Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur. Founder - Shopping Links
Ok, your #LifeInBag flat lay exposé*. In 1 sentence, please explain.
I have always known I have an addiction to white bags (not the most practical addiction I know) but so many of my handbags are in fact white! And I realised as I took these photos that I am also a bag within a bag kind of girl.
Sparro is a testament to high flying females known for their love and dedication to work, and working out. But also…to the one who may have been known to arrive at the gym with her top on inside-out (or backwards – sometimes both). Sound familiar?
Being both incredibly dedicated but also struggling to hold all the pieces together is a constant state of mind as a founder and business owner. Being successful founder or business woman isn’t about being on the cover of magazines with perfect hair and a winning smile: it’s about sweating it out behind a laptop, not being able to wash your hair for days because you’ve been too busy building your business. It’s about doing those hard yards rather than just talking about doing them. That’s why I think it’s so important to re-frame our markers of success to focus on the passion and determination that drives businesswomen, rather than what we can see in the media on the glossy surface.
We love working out for many reasons, but mostly because a solid sweat gets us offline, sharpens our focus and gives us the confidence and energy to smash some serious life goals. Tell us about your current targets (career, life or otherwise).
Right now I’m working on taking Shopping Links to the next level, both in terms of expanding our core offerings and scaling our presence in international markets. After being self-funded and bootstrapped since launching in 2014, we’ve been steadily building momentum and sustainably growing our business on the basis of developing really meaningful relationships with the brands and influencers we work with. It’s now time to level up, scale up, and enter the next phase of our journey. We’re looking to expand our presence in international markets and really consolidate what we’re doing at home – developing our technology even further to make influencer marketing more transparent, authentic, scalable and conversion-driven. Expanding our current integrations with affiliate networks like Awin and Rakuten, while continuing to use follower insights from social media and Google Analytics to share a granular snapshot of an influencers actual reach, impressions and traffic will help us carve out an industry niche for authentic, quality influencers and scalable, conversion-focused collaborations. Watch this space for more exciting news to come…
The daily workout. AM, PM or somewhere in between?
AM! I’m very much a morning person when it comes to exercise. If it’s not done first thing, it’s generally not done at all. I exercise to eat (and drink) what I like to be honest. It is also the only part of my day that is truly my own. I don’t check my phone and try not to think about the growing “to do list” in my head. It is often the first thing that gets cut from my life when the pressure’s on (this is something I need to work on!). My workout consists of weights and running during the week and long dance fit sessions on the weekend. Dancing for exercise is fun and never feels like hard work. It is also a great distraction as you can’t possibly think about work when you’re trying to coordinate your moves to both the instructor and the music!
Your #LifeInBag breakfast of champions looks like …
Vegemite toast! I guess that’s because I’m an Australian who grew up in the country – you can’t argue with the classics. I also love grabbing a protein shake for some added on-the-go energy to get me through til lunch. And of course Melbourne coffee is a must each morning.
Canned tuna for lunch on the go. Legendary, or LEAVE IT BEHIND?
Canned tuna has been a staple in the past for me but I discovered YouFoodz about 18 months ago and to be honest, I wouldn’t eat properly if it wasn’t for them. I literally don’t have time in my day to plan, shop, measure, cook and clean up so they make my life so much easier and healthy is a bonus.
Seriously smart, understated, Scandi-style design gets our wings flapping. What destination, space or event has recently inspired you?
I recently visited London on a work trip and was inspired by the soft lines, beautiful furnishings and pastel pink interiors of Sketch – a restaurant in Mayfair. Anyone who’s been on Instagram has probably seen a picture of Sketch (most likely their pod style bathroom!) – it’s as photogenic as interiors come, and a definite favourite among the blogger scene. I feel like you used to go to London to take a photo at Buckingham Palace, London Bridge, or Big Ben, and now a photo at Sketch is a must-have for any influencer on holiday.
Any amazing products, brands or things you’re loving because they ‘ease the load’, minimised tailspins or saved you from ye old form-function compromise?
Youfoodz definitely - It’s a no-brainer to eat healthy without having to resort to take away or heavily processed pre-packaged snacks. Having someone clean and iron is also a little luxury (or what I think a necessity). I have spent most of my life cleaning and ironing myself (a result of control crossed with budget) but since outsourcing this, it has seriously lightened the load and helps me with quality family time. Rather than spending my weekends cleaning and running around, I spend time with my favourite little people and working.
Simple words of wisdom to other Sparro fans looking to mirror your success?
A good idea will only get you so far: it’s the tenacity and grit, stubbornness and determination to succeed that will get you over the line. There have been times that I’ve wanted to give my business away to anyone who would take it, but something has always kept me going: the strength of my team and my support network, and our shared belief in what we’re achieving at Shopping Links. If you’re looking at becoming a female founder, or any sort of business leader, having a great team and a strong, supportive partner will get you further than you ever will going it alone.
Finally, where can we find you for more High Flyer tips, tricks & all round #InSparro?
You can find me on Insta sharing my wins, fails and everything in between at @kim.westwood.
You can also follow the Shopping Links blog for our top influencer tips and trends in the industry. Whether you’re a brand looking to explore the possibilities influencer marketing offers, or an influencer looking to increase their engagement and land better collaborations, there’ll be something on the blog for you.
You can also connect with me on LinkedIn – this is probably where I spend most of my social media time!