So… How did this all begin? Is the question I’ve been asked by a zillion people. And the answer is simple. I reached out to Chelsea, with no expectations of a reply, and being the legend she is… she wrote back. And the answer I got was one I didn’t expect!
I’ve followed Chelsea on her I Heart Bargains journey for a good few years now, and I just so happened to catch one of her Insta Stories in Kyneton. So I thought, “SHIT! If she’s travelling to Kyneton, maybe she’ll come to Bendigo”. I really just wanted to use it as a common ground so I could say “Hey, I love what you do, and I think you’re doing a great job” – But here we are. A week on from shooting with her, and still on a high.
When Chelsea replied to me, she explained how it was such a coincidence that I had invited her to Bendigo, because she had said to herself at the beginning of this year, that she wanted to visit and support more regional towns. As lame as it sounds, I’ll put this adventure down to fate. We emailed back and forth for months, and what was originally going to be a small catch up with some of my friends from #GirlsFromTheGo in a cafe – Turned into a sold out Instagram workshop at the La Trobe Arts Institute. The feedback that I have received from the attendees has been phenomenal. Chelsea was so generous with her knowledge, and her experience – and didn’t even mind when her Mum (Hi Donna!) interrupted her mid-speech. She is so down to earth, easy going, and quite frankly, bloody brilliant.
Saturday morning, I picked Chels up from her hotel, we loaded the car up (I mean, full to the brim, my car became a wardrobe full) and we headed into town. Chelsea wanted to make the most of her time here, and help promote as many local businesses as she could. It was never just about the photoshoot.
She chatted to the owners and staff, and we did Insta Stories, Video’s and photos at all of the shops. Something Chelsea wanted to do to help them gain exposure. She had messages and DM’s rolling in while we were walking, “Where are you?” “Where is that dress from?” – And something that surprised me, is that she was answering all of them.
This dusty pink dress from Soho Boutique proving to be a favourite of the day!
Chelsea was genuinely interested in everybody, and made purchases along the way. After a bit of shopping, chatting to the retailers and a coffee… We thought we better get on with our shoot!
All shops owned by local Bendigo women. All work so tirelessly and so hard to be successful. All legends, in their own right.
We wrapped up our shoot in Chancery Lane, and then headed to an intimate event that I had organised for Chelsea’s visit. I wanted to incorporate The Caravan Bar into our shoot somehow… Because, awesome.
So I originally planned to have Kaitlin (Lady Boss of said van) set up the van somewhere solely for the purpose of the photoshoot. But then things snowballed. Like really hard. And with the help of some ridiculously amazing women, we hosted the most beautifully styled little soiree.
Chelsea was doing Bendigo such a huge favour by being here, I really wanted to show her how much it meant to us that she was doing this. I wanted to show her how talented we are, how many creatives we have. And most of all that the #GirlsFromTheGo have it going on!
A special THANK YOU to: Vogue Nature for the stunning floral masterpiece, Hardinghand for the hand-lettered #GirlsFromTheGo sign (which we will be using again!), and Hannah Macauley for providing the girls with muscle (Thanks Dean), support and for making me tea and broth when I was sick 🙂
There has been A LOT of interest in #GFTG since Chelsea visited. A lot of requests to ‘join’ the group. A lot of questions as to WHAT it is.
The answer is, I don’t know yet!
#GirlsFromTheGo started as a hashtag! Just a little local spirit that myself and some friends started using. So then, I thought… Let’s start an Insta account. There are SO many female business owners in Bendigo – Let’s start a support movement here. So I can tell you, #GFTG is simply Bendigo (and surrounds) Lady Bosses supporting each other.
There has been a little confusion about a private Facebook group I have, which is named Girls From The Go – But this (at the moment) is a private group of my personal friends and acquaintances who tick the above criteria. I don’t know what is next for GFTG within Facebook. But I can tell you I will be opening up a few FREE (Hit me up via #GFTG DM) promotional posts within the Instagram account. More than happy to promote local Girl Bosses doing their thang!
If I had more time, #ShitYeah I’d be going big with this… But for now? Keepin’ it small. Keepin’ it real.
Big Love, Leah
~ xoxo ~
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