Many of you may be aware that we were nominated for the Ausmumpreneur Awards & made finalists in not one but TWO categories!
And um, hello?!?! If you didn’t know this you OBVIOUSLY do not follow our social media – did you not see our constant reminders & nagging to vote?
So Emma & I headed down to Sydney on Wednesday 23rd August after leaving the shop in the capable hands of Super Sammy – THANKS SAM!!
Because we have not been home much lately & had severe mummy guilt, we caught a 6pm flight & away we went. We were filled with excitement & extreme nervousness but after a couple of bevvies on the plane (and AWESOME seats in the exit row – hello leg room!) we were feeling confident.
We arrived late in Sydney & proceeded to be uber up with it & catch an uber, which resulted in our driver calling us asking us where the hell we were – we were standing in the wrong place. Whoops. Our Bad.
I think this uber driver probably regretted taking that ride that night, because Emma & I were like complete tourists, necks craning & constantly asking this driver what buildings were called, where this tunnel lead to & how much the toll was, and also how they worked.
After following his GPS we drove into the street our hotel was meant to be on & he said, where is your hotel???
Me squinting from the back...I look up & see it.
Yep, this was the ever classy Travelodge on Martin Place. When I booked the room, it did NOT look like this. And nor was there any mention of renovations/demolition.
(This is it during the day, imagine rocking up at 10pm in the cold & dark & seeing this!
My favorite part is the “so f*ck off” graffitied on the scaffolding.
We eventually found the entrance which was up a few stairs (no help) with our suitcases a gentleman with a walkie talkie directs us to the 8th floor for reception.
Now let me mention here that this dude is basically standing in the freezing cold weather – there are no doors & boarded up lifts, wires, gyp-rock & temporary walls galore!
At this stage Emma is laughing deliriously & I am in shock, trying not to cry.
Hello 8th floor!!! We find a common home study desk with a lovely/confused receptionist there ready to give us the key to our pent house suite…. Ok. Just your common twin share room…. And thankfully it was a decent room! Well, except for the broken glass all over the floor, our window that faced another wall, a constantly dripping shower head, and a tv from 1992.
Emma just kept laughing, I was angry & then just too tired to care. We had to prepare & sleep before our 1st day of conference tomorrow & also our interview with the judging panel. Sweet Dreams!
Day 1 of the Ausmumpreneur conference saw us within walking distance to the NSW State Library which was awesome – we ingested coffee & headed over. Just before the talks begun a gentleman (the only one so why didnt I twig!) sits down next to me... we are instructed to introduce ourselves to the person next to us so I proceed to talk like a typical North QLDer & say "My name is Kirsty & I am from CAANNNSSS...." he asked me how my business started, I then explained it was concocted one night on the turps when Emma & I were pissed.... on the way to McDonalds.... I asked what he did.
Yeah. He was the director of the major sponsor of the event.
Nice One Mrs B. Nice one.
Lucky enough he was SUPER nice & had a really good sense of humor.
It was extremely daunting but thrilling being in an auditorium filled with so many ambitious & successful women. We heard so many tales of humble beginnings from the kitchen table not so different from us, to now being million dollar businesses – so very, very inspiring.
Our turn for judging! We were super prepared & decided to just be ourselves, I mean, what could possibly go wrong yeah? Emma made me promise that if she started to talk to much & ramble just to cut in….. so we met our lovely judges who made us feel SUPER comfortable & away we went, telling the E&P story… I look over at Emma & see she has started to come out in a huge red stress rash on her neck & chest…. Oh shit. We keep on chatting & like THAT the 5 minutes is up. How the hell to do explain your business to someone who has never stepped foot in it, in a mere 5 minutes…. It was super hard. But it was done! And I was so proud of how we went.
Other funny stuff that happened was during lunch, of course we ended up in a pub…. Filled with delicious men in suits… I mean food. There was SO much material for Hairy Hump Day there...... pitty taking photos of people you dont know is frowned upon.
That night we had networking drinks to go to – so of course we uber again & think we are nearly going to die because our driver thinks he is still in Mumbai… on speed.
