Nora Kogan had a boutique on Fifth Avenue, South Slope near where I lived in Brooklyn. At the time her jewelery store was called St Kilda and I guessed she was Australian. I was right. She was from Melbourne by way of the Ukraine. We started talking and I liked her immediately. She was funny and bright and I just knew she had a great life story.
To top it off, her jewellery (you can shop online or at her Williamsburg boutique) is hilarious, elegant and visceral. Just like Nora! Her distinctive bijoux are worn by Madonna, Scout Willis and Susie Lau.
I was so pleased to talk to Nora in this episode of Head Ovary Heels. Nora was in her apartment in Park Slope. I was on the verandah of our Queenslander in Brisbane. At one point the electricity went out (such is our old Queenslander) and I had to run downstairs to the fuse box, flick the switch, turn on the modem and get the internet going again. Thankfully Nora was chill throughout.
Margaret Zhang is not a blogger. She's a girl who happens to have a blog called Shine By Three. She talks about how she made her blog and the story behind the name. It's not what you think.
Margaret talks about growing up in West Ryde, Sydney, being a proud nerd and the difference between real life and living through your phone.
You should definitely follow Margaret on Instagram. She was late to the platform but makes up for it with the most gorgeous, curated feed.
Sophie Hansen is Australia's Rural Woman of the Year 2016. She lives in Orange, New South Wales with her deer farmer husband Tim and their two children on a farm.
Soph is an online country lady whizz. She has a wonderful blog called Local is Lovely, that became a cookbook. She has a gorgeous Instagram (@locallovely). She hosts social media, food photography and styling workshops. She has a podcast called My Open Kitchen.
I had the good fortune to go to university with Soph and we've stayed in touch over the years. At uni in Canberra, Soph had that Sydney girl sheen. She was really bright and stylish and I wanted to be friends with her.
In this episode Soph talks about working in magazines in Sydney, joining the slow food movement in Italy, meeting her husband Tim and getting engaged in three months! Soph is so fun. I hope you enjoy this episode.
Nora Finds is Nora Thoeng. She's an Australian Indonesian Chinese gal who lives in London. I've been following Nora on social for years! I think I found her on Tumblr. I recognised the Sydney locations of her shoots and loved that a local lass was wearing vintage so beautifully.
I caught up with Nora in her London flat over Skype. We talked about growing up in Sydney, her experiences at school in Jakarta, the complementary nature of her science job (Nora works in a brain research lab) and her vintage fashion past-time.
Karina Waters is undertaking the renovation of a lifetime. She and her husband purchased the Chateau de Gudanes on the border of France and Spain in 2013. The chateau is a social media star in her own right; she has an Instagram and makes frequent appearances in magazines like Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. (Sidenote: these Harper's Bazaar portraits were taken by our fave Aussie photographer in Paris Carla Coulson who has also been on Head Ovary Heels).
I caught up with Karina on Skype while she was back in Perth, over Christmas. I felt so energised after the call. She was so fun and honest and full of life. The chateau needs her!
We talked about Karina's early life in Perth, her responsibility to the chateau and what this stage in life means to her. Hope you enjoy the episode!
In that kind of six degrees of internet separation, photographer Carla Coulson came to us via Jennie Hogg of cashmere shawl line Lois Avery. I then spent a night discovering Carla's pics all over the internet.
I couldn't wait to speak with her from her studio in Paris and hear about her editorial work, books, commissions, artwork and mentoring sessions. It was super inspiring and fun to say the least.
Am also really proud that we're Carla's first podcast! Yay, for Head Ovary Heels.
Portraits of Carla by Loc Boyle. All other pics by Carla. From top to bottom: Collette Dinnigan for Harper's Bazaar, Carla's pic of Monopoli, Italy; Jeune Fille en Fleur, My Amalfi Coast with Amanda Tabberer, Chateau Du Gudanes
Oh, let us count the ways we're inspired by Karen McCartney. Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Karen moved to London for university. While at uni, Karen ran a market stall on weekends, selling (and styling) items picked up from jumble sales. Karen broke into publishing in London and then years later moved to Australia to work on marie claire lifestyle magazine. She then launched News Life Media's Inside Out magazine.
Karen has recently published three books, Perfect Imperfect, Superhouse and White Rooms. You can find Karen giving brand guidance over on Edit'd. And you should totally be following Karen on Instagram.
Jennie Hogg and I worked together in a call centre in Canberra nearly two decades ago. We become fast friends. I went to New York City and Jennie moved to London. She married an Englishman, had three kids and worked as a lawyer. In her 40th year, Jennie launched her cashmere shawl business called Lois Avery.
In this episode of Head Ovary Heels she tells me about starting her own business, how social media inspired her career change and what it means to balance ambition with small children.
I met Tanya more than 20 years ago when we were shopgirls at Shoo Biz in the Canberra Centre. Tanya's dream was to own her own store. She did it with Pretty Dog in Sydney's inner west. It's one of Australia's most beautiful fashion boutiques in a Victorian terrace, just off King Street. Pretty Dog stocks Australian and international designers and there's flattering light in the change rooms.
Not satisfied with one brick-and-mortar business, Tanya's taken Pretty Dog online and she also co-runs Sydney Sandal Company. (Small world, I was at a sample sale today in Brisbane and Anna Plunkett from Romance Was Born was there. She was wearing the black and olive Sydney Sandal Company Culburra sandals.)
In this episode, Tanya tells us what it really takes to run a business, having a child and that time she journeyed to the Outback to buy vintage.
Editorial note: Pretty Dog and Sydney Sandal Company are both friends of my TinyLetter What's The Wifi Password? I Need It. Don't fret, there's little cash, and much comment.
Clare Press was one of our first guests on Head Ovary Heels. Clare has written for just about everyone: Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and marie claire. She's written two books, The Dressing Table and Wardrobe Crisis: How we went from Sunday best to fast fashion. We caught up with Clare before she jetted off to Italy to write her third book.
Kara Rosenlund was one of the first people we wanted to interview for Head Ovary Heels. We're huge admirers of her Instagram, her book Shelter: How Australians Live and her work in Country Style magazine among other places.
It was such a joy to sit with her on a Saturday morning and hear about her time in Toowoomba, her years in London and how she came to find herself again through photography.
We sat on grass outside her Albion studio. You can hear passing cars, children playing and magpies. It was a quintessentially Brisbane moment.
We can't say enough great things about writer and astrologer Jessica Adams. Truth be told, this was actually our second interview with Jessica as our first one was a technical bust. Jessica was a total trooper and let me ask all the same questions twice.
Jessica lives between the UK and Australia. She writes horoscopes for Get The Gloss and has predictions and Chinascopes on her own website. In the `90s, Jessica wrote books that became part of the chicklit genre. She was a key instigator in the Girls Night In anthologies that have raised $3 million for children's charity War Child.
Follow Jessica on Twitter
You know I love a lady with side hustle. Ursula Lake grew up just outside of London. Her first (assistant) styling gig was on a Mario Testino shoot of Liz Hurley. The picture hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.
Ursula had a longish stint at the Evening Standard ES magazine. She still does freelance styling but she runs a swimwear line Violet Lake and has a publishing project with photographer Chloe Mallat (she shoots Anthropologie catalogues!) called Make Magazine.