AWNY Mums and Dads update, June 2017

Written by Helen McWilliam

May was a quieter month for the AWNY Mums and Dads group after a very busy April.  The warmer weather has been very welcome and my children are loving the more regular sight of sprinklers in the playgrounds.

This month, Amanda and I wanted to include a shout out to the Dads of this group.  The events we’ve organised so far have been focused on the Mums.  We’d love some input from the Dads to see if you’d like our help to organize a Dad’s meet-up, arrange a Saturday playgroup or something else entirely.  Please contact us through our Facebook page or email AWNY. We’d love to hear from you.

With the school holidays rapidly approaching, I wanted to share a day trip idea.  As I have recently overcome my fear of travelling on the subway alone with two children, I am finally leaving the Upper West Side.  Well, if I’m honest there’s still fear, I can just do it without hyperventilating and shouting! The New York Hall of Science in Queens is worth the long subway ride.  I have a 4.5 year old and nearly 2 year old and they were both transfixed for hours.  It would also be suitable for much older children as my two missed a lot of the meaning behind many of the exhibits. All the exhibits were engaging and hands on, however the ‘Connected Worlds’ installation was a must see. There’s also plenty of staff on hand to help the children get the most out of the museum. It can get a bit hectic with school groups but there’s a preschool area where groups aren’t allowed and we were advised that the groups tend to leave at 12-1pm. A few helpful pointers:

1. There’s no lift for strollers at 111th street Subway Station in Queens however, however I found I only had to look towards the stairs and people were offering me help.

2. The café was pretty basic so I would advise bringing your own food.

3. In what I would consider a big win, the shop was easily avoided!

Some up coming AWNY events to highlight: the ‘Working In the USA’ information session presented by Belinda Jackson is on the 14th of June.  It provides expert advice for Aussie job seekers.  Plus, the annual AWNY picnic is one for the whole family on the 24th of June in Central Park.

Photo credit: Helen McWilliams

Enjoy your June and the last few precious weeks of school before the endless school holidays!

 

What’s On in New York, June 2017

Our monthly events list often leads with the fun happenings from the AWNY committee but June has quite a highlight. One of AWNY’s most popular events is the ‘Working in the USA’ careers advice evening. You’ll learn top tips for job searching, seeking out networking opportunities, optimizing your resume for the US market, and listen to the job search experiences of other New York based Aussies. The event is led by our President Belinda Jackson (Prosell international). The tickets for this event go quickly and space is limited to secure your spot!

We also have our Annual AWNY picnic on this month (June 24th in Central Park) and a great list of fun things to do in New York as we had into the steamy months of summer.

Enjoy!

June means Jazz in New York City and it’s definitely the month to get to one of the 100 performances at the Blue Note Jazz Festival (various venues). You’re guaranteed great music and performances run throughout June. Schedule, locations, tix available here.

Free Summer Movies start June 2 at various locations around the 5 boroughs. There’s mix of pics to delight all ages. A schedule of movies, dates and locations is found on the NYC Park website. All the movies are free.

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival simply has to be included on our June What’s On list. The organizers encourage the addressing of Human Rights Issues in the films selected for the festival, and unsurprisingly there is a broad list presented this year. The festival runs from June 9-18 at with showing at either the Lincoln Center or IFC Center. Details and tickets available here.

June also sees the commencement of the SummerStage series, free outdoor concerts at various locations around the city, that run into September. Elvis Costello, The Metropolitan Opera, and Freedom Party are highlights for June.  This link provides a view of everything happening in June. Expand to to see the entire SummerStage series.

Fifth Avenue goes car free (well, for 23 blocks) on June 13 for the Museum Mile Evening, commencing at 6pm. All the museums along the stretch of fifth dubbed ‘Museum Mile’ are free and there will be live music to entertain you as you hop between them. Schedule and details available here.

Working in the USA Event is on June 14th at the Australian Consulate. Polish your resume, learn great networking tips, interview skills and job seeking advice. If you’re currently looking for a new role, or even thinking about starting a job search in New York, then don’t miss this event. It’s one of our most popular events each year, so make sure you secure a spot!  Tickets available through the AWNY Facebook event page.

USA Father’s Day is June 18! If you’re celebrating and need options, there’s this Jazz brunch cruise, the Father’s day scavenger hunt, Smorgasburg, or check out Open Table and book a table somewhere fancy or fun.

