The Biggest Obstacle for Women Renovators

The podcast for women who want to create income and a life they love through renovating

Join serial renovator Bernadette Janson as she explores the ins and outs of renovating for profit!

Bernadette has over 30 years of experience in the renovating for profit business. She’s a registered nurse, a renovator, a mum, and a teacher.

83 – She Renovates Live Conference

On today’s episode,

In this episode I am with my events manager, Marina Mandoukos to talk to you about our upcoming She Renovates live conference this November.

This event will be about bridging the gap between your passion for creating beautiful spaces and your dream life funded by renovating and property.

Listen to Episode 83: She Renovates Live Conference

Episode Highlights

  • [00:00:29] Events manager, Marina
  • [00:01:15] She Renovates Live
  • [00:08:27] Guest speakers
  • [00:10:19] Quality content
  • [00:17:28] Speed floor plans
  • [00:19:32] Covid considerations
  • [00:21:21] Who is it for?
  • [00:24:53] Early bird tickets


Hello, everyone, it’s Bernadette back with another episode of She Renovates. And today I have something very exciting to share with you. Well, I’m excited and I really hope that you are, too. And in order to help me with this episode I’ve brought along my partner in crime who’s also our events manager, Marina Mandoukos. How did I go with that, Marina?

Marina Mandoukos: Just Marina. Our Events Manager, Marina.

Bernadette: Our Events Manager, Marina. So welcome, Marina.

Marina Mandoukos: Thanks for having me on today.

Bernadette: You’re very welcome. And I’m just feeling really excited because I do get a bit annoyed when business owners say they’re really excited about something, expecting you to be, too when you’re really not so I apologise for my exuberance. Basically, what we’re talking about is that one of my dreams since I’ve owned the business or created the business is coming to fruition shortly. Do you want to just make the announcement?

Marina Mandoukos: Yes, I’d love to. So we have decided for 2020 to host the She Renovates Live conference happening at the end of this year. And it’s extremely exciting because we have talked about this for I feel like forever and it’s actually happening.

Bernadette: It is and of course 2020 threw us a few curveballs.

Marina Mandoukos: It has.

Bernadette: And it’s been a bit touch and go there for a while but I think we’re almost there.

Marina Mandoukos: Yeah. And I think it’s definitely something we’ll all be looking forward to considering the way we all started the year.

Bernadette: I feel a bit like I’ve got cabin fever because we’re not going to anything. And so the intention of this podcast is actually to launch or open up the tickets for the event. And the first thing I want to do before we get into the nuts and bolts of it is- oh, just in case you didn’t gather this, we’re gonna be talking about what’s going to be happening in the event in this episode and I apologise if you feel a little pattering of little feet. We have a visitor. Oscar is having a sleepover over the weekend, he’s our youngest daughter, Grace’s dog and so he’ll be patting up and down the stairs.

I think the thing that I have, the one downside I found in renovating is it can be quite lonely and isolating, particularly as a woman. You don’t really want to be like, well, the tradies getting on with their job anyhow. And so you really crave the opportunity to share what you’re doing but also to mix with like-minded women.

Marina Mandoukos: Absolutely. I think sometimes you only have the TV box to look at and associate with but to actually have somebody to chat about what you’re thinking when it comes to renovating, your next project, what you’re currently doing, and sharing your ideas just makes a world of difference to the entire experience.

Bernadette: Yeah, it does. And so really stocking up on inspiration and motivation and some people haven’t even done their first project. So it’s really building up that confidence to move forward.

Marina Mandoukos: Absolutely. You know, just hearing other people’s stories where everybody’s up to, and how it works for others, and just being able to hear that sometimes is all you need to just take the next step.

Bernadette: Well, it’s a bit like if she can do it, so can I.

Marina Mandoukos: Absolutely. And sometimes I look at people and think, I think I’m quite confident but then I sort of look at other people and think how did I? I do lack confidence and sometimes it is looking at somebody else and just feeding off them.

Bernadette: Yeah. So it’s like sharing the energy.

Marina Mandoukos: Yeah.

Bernadette: And like I always had this thing about when you’re renovating. I believe that you should renovate your own home, like fairly early in the piece because it’s something not right about creating beautiful spaces for everyone else and not fees and going home to a done book.

Marina Mandoukos: Yeah, absolutely.

Bernadette:  And so choosing a location for this has been critical. And when we started talking about it there was only one place that fit the bill, wasn’t there?

Marina Mandoukos: Yes, that we both agreed on. And that I think everybody loves when they step into that space.

Bernadette: Yeah. So do you want to share some details about where?

