CITY: GOLD COAST
Business: Dancing with Her
What? A digital and print publication dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ women in love.
How did the idea for your business first come about?
In 2016 my partner, Arlia, and I got engaged. It was a moment of joy and celebration of the heartache that we had come through when Arlia sustained a traumatic brain injury 18 months prior.
The next morning we skipped to one of Melbournes biggest magazine stores to go looking for inspiration - we were ready to start planning the wedding day!
What we found was an introduction to a hetero-normative industry. We found an underrepresentation of diverse communities in an industry that celebrated love. We expanded our search and what inclusive inspiration we did find was stereotypical and just didn't suit us as a couple. We knew that if we were looking for inspiration, other couples HAD to be looking for something similar.
And so, Dancing With Her was born. Out of a need for inclusive representation of diverse communities within wedding media.
When did you have a ‘f*ck-it moment’ and decide you were going to go all-in and start your business?
The very first 'love note' we got. We only had an Instagram account at the time and a follower emailed us to say that seeing representation of LGBTQ+ women celebrating their wedding day in a modern and beautiful way, made her day.
Having the ability to inspire just one woman to feel comfortable in their own skin inspired us to jump all in, and have absolutely no regrets. We literally had nothing to lose but the world to gain.
What were some major challenges you had when starting your business? And how did you overcome them?
We started Dancing With Her with zero dollars in the bank which has been a both a blessing and a curse.
We knew that creating a print magazine, one that could sit proudly next to the array of other wedding publications, was something we wanted to do. Let me tell you, publishing isn't a 'cheap' industry.
We've had to be really strategic with every cent that Dancing With Her spends, and saves. However, we are proud that we've been able to build, and are continuing to build, a publication that is self-funded.
What has been your biggest “pinch me” moment?
I think when you hear from an editor of Forbes magazine - that was a moment that I'll forever 'pinch myself' over - especially when you've only been in your current business for a little over 12 months.
To be able to reach a global audience and gain the attention of such a respected publication was incredible.
That and the time we sent a copy of Dancing With Her magazine to Iceland. I mean, Iceland of all places!
Starting a business can be gruelling - what keeps you motivated, and keeps you going?
The community of women and wedding professionals that connect with our work get me out of bed every day.
We truly believe that all love deserves to be celebrated and we are proud to be at the forefront of disrupting an industry that's been stuck in its traditional ways for far too long.
That being said, some days are harder than others. Some days I have to walk away from the computer, take a deep breath and remember that our work really does have the opportunity to change the world, and inspire a group of people that deserve to be inspired.
How do you create a work-life balance?
It's really hard. We are a tiny team. Just myself and Arlia. We are partners in business and in life.
We work from home and our office space is literally right outside our bedroom.
When you work so hard at something, especially when it's still in its early stages, it's almost impossible to 'switch off'. I don't have kids, just yet, but I imagine it's similar to having a little one. It needs your attention all the time and it can't thrive without you.
We've recognised that we need to take time out to both concentrates on ourselves and our relationship and we try to action that when we can.
Words of Wisdom / Personal Quote
Nothing is unachievable. Ask questions, immerse yourself and be resourceful - with that you can achieve beyond your wildest dreams.