Here at Inspired Adventures, we love hearing empowering stories of women (and men!) who took a leap of faith and reached for their goals, no matter how crazy or difficult it seemed. We’ve found three particularly inspiring ladies who are doing amazing things in their own business and had the opportunity to ask them the hard-hitting questions (like where they are planning their next holiday!) Check it out!

Holly Woodhouse, Founder of 'Say Yes to Adventure' Magazine

1 – Tell us about yourself. What’s your professional background?

I studied a Bachelor of Design in Wellington and have worked in the creative industry for the last ten years. Sport and adventure are a huge passion of mine; I’m always heading outdoors for a weekend in the mountains and competing in new events, which have included the Coast to Coast, Red Bull Defiance and Marathon des Sables. Next on the list is a 230-kilometre ultra through Peru’s Amazon Jungle in June.

2 – What is Say Yes to Adventure all about? How did you come up with the concept?

Say Yes to Adventure was created for the adventurous person in all of us. Someone who loves the outdoors and the opportunities that arise from this.

But not only do they love adventure, they appreciate good design and a high-quality magazine when they see one. Say Yes to Adventure is designed for the coffee table, to be enjoyed by people of all ages for years to come.

I was searching for a creative way to raise funds for Running for Rangers, an organisation which supports the ranger’s welfare across the private wildlife conservancies in Kenya. I always wanted to create a high-quality adventure magazine, so this seemed like the perfect time and reason to start one and the perfect way to combine my love of adventure and design.

3 – What can we expect to see in a SYTA mag?

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Each contribution, whether a story, image or illustration, explores the emotion that comes from having an adventure. It doesn’t have to be someone who is running across the world, or diving to the depths of the ocean (although these are amazing), it’s more about getting outside and pushing your boundaries. It’s also not full of clutter; no product reviews, no race reports, just well-written stories that inspire the adventurer in all of us.

4 – What’s it like running your own business?

Amazing. Stressful. Rewarding. It’s a tough gig starting out, and there is no way I could have done this without the support of my family. I have to be so organised. Currently, I am still working another job so at least I know the bills are paid, training for an ultra-marathon and publishing a magazine all on my own. But I’m not complaining; I’ve chosen this path and soon it will be my full-time job.

5 – Any cool plans you can let us in on for the future?

There are so many plans! I’m a bit of a dreamer, what I’m not going to do! After a year of being in business and it going well, I’ve decided to take it further afield and it available for purchase in stores in Australia, the UK and Europe, not just online as it is now, within the next six months.

6 – Do you have any advice for other women looking to start their own business?

Just go for it. Dive straight in and don’t think about the negative. Obviously, having a plan is a great idea, but let the natural process take over. If you worry too much about the nitty gritty, you’ll lose the passion. Starting a business is hard work, and if you don’t have passion and believe in it 100%, then it’s a hard road. Also, not everyone is going to be nice to you (a huge reality check for me). But I love the saying “When you encounter resistance… When you strike a nerve… It means you’re onto something.”

7 – Which country is on your travel bucket list?

Which country isn’t on my bucket list! Being the publisher and editor of an adventure magazine, I am continually inspired by the amazing people out there. I want to go and do all the things that my contributors are doing!

To subscribe to SYTA or read more, visit their website 

Emma Walker, Founder of 'She Went Wild'

1 – Tell us about yourself. What’s your professional background?

I’m from Wales in the UK and have been living in Sydney for the last 3 years. I started in marketing after doing my degree, but never felt completely happy in the position. After I met my partner we started a glamping company that we ran for 2 years before moving here. This is where my love for events came in, as we were heavily involved with local events. When we moved to Australia I spent two years working for a creative event company as their national event co-ordinator.

Our passion for the great outdoors and adventure sports led us to create She Went Wild. I’m hugely excited about meeting women who are as interested in the outdoors as we are, and hope that She Went Wild and the exhibition in November will help inspire more women to get outdoors.

2 – What is She Went Wild all about? How did you come up with the concept?

We hope that women – or anyone who visits – whatever their age or background, take a sense of adventure away with them. The feeling that they are part of a community, and are capable of achieving whatever they want. I want women to have found inspiration and the tools that will empower them – whether they be certain products, services or simple reassurance to get outdoors, meet new people and experience new things.

The concept developed through my own experiences really. Noticing how the sports that I was taking an interest in were all marketed heavily towards men. I find it difficult to find certain equipment for my size sometimes, and yet all the courses I’ve been involved with lately are full of women. I also visited a number of other outdoor exhibitions, but again there wasn’t much focus on women, and I struggled to feel inspired. So I decided to take what I knew, and what I loved, and combine the two to create something new and exciting. That’s how She Went Wild was born.

3 – What can we expect to see at She Went Wild?

You can expect to see equipment and courses for various sports and hobbies, companies who can help you book your next big adventure, keep you warm and secure with clothing and apparel as well as interactive activities and workshops for women of all ages.

You’ll be able to hear talks from Australia’s most inspirational women, enjoy food from the best food trucks in town, all whilst listening to some really great live music. Basically an awesome day out! We’re also proudly donating $5 of each ticket to our chosen charity One Girl, who work really hard to give girls in Uganda and Sierra Leone access to an education.

4 – What’s it like running your own business?

It’s always been a dream of mine to work for myself. It’s incredibly challenging but really rewarding. You need to be strict with yourself and get into a routine and keep motivated. I’ve been overwhelmed with the incredible support I’ve received since going live and it’s pushing me to work harder.