Marina Mandoukos: Yeah, absolutely. So we’ve decided to host the event at The Grounds of Alexandria, which is the most fitting space for what we will be presenting on the day. It’s filled with inspiring nooks and crannies everywhere that you look. And we want to make sure that where we present and what we present. Not only do I guess all the senses to be entertained. So where you’re sitting, what you’re eating, who you’re listening to, and I think we’ve put the devil in the detail in every way, in everything that we’re doing for this event. And starting with The Grounds of Alexandria is definitely the space.

Bernadette: Because where your surroundings make such a difference to how you feel. And so for those of you who don’t know the location, it’s divine but you wouldn’t say it’s upmarket. It’s just really eclectic and creative.

Marina Mandoukos: And everywhere that you look in that space, everywhere that you walk, everything that you touch. There’s just been the detail and the thought being put into everything. And I think that’s how we feel about She Renovates. And bringing it to life at the grounds was definitely the best location.

So I know all about the event and where it’s being held because that’s my responsibility. And then building the content and what you’re going to be learning is obviously the next big step. So maybe, Bernadette, you can let us know what we can be looking forward to hearing and listening to on the day.

Bernadette: Okay. Well, so I think for me the focus is around creating an environment that fills you with ideas about what you can be doing in your own projects and also gives you some really up to date information about what’s happening at the moment.

What I didn’t want is one of those stuffy property events because they absolutely suck and while we will be talking about making profit and some of the hard facts around renovating. Our focus is to do it beautifully.

Marina Mandoukos: There’s so much more to it than just the profit. And I think everyone sort of that’s what draws them in. But I think once you’ve begun the journey, there’s so much more to it.

Bernadette:  So it’s really around the richness that it creates in your life.

Marina Mandoukos: The people that you meet, other renovators being able to bounce off them, professionals in the industry.

Bernadette:  Exactly. So the content is one part of that. And some of we’ve got some really awesome speakers and they’re really selected around what we see as important in our roles as renovators. And firstly, well, I shouldn’t say firstly because I’m not doing this in any order, but we’ve got a couple of really clever interior designers coming to speak.

Marina Mandoukos: We are so lucky we’ve got them.

Bernadette: We are. One of them is Emma Blomfield. That participated in some, well, she’s provided some training for our community in the past. And what we really love is how entrepreneurial she is. And so she was a perfect choice. But the other person who is coming and hopefully Covid will stay off long enough so that we can go ahead with this. Is Zoe Gilpin, who is the DIY Decorator. Because one of the things that we really focus on is being a little bit creative and crafty about how we style our properties and being cost effective. And so she was someone that really immediately came to mind because that’s her thing.

Marina Mandoukos: And she brings it to the table and she’s just got some amazing ideas and creativity.

Bernadette: Yeah, that’s another one of the speakers that we have. Also, I’m inviting some of the professionals that I work with on a daily basis to provide sort of up to the date information about what’s going on in the market. We’re covering mindset, money mindset like a really big topic and abundance, building abundance because I think we all acknowledge that everyone has some limiting beliefs around what they can achieve with their renovating. So we really want to be able to change that for people, transform them.

Marina Mandoukos: Yeah, absolutely. And this is being able to do it in a day with all the right elements. I think there will be some transformation.

Bernadette: And of course there’s my pet topics which are really around using renovating to enrich your life. So for me, it’s been a lifelong journey and it’s been the thing on which I’ve built my relationships, my marriage, my family, my friends. And that’s really been about being strategic. And so that’s what I would like to add to the content to really help you to align where you are in the life cycle with what you could be doing if you wanted renovating to feature as your income or even just to play money so that you could really have a better quality in life.

Marina Mandoukos: And it’s some good play money on the table.

Bernadette: And we’ve certainly done some amazing things, compliments of renovating with and without our family. So I really want to impart the strategies around being able to live a richer life with renovating.

Marina Mandoukos: Yeah. And maybe not everybody on the podcast knows about the fundraising reno project.

Bernadette:  Yeah. So that’s the thing, I don’t think I’ve heard of anyone doing it. That’s definitely another sort of feather to our bow, is that the word?

Marina Mandoukos: Well yeah. Adding to the experience and what you can actually achieve

Bernadette: And the other thing why I think like I often hear people saying, “Oh you know that event was Rah Rah!” Not that I’m saying it, it’ll be rah rah. But there’s a saying by Zig Ziglar, he’s no longer in this world. But he said that motivation is like bathing. It’s, you need to do it everyday. You need to do it regularly.

Marina Mandoukos: I actually haven’t heard that. And that’s brilliant.