This month’s Generation Women event brings together Australian author and AWNY Member Georgia Clark, along with 4 other notable women from different generations to read and share their perspectives on a theme. This month’s theme: my first time saying no. The event is on June 21st and tickets are a very reasonable $25, available through this link.

Take advantage of the totally free Concerts in the Park series and listen to the New York Philharmonic orchestra on one of 5 performances between June 13-18 at various locations around the city. Information and schedules available here.

The Annual AWNY Picnic in the Park is on June 21st. We’ll be there from 2pm – 4pm for bring the whole family, plus any visitors you have in town, and enjoy a great afternoon with your Australian friends. We’ll have games and face painting to entertain the kids, please bring your own picnic lunch. For more info, visit the AWNY Facebook event page.

Photo credit: Joanna Hishon

AWNY Startup Stories: Lipstick Queen

Poppy King is a name many Australian women associate with lipstick. Her successful brand Poppy was a 90s icon that gave us bold lipsticks named after the seven deadly sins. Fast forward 20 years and Poppy King has created Lipstick Queen. Poppy spoke with AWNY about her experiences of reinventing her brand in the USA.

Tell us about yourself and your business – how was Lipstick Queen born?

I grew fascinated with lipstick when I was 7 years old and played dress up with one of my mum’s lipsticks. What amazed me was how different I felt on the inside when I put on lipstick, and that is what led to my lifetime obsession with creating lipstick that makes you feel like a superhero.

What have been your greatest challenges in starting up a new business in the New York area?

Holding people’s attention. There is so much going on here so its hard to compete with that – it’s something I work at every day.

What are your three greatest learnings in starting up a business?

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition…..you have to repeat what you stand for so that people understand what your business does, and what it offers them that no other business can.

What steps did you go through to launch your business? (logistics, marketing etc)

I developed the right lipstick formula that gave the brand a point of difference.  and then figured out how best to get that message across in the marketing.

Starting up can be notoriously difficult – what’s motivates you to keep going?

Someone once said to me, “Don’t give up five minutes before the miracle” – meaning work hard and be patient!

What has been your ‘Ah Ha’ / ‘I’ve made it in the USA moment’ 

I feel that way every time I look at the Chrysler Building. I am just so happy to have that beautiful art deco skyscraper in my sights.

Where have you been most successful in marketing your business?

By treating lipstick the way Willy Wonka treated chocolate. Making it magical, surprising, and imaginative, versus a trend or fad.

poppy 2

Do you have any mentors that have been instrumental in their support? How have people been with sharing information and their networks?

My customers are my mentors and working at my in-store counters is where I get the most inspiring and useful information.

What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a business?

Think about why you are doing what you are doing as that will help you figure out what you need to do to achieve success.

Other than yourself, what piece of Australia have you put into your business, and why – or if not, also, why?

Australians are great at multi-tasking, which is great for efficiency, and I credit my Australian-ness with being able to see things from a wide perspective.

What is next for Lipstick Queen?

More magical and enchanting lipsticks and global expansion on the back of that!

poppy logo

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Love this AWNY Startup Story? Don’t miss the next one! 

Register for our monthly newsletter and be kept in the loop for our upcoming Startup Stories event where you can hear more stories like this first hand and meet some of Aussie women entrepreneurs.

Blog – https://australianwomeninnewyork.org 

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/AUWomenNYC/ 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AUWomenNYC 

 

May Mums and Dads Update

Written by Helen McWilliam

It was a BIG month for the AWNY Mums and Dads group. Our inaugural Easter Egg hunt was a great success. The hunt was attended by over 100 adults and children with all boroughs of New York represented; yes including Staten Island! The Dads hid the eggs whilst the Mums occupied the children in a nearby playground. Everyone who attended was very generous and we found even the youngest children managed to collect a full basket of eggs. We received a lot of positive feed back during the day and in the days following. It will surely become a yearly tradition!

Easter copy

Our first Mums outing of the year was also a huge success. We branched out from the Upper West Side to the Peruvian restaurant, Poi Poi in Hell’s Kitchen. Mums from all over New York came to enjoy delicious and abundant food. There was so much food; we all got a takeaway container to take home afterwards! It was such a fun evening with lots of laughs and easy conversation.

