitely. So I give three tips to people who want to bring out their personal branding. So my number one thing is know who you are. Are you a Greek chef that trained in Japan? Are you a makeup artist that is specialising in the special effects? Who you are is super important, and you don't have to be someone else. For me, I wear many hats, so that's my personal branding as a business person, but to know who you are is really important. My second tip is probably your consistency. So when you continue relaying that information of who you are, people are like, Okay, so that person is this definition. If I need this service, I will go to this person. And then my third one is probably your execution. So when you do anything with confidence, people just believe you. People just listen to you and they go with it. Yeah, they sure do. So I think the combination of those three things will really help elevate your personal branding.

[00:22:24.900] - Speaker 1

Yeah, I really like that. I think delivering it with confidence is a really important It's a different thing. And we all got things to learn in the background, so I think that that's okay. But just know that your skillset that you do have is enough. I think sometimes people don't... There's so much out there that sometimes we always think we have to be more than what we are in the present. But if you know that you've got the skillset to get this job done, own it and be okay with it. It's not being arrogant. There's a big difference between the confidence and the arrogance. I think when you're confident, if you don't know something to a client, say, Hey, great, this This is something that definitely we can work on. I really just want to speak to someone else and get a second opinion because I really think that we can do a great job here, but I just want to make sure we do the best job. Definitely. If you open that communication with them, like your briefing process, that communication allows you that little bit of space to move within your own confidence.

[00:23:20.970] - Speaker 2

And that understanding as well and just making sure you're on the same page with a client.

[00:23:24.750] - Speaker 1

Yes. I think people often don't ask enough questions because they feel feel that, I'm asking too many questions. What will they think? I tell people, actually, someone once told me, I don't know if I went to a spiritual healer or someone. It was someone that I went to for some guidance at one point, and they said, You need to tell people that you ask a lot of questions, and it's because you ask the questions, not just because you're curious, but you want to get really clear. And she said, A lot of people aren't used to having someone ask so many questions, but that's just me. She said, So if you guide it into that, Hey, we're going to sit down. I'm going to ask a lot of questions because I really want to gain clarity and get this job done really well for you. And then it gives you that space for someone to actually sit in and not be, Why is she asking me so many questions like, Have I done something wrong? Is this a school? Am I in the principal's office or something? So I think even opening with those things can quite often just give you that space to have those conversations.

[00:24:27.480] - Speaker 2

I actually get super nervous when clients don't ask me enough questions because it's like, We haven't worked together before, so I don't know your style. I don't know specifics. Do you like this? Do you not like this? Show me works that you do like, and maybe we can emulate that. I think asking questions and answering questions is super important in the whole briefing process.

[00:24:49.430] - Speaker 1

So, Anne, you're working in a space where it's moving at a really quick pace. How would you say that you stay ahead of trends, ahead of the curve? How do you keep moving at such a pace when you've got to learn and you've got to create everything at the same time.

[00:25:05.460] - Speaker 2

So just removing a bit of that pressure of always having to be on top of things, you actually absorb so much more than you realise on a day to day basis. You're on Instagram. I'm sure you're on Facebook. You're watching TV, you're listening to the radio, you're driving, you're at the shops. You look at TV ads, you look at... There's so much around you. You actually absorb more than you realise. So it's not even a matter of you have to do your homework every night and sit on Pinterest for an hour. It's just keeping your eyes open and just being alert to things. I get inspiration from absolutely everything. Sometimes you might come across a painting in a gallery and you're like, I really like that colour combination of that green and pink. I would have never thought to put that together. You keep that in the back of your mind when a client comes through and they go, Can you think of some creative ideas of how to shoot my candle? Hey, actually, remember this beautiful colour combination? Why don't we try this as a background or this as a prop? You store a lot more in your brain than you realise.

[00:26:00.200] - Speaker 2


[00:26:00.560] - Speaker 1

Does it ever feel really full?

[00:26:02.420] - Speaker 2

Sometimes I just lie in bed and I just need white noise. I just need to lie in a dark room and no sound, no visuals, just to drown myself out a little bit.

[00:26:12.630] - Speaker 1

Yeah, especially when your mind, I think because you do have such a creative mind and you see everything and what you're saying, you absorb everything. You can be overwhelmed. Do you do any form of meditation or anything like that personally, now you're working for yourself or even when you're working for others, just to keep you Being able to function at a high level but in a calm space?

[00:26:33.170] - Speaker 2

Well, I'm the complete opposite. I love high intensity. I think I'm a bit of an... I would say I'm a bit of an introvert into day to day life. And so what I love doing is actually going to a really high intensity boxing class or a metabolic conditioning class and just absolutely thrashing my body through a 45 minute process. And that's the perfect break to not think about anything, not respond to emails, not think about briefs or clients or anything like that. That is literally just my me time, and I absolutely love it.