Bernadette: And it’s true. And that’s why, like while sometimes events are very rah rah. That’s why you need it. Because to build your energy and to build up your motivation and get you inspired about what you’re doing. Because even when you’re doing what you love. There are times when you’re in lulls.

Marina Mandoukos: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Or you get disheartened or you just like to sort of stand still and go, “What am I doing?” And you just need that inspiration, that moment, that person to just switch it around for you. And it doesn’t take much. I’ve had it happen to me in a day, and I know you have.

Bernadette: And I think the other thing is, that I have found is that as women, we are very hard on ourselves. And I really see that a lot like women who completed a project. And they’re embarrassed because it didn’t make enough money, I think. “Oh, my God!” and I think that’s another aspect of what we’re doing. We’re having stories about. So basically real renovators talking about their experience, their outcome. And you’ll have renovators in like $200K price points up to multi-million dollar price points, all having had a different experience and achieving success.

And it’s really about defining what success is for you and really celebrating it when you actually achieve it.

Marina Mandoukos: I think we do forget to do that, as women likely just sort of run, we said, and it’s just what we hold. We wear so many hats and we are critical of ourselves.

Bernadette [00:14:07] And I think also, particularly when you take on something like renovating, you can feel like you’re being judged and like I know when I talk to some of the people in our community, they really want their families to be proud of them. And, of course, so do I. And if they don’t get the outcome that they think they should have got, then there’s this. And I’m thinking, for heaven’s sake, if you knew how many people go out to renovate for their first time and actually lose money..

Marina Mandoukos: Yeah, that’s exactly right. So it’s the process that’s important. And I think once you’ve gone through the process, the second time doesn’t seem scary.

Bernadette: Yes. And I think you’re right. And also, it’s actually getting the machine in action. And so there’s a lot hanging on that first project.

Marina Mandoukos: There’s so much to learn.

Bernadette: And then we’ve got other renovators that just seem to just like..

Marina Mandoukos: They were born with that.

Bernadette: Shoot over the fence every time. But what we want to do is to really provide that opportunity for sharing and sharing stories and also getting mindful of the fact that it’s not all about the money, like the money is important. Don’t get me wrong. And I think that is a mistake that a lot of renovators make, they don’t focus enough on it. But you want to get that balance right so that you’re living a fulfilling life.

Marina Mandoukos: That’s right. If it’s not balanced, then you always feel like you’re missing something. So if you’ve got the money, but then you don’t have the connection and the network. And then you’ve got one, but you don’t have the other. So I think. And being able to bring this together is amazing for the renovating community.

Bernadette: Yeah. So there’ll be something for everyone, I think is what I’m trying to say. So we’ve got a couple of fun things. Well, we’ve got quite a few fun things, but obviously we’ll have absolutely divine food because that’s an absolute must. And also one of the things that like, I’m so into DIY I even DIYed my own architect.

One of the things that I have always done since David started uni was he and I would brainstorm the project and we would often be a bit at loggerheads because he would be coming at it from a different standpoint to where I am. But over time he has become very good at doing plans and he does this thing where you give him a floor plan in about 10 or 15 minutes, his on his iPad, he does all those drawings and spits out 2 or 3 variations of things that you can do with it.

Marina Mandoukos: And it’s so important. It just sounds so simple but I think it just makes, it can make all the difference to a project.

Bernadette: Yeah. But that initial concept of getting that resolving the design. And so he’s actually agreed to come along and he and his business partner, Shane.

Marina Mandoukos: Oh, that’s fantastic.

Bernadette: So he’s actually agreed to come along. He and his business partner, Shane and they’re going to, it’s a bit like speed dating but they’re going to do speed floor plans. So if you’ve got floor plans that you want to have a quick free consultation with an architect, they will actually do them there and then so you can go over to their little booth and they will do a quick and dirty fast floor plan for you.

Marina Mandoukos: That’s how we like it.

Bernadette: So that’s another little bonus that’s going on. What else is there going to be in the fun department doing?

Marina Mandoukos: Well, you definitely have to have giveaways. So we’re doing giveaways. We’re going to, I think sharing stories is one of my favourites. We’re going to have time to network and chat with each other.

And definitely I think you love roaming the room and connecting with everybody in the room. I think for the She Renovates community who maybe haven’t had the opportunity to have that one on one time with you and some of the other design professionals who they wouldn’t get to bump into or have that one on one time with and connect with, I think will make a huge impact and difference. And I think that experience alone is what we’re creating the event for.

Bernadette: Exactly.  And plus we’ve got some absolutely stunning goody bags.

Marina Mandoukos: Yes. And we have been working again on those and making them super special for everybody who attends. So you definitely feel like you are part of, you take part of the She Renovates community home which is what we want.

