Why Did I start Fembuiz? Here’s my Story…

I’m Rebecca Bennett, but please call me Beck.

Many times I have been called the girl that wears many hats, I learnt very young to follow your passion and always reach for the stars. 

My Dad once asked me what I want to be when I’m older?  As I’m guessing most parents would.

I said “Dad I want to be a photographer and travel the world taking great photos to share with everyone”.  He replied “How are going to pay for that?  Equipment isn’t cheap and either is travelling”.  I knew somehow one day I wanted my own business, I was 12 years old.

My Uncle then suggested I go work in the mining industry operating those big Tonka truck like things that move dirt, (Haul trucks). “There’s a couple of girls up there, you could do it too, but you have to be 21 years old”, he said.

Dad & I on the first Haul truck at the driving school.

So to bide my time I tried a few other job, like cleaning eggs off the floor at an egg factory, selling donuts and making coffee at a local store, burgers at Hungry Jacks, I even hand painted folk art on hundreds of terracotta pots for a nursery, they then went on and sold them to stores like Bunnings, Kmart and Big W for mothers day (for my dads boss).  Folk Art was something I use to do with my Nanna Ketty on school holidays, she taught me well, we even went to classes together, after this big job at such a young age and the passing of my dear Nanna my passion for painting was gone.

My passion for photography grew, joining one of the local camera clubs and attending with my mum.

I left school after year 10, My mum pulled me out, my high school wasn’t keeping up with their reputation, the photography classes and dark room wasn’t happening or being used and the bullying was literally a nightmare after nightmare.  I wasn’t learning what I WANTED to learn.

Using my biggest lens to take photos of the surfers at Secret Harbour @rbennett_photos

So I then went to the local TAFE, did my maths and english, photography, digital imaging and illustrations, Microsoft Word, Desktop Publisher, Excel Spreadsheets, Access Database and then onto Business Administration, in which during a class one day someone came in looking to take on a traineeship administration person, so of course seen the opportunity on the job training could give me at 16 and went for the interview.  This was a real estate a company, the owner got me to look after the database and enter client addresses, phone numbers etc.  They also let me go out sometimes and take property photos and create the window displays.  I brought my first car and moved out with my first bf Dean, I earn’t $350.00 a week, it wasn’t easy, we both didn’t have much and we had a car loan each, I now just turned 18.

I finished my Administration traineeship at the real estate then left.  The owner at times was really nasty, especially when his diabetes count was not good, he snapped one day and literally threw documents and files across the room one day because he didn’t like the way I placed them on the table.  It made sense that when I started he made me use special clips in the manilla folders so the paper could never accidentally fall out.  Convenient for me with this episode of his, guess he seen it coming.  I thought to myself that one day when I’m a boss or manager I would never be like this or treat my staff in such a manner.

I then moved on to working for a local Glazing company, again in an Administration position, I asked if I could do a Cert iii in Business traineeship with them, they agreed, the lady that ran the office taught me on the job and we also had the same lady come in and check how my progress was going, I also attended TAFE once a week.   I got most my units completed, but then it got a bit complicated for my on the job trainer, I also caught her taking cash home ($$$$) and told the owner of the company, and then she decided to retire.

I moved on to a larger glazing company learning as much as I could along the way, designing glass products, liaising with clients and suppliers. I helped the owners create many spreadsheets for their pricing folder and designed books showcasing the 2nd company they were starting and aligning with a major supplier.

I spent 3 years with this company, I also started HR driving lessons to start working towards the dump truck dream, but it was so expensive.   I had a property with my parents and my brother that we rented out, then my parents divorced and we had to sell when the GFC hit, everything we invested into it was gone, we manage break even and the loan was gone, this was a long process.

I got a call from my old boss asking me to come back and he would pay me an extra $4.00 an hour, he needed my help, it was a shorter commute to work too so I took it, especially after I just been in a crash prior and my car was a wright off, I wanted to lower the risk of that happening again.

Photographing my friend for her wedding.

2 years later I decided enough was enough, I needed a big change, I was in the glazing industry, designing and creating documents, managing staff and the office long enough.  I wasn’t getting anywhere financially.  I was looking at house plans everyday and designing beautiful things for other peoples homes looking at the nice blue sky outside through the huge glass shopfronts imaging the great photos I could be taking.

I took a week off work, told them I was going on a holiday, (as if! I couldn’t afford that bringing in $600 a week, now at 25years old!) Dad paid for me to sit a Haul truck course so help start chasing the dream, it took 5 days on a limestone site.

6months later a large mining company took me in, starting on the big Komatsu trucks, then the Caterpillar watercarts and now the M16 Graders.  5 years ago I got jumped at the opportunity to join the Emergency Rescue Squad, something I NEVER even dreamed off or let alone thought I would be considered for, but I walked in there and gave it a go. 

My Rescue crew and the trucks I operate.

I’m now 33 and been there for 7years, been to a few destinations, taken photos, built a house and even turned the theatre room into a photo studio, but guess what?  I didn’t like having a photo studio.

I then felt completely lost.

So how did I come into starting a female based directory?

At the 5 year mark I started dating one of the guys at work, he got completely obsessed with me, this ended badly turning into a HR issue, having to attend phycological appointments and still receiving treatment today for injuries. 

I had 2 months off on stress leave.  I wasn’t allowed to go to back to work until my anxiety had settled and a 2nd phycologist agreed I was mentally fit to return to work.  All phycological expenses and time off paid.

Climbed the hill, there’s our camp behind me.

During this time off I attended the Perth Careers expo 2016 with my Mum, step Dad, and step brother who was 15, they were seeing what he might be interested in.

I sat down at the stage area while they did their thing and listened to the Women’s in Trade speeches, there we maybe 5 people sitting down and listening to them, I found no one was really interested, I found it great that these chicks has done an apprenticeship in a male dominated trade and went on to start their own business. 

One was a carpenter the other an electrician.

At the end they were saying how they find it hard against all the men, people don’t take them seriously or barely them a chance.

I wanted to give them a chance.

But how could I find these female tradies?

I went back to work a forgot about the directory idea, I brought a book at the airport called “Ready to Soar” by Naomi Simson the Red Shark from Shark Tank.  I used this book to distract myself, I couldn’t attend to TAFE to do more courses I wasn’t in Perth every week.  We do 12.5 hour days with terrible reception at camp so online training is a nightmare. This was all I could find at the time to get me thinking about the world of being a business owner again.

Researching

And it has paid off.

My idea came flooding back.

On my lunch break I created an advert on Gumtree looking a web-developer, he did a terrible job of the first website. 

This year we have launched the new website, reaching out to help women across Australia either professionals working for someone or starting up business from home.

We want women to be inspiring other women.

Tell them they can do it.

Tell them you believe in them.

Let them believe in themselves.

“I do not wish [Women] to have power over men; but over themselves”.  ~Mary Wollstonecraft.

Don’t ever take someones dream away from them.

The best thing I’ve learnt over the years is you don’t need a diploma to start a business. Especially when your surrounded by so many people who are willing to help.

I now have a website with Female business communities, business coaches and more…

Where there’s a will there’s a way.

~R.Bennett

That’s me