The Yarra Ranges’ annual Women on the Go forum, held on Wednesday, June 28, was a wonderful morning of inspiration organised by Yarra Ranges Business.
Women supporting each other
From an expo of more than 20 local businesses run by women, to the inspiring stories of cabinet maker Natasha Roberts, and Evolve with Equine’s Sue Martin. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast at The Eastern Golf Club in Yering, with gorgeous views across the golf course, and a few cheeky kangaroos making their presence known.
The expo showcased local businesses from art and craft ventures, to cooking, weddings, reiki, toastmasters, healthy eating, information technology help, business accounting help, and more. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet and greet with fabulous women running their own business.
Cabinet maker, a dream job for this woman
The first guest speaker, Natasha Roberts, is a bubbly young woman who challenged stereotypical trends to become a cabinet-maker. She creates dream kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms for families across Melbourne.
Natasha completed year 12 in 2008, going into a four-year cabinet making apprenticeship with a local family business based in Woori Yallock.
Upon completion of her apprenticeship, and armed with the skills and knowledge to excel in her trade, she established her own business, BT Cabinets.
Natasha says she always got on better with the boys at school, and was a bit of a tom-boy herself. But it meant she could give as much as she got as an apprentice, working on sites and bossing her boss around. She is the kind of person who would keep asking until she understood exactly what was required to do her best.
Beginning out was a bit of a struggle though. “No one tells you when you have to start getting up early and work a physical job for 40 hours a week, you get tired really easily,” she laughed.
Physically, she got stronger and could comfortably carry heavy cabinets, to the amazement of many of the men on site.
Challenges in running your own business
From dealing with the odd customer who wasn’t happy with work, encouraging VCAL and work experience students to actively show initiative on the job, to the trials and tribulations of making your own holiday time, Natasha was succinct in saying that when running your own business, you have to learn on the go, sometimes make mistakes, and then rethink your approach if the problems arise again.
Natasha was honest and open talking about her mental which took a dive with some personal devastations that she feels took a toll on her for a while, but with time she has now found a loving partner alongside her strong family support.
“It’s amazing what support and a loving guy to come home to can do for your working life,” she said.
Last year she moved out of home and decided it was time to make it on her own. “I call this adult-ing and it’s a rare thing for me. I was still struggling with a lot of stuff and still do to this day.”
“I’ve had my ups and downs during business and my personal life but I’ve always tried to take each experience on board and learn from it,” she told the crowd.
“You never know what life is going to throw at you.”
Find out more about Natasha and her business at www.facebook.com/btcabinets12 and pick up the Spring copy of Yarra Valley & Ranges Country Life magazine to read all about the second guest speaker, Sue Martin, and her business Evolve with Equines.
Read about more inspirational women here.