[00:27:02.910] - Speaker 1

See, I think when you know what works for you, that's that high intensity, like go 100 miles and like, yeah, let's kick it. It's quite empowering when you know what works for you in those moments.

[00:27:12.420] - Speaker 2

It's my formula. I know that I need to do that in a week. Otherwise, I just feel unbalanced. The other thing is sleep is super important to me. I think when I lack sleep, even if I just get six hours in a night, that's totally not enough. I need up to seven to eight every night. Good quality sleep. If So I don't even have that for one night, I get cranky, I eat badly, I'm in a terrible mood, I'm not myself, I can't be creative. And I think people don't realise being creative just because it's a bit of a fun job doesn't mean that it's not full on. It takes a lot of brainpower. So I need as much sleep, as much rest that I need every single day to stay on top of things.

[00:27:50.650] - Speaker 1

See, I love that when people know how to look after themselves for themselves, you're not just reading something that is a formula for other people. You know it works for you. And I think that's key in business all around. Definitely.

[00:28:00.730] - Speaker 2

Knowing yourself.

[00:28:03.340] - Speaker 1

Exactly. Can I ask, either when first starting out or whatever, I like to talk about people always classify failures, and I really hate that word. For me, they're the best learning curves, and they're where I've probably grown the most. Is there any moment or time that you can remember that at the time you just thought, Oh, my God, this is just killing me, and I feel like I failed, but then you've come away learning the or growing from that?

[00:28:31.930] - Speaker 2

So I've actually been made redundant twice in my publishing career. So the first time was that Shop To You Drop when that whole magazine closed, and I was absolutely guttet. I think I was in my early 20s. It was my first magazine job. I loved being in that industry. And so it was really heartbreaking to be let go from that. But it was, as I always say, a big believer in the universe. I actually started at Women's Health, I think it was actually two weeks after I lost my job at Shop Until You Drop. I started at Women's Health as a beauty assistant. So I just landed back on my feet. And then being made redundant a second time at Marie Claire, you feel gutted for a few... Definitely. It was an absolute dream job to be there in a dream role, but you feel like, oh, that's life. That's a little bit of a hiccup, but you get a redundancy payout. That's always great. And then you get pushed into doing something that you never thought you were going to do. So it is a failure in a way, but I always like to look at it like a I've learnt my lesson there.

[00:29:32.220] - Speaker 2

I had a great time. Now it's time to move on. Nothing is forever. I couldn't be working and publishing forever. And that's not to say I won't go back after having my own business. I've just learnt to believe that life is whatever you want it to be. There is no definition. There's no, you've got to do this, then you've got to do this. I can go back if I wanted to.

[00:29:52.270] - Speaker 1

Well, I think that's one of the most beautiful things about the world that we live in today. Going back to maybe our parents' generation, you had career or a craft or a trade or whatever it might have been, and that's what you did. And we are so open to being able to shift and change and grow or move in different directions that if you choose for it to be that, then you can take a step in that direction.

[00:30:18.410] - Speaker 2

I think I really wanted to emulate that in my business as well by not just offering the one thing. Right now, as a freelancer, I'm still actually writing for Women's Health and Adore Beauty. I'm still doing that editorial editorial side of things, but maybe not in a full-time capacity. And you know what? That's actually worked out so much better. I couldn't do that editorial side of things five days a week anymore. I did that for the last 10 years. I need that spiciness. I need that mixing it up a little bit and just doing something different. And it actually helps me be more creative, actually, to work with different briefs and work in different mindsets all the time.

[00:30:51.680] - Speaker 1

What a nice career, Jenny. Thank you. It's really nice to see where you're at. Can I ask? I'm going to ask, what's your proudest moment so far in your career?

[00:31:03.570] - Speaker 2

Probably launching my own business. It's been so rewarding. It's been so tough. But I think as soon as my website went live, I was like, oh, my God, I'm out there. You worry about what people are going to think, whether you're actually needed in this industry. There's so much worry that goes behind launching business. Also, am I going to make money? And can I make a living out of this? But once you start winning your first client, once you start landing bigger projects, once you start being approached for projects, a lot of the time I don't actually pitch myself out anymore. It's just like, hey, you get tapped on the shoulder. Hey, can you do this? Yes, I can. What's the budget? Great. We'll roll with it. And then the client's happy and then they keep coming back. It's just this continual happiness and that satisfaction. There's nothing quite like working for yourself and winning out of the fact that it's It's you.

