This International Women’s Day we celebrate women across the world by shining a light on three Obus Lovers who play by their own rules. As a proud female owned and run business, we’re honoured to have a platform to share and discuss the careers and lives of our community in order to #BreakTheBias
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Since the release of her book ‘Emotional Female’, Dr Yumiko Kadota has continued to champion causes close to her heart, whilst simultaneously being mindful of her own well-being. Advocate, author, doctor and pump class instructor, this powerhouse woman is only just getting started.
Since releasing ’Emotional Female’ how has your life changed? What has the response been like?
The response to ‘Emotional Female’ has been mostly very encouraging, which has given me more confidence to speak up on issues that affect women, particular in male-dominated or toxic workplaces. It covered a broad ranges of issues including bullying, sexism, sexual harassment, racism, burnout and mental well-being in the workplace. For this reason I’ve been able to reach a wide audience, not just the medical profession. It’s allowed me to follow up the book with further events and articles to expand on and continue to advocate for these causes.
What advice would you a younger you?
I would tell myself not to put so much pressure on myself, and not to care so much about what other people think of my (career) choices. I’m the only one that has to be happy with my life, and that the life I lead aligns with my values and priorities. I would tell myself that it’s okay to choose things that put my well-being first, and not to feel guilty for it.
What would we find you doing on a Sunday to relax?
I’ve been teaching BodyPump on Sunday mornings - this is an important part of my mental health! The recommended guideline is 3 sessions of resistance exercise a week, so I try my best to do this. After Pump I love a slow brunch at a local cafe and then spend the afternoon talking to my sisters in Japan. We sometimes even watch sport or a TV show together over FaceTime.
How does fashion and beauty fit into your life?
I have recently started my own business running a cosmetic skin clinic so beauty is part of both my personal and professional life now! Maintaining good skin and educating my patients about sun protection and skin care is an important part of my daily work. I also love fashion, but over the years I haven’t always been able to enjoy it because the medical profession is quite conservative. I think that fashion can be a form of self expression, so I really love that I work for myself these days and I can wear whatever makes me feel good!
How does fashion and beauty fit into your life?
I enjoy doing lots of different things - I believe it’s called a “portfolio career”, which more and more young women are discovering. It’s a fantastic way of splitting your time between all the things that you love. I think that it’s protecting me from burnout because I now have a high level of job satisfaction, and I can choose my days and hours. I am adding RPM to my fitness instructing timetable this year, and hoping to write my second book! Other than that I hope to continue engaging with other activists in the online space and build my new business.
Obus Lovers have seen her name credited in our most recent (and fabulous!) campaigns... photographer Jess Brohier speaks with us about how photography found her, and what it’s like running contemporary Melbourne studio Alt-House.
Did you always know you wanted to be a photographer?
I actually thought I wanted to be a psychologist and have an undergrad degree in Psychology and Sociology, but after finishing I took a different path and decided to finally go to art school. I knew I wanted to work as an artist/creative, though I did not know in what capacity. I really feel like photography chose me.
What urged you to start your business, Alt-House?
We wanted to build a community. I had worked as a freelance photographer for 7 years and found it quite isolating and competitive. I wanted to build a studio where people like myself could come together to inspire each other and share skills, ideas and advice to help each other to realise their creative potential sooner. I very luckily found someone with a similar vision, my business partner Grace, and we decided to do it together.
What do you do just for you?
Take holidays with friends without bringing any cameras, do yoga and meditation and make sure to be social and present with the people I love. Also to photograph personal projects that centre on the themes and values I want to explore in my work.
How does working with so many amazing, independent labels affect your personal relationship with fashion?
I think it has made me much more decisive about how I spend my money when it comes to clothes. I really like to wear the labels that I work with, and those from local makers in our community. If not this, I'll either shop second hand or invest in designer pieces that are timeless.
Where do you see yourself in a few years?
Hopefully being able to run our agency from abroad, and spending some time living and travelling in America and Europe with my family. And photographing influential and interesting people.
Colourful content creator, mother and maverick Nina Cavicchiolo aka @Nina.C.Sees talks to us about finding beauty in the world, and the importance of saying “no” sometimes in order to have the right work/life balance.
How did you get started in content creation?
It was by accident really. I stumbled across Instagram deep in the exhausting and sometimes lonely depths of parenting young children. My Instagram page became my creative outlet and a way of feeling connected to the outside world. I found it really inspiring to connect with and follow so many clever and creative people on the platform.
Over time businesses started reaching out to me and asking if I could create content for them in my colourful style. I have now worked with countless brands both big and small, both domestic and international, and I can’t get enough. I am brimming with ideas. I see the world in pictures. There is so much beauty around if you look for it.
When it comes to achieving a work/life balance what is your strategy?
I’m getting much better at saying no when I need to. In the past where I might have taken something on just because I was starstruck that a particular brand wanted to work with me, I now know to first make sure I’ll be getting the same value as they are out of the relationship. People often don’t realise the time, creative thought process and resources that go into one ‘simple’ picture. This means less but more fulfilling work and more time for my family.
What 3 songs would be at the top of a playlist to ‘pump you up’?
I’m probably showing my age sharing these but here are three songs that always make me want to turn the volume up really loud:
Bullet With Butterfly Wings – Smashing Pumpkins
Better Man – Pearl Jam
Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
What is your favourite Obus piece and why do you love it?
Every year Obus releases a quilted coat and they are always absolutely magical! I’m lucky enough to have a couple in my collection and I just love everything about them. They are the perfect weight for winter (not too heavy, not too light) and they are always in the most beautiful prints. It is so fun wearing a bright, happy coat in the depths of a Melbourne winter rather than a boring black puffer (although they have their place too!)
Looking ahead, what projects do you have in the works that excite you?
One exciting thing about doing what I do is that I never know what email is going to pop into my inbox from one day to the next with a request for content creation. I love meeting new businesses this way. I also have ongoing relationships with some amazing businesses who I will continue to work with this year. It can be tricky not knowing exactly what creative projects are coming up but that’s what keeps it interesting! The spice of life and all that! Oh and I really want to learn how to paint this year. That’s a personal project I have in the works.
Yumiko wears At Leisure Shirt (Coming Soon), Illuminate Culotte + Illuminate Scrunchie and Flock Assembly Frill Studs.
Jess wears Traveller Stripe Long Sleeve Top (Coming Soon) + Journeys Pant.
Nina wears Illuminate Dress.
Learn more about International Women's Day http://internationalwomensday.com/