Some of the business women showcassed have also contributed to the Bear Fruit Business Journal and music CD.

Forty Five women were profiled on the original afascinatingjourney website.

This sample was chosen to highlight the diveristy of businesses, age and geographical locations.

Maxine Gregory, Formerly Marra Aboriginal Corporation Art Gallery, Geraldton, WA.

Maxine Gregory

It took 14 years for this group of artists to showcase collectively "... their talents on canvas, wood, emu eggs, didj [products]."

Maxine Gregory commented that as individuals artists it is hard to promote and sell your products.

  • So as a group they set about learning how to run a business and what was required to establish their own business,
  • the Marra Aborginal Corporation Art Gallery.
  • The end results for this group of artists is an art gallery located in a beautiful setting.
  • When asked what suatains them, Maxine replied, " Dedication, comradship - 100% owned by our people."

Robyn Bailey, Physotherapist, former regional business owner now employee city based, Perth WA

The lack of available and affordable shop space in smaller communities is a barrier to expanding business .

In the mid-west when [Robyn] "...opened her physio centre in the CWA buildintg with very few resources and the difficulty of functioning in a rural context."

  • However, the value of Robyn's professional skills and services was its mobility.
  • Robyn initially established her physiotheraphy business in the Wheatbelt Region before relocating tothe South West Region.
  • Her move to Perth was to offer opportunities for their 4 children's education.

Robyn now works as a SportsPhysiotherapists at Sportstreat, Wembley Perth WA.

Fleur, Dawn & Bob Porter, Farm Nature Based Tourism, Mid West, WA (C 2001)

Extended family based support was the platform for this business enterprise.

"Family support, living on a well maintained farm with be au tiful river and bush."

Informal discussions with Fleur highlighted how necessary family support is to make things happen and the need for lateral vision.

More importantly, the foundations laid, the importance of heritage, her fathers vision and preparedness to follow his beliefs in land care management."

This vision has provided the platform for the next generation to diversify in business.

Fran Hodgetts, Devonshire Tea House, Laramah, NT (C 1989)

What fascinated me with this chance meeting with Fran was her tea house was established in the original Laramah Police Station.

During Fran's interview I became aware that the business principles she applied were similar to those my mother used when operating her seven day a week corner store.

Aside from the delicious pies Frans baked it was her public relations skills that was so captivating.

  • Fran's business is located in a community which had a population of 23. The key to her business is its location on the Stewart Highway.
  • Her reputation has spread far and wide. Fran has been cooking for over 30 years but opened her own business in 1989. " Fresh and home made every day", is Frans business philosophy.

" With the isolation, I love it here. I am meeting all types of people, which you would not meet in a suburban or built up areas."

Margaret & Colin Kendall, Seriously Crazy, Charters Towers, Northern QLD (C 1997)

In partnership Margaret & Colin operate a craft business in the central business district of Charters Towers.

In order to grow their business they decided to take their product to other regional, rural communities within Queensland.

To do this they had a large vehicle purpose built which enables them to take their product and services to a much broader client base.

"Our mobile shop is developing into an important part of our business. The bus caters to country people (mostly women and a few men) on a personal sales basis."

They employee staff to run the Charters Towers shop while they are on the road.

It was excitng meeting this couple a few weeks later hundreds of kilometers from their town based business and in a market setting.

Diane Elliott, Lavender Farm and Products, Kilkivan, OLD (C 2000)

A small number of participants interviewed had moved from the city to a regional location. In a few instances some of the women Viti interviewed had moved interstate.

  • Diane Elliot's was one such example.
  • Diane and her husband had been in business for a number of years but her new enterprise was a very different product in a different location.
  • The motivating factor for Diane once they were settled on their rural property was to overcome the, "... boredom, living in a different area, necessity to do something useful and contribute to the community.
  • What motivates her, is ' personal success'.
  • Diane's retail outlet was establsihed on their property.

Another inspirational story.

Christine Nicholas, Piki Te Ora Nursing Services, New Plymouth, NZ (C 1999)

Two sisters established this innovative business enterprise. Its was created to address the gaps in services within the Community Primary Health Care Sector.

Entries in my journals highlight that a portion of the women interviewed for this project were also doing further study.

Christine was one such example and she has completed her Masters.

This qualification enables Christine to operate in the role of nurse practitioner. " Growth of our business is determined by successfully obtaining contracts from funding sources.

Th[is] nursing service provides assessment and education programs." This business grew very quickly due to being successful in securing govenment funding. It is a service that works towards the heatlh and well being of Maori.

