AWNY Meet and Greet Program

Welcome to New York!  
If you have just arrived, or are on your way here, get connected in a New York minute with AWNY’s new Meet and Greet program.  Connecting with fellow Australian women in New York is a great way to make your transition easier.  

How does the Meet and Greet program work?  
As a new member of Australian Women in New York, fill out the form below and we will put you in touch with an existing AWNY member to meet up for a coffee, drink or walk in the park.  Any information on the form is optional.  It helps us match you up with someone who may be in a similar situation, or has the information that you’d like.  

How can the Meet and Greet program help me?
With over 50 women on the Committee, and thousands in the group, you can get specific advice and support for your life stage, including anything you want to know about career, family needs, entertainment, arts and leisure, entrepreneurial endeavors, and living in New York.  We find that although each of our situations is unique, we are not alone in wanting to be social and getting connected.  Relationships in this city are key.  When we’re connected, we are stronger and healthier.

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What happens after the initial meet-up?
An experienced fellow Australian woman will be there for you to answer questions and help you find your way around.  If you want, we can introduce and connect you to other like-minded women, or just stay connected so you know a friendly face at upcoming AWNY events.  Whatever it is that you’d like from your time in New York, we are here to help you make it all happen.

Help!  I’ve just arrived and wondering if I’ve made the right decision…
You might be feeling anything from happiness and excitement, to homesickness, frustration, and uncertainty – and these are all completely normal reactions.  We’ve noticed that connecting with fellow Australian women at the beginning of your time here is one of the best ways to make your transition easier.

How do I get started?
Fill out the new members form, and tell us a little about yourself.  We will put you in touch with an AWNY volunteer with similar interests who has experienced the transition of moving to and living in NYC.  Whether you want to discuss career opportunities, exploring the city’s cultural offerings, or raising kids in NYC, we are here to help you navigate New York life in all its depth and diversity.    

 

 

My Neighborhood – Hoboken, New Jersey

Written by Peta Arthurson

See why moving to Hoboken was a winner with former AWNY Vice President Peta Arthurson.

 

My husband and I stumbled upon the neighborhood of Hoboken and at first we completely freaked out. We had never planned on moving to NEW JERSEY!!! That’s a whole different state, and train system! But, if you read along with me you will see why I think its been our best neighborhood so far!

Upon recently expanding my family to include our new baby girl Matilda, my husband and I knew we wanted a little more space at but with affordable rent, and non- negotiable outdoor space for our dog (there was no way could I walk him at night in the dead of winter with a newborn if my hubby was away for work!) And of course we wanted all of this without moving to Westchester or some other upstate NY or Long Island location. I’m pleased to report we found it in Hoboken, New Jersey, just a short distance from Manhattan.

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Peta, husband Shane and baby Matilda on Matilda’s first Snow Day – Dec 2016

 

Where is Hoboken?

Hoboken, New Jersey is right across the Hudson river and is bordered by Weehawken to the North and Jersey City to the South & West. The streets are on a grid similar to Manhattan with the cross streets being numbered from 1st (downtown) to 14th (uptown) and some president’s names like Washington, Adams, Madison, Monroe.

Transport in Hoboken

Hoboken is essentially in line with Houston and 23rd streets of Manhattan and getting into the city is quick and easy. The PATH train runs regularly from 33rd street to Hoboken and the ferry runs to 42nd and World Trade Center. In fact, if you work downtown, the ferry takes only 5 minutes. There are also buses, with NJ Transit operating between the Hoboken Bus Terminal and Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. We also have a light rail system connecting Jersey City to Weehawken and beyond.

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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.

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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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Artist Tanya Chaly explores biodiversity loss through her art in this week’s AWNY Startup Stories

Australian Artist Tanya Chaly discusses the inspiration and challenges of being an artist in New York City.

Why did you come to NYC? 

I moved to NYC in 2006 after living in Dijon, France for 6 1/2 years where I had been teaching at an art school in Chalon-Sur-Saone. My husband’s work brought us to the US but we had been living away from home since 1999, the first move abroad was to the UK.  I feel like I’ve been a gypsy for many years but somehow New York was the first time I moved somewhere and it felt instantly like a home.

What have you been doing since you arrived? As an art business does this pay the way? What else do you do?

No, most artists I know are always cobbling together jobs as a way to earn a living. My first job when I arrived was working as a picture framer doing high end museum work. It was a great group of people to work with in a gorgeous studio overlooking Union Square. I was fortunate to have such a friendly and fun place to work as an introduction to NYC as well seeing all the beautiful work that came through the shop. I also trained and qualified as a fitness instructor and taught bootcamps and classes around the city in between my studio time to supplement my income.