After wandering aimlessly around the casino for nearly 30 minutes we find the bar were meeting at & settle in… and end up in a group of all Cairns women. HAHA, yay for networking….
Of course having a fancy awards gala to go to we needed to make ourselves presentable & my lovely friend Chloe at Touch of Genius Beauty Salon hooked us up with spray tans, eyebrow tints, eyelash tins & lifts – this was hilarious listening to Emma experience having her eyelashes glued to a rod…. 😊
Then we caught yet another uber (with no bras & our pjs on) back to our stylish digs where we then popped our Uber Eats cherry….with McDonalds *classy*
Then soiled our sheets with fake tan.... which by the way housekeeping didnt change the whole time we were there!
Friday comes with another day of guest speakers at the glamorous Doltone House, this place was so lovely & was my favorite of both days as we listened to more inspirational stories which some moved me to tears (and ready to get home to Cairns to grow our business!) we even had a talk from a lady from Google, whom we wanted to kidnap & take back to Cairns with us to help us with the dot com.
Once the day was done (sorry this is taking so long!) we headed back to our pent house accommodation & met the Magician (hair & makeup lady) who made us look like Miranda Kerr & Heidi Klum... Patricia from Bellissima Hair & Make Up was the most kindest thing, even helping us stick our bras on!
We arrived back at Doltone House for the Awards & what a glamorous bunch of Mums! So many beautiful dresses & gorgeousness in one room. Katy & Peace opened with an inspirational talk & then proceeded to talk about how proud they were of everyone - and how there were some exceptional campaigning that went on.... cue a picture of our heads photo-shopped onto a harry potter picture, on not one but TWO HUGE SCREENS.
I slid down in my seat as everyone laughed, Emma just about hid under the table & as they played EVERY SINGLE photo we used for our campaign we were directed up to the stage in front of 250+ people to accept our award for Most Creative Peoples Choice Campaign.
Pretty cool huh?
We are known & proud of our business & how we are - we run a gift shop, we aren't life saving brain surgeons, so don't feel the need to pretend to be something we are not. We love what we do & love to laugh, so we are so proud of this award. It encapsulates all that Eggplant & Poppy is.... fun.
After the awards we headed across the road to the casino & cue the partying with another Mumpreneur we made friends with (she kept saying how funny we were & totally got our sense of humor so she was a keeper) we slid on into a r&b club (HELLO KIRSTYS ELEMENT!!!) that only played 90's r&b music - there I am in my massive fru fru ball gown rapping R Kelly's ignition & 2Pac California Love & Emma is of course Irish Dancing. Yep. All class.
Then we look over & see our trophy gone.
I said to Emma, where is our award? She looks at me like a stunned mullet & then RUNS out of the club to the security guard, I'm standing there thinking this is so typical of us >_< Haha.
Thankfully the security guard found our discarded award near the bar - whoever stole it probably thought it was a MTV award or something then realised it was a pink award for mums! THANK THE LORDY JESUS!!!
3am after some bathroom selfies (why is the light always so good in them!) we stumble home in an uber (again - he was a bad driver too, or it could've been that he didn't have much tolerance for mums gone wild)
As much fun as we had the next day was no so much. Getting up I realised I was no longer in my prime of the 90's. And needless to say we definitely did not look as glamourous as we did the previous night - haha. It was so worth it though.
We would just like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU - to all of you who voted, shared & supported us through this campaign. We had the absolute best time, it was an experience that will help Emma & I grow this business into something we never dreamed possible. Obviously we wouldnt be here without you guys loving & supporting us.
Thank you to Charisse Russell who nominated us for these awards, your belief in us & guidence is so valuable & we treasure you immensely.
Peace & Katy thank you for doing such a fabulous job of running Ausmumpreneur & helping put Mums in Business into the limelight. Huge thanks to all the sponsors of the event & to all the other nominees, finalisits, winners & guest speakers.
It was a fabulous journey & one we are so glad to have taken together.
PS: thank you for reading all of this!!! :)
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