[00:32:00.570] - Speaker 1

Yes. They're coming to you because of you. What a nice way to finish that interview. It's all about you, but you made it happen. And I think that's the really nice thing in this world. You're just literally showing people You can make it happen when you put this to it.

[00:32:18.590] - Speaker 2

Definitely. And what you were saying before as well, it's not about being cocky or indulgent or anything. This is who I'm comfortable with being. This is who I am. You've got to actually block out what other people are saying. Most of the time, it's actually what you think people are saying about you. And that's all actually it comes back to you. That's what you're thinking.

[00:32:41.780] - Speaker 1

Yes. Generally, it's always just a reflection of what you're seeing on the A turtle mill. But, yeah, to know that and then to be able to step out from that and keep moving forward into your own space and owning it. It's okay to be proud. We've all worked for so many years doing what we do. It's okay to own it in that moment and have that confidence yourself to say, Here I am.

[00:33:01.860] - Speaker 2

I think also working in publishing, it was a woman's world. I think as women, we don't celebrate ourselves or other people enough. I think there's a huge energy in pipe down. I think Be quiet. You're working part of a team here. Don't feel like you're so special. Everyone wants to be here. When you come out of that and have your own business, it's actually quite freeing to be happy about your own achievements.

[00:33:28.160] - Speaker 1

Well, you're celebrating your worth because you You know it. And if you don't know your worth in business, you can't charge the right rate. Exactly. And then you undercharge, and then your business goes backwards, and it all falls apart because you're not owning it, and you're not breaking it down. But when you know your worth, and it's okay to own that, it's not arrogant. It's, Here I am.

[00:33:46.950] - Speaker 2

I'm confident in what I offer. This is my offering.

[00:33:50.230] - Speaker 1

Exactly. Here you go. When you have that attitude, the right clients come to you, I find. Definitely. You don't get those people. Well, actually, we want you to work for that much less. You're not making money. You don't feel that you need to undersell yourself. When you know your skill set, you own it, and you just make it happen. Exactly. Talk about making it happen.Thank you, Ianha.Thank you. That's been amazing. I'm so grateful for your time. I hope everyone thoroughly enjoyed our fun chat. So follow Ianha at Pics Studio.

[00:34:23.360] - Speaker 2

Thanks so much for having me.Oh, thank you.

[00:34:25.320] - Speaker 1

All right, here's the fun question. Eantha, who inspires you?

[00:34:32.130] - Speaker 2

Oh, my God. I think Oprah always inspires me. She just has the most beautiful energy. She's so wise, so calm, collected, professional.I love Oprah.Yeah.

[00:34:42.280] - Speaker 1

I really look at her. I think I'm totally fan girl. Might jump hug her a little. Favourite beauty campaign of all time?

[00:34:51.210] - Speaker 2

Growing up for me, I was a huge fan of Matte Cosmetic. So I remember they used to really put a lot of emphasis in great collaborations and just doing things out of art, not necessarily out of making money, but just to showcase a particular artist. I loved their collection with Fafy, which is a French artist, Marilyn Minta, who is a beautiful creative photographer. Yeah, really inspired by that.

[00:35:19.760] - Speaker 1

They were fun campaigns. Favourite shoot you've styled?

[00:35:25.470] - Speaker 2

This is a really tough one. I recently did a shoot with Vitable, actually. They're a vitamin and powder brand, and it was just really fun to shoot with fruit and a blender. I think it's the simplicity of shoots like that that actually make me really happy. Yeah, love it.

[00:35:46.170] - Speaker 1

I really should have my glasses. Let's do this, shall we? Let's keep it real. She's old. There we go. Best hairstyle you've ever had.

[00:35:56.030] - Speaker 2

Probably this one now. My Jordan Hone from Sloan's does my colour, and I'm very into it. It's beautiful. I've been blonde for, I think, six or so years now, but this is probably the blondeest I've been.

[00:36:06.170] - Speaker 1

But it's nice. It's still got the ashy tone.

[00:36:08.540] - Speaker 2

Yeah, and the brown tones through it as well.

[00:36:10.580] - Speaker 1

Don't you love it? It's stuff that girls get excited about. What's the worst hair style?

[00:36:15.020] - Speaker 2

Oh, my gosh. I think at the start of my blonde journey, there was a time where I had super long hair. I think it was down to here, and it was deep dye. It was just like, blacky-brown and then blonde. But that was the thing at the time. It was like a real block colour situation. And looking back, it was a sign of the time. I'm glad I did it, but I don't have to revisit it anymore.

[00:36:34.280] - Speaker 1

Yeah, we used to call it the top deck.

[00:36:36.180] - Speaker 2

Yeah, exactly.

[00:36:38.840] - Speaker 1

Favourite beauty product?

