Reyes is preeeeetty well known around this place, for changing the small-business marketing game, putting a whole lotta love into everything she does and adoring our region like you’ve never seen.
I’m stoked to feature her in this blog series, where we talk running your own hustle, building your dream life, and how becoming a mum (she’s due to have her first child any day now) might impact the way you exist professionally: hint, she’s got this.
Chloe: You have twenty-five words to introduce yourself- what do you say?
Reyes: Hmm, that’s a tricky one straight off the bat…there’s only one Reyes, that’s for sure!
You’ll have to come a cuppa with me and try work it out for yourself.
C: Okay, so what’s your actual ‘job title’?
R: In small business there really isn’t such a thing as job titles because you wear so many hats and your requirements are always evolving, so you jump from one thing to the next and back again so many times a day..
Basically I am like a human connect the dots, and help my clients and other businesses fill the gap of where they are versus where they would like to be.
I started my business with the intention of solely servicing the wine industry to fill the gap of small-medium brands that couldn’t justify hiring someone for marketing full time, and after seeing how many businesses or start ups are just so overwhelmed by trying to work out what they need to do on a limited budget.
I quickly realized that this is something that had become second nature to me (having worked within that realm for so long) and that I was able to guide and assist businesses in taking the right steps to be where they would like to be and get their name out there in the right places.
Although initially I was only really intending to work within the wine industry, I soon had a lot of other businesses making enquiries, so am grateful to be able to work with some amazing small batch fashion brands, venues and producers as well which have brought me so much joy to partner with.
C: And what does that mean? What do you do?
R: I have always worked within marketing and PR (for over 10 years which makes me feel rather old, haha!) and am fortunate to have worked within a broad range of industries from tourism to wine and fashion, in various states in Australia and overseas too, which has given me such a broad spectrum of experiences and lessons.
All these cumulative career adventures have allowed me to be able to work with businesses on all the facets of the wide umbrella which we call marketing; whether its brand growth strategy, partnerships, social media, public relations or simply assisting them get their shit together and work out why they exist and what do they want from their existence.
During the week I could find myself doing any number of things – getting all nitty gritty with a client to write up their brand plan, overseeing the creative styling for a social media content shoot, overseeing an event partnership, talking to media, managing social media accounts, coming up with the creative concept for events and promotions, attending events…and that’s just this week; so there is never a dull moment!
Staying focused on what you actually want your life to look like and committing to do the yards that it takes to get there. Also having the patience to accept that like everything worthwhile, it takes time and it will never be perfect.
C: What challenges do you face working in an industry that’s still very much in bloom?
R: Now more than ever with the beast that is social media and the rise of online media platforms, social entities, bloggers and just plain on people throwing in their two cents worth of opinion; it can be really tricky waters to wade through for businesses that are not experienced in that fast paced, often fickle and sometimes harsh environment. In contrast, small businesses have never had the opportunity to be in a better position; where they are able to reach so many people, get out there and position themselves alongside much larger or better known brands.
All industries change, (whether its fashion, food, wine or whatever) – because people change. Life would be utterly boring if you were existing in the exact same way, with the exact same capabilities and knowledge that you did 1, 5 or 10 years ago.
C: What is your absolute most favorite thing about the work that you do?
R: The fact that I am working with real people who put their heart into perfecting their craft and bringing it to the world; being able to play a part in highlighting someone’s efforts and intentions is the best.
Also having the freedom to choose whom I work and surround myself with is something that I appreciate immensely – you spend most of your time at work and whether we like it or not, it has a huge impact on your life overall, so being able to work with people that I admire and have a relationship of mutual respect means a lot.
C: So, you’re expecting a baby very soon- congratulations! As someone who already juggles the work-life balance like an absolute #girlboss, how do you feel that becoming a mother will change the way you exist in a professional space- or not?
R: That’s the magic question I have been asking myself for exactly 31 weeks! I honestly do not know what is about to be thrown my way- it’s one of those things that you can only adapt to one you are in the situation.
Without a doubt becoming a Mum will be the most profoundly changing experience and it would be impossible for it to not impact on the way that I operate or even the way I view things. All I know is that I am up for it and ready for the challenge.
The thing is, that this isn’t a hobby for me, or something that I dabble in part time – my business is something that I have built from scratch and is my full time job, it’s not something I am prepared to (or wanting to) walk away from. I love what I do and know that there is so many more exciting things on the horizon that I am looking forward to being a part of.
I am so fortunate to be able to set my own hours, place of work and workload so having the freedom to have this set up means that I am probably in a much more friendly motherhood/work juggle situation than a lot of people.
C: Tell us more about the little seaside cottage that you and Joe (Reyes’ partner) have settled into!
R: I am absolutely in love and can’t see myself ever moving; we were not even looking for a house when it came up so it feels like the universe transpired to make it ours.
It’s a little house that’s almost 100 years old with all the quirk and character that you would imagine a house that old to have. Most importantly it feels like home, and has a beautiful view of the beach and lovely deck to while the day away with friends and family.