5 – Do you have any advice for other women looking to start their own business?

Do it! We had a very challenging time in our life a couple of years ago when my partner was pretty sick, and the one thing I am thankful for is it really gave us a wake-up call, you make your life how you want it. There’s always obstacles in the way, or sometimes feels it’s not the right time, but just bite the bullet and give it ago. You don’t always have to give up everything to try it, ease your way into it if that makes you feel more comfortable. If you’re passionate, dedicated and keen to make a change in your life there really is no better time.

6 – Any cool plans you can let us in on for the future?

We have loads! Some a crazier than others, but I’d love to take the event to the UK where I’m from and of course NZ the adventure capital of the world. We’re hoping to work collectively with local businesses to create some really cool workshops where we can all learn new things, meet new people and engage more with the outdoors.

7 – Which country is on your travel bucket list?

I have two; India and Patagonia! I speak Welsh fluently, and strangely Patagonia is one of the few places in the world where the Welsh language is still spoken, so combined with the sheer beauty of the country, it’s always been high on my bucket list. I have always been fascinated by India, the diversity of the landscapes, the music, food and the many cultures of the country. We have some friends getting married there next year and I cannot wait to visit, hopefully to head up North towards the Himalayas.

Read more about the event here

Kaylene Langford, Founder of 'StartUp Creative'

1 – Tell us about yourself. How did you get to where you are?

My name is Kaylene and I am the founder and director of StartUp Creative and StartUp Creative Magazine. When I finished school I went to work as an outdoor education officer, running adventured based outdoor school camps, it was my dream job. From there I continued my working as a youth worker and later went on to work with the Queensland Government Youth Sector reforms.

I thought my career was on track to influencing the way youth work was rolled out across the state and soon realised that it was a very rigid industry that was very slow to change. I was commuting 3-6 hours a day to the job at the time and noticed that my work was compromising my general health and wellbeing. I started reading a book on the train, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and found the quote ‘Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve’. I knew I had to be the one to create my dream job and that sitting around complaining about my job and long commute wasn’t going to get me anywhere.

That same morning on the train, I designed the business model for StartUp Creative. Four months later I finished in my full time role, took on contract work and built StartUp Creative.

2 – What is StartUp Creative all about? How did you come up with the concept?

When I first heard about the ‘startup’ scene, I was excited by the non-traditional style of launching a business. I knew I wanted to be a part of the fast paced world that was making serious noise in the way business was being done.

From my previous experience of working with young people, I knew that the startup style would suit the ‘millennial generation’ that are known for being tech savvy, risk takers and full of ideas. Whilst the startup scene was attractive it was also very full of lingo and tech talk, which went straight over my head. I decided to learn everything I could about launching a successful business along the way and then offer my learnings to other young people who wanted to rune their passion into a viable business. I strive to keep our content catchy, relatable and easy to digest because I truly believe anyone can start and run their own business if they are deeply passionate about what they are doing.

3 – What’s it like running your own business?

 Absolute FREEDOM! Which can be good and bad. Most of the time I am gobsmacked at the fact that I don’t have to answer to anyone. I think after 8 years of working as an employee, I am so conditioned to being accountable to someone. Now, I am accountable directly to my customers, who inspire me to be better everyday so it doesn’t feel like work. I love the feeling of being able to set my own schedule and design my business in the most innovative and creative ways I know how.

Whilst it is amazing to be able to start work at 11am and take Mondays off, there is also a huge responsibility to keep it all together. A business never stops and I believe it should never stop growing and that overall responsibility lands wholly on me. It can be quite stressful to manage magazine deadlines, budgets and events all by yourself and there have been times when I think ‘what the hell have I done’, but I would say the good out weighs the bad a lot of the time. I am a highly competitive person and am always challenging myself to improve so I think I am probably my own biggest critic. 

4 – How does it feel to know you’re helping young people achieve their dreams every day?

This is my favourite thing about running StartUp Creative! A week after we launched Issue #1 of the StartUp Creative Magazine I started receiving emails from people who had read the magazine front to back and were so inspired to start their own business. It’s exactly what we were aiming for but it still blew my mind that it was working. I love hearing peoples startup stories and I love even more being able to stand in someone’s corner with them and help make their dreams a reality.

I am so deeply passionate about people living the best most enjoyable life they can and I will do anything to help make that a reality for them. I know what it was like to be going through the motions of a mundane life that lacks excitement and opportunities to grow and I also know the pure joy and relief that comes when you hear that life doesn’t have to be like that. I look at the way I used to live my life, hustling everyday for my 9-5 job to make enough money so that I could enjoy my ‘real life’ on the weekend and am inspired by the new life I have created for myself, I only want that for everyone, it is possible!

5 – Any cool plans you can let us in on for the future?

So many plans! My head is always racing with ideas of what to do next. Ultimately I would love to use my skills from my youth workdays to build a high school for year 11 & 12 students who want to graduate as a founder of their very own startup. 

6 – Do you have any advice for other women looking to start their own business?

Get out there and start! There is always a way to make it happen today! If you’ve got a list of things that you need to do before you start, write them all down on a piece of paper and throw them in the bin! They are just excuses that you’ve told yourself because it is a scary thing to do. Starting a business is the best way to learn how to start a business, surround yourself with good people who believe in you and tell yourself ‘you can do it’ every single day. Eventually, you’ll put you’re head up and realise, it’s done!

For more info, visit Kaylene’s website

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