Mums dinner copy

Finally, we asked the question through the AWNY blog, is it okay not to love New York City with kids. The article received such an overwhelming response because it resonated with a lot of people who live in this and other big cities with young children. The response also reminded us having small children anywhere is seriously hard work!

We have a lot planned for the rest of the year. Next up ‘Welcome to Summer Drinks!’

Easter family copy

What’s On in New York, May 2017

April showers (haven’t we had plenty of those?!?) head us into a warmer May. Before you know it, Summer will be here with all the heat and humidity anyone would want to consume in the concrete jungle that is New York. For some of us we’ll also be experiencing the joy of nearly three months of school holiday (10 weeks for public school kids!).

You can’t deny this time of year brings a renewed energy, and these next couple of months are really the very best of New York City, with outdoor fun, amazing weather, and rooftop bars. Here is AWNY’s list of the top things to do in May, and we hope to see you at one of the AWNY events too!

– curated by the AWNY Communications Team

AWNY Spring Drinks Mixer is on May 22. This annual social evening is a great way to meet new AWNY friends, catch up with old ones, and see in the warmer month, cocktail in hand. The event will be held at Chinese Tuxedo this year, a fabulous venue in Chinatown with a big Aussie influence. Cash bar (no need to purchase tix) and we encourage you to stay for dinner and enjoy Sydney Chef Paul Donnelly (previously of Mrs G’s). RSVP to awny@aaanyc.org

May 1-7 is NY Burger Week. Does anywhere in the world do burgers better than NYC? So expect the best of the best. Many venues are participating, check out the list and get tickets and info here. The week ends with Sunday’s Boozy Burger Brunch.

Rooftop Cinema Club starts now until September where you can purchase regular seats or “love seats” on the roof of YOTEL New York, 570 10th Avenue. May 4th showing of Annie Hall is already sold out $33-$39, but there are some absolute classics you won’t want to miss for fun with bubbles and popcorn on your deck chair.

If you want free movies, Bryant Park will be hosting Friday evenings commencing May 12.  They provide free blankets, lawn games and food for purchase, plus the park runs Tai Chi classes 7.30am-8.30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Fountain Terrace. Juggling is there on a regular basis, as well as Wednesday night dance parties.  Have a look at their calendar here.

May 7 take note if you’re driving in the city on this day. 32,000 cyclists of all skill levels come from around the world for the TD Five Borough Bike Tour to roll 40 miles through every borough of New York City on streets totally free of cars. Standard and VIP Registration is sold out, but you can still  ride on behalf of one of the Charity Partners. Click here to learn more. End up at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island for music, entertainment, food and drinks. Here’s a printable map.  

Don’t forget on May 14, it’s Mother’s Day Mums, be sure to put your orders in for spas in NYC for a relaxing day, best restaurants in NYC , the best shops in NYC for gifts, or flower shops for the perfect bouquet— spoil your mum, or be spoilt!

May 13 – 21 Grug and the Rainbow a children’s show brought to us by The Windmill Theatre in Adelaide will be at The New Victory Theatre in 42nd Street.

May 16 is the Australian Short Film Festival at The Asia Society.

May 25, 2017 Billy Joel is playing at Madison Square Garden.  Check out ticket info here.

What New Yorkers recognize as the beginning of summer is Monday May 29: 2017 Memorial Day. You’ve earned a day off, so get out of the city if you can for a long weekend, or go to the Parade. On Memorial Day, Americans honor the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for freedom. This national holiday was born after the Civil War in remembrance of fallen servicemen and women. 149th Brooklyn’s Kings County Memorial Day Parade kicks off on May 29 at 11am at 78th St and Third Ave, marching up to Fourth Ave and ends at John Paul Jones Park at 101st for the memorial service. Local service organizations march in the parade, followed by a 21 gun salute by the U.S. Army at Fort Hamilton.

It is no coincidence that Fleet Week overlaps with Memorial Day weekend so don’t forget to rub shoulders with our sailors.  There are a lot of scheduled events throughout the week, many free.

The Governors Island Family Fun Day is scheduled for Sunday May 28 from 11am to 4pm The island opens this weekend with free events featuring kid appropriate performances and activities. Mums and Dads do not miss. More info available here.

Photo credit: Joanna Hishon