What’s On in New York, July 2017

We do hope your July 4th weekend is packing a punch so far. With some luck you’ve got today off work to make it an extra long weekend, and you’ve packed up the framily (friends+family=framily) and headed beach-side, lake-side, mountain-side or city-side with a drink in one hand and a sarnie in the other.

There is something unique about long weekends in New York, probably because we get relatively few of them. And when you’ve got a quiet moment, have a squizz at AWNY’s pick of events for July in New York, this weekend and beyond.

Enjoy! – The AWNY Communications Team

Strong stomach? Then Nathan’s 2017 Hotdog Eating Contest is on July 4th at Coney Island (at Nathan’s flagship store). It runs from 10am-2pm. Last year’s winner gulped 70 hotdogs in 10 minutes. Gross, but quite something to see. Plus, one of our own AWNY Committee Members, Tanya McCaw is on the judging panel!

If you’re anywhere near the east river on the night of the 4th, then don’t miss the Macy’s Day fireworks, scheduled to kick off about 9.20PM. They will be set off along the East River, with the best viewing points between Midtown and the South Street Seaport district. As always, get there early to grab a good spot.

The annual AAA Westpac Summer Cruise is on July 20th and tickets are on sale now for this fun event. Cruise the East and Hudson Rivers, sip cocktails, nibble fare from The Australian Hotel. Purchase your tickets and get all event info here.

AWNY’s July event is ‘Greekalicious,’ an intimate book talk with award winning chef and author Maria Bernardis. Ticket price of $35 includes light refreshments and a copy of Maria’s book, ‘My Greek Family Table.’ Visit the event page on the AAA website to secure your ticket.

The New York Musical Festival runs throughout July and there’s an incredible line up of performances to see at various locations around the city. This link has a calendar of all events, dates, and locations – hopefully there’s a show near you!

Get out and see a movie during the Summer Movie Series that runs throughout July on the flight deck at the Intrepid Museum. Tickets are free (first in best dressed set up) and if you’re a member of museum you get priority admission but as you’ll be sitting atop the aircraft-carrier-turned-museum there’s good visibility from all spots.

Governors Island! Get there in July. You can visit on your own schedule for a leisurely picnic and bike ride or for one of the fun events throughout July, including City of Water Day on July 15,  Come Out & Play on July 21 and 22 or the Poetry Festival on July 29 and 30.

Tame Impala, Vance Joy, Solange, and Nine Inch Nails are just some of the highlights at the Panorama Music Festival, Randall’s Island, on July 28-30. See the line up here and view ticket package options here.

Warm Up 2017 is MoMA PS1’s outdoor music festival and runs throughout July and August, and showcases the best in live and electronic music. Melbournians Superconscious Records perform on July 29. Note MoMA PS1 is in Long Island City, directions, info, line up all here.

Pic credit: Joanna Hishon

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

Eco Cleaning Supplies Inspired By Australian Recycling – AWNY Startup Stories with Sacha Dunn

Tell us about your business and what inspired you to begin.

I started Common Good when I had small children and became concerned about the chemicals we were bringing into our home. I was equally alarmed by the amount of plastic recycling our little family was generating each week from laundry detergent and hand soap bottles. We remember that in Australia, we’d keep the big plastic container and refill it with a milk carton of laundry detergent. When we couldn’t find anything like that here in New York, we created Common Good and designed a refill station where people could bring their empty bottles, refill them and keep them out of the recycling stream for years.

What is your Ah Ha moment?

That happened before launching Common Good  In my previous career, I was a still life and interiors prop stylist. I used styled for Vogue Living and was the style editor at Marie Claire Lifestyle (remember that magazine?!) When we moved to New York in 2001, it was bad timing to start a new career. But I called a few photo editors and on the third call, the editor said “just keep talking with that Australian accent! I’m so glad you’re here. I only hire Australian stylists and photographer. I’m going to book you on this job.” The accent has been working for me ever since.
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What have been the hardest lessons in starting a business?

The hardest lessons have been about moving from a freelance creative business to manufacturing and distribution. That’s a lot to learn. I feel like I got an MBA in real time. The other big thing I learned, was how to build a company culture. As a freelancer, you don’t work with the same people for very long. Now we have a team of people who are amazing and we look forward to seeing each other every day.

Where have you been most successful in marketing your business?

We were lucky. We created a product we wanted, put it out into the world to see if people would buy it and they did! Beyond that initial success, word-of-mouth is the best thing any brand can hope for and because we have a great mission, we get a lot of people sharing our brand.

Do you have any mentors, and how have people been with sharing information and their networks?

We have some wonderful mentors! People are either drawn to us by our mission which means we get a wide range of advice from finance to environmental to sales and marketing. I also think we get interest because we’re trying to move the needle in terms of sustainability in a category that is dominated by a few major corporations.

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

Talk to other entrepreneurs! It is like having a baby and will take 2x the time you think it will. At the same time, don’t wait, don’t hold back. If it’s something you really want to do then get to work and make it happen.