Jenny Lancaster, Sheep & Beef Farming, Taumarunui, NZ (C 1995)

It was surreal returning to a rural community that I had grown up in to interview for this project. Meeting Jenny highlighted the shifts in attitude since my childhood days.

It was thought provoking to hear her comment that establishing her enterprise provided,

"A chance to farm on my own account."

" More recent communication from Jenny, highlights the importance of networking. With the support of government funding, "...three years ago to set up more Women in Farming Groups throughoutNew Zealand and ... we have 15 groups now."

Associations with these groups provides the opportunity to access "... several negotiating and communicating type experts with good results... to support their farming initiatives.

Susan Pender Jewellery & Deep Sea Moonlight Pearls, Sawtell, NSW & Broome, WA (1980)

The need to generate an income was the motivation for, Susan Pender Jewellery, which was started at the kitchen table with production and catalogue sales.

Susan now has two established businesses operating from two shop fronts in tourism settings.

One is located in Broome WA and the other in Sawtell, NSW.

Inclusive to this has been the opportuntity for extensive overseas travel to attend trade fairs in search of unusual items for her jewellery .

"Fate played a huge part in establishing... both businesses.

" It has opened up my life to such a degree and led to some wonderful experiences and adventures."

Barbara Elkins, Wisdom for Living, Health & Training, Terrigal, NSW (C 2000)

Barbara's motivation for her business was "... the need to support myself, a niche market, love of what I do, freedom,autonomy, sovereignty... and the opportunity create my own life and take responsibility forthat."

It was interesting to listen to a number of mature women talk about running their own enterprises and the motivating factors to do so.

Barbara's attitude to life was refreshing and her online presence provides an opportuntity for growth.

Her business type provides and opportunity to create a work life balance in a beautiful setting.

Fatima Rebola Gibson, Former Owner Karratha Florist, Pilbara Region, WA (C 1993)

It was a delight to interview Fatima for this project as we lived in the same shire for a number of years.

This provided the opportunity to witness the growth that had occurred with her business.

She had moved her retail outlet to another shopping precinct and the floor space had trebled.

A poignant comment was made by Fatima to the question asked, "what motivated her to purchase this established business.

Her reply was, "A desire to be a master of my own destiny - Sometimes a tough ask!!" would resonate with many women operating their own business enterprises.

Over many years Fatima has provided aspiring florists the opportuntity to develop their skills under her tutelage. Her focus during Viti's visit was to establish workable systems to value add her business.

Donna Norton, Grungaja Shop, Family Business Fitzroy Crossing, WA (C 1995)

It was unique to interview a mother and daughter partnership from a family run enterprise.

Interestingly their separarte interviews provided different perspectives and attitudes to being in business.

Originally this business started off as a hawking business.

Donna comments on what motivated her to become involved in her parents business.

" My parents kept driving past Fitxroy Crossing on their way to communities to sell at, so it made sense to set up a base in Fitroy.

I left uni[versity] to help them, and never returned as both the money and lifestyle appeal to me..." What sustains Lynn in this business is,

" The satisfaction of supplying as much as possible [in] clothing which suits our region and customers."

Mai Costello, Maidai Design - Graphic Design, Avoca Beach, NSW (2000)

Mai's transition from being an employee to one of establishing her own business highlghts the importance of how this transition can take place.

" It was important for me to do research before establishing my business.

I decided to intially work partime on the business for 2 years.

When the work I was generating increased I reduced my full-time role at the company I was employed with part time.

When I felt I could sustain my business full-time I ceased employment.

The company then became a client."

Lesley Jane Campbell, Formerly Worgano Station, South Mt Magnet, WA

Visiting Lesley Jane and David Campbell at Worgano Station was an introduction to the essence of 'space', in relation to the operations of some enterprises.

Due to the dry conditions that had existed in this region there was a need for them to diversify when wool slumped.

They focused on the tourism industry and were resourceful in their approach. Hosting cultural events was the means by which they approached this.An appreciation of the logistics to organise and host such events is heightened on arrival.

The type of events hosted: "UWA Orchestra for the centenary of Mt Magnet in our woolshed.When Sanstone had their centenary [they] accommodated the WA Symphony Orchestra for three days.

We have had three weddings on Mount Worgano.Arranged a quartet to play from the WA Chamber Quartet A Pied Piper with a bush theme reception in our woolshed for 150 people. Violins encouraged people to visit the region who would not normally visit the region at that time of the year, which breaks down the traditional tourism outlet. This increased exposure helps with ensuring turnover and repeat business."