It’s crazy – I actually used to rent the house about 10 years ago and always loved it and thought ‘I would love to own a house just like this one day.” It’s my first house purchase so feel pretty lucky to say that I already own my dream home.
I love waking up here and seeing the ever changing ocean and it’s colours; Mum & Dad live just around the corner in the family home that I grew up in so it feels like life has lead me back to where I need to be right now.
C: You’re obviously a very passionate inhabitant of the Fleurieu Coast- where are three spots, be they beaches, cafes, wineries, or wherever sparks your soul, that you think everyone should know about?
R: I grew up here on the beaches and then moved away for quite a while; when I came back I felt like a total tourist in my hometown and just fell in love with it through new eyes and have such an appreciation for the abundance of natural beauty, producers, people and lifestyle that we get to have living here.
// Fall From Grace (Aldinga) is an amazing little wine bar/cellar that is packed full of fantastic small batch wines from the local area. They also put on tasting evenings where you can meet the producer and do some tastings so I am definitely looking forward to summer evenings there sipping on some new wine finds (yes, the thought of drinking good wine sparks my soul).
// Willunga Farmers Market – I go every Saturday morning to do the weekly shop and it’s my favorite part of the week. Stocking up on produce, drinking coffee and eating toasties and pastries…what’s not to love?
//Southport Beach – pack a picnic and get your butt down onto that sand to watch the sunset turn the river mouth and cliffs into all sorts of wonderful colours that you’ve never seen before.
C: And where are you looking forward to getting to know better this coming summer?
R: Honestly, my hammock on the front porch! I plan on spending a lot of time on that porch this summer; soaking up the salty air and chatting to people passing by – it’s such a social little spot and people always stop for a chat if they see you sitting out the front, I love it.
C: If you had to give two pieces of advice to another young, female entrepreneur looking to get out there and make some magic on her own, what would they be
R: Firstly – Back yourself wholeheartedly and know what it is that you’re working for. If you can’t stand confidently and say this is what I am and this is what I am about then why should anyone else back you?
Second (although it’s a tad grim), I would say be mindful of who you take advice from. In a world full of forums, online business groups, seminars and being able to solicit opinions from anyone at anytime there’s no shortage of recommendations out there.
When seeking advice or an opinion always be open to others point of view but take it with a grain of salt – consider who’s opinion it is; what makes their advice relevant to your situation, what previous experience have they had in a similar situation, what about them do you respect and admire that makes you want to seek their advice, what level of understanding does this person have of me/my business, are they in a non conflicting position to be able to give you sincere, honest advice?
The amount of clients that will say to me “oh I posted about such and such on this facebook group and (insert some random whom you’ve never had contact with before) said that they think I should change xxx or do xxx” makes me cringe! Stop trying to leave your decisions up to others and make friends with common sense and instinct. I’m definitely not saying don’t use these platforms and disregard all advice, simply that anyone can have an opinion – know what it is you’re looking for and why before seeking one out.
Blindly seeking and taking advice on business or personal matters without any form of quality control is foolish and will wield equally foolish results.
C: Who are your idols?
To be honest I don’t really like the notion of the word idol, I think it’s unhealthy to idolise anyone as it dehumanises them and creates a bias, pedestalled version of someone.
In essence, everyone is human and has their struggles and flaws; nobody lives as flawlessly as they project to the outside world. I am a big fan of being your own damn idol – wake up everyday and try life a life that you are proud of, be the type of person you would like to meet and marvel at how far you’ve come and let how far you’ve got to go excite you.
Admire people for the right reasons and aspire to their qualities without clouding yourself in judgement or unrealistic pressures and expectations.
PS. I do love me some Queen Bey and Bad Gal RiRi to get those hips shaking and sassy vibes going though! #getitgirl
C: Where to from here?
R: 2017 has been the most momentous year in my life so far- bought a house, got engaged, will welcome a baby soon, have completed some of the biggest projects in my career to date and grown my business a lot.
I have no idea what’s in store for me next but I know it’s going to be one heck of an adventure.
FINISH THESE SENTENCES:
I feel inspired when… I meet people that have a sparkle in their eye and talk about all their far-fetched ideas.
I’ll never forget the day… Joe and I moved into our little cottage by the sea – our little haven to create a life and live it exactly as we want.
The words I live by are… “start the day with intention and finish with reflection.”
I’m happiest when… I am sitting with a few close friends or family – there’s food on the table (or picnic on the sand) and drinks in our hands and we have nothing else to do but enjoy the company and sunshine.
You probably didn’t know that… I have three beautiful younger sisters with names just as different as mine – Desima, Briggitte & Cyd.
I’m so looking forward to… waking up to vibrant summer mornings and settling into long, lingering summer sunsets.
So much appreciation to the wonderful Reyes for taking a moment or ten out of her life to answer all of these questions- and I’m sure you’re with me when I say I can’t wait to see where this beautiful life takes her from here x