Other than yourself, what piece of Australia have you put into your business?

The whole idea behind Common Good is Australian! It was that A-ha moment of refilling our laundry bottles that lead us to create Common Good. I also think that everything about me is Australian so there are probably a lot of things about how I work that are culturally different because I’m Australian.
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What is next for your business?

We are launching the next phase in refillable household soaps and cleaners! Our new Refill Box Collection uses 83% less plastic than the equivalent bottles and will ship direct to your door.
 

Do you have any offer or promo code you would like to share with AWNY members?

We don’t have a promo code but we’d love you to check us out on Kickstarter!

Why the Kickstarter now?

We’re running the crowdfunding campaign because we want to show this product to people and get them excited before we manufacture. We want to get feedback and questions from as many people as possible before we launch. This felt like the best way to get that feedback. We plan on manufacturing in the fall so it won’t be too long before the new products are on the market.

CG Current Range 2 copy

Follow Common Good on Social Media

Websitehttps://www.commongoodandco.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/commongoodandco/ 

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/commongoodandco

Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/commongoodandco/

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/commongoodandco/

Love this AWNY Startup Story? Want more?

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 

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/auwomennyc/

Are you an Australian female who owns a business in New York?

If you do and you want to tell us all about it, email us at awny@aaanyc.org

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From Interior Design to Jewelry Design – Eliza from TWO Boss Beads in AWNY Startup Stories

AWNY Startup series: Two boss beads

Eliza Yohana is the owner and maker at Two boss beads.  She creates bold chunky jewelry inspired by both nature and geometry.  She has a background in commercial Interior Design and hails from Melbourne!  She talks to AWNY about how it all began, her challenges and start-up tips.

Tell us more about how you came to the New York area…was it through life, adventure, work or study?

It was through work, not mine but my husband’s!  He is American and we met in Melbourne.  We hadn’t planned to move, but things do change, and in 2012 work opportunities for him were better in New York than Melbourne.   We arrived in Hoboken in October 2012.  Our daughter was 4 at the time.

How was Two boss beads born?

In our first year, I spent a lot of time exploring museums and different districts in New York City.   The area I loved the most was the Garment District with all its bead and fabric shops.  I spent hours in the bead shops and was very inspired by the materials I saw.  I immediately wanted to try out some bracelet designs.  I made and gifted a lot of bracelets in 2013.  Later that year we moved to the burbs so our daughter could go to school.  The business idea was put on the back burner for a couple of years.  I was completely sidetracked by wallpaper removal, light fittings and bathrooms!  By the end of 2015 I was over the renovating (and no it’s not finished!) and considering my options.  When one of the local Moms offered to host a launch party for my jewelry I jumped at the chance.  The party was in December 2015 and was a huge success. I launched my Etsy shop in March 2016.

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Where did the business name come from?

Our daughter was instrumental in convincing me that I needed an Etsy shop.  The name recognizes her as the second boss…sometimes the first!  And I love a bit of alliteration!

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

I think the challenges I face are ones around working for myself and being an entrepreneur and I think these would apply wherever I set up shop.  In the past, I worked for companies which had structures and parameters to guide me.  More importantly, there were other people to help me along the way!  Now I find that I’m doing everything myself from designing to making, photographing to being an SEO expert.  Sometimes it’s hard to know what task to prioritize to further my goals!

Are you an Australian brand or an American brand?

That’s a difficult question!  I think my aesthetic is very Australian and is a product of where I grew up and my life experiences. This is reflected in my jewelry.  I’d say that it is both and I hope that it is comfortable in either place.

How would you describe your aesthetic?

I think my aesthetic is very clean and modern.  It is also playful but stylish.  I’m a big fan of color but don’t generally like combining too many colors in one design as I personally find that hard to wear.  I’m influenced by my years as an Interior Designer and often take inspiration from architecture and interiors.

Twobossbeads 02

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

I am very harsh on myself and my family and friends are good at reminding me of this! In fact, my local community has been hugely supportive of me.  Also, celebrating small steps or wins has helped me!  And when all else fails I go and make more stuff!

Did you write a business plan or are you intuitively growing your business? 

I started with a simple business and marketing plan.  I find that I am continually revising this as I learn from my experiences and mistakes.  I think that a plan is hugely important.  It makes you think through the why, what and who and it gives direction to all your tasks.  It sounds silly, but I now have a once a week ‘making’ day scheduled (that’s the minimum!).  In my focus on business goals, part of my ‘why’ had gone out the window!

Can you tell me about a great day: a break through, a moment of clarity, making a great connection…a day in the life of Eliza Yohana that inspires you to keep going?

I have mini aha moments often – like the day it dawned on me that I needed to plan my days and months more tactically, so that time doesn’t slip by! Another big realization was that I was making too many different styles of jewelry and this was clouding my vision of my audience.  I saw this as a potential problem when I started but I didn’t anticipate the effect.  I should have listened to my Melbourne friend who said to choose one style!  After nearly a year in business, it is clear to me which type is selling best and which I enjoy making the most and that is what I am concentrating on now.

