Global Sisters assess the financial impact of the pandemic on women

Amber Bennett of Ethics & Alchemy

Melbourne based Amber Bennett had recently started a casual job after her divorce, but when Covid hit, only those eligible for job keeper were kept on and she was let go.

Amber found herself unemployed in a global pandemic trying to support her small children.

Battling with depression and anxiety for most of her adult life, Amber was at a low point but knew that this was not the time to dwell and instead was time to heal.

Grounding and connecting with herself, Amber practised daily rituals like meditation and journaling to drastically improve her mental health.

After seeing Global Sisters on Facebook, Amber intuitively knew the organisation was for her.

With the help of Global Sisters, Amber brought her business Ethics & Alchemy to life, where she makes ethically sourced healing crystals and eye pillows filled with organic herbs.

These products aid in meditation, yoga practice and assist in rejuvenating tired eyes.

Heike Stephan of Memory Box

Textile and ceramic designer Heike, is the founder of homeware brand Memory Box Design.

Out of the workforce for quite some time whilst studying her design degree, Heike was suffering from her own mental health issues and struggling to support her family.

Heike found Global Sisters through a lecturer and with their help started her own business.

Using natural materials and designs, Heike uses her love for artisan crafts and sustainable practices to create bespoke homewares with a social conscience.

Fiona Harrison of Chocolate on Purpose

First Nations’ Fiona lost her job during the pandemic whilst struggling through a divorce. She decided to turn her hobby of chocolate making into a business to pay her mortgage.

Chocolate On Purpose was born, combining fine Belgian chocolate with Indigenous Australian botanicals sourced from Aboriginal communities around Australia.

Fiona’s mission is to share the health giving power of Australian Indigenous ingredients and their traditional use through the deliciousness of chocolate, while respecting the wisdom passed down from our First Nations People and honouring the Aboriginal culture.

Fiona is now launching an indigenous Australian chocolate tasting experience in her local town and for this she’s been generously awarded an Indigenous Tourism Grant.

Karin Lee of Florapeutic

Based in Sydney, Karin Lee is the owner of sustainable and therapeutic Florapeutic.

Previously working in the corporate marketing industry, Karin changed her career path after her first child was born and the COVID-19 global pandemic hit Australia.

Karin wanted to leverage her expertise to make a change and be a role model to her child.

Karin felt inspired and was armed with a great urge and determination to demonstrate to her little one that we can all live our dreams no matter how big or small they may seem.

On Karin’s wedding she experienced first hand the quantity of flowers that went to waste. Even after guests took some of the flowers home there were still so many to be thrown out.

This sparked Karin’s idea to start Florapeutic.

She sources floral arrangements that have been used at events that would otherwise be thrown out, and delivers them to people that need cheering up in nursing homes and hospitals.

Karin also repurposes these would-be wasted flowers into floral artwork pieces and sells them on the Global Sisters Marketplace and through her business’ website platform.

Florapeutic’s Karin is on an inspirational mission to reduce floral waste and bring moments of happiness to people with the therapeutic benefits of these gorgeous flowers.

Florapeutic has been nominated in 8 awards for the 2021 NSW/ACT AusMumpreneur Awards, the 2021 Parramatta Local Business Awards and nominee of Roar Awards.

Angie Poller of Heat Where You Need It

Based in Brisbane, Angie Porter is the founder of Heat Wear You Need It which are sustainably produced wearable heat and cold packs.

Following an unfortunate workplace injury, Angie was diagnosed with Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (SRPS), a medical condition that causes severe and constant pain.

Despite the fact that living with this condition has impacted Angie’s life in many ways, it has also been the driving force and inspiration behind starting her own business.

Global Sisters helped Angie get her business off the ground and running by providing her with her first sewing machine and facilitating a small business loan.

With these essential resources Angie was able to start her business, Heat Where You Need It which is a uniquely effective range of wearable packs that can be used warm or cold.

Unlike traditional heating and cooling packs, Heat Where You Need It is made from sustainably sourced materials and allows the wearer to target the source of pain without shifting.