A magical evening at Adelaide Oval saw Commbank and Carly from Sass Place partner to bring together women in business to spend an evening with the incredibly talented Young Australian of the year, Paul Vasileff from Paolo Sebastian.

The energy of over 70 women in the room was electric, laughter, chats and connections. Familiar faces catching up and new connections being made. Flowers from the Blu Tulip Specialist Florist and the view over Adelaide Oval as the sun set created a beautiful atmosphere. When the lights were dimmed and Paul began to share his journey, there was barely a whisper. The audience of women were captivated by the realness and the way he spoke with such humbleness. So many nods of heads to the parts of his journey he shared and many notes written in the notebooks Commbank provided the women attending.

After the Q & A completed, the women continued to connect and share the stories that resonated with them, many amazed at how many of the same challenges they had experienced. For many it was the first event they had been to like this, and you could see how uplifted and energised they were, many buzzing with new ideas! Paul was so incredibly generous with his time staying for photos, sharing more of his story, hearing the many stories of the women in attendance and showing real interest in each and everyone of them. I think if there wasn’t already a love for Paul, we certainly all left with even more of it after that evening!

Below are some of the points we took from the evening!

  • Be passionate about your work and stay true to your strengths and points of difference. In Paolo Sebastian’s case – his high end design and sewing skill and the feminine detail and quality of his gowns.
  • How important a strong network of support is. Paul had his (unpaid) family to support him in the initial stages. This gave him the ability to stage events and dedicate energy to his creative output that he wouldn’t have had the time or resources to do on his own.
  • Hard work will get you everywhere!!
  • Positive word of mouth is a key driver of success.
  • Surrounding yourself with exceptional, knowledgeable experts who can help with ‘running and the business’ and guide you in the right direction. Especially when your business is expanding so rapidly. You can’t be expected to know everything, especially in the early stages.
  • Ensuring you dedicate time to your mental well-being. Remember that you need to have a life and look after yourself in the process.
  • If you have the will, desire and build positive relationships, Adelaide can be a great place to base your business. Paul had a real commitment to keeping his business based in South Australia.

With shared visions and values, and a particular focus on creating positive change within our communities and supporting the success of women in business, the coming together of Carly Thompson-Barry of Sass Place and Commbank was perfect to further enhance the opportunities for women in business. And it was evident that whatever stage you’re at, Carly and Commbank can support you to shape the future of your business.

As seen in Issue 2 of SA Woman.