Describe what the start of establishing yourself as an artist was like in NYC.

Hard, exciting and challenging. An artist who had lived here a long time once told me that NYC is like a crucible you either survive the challenges as an artist or you don’t. It definitely was a test of sorts, as you get exposed to so much brilliant, extraordinary work and exhibitions. It’s a great place to tone your work. There is a fierce amount of talent here that I find continuously inspiring. That being said it can be completely overwhelming and you have to learn how to balance it all.  The best advice I got from an artist when I first arrived was don’t expect anything to really happen for at least 5 years. New York is such a competitive and tough place, turned out she was right! I started to get work shown in 2011/2012 and then things just grew from that.

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What has been the highlight of work for you?

Without a doubt my highlight was in 2014, when I received the news that I had been awarded The Explorers Club Artist-in-Exploration-Award (Sponsored by Rolex USA). It’s a $25,000 award for an artist to do a project out in the field. It was an enormous honor and thrill to be selected and it gave me the opportunity to embark on a huge adventure and the most ambitious art project I had ever done. In the summer of 2015 I visited scientists working on restoration project in Gorongosa National Park in Central Mozambique and then I went on to exhibit the work at the Explorers Club in December 2015. I also gave a lecture there about my travels and research. From this experience I began to embark on more art/ science style collaborations and research projects that have involved travel and speaking engagements. I would also add that being featured in Australian Art Collector this year has been another real thrill, it’s been lovely to have some recognition back at home.

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

I don’t have a mentor as such, lots of artists have inspired me and given great advice especially on how to navigate the art scene. One of the best parts of being based here in NYC is that I have had the chance to travel and attend art conferences/symposiums which has been fantastic for networking and meeting like minded people. It’s allowed me access to the University art scene and academic world which is a good fit for my work as I work from a conceptual base. I have also been on a number or residency Fellowship programs which have been crucial to the development of my work.

What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a business/moving to NY?

Be prepared to work hard and in that process find out what you are made of!  Don’t expect things to happen straight away, learn to adapt and go around obstacles, that’s often where the magic is when you diverge off the main path. And never take for granted what a privilege it is to live in such an amazing city!

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

I think my love of the natural world came from growing up in Australia.  Somehow the natural world infuses daily life at home unlike NYC which is such an artificial environment. I am always surprised every time I go home how much nature is ever present even in the cities. The way the bush seems to try to engulf the suburbs, the insects and lizards running around the backyards and the cacophony of early morning Currawongs and Butcher Birds I hear at my Mum’s place.

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What are your favorite places in NYC?

The museums and galleries are all incredible but if I had to pick, my favorites are the Frick Collection, The Rubin Museum and The American Museum of Natural History.

I love to go to the Metropolitan Museum on summer Saturday evenings when the Museum stays open till 9pm. The rooftop has the best view of Central Park and the crowds have all disappeared so it’s the perfect time to visit and explore.

What is next for you and your work?

2016 was a really busy year putting together four solo shows and having work in five group shows. Over the last 6 months I have been on a residency at Brooklyn Art Cluster and I have just completed a big solo show there which is up this month that looks at the drivers of biodiversity loss, (habitat loss, invasive species and climate change).

So I looking forward to starting on some new projects that look more at some of these themes and the scientific community that works on theses issues. I hope to be doing some more travel to biodiversity hotspots and seeing what comes out of these experiences and watch how the work evolves.  Other than that I have a one month Fellowship coming up and after that I will probably be looking for a new studio space!

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Tania’s current show ‘Unravel’ is on display until April 1st at The Cluster Gallery.

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View more about Tania’s work at:

Website – http://tanyachaly.com 

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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Brisbane ‘nice’ fuses with New York ‘cool’… meet Fashion Startup Mathys Sinclair – AWNY Startup Stories

Meet Thembi Hanify of Mathys Sinclair, who shares her experience of starting-up  a fashion business with her business partner Rachelle Sinclair.

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Tell us about you, what made you move to the USA? 

I came to NYC kind of on a whim, not knowing anyone, and without a job or apartment. I decided to apply for the J1 visa just before my eligibility post-university ran out, and told myself ‘well, if everything fails then I can just fly home!’. And now I’ve been here for over six years.

What inspired you to start the business?

My business partner and I met almost ten years ago in Brisbane, sharing the idea ‘we have to start a fashion label together one day’!

We had always had the idea in the backs of our minds…so once I switched from full time work to freelancing and Rachelle sold her prior label KHALO; we both had the time and energy to create our own fashion label.  I guess it was meant to happen and in 2016 Mathys Sinclair was born.

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