Recently I have made a great connection with a group of local makers.  I’m excited about that and where it will take me and us as a group.

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

The first thing that comes to mind is the importance of planning, as I’ve already spoken about.  The second thing is to not underestimate the power of local community – the people where you live.  My local community has been very supportive and I make many more sales here than I do on Etsy.  Thirdly, it is important to switch off.  No one tells you how all-consuming it is to be your own boss.  I find it very hard to switch off.  I haven’t mastered this one yet and it needs to go into the planner!

What advice would you give someone else in a Start-up?

Not to give up too soon! One of my good friends reminded me that the start-up period is typically 3 years – overnight success is great, but some things take time.

Secondly, marketing is King!  Put yourself out there because people want to get to know the real you.  I initially had trouble with this, but am making headway.  This is not natural for me and is something that Americans seem to be inherently good at.  I am watching, learning and trying to have no fear!

Make sure you have access to a mentor or two.  I have some online mentors and the extra opinion is always helpful.

What is your strongest marketing tool?

Word of mouth at present, followed by Facebook.

What is next for your business?

Reaching more customers through other online platforms, a standalone website, wholesale and markets.

Do you have an offer or promo code that you would like to share with the AWNY community?

Yes!  Absolutely!  Use code AWNY15 for 15% off until the end of April 2017.

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Follow Two Boss Beads’ web and social media links:

http://www.twobossbeads.com

http://www.facebook.com/twobossbeads

http://www.instagram.com/twobossbeads

http://www.pinterest.com/twobossbeads

Love this AWNY Startup Story? Want more?

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 

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/auwomennyc/

Are you an Australian female who owns a business in New York?

If you do and you want to tell us all about it, email us at awny@aaanyc.org

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What’s On in New York, April 2017

BANG there’s goes the first quarter of 2017.

Time really does fly in this city, especially if you spend your life counting the days ‘til the next AWNY event. Speaking of which, leading the event list for April is the AWNY Annual General Meeting. This is when all positions on the AWNY Committee are up for re-election, so if you fancy yourself as an event planner on-the-side, a pseudo social media influencer, or a natural new-member welcomer, then please do come along to the AGM and nominate yourself for a position. AWNY is only as strong as it’s volunteer committee and the more amazing gals we have on deck the better!

If you can’t attend the meeting, then have a scroll through this list of April NYC happenings – guaranteed to keep your weeks and weekends full!

– curated by the AWNY Communications Team

Join presenter Kate Lee as she talks all things NYC in this special workshop: Act like a New Yorker on April 4th. The workshop event, held at Studio 150, 150 West 46th St, will dig into the grit and grind of living in New York City using acting, movement and improvisation. Book tickets and get more information here.

If you haven’t experienced an Easter egg hunt in the city yet, then get along to AWNY’s Family Easter Egg Hunt on April 8th. It will be held at Riverside Park at 10am (meet at the River Run playground at 83rd and Riverside Drive) and we’re expecting a great turn out. BYO picnic lunch to enjoy after the hunt. Kid heaven! Visit the event page on Facebook for more details.

Attend AWNY’s Annual General Meeting on April 17th at The Liberty, NYC. Our AGM is the opportunity to join the committee, meet new friends, and get involved in the amazing community that is Australian Women in New York! We meet at 6.30pm for a 7.00pm start, and look forward to meeting many new faces! RSVP by email here. Nominate for a volunteer position here.

AWNY’s Mums and Dads Dinner is being held on April 29th at Pio Pio, 604 10th Avenue. Check out the event post on their Facebook page for more information. The Mums and Dads groups is a great way to meet Australian parents living in NYC, they hold regular meet ups and play groups, and is a valuable source of support!

It’s Spring so that mean it’s Macy’s Flower Show time! This free event is worth grabbing a glimpse of in the Herald Square flagship store between April 1-9. Gosh – even the website is pretty enough to visit on it’s own…

Remember the old Easter Hat parades we endured at primary school back home? In New York you can watch (or join) the ultimate Hat and Bonnet Parade on April 16th, with the parade meandering up Fifth Ave between 49th – 57th Streets from starting at 10.00am. This parade is a bit of an Easter institution in New York, with a history that goes back to the 1870s. You’re guaranteed an amazing sight.

The New York International Auto Show will set up (big!) shop at the Javits Center from April 14-23. While you may think this is an odd inclusion in the coveted What’s On list (especially because so few of us own cars in New York City), it really is something to see, and it’s a great day’s entertainment if you have kids. Expect all the usual suspects on show, plus amazing futuristic concept cars and get up close and personal with some of the most expensive and luxurious cars on the planet!

Make sure you get out and see the Brooklyn Botanical gardens and New York Botanical Gardens spring garden displays this month. Brooklyn’s Gardens have the Magnificent Magnolias and Seasonal Highlights tours, New York Botanical Gardens have the Orchid Show (until April 9th).