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Annette Densham and Lauren Clemett

Gold Coasters Annette Densham and Lauren Clemmett recently took out top honours at New York’s Stevie International Women in Business Awards and are one of only two Aussie companies to ever do so.

We sat down for a chat with the local PR and branding gurus about guiding other women through the process of starting their own business and why it’s okay to toot your own horn.

How long have you been Gold Coast locals? A: I have been on the Gold Coast for six weeks after moving from the southern end of Brisbane.
L: I moved to the Gold Coast in 2010 and immediately thought, “wow, these wet seasons are pretty full on”.

What do you love most about our beachside city? A: The beach, the great places to eat and the chilled out atmosphere. There is nothing better than ending the day with a walk along the beach, soaking in the fresh air.
L: I enjoy sailing in the Broadwater and ocean racing.

Tell us about the work you do? A: I work in public relations, mostly with small businesses. I get to hear about all the amazing things people are doing and achieving and then share it with others. Essentially what I do is find great stories of people who may not necessarily think about telling their own.
L: I work in brand management.

You recently won The Grand Stevie at the International Women in Business Awards, what does it take to win something so prestigious? Helping others win and believing everyone has a story to tell, that’s the easy part. So many people, particularly women in business, are reluctant to tell their story. That dreadful Tall Poppy Syndrome gets in the way because we worry people will think we’re bragging when we have a win. Winning The Grand Stevie was about shouting from the rooftops, and encouraging the women we helped win their categories to do the same. We won this award because we believe in others and believe in their greatness, even when they sometimes don’t.

How did you help 14 other South East Queensland women take out awards? By taking the time to get to know them, listening to their stories, what they want, how they want to get it, and to what they have achieved. Our super power is taking all that information and turning into a compelling and powerful piece that shows the judges we get what they are looking for in a winner.

Why do you think women running businesses is so important? A: Because we can. It’s a natural extension of all the other things we do in life. It’s awesome to see so many businesses started by women, especially women in their 40s and up. I think we have finally realised we can throw off the shackles of those old fashioned ideals that stopped our mothers and grandmothers from truly living the life they wanted. For the world to be truly great, we have to move past men can do this and women can do that. We need to embrace that together, we can do whatever we set our minds to and that it is ok to run a business, just as it is ok to stay at home with the kids.
L: Women have the ability to apply emotional intelligence to business management and the natural ability to network, collaborate and encourage creativity and build ideal working environments in any industry. Not that men can’t do this too, it’s just that we find women need a bit more encouragement to step up and stand out in business. To be proud of what they’re achieving. Annette says, “there’s no room in business for modesty” and entering, winning and leveraging awards does something extraordinary for business womens confidence and self belief

What’s the plan for the two of you in 2019? We’ll be travelling to New York again with another group of women to attend Stevie Women in Business plus hosting a lot of events so we can share the message with women in business that it’s okay to be accomplished and to tell people about it. We have been working together for a couple of years and we have some big plans on how to combine our skills and strengths to better serve our clients.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Beach:
A: Main Beach for a surf and Shearwater Park for relaxing walk with the dog. L: Main Beach for the waves, Burleigh for a soak
Cafe: A: Cafe Gold Coast. L: The Fresh Pantry and Frigg
Restaurant: A: Gotham Bar and Grill. L: Eoesco
How does your weekend usually look: A: We live near Coombabah Reserve so waking up to the birds and frogs is awesome. Chill out around the house and then lunch out and a walk on the beach to round out the day. I’m a bookworm so there is always a book on the go. L: I get the gym, a swim and sailing in and, as entrepreneurs, we’re always working on our business.

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