It's hard to believe that at just 26, Renee Gardner has managed to pack so much into her amazing life. Renee started her Utopia Women Wellness events in 2013, in a quest to answer everyone's question of "What is healthy?" by bringing together experts in the field under one roof, and taking them on tour to Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.
If you haven't been to Utopia Women's Wellness yet, or have never heard of it, you're in for a treat. In a nutshell, it’s a day full of seminars where you can rub shoulders with (and learn oh so much from) inspiring health and wellness gurus including the likes of:
There is also a wellness market with the latest in fitness, health and wellness. This is an incredible, life changing, not to be missed, personal investment you must make. So make sure you get your tickets immediately!So how does a 26 year old Gold Coast girl create such an amazing event and still live a healthy and balanced life?
Do you have a mantra that you live or work by?
Can I have three? I say these to myself all the time: (1) "Always do your best" - Go to bed at night knowing that whatever outcomes surface, know that you have done your absolute best.. (2) "Everything will ALWAYS work out" - no matter what situation you find yourself in, take it in your stride and work through it because life has a way of working things out.. and (3) "It is only your mind that is stopping you" - what ever your goals are, set yourself up and go for it. There is nothing in the world that can stop you, except for your mind chatter. So do anything you can to manage that and you will get there. I'll be cheering for you!
What sparked your passion for the health and wellness industry?
I have always been into sport and have lived and active lifestyle. I love to travel and I was living over in London for a year. When I returned I had many friends and family with health scares. Come to think of it, throughout my early 20’s quite a few people would ask me for my tips on staying fit and healthy. So I started to do more research, I just became really interested in everything to do with holistic health and fitness and my spare time was filled with reading articles and listening to online seminars.
What inspired the fruition of Utopia?
It started with the answer to the question above. Plus I studied and have been working as an event manager for almost 10 years. I decided to combine my passion with my expertise which turned into Utopia. I met people along the way who were just as passionate as me and now we have a great team.
Was it hard getting started?
It definitively took courage. If you have the opportunity to start something that you are truly passionate about, you just have to go for it. Plus the hours that go into an event – There is a lot of pressure but when it comes to the day, when everyone is enjoying themselves in such a supportive community – my heart bursts and it is all worth the hard work. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right?
What/who helped you make your dreams come true?
Before I decided to 100% go ahead with Utopia, I had three people I wanted to get involved. So I contacted them and within 48 hours they had all agreed to be involved. That was the biggest sign that I was going in the right direction. The three people were Therese Kerr, Lorna Jane and Jess Ainscough. I will be forever grateful for their support and love towards Utopia.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
First thing I do in the morning is move (whether it is a walk, yoga, a few stretches or a workout), then I have a warm lemon drink and some ‘me’ time (meditation in the sun usually). Then its emails and social media to reply to everyone from over night. Then I usually have a fairly long to do list – so I break that up to the most important things with three highlighted. So if I get only three things done in the day, I will still be on track. IF I get to the others that is great. I shuffle them around each day. Lunch and dinner aren’t really scheduled but I always share them with my partner, Ryan. Before bed I like to read. In saying this I am not completely rigid in my day to day life. I take it as it comes. And at event time it’s mayhem.
Have you achieved that work/life balance?
Yes, except for about two weeks leading up to the events. I haven’t worked that one out yet ☺
How do you know that things are a little our of balance?
When my three basic morning rituals (moving, lemon water and me time) are not on my priority list or I haven't spent time with friends and family. I get a feeling of overwhelm with so many things on the go and know I need to take a step back....
How do you take care of yourself when this happens?
Stop looking at my forever growing to do list, have faith that everything will keep moving forward, ask for help and take time out to meditate, swim in the ocean or just have me time.
What has been the best business advice you have ever received?
These relate back to my life motto/mantra. But another one is Ask as many questions as possible. Speak to people who have walked the path that you want to go in. They have been there, they can give you so much advice. Whether you take it or leave it, it’s up to you but at least you are a step ahead from where you were.
Did you follow it?
Yes, although I am always working on it.
Have you ever faced a point in your business when you through it wouldn’t work?
Yes, always. Our brains are wired to doubt ourselves. We have this mind chatter that likes to bring us down. It’s important to keep moving forward.
Having a successful first event was a huge milestone. That gave me the confidence to take Utopia interstate. Having the support of an amazing community, our speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and my family has been incredible.
What advice can you offer to other women starting out in business?
Don’t doubt yourself so much, or figure out a way to manage it and turn it into motivation. Keep moving forward and just turn up every day and do your best. You will see progress, even if it isn’t immediate. And reach out to people to collaborate.
When you’re not working, people will find you…
On the beach, somewhere in the Gold Coast hinterland and spending as much time as possible with friends and family.
Utopia Women's Wellness Events will be held in:
Melbourne - 26 September, 2015 Melbourne Park Function Centre
Brisbane - 7 November, 2015 Royal ICC, Brisbane Showgrounds
Sydney - 14 November, 2015 Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh
For tickets go to http://www.utopiawomenswellness.com/tickets/
Juggling a flurry of businesses and passions Sarah Leung is the ultimate multi-tasker. She is the owner and manager of award winning wellness centre, Healthy Energy Holistic Lifestyle & Wellness Centre, Founder of our beloved Alg Seaweed, casual lecturer at La Trobe University, Ballet Student Nutritionist, Food Stylist and Photographer and did we mention that she's also an all round lovely soul? We managed to catch a moment of Sarah's time to talk about all things business, iodine deficiencies and how she manages it all, her answers might surprise you.
Unplug from the ordinary. Adventure awaits. Wanderlust Sunshine Coast is coming and our friends at PERKii want you and your bestie to experience Wanderlust in style! How would you like to score flights, accommodation and four days of adventure and mindful living at Wanderlust Festival on the Sunshine Coast. Read on for more!
There's a little saying I like to go by, if you can't tone it, tan it! I won't lie, I'm quite partial to sporting a year round tan. There is something about having that sun-kissed glow that makes you feel and look a little leaner, and dare I say a tad sexier. The good news is that with all the amazing advancements in natural skin care products, you can get that glow without worrying about nasty toxins, sun damaged skin or looking like an Oompa Loompa. Here is my pick of the best natural tanning essentials to get your through this winter and beyond!
SUBSCRIBE & SAVE 10% OFF
YOUR FIRST ORDER
We know you're too busy for junk mail, so you will only be notified of important things like new arrivals, special offers and exciting news.