[00:36:40.860] - Speaker 2

I'm really loving my Omnilux LED mask at the moment. It's like, you know what I was saying before about sitting in a dark room with no noise? That's what I do. I put that mask on dark room. It's like my slice of heaven.

[00:36:54.200] - Speaker 1

I used to have one of those that you could plug into the USB, and I'd sit on the long haul flight with it on.

[00:36:59.390] - Speaker 2

I have no It's a shame when it comes to flying as well. I have a sheet mask. I do this. Never going to see these people ever again anyway.

[00:37:05.720] - Speaker 1

I don't care. I'm off the plane looking good. If you could have only three makeup products, what would they be?

[00:37:13.740] - Speaker 2

Okay, tough one. Definitely foundation. Definitely a brow product to frame my face. And then maybe a blush. I think blush really brings your complexion to life, really makes you look alive, even if you've had no sleep.

[00:37:31.700] - Speaker 1

It's true. I'm always a blush girl. Always through and through. Best hairstyling product.

[00:37:38.100] - Speaker 2

This is also very tough. Well, maybe the one I used this morning. I'm using an 11 Australia hair tongue at the moment. Wide barrel. It gets really hot, which is great. That's what my hair needs, and it just does the job.

[00:37:53.280] - Speaker 1

Is your hair naturally quite straight?

[00:37:55.020] - Speaker 2

Poker straight. I could air dry it, wash it, air dry it, and it'll just be super straight. So I always I need a bit of a bend.

[00:38:01.580] - Speaker 1

And then to get it to stay when you've got that super straight hair.

[00:38:04.270] - Speaker 2

Yeah. I need something hot, and that actually does the job.

[00:38:06.970] - Speaker 1

There we go. You've heard it here first. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given? When I was launching my business, my best friend Jen was just always telling me, get it up, just get it up, just do it, just put it out there.

[00:38:23.520] - Speaker 2

I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I like to sit on things and mull over things and think, oh, is that the right sentence structure? Is Is that the right messaging? Is that the right image? And she was like, just get it up, just put your website to live and then worry about it later. And then the moment I did, I was like, I don't care anymore. You worry so much about the process, the launch process, when you should just launch and then work it out later. If you want to change it, you can change it. It's not permanent.

[00:38:48.550] - Speaker 1

Yeah, just get it up there. I like that it was a friend who's just honest with you as well.

[00:38:53.640] - Speaker 2

Yeah, she keeps it so real, sometimes too real.

[00:38:56.830] - Speaker 1

The conversations over wine could be interesting with that So who was one of your favourite mentors and why, apart from Oprah?

[00:39:04.380] - Speaker 2

I wish Oprah could be my mentor. I'm going to put it out there to the universe. Probably one of my current mentors is Janet. She is just so... Her energy She's just so beautiful and lovely, and there's not a doubt in the world with Janet. If I want to do something, she's like, Just do it. But she also gives a lot of really good advice in, Don't just think about this one avenue. Why don't you think about collaborating with this random group of people? And you're like, Oh, I didn't ever think of that. She actually brings a different angle to any of one of my problems, which is really special.

[00:39:37.100] - Speaker 1

That's really nice. What a nice mentor to have. We like her. Yeah. Thanks, Janet. In the future, if you could study or learn something, What would it be?

[00:39:47.060] - Speaker 2

I don't know. Probably art history. So that's actually something that I picked up during lockdown. I actually started doing art history courses online. It It was something that I wish I did at Uni, to be honest. I actually still love art. I love Renaissance art and that genre. And old art is so beautiful. It's so intricate. And when you actually think about it, how did people actually get so clever with such little resources that they have? And I think I would go back and study that properly. I like that. When you're working in a creative field, when you actually know that history side, I think that adds a lot of depth and meaning into your work now. I'd like to know more about that.

[00:40:34.780] - Speaker 1

I really like that. The final one, do you have a quote that really resonates with you?

[00:40:41.570] - Speaker 2

I don't know who said this, but I heard it on a podcast the other day. Big people do big things at big times. And so I think that helps me be as confident as I can be on a day to day basis and just put myself out there and just make big moves.

[00:40:56.850] - Speaker 1

Yeah, just keep going. Just keep going. Aim for the stars.

[00:40:59.620] - Speaker 2

Big of going.

[00:41:03.550] - Speaker 1

I love it. Lots to learn. Yeah. Thank you, Ian.

[00:41:06.750] - Speaker 2

Thank you.

[00:41:07.810] - Speaker 1

Thanks for joining us for this episode of the Learning Without Limits podcast for the Learning Lounge. I'm Melanie Bernicle. We'll catch you next time.


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