Bernadette: Yeah. And so I should mention it’s one full day starting at 9:00 am and ending at 4:00 pm. So because this is our first, we’re just testing the water, we may go for 2 days at some stage but at the moment I think we’ll just do one and given the whole Covid thing I think that’s probably being a good decision.

Marina Mandoukos:  Yeah, it’s more than enough.

Bernadette: And just on the subject of Covid, how are we managing that?

Marina Mandoukos: Well, you’re very lucky that your event manager comes from an OCD family. So there’ll be lots of antibacterial, there’ll be lots of wipes. We definitely have checked with the venue to make sure that there’s social distancing measures in place and I’ll also be checking with catering and just making sure how everything’s served and making sure everybody feels super clean and comfortable. So we will definitely, on breaks, spend some time wiping down our chairs and surfaces. And we’re not filling up and cramming up the room, there are limited tickets available.

Bernadette:  Yes, that’s the downside. We had to halve our number.

Marina Mandoukos: Yeah, we did. But I think considering everything we’ve gone through, it’s the best that we can do at this stage. And so it’s not like cramming the room up with people. There’s going to be lots of space. But definitely you still have the opportunity to connect and network.

Bernadette:  Exactly. Yeah. And we do really love to hug and kiss. And that’s not gonna be happening.

Marina Mandoukos: No. Yes.

Bernadette: But that’s okay. That’s fine. We need to be responsible.

Marina Mandoukos: Yeah. We’ll be sending long distance hugs and vibrations. So we’ll definitely make sure that everyone does feel comfortable and hopefully by the time because this is on the 1st of November. I don’t think we mentioned the date of when the actual event is on. So it is the 1st of November and we really are hoping that things, restrictions are the way that they are at the moment, if not improved. And so for as long as that is the case, we’ll make it work either way. Whatever the outcome.

Bernadette: Yeah. Perfect. And so just a few things we need to clarify. Who is it for?

Marina Mandoukos: Who is it for? So I think we cover a lot of ground here. And we’ve got investors, investors that will have rental properties. Investors that want to make money from property by doing renovations. It’s for the home decorator. It’s for the home improvement reno addict. It could be you looking to buy your first home and wanting to know the first best steps. It’s for women who want to make a living from renovating. So some people have the lifelong dream of, they’re just great at renovating and just need the strategy and the ideas behind it.

Bernadette: I think most people from our community that’s sort of the camp there isn’t it?

Marina Mandoukos: Absolutely.

Bernadette: Either that or wanting to build security for retirement and that’s very necessary at the moment.

Marina Mandoukos: And we can see how quickly that can change for people. And I think I remember for the years that we’ve been working together, it’s been years. And I think retirement was always such a critical point for you to have secured.

Bernadette: Yeah, exactly. And then the last but not the least. It’s people that just want to have fun making money from their creative flair. So for many of us, absolutely love making our homes beautiful, we love going to Temple & Webster.

Marina Mandoukos: I can’t resist even if there’s nothing to buy.

Bernadette: And so I guess what we know is that that’s an incredible school to have, to have that flair and to be able to, for want of a better word, monetise it is transformational. So in short, you will be getting, so when you leave the event you will be up to date on trends so that you, your renos are actually on point. You have the edge and you will also be up to date on what’s happening in the market.

Marina Mandoukos: So important.

Bernadette: Yeah. You’ll know where to be buying.

Marina Mandoukos:  You want to clear some of that uncertainty.

Bernadette: Exactly. You will have built relationships with like-minded women and men. Actually, we always say that if a man’s willing to come to an event called She Renovates, then he’s our kind of man. You’ll be inspired and motivated. You’ll be energised by the fun, the prizes, the giveaways and the swag. And your mind will be blown with ideas, inspiration and motivation.

Marina Mandoukos: Absolutely.

Bernadette: That’s the plan. So, Marina, can you just clarify because this podcast is actually the launch of the tickets to the public. We’ve given our community some time to get their own ticket to get ahead of the rush because we have such a limited amount. If you’re thinking that this might be for you.

Marina Mandoukos: Yes. Today we actually will have links in the show notes to purchase the ticket. And so you can jump online and purchase your Early Bird ticket today and secure your spot. Because the tickets are limited. And like you said, we had to cut it in half.

Bernadette: Like, this is not like one of those typical marketing, tickets are limited. They are really, we have less than 50 left. So, as I said, we had to halve our numbers.

Marina Mandoukos: Our community’s been waiting for an event like this and so it was only fair to open it to them first but now we’ve opened it up to our She Renovates community. And so if you’re listening to this podcast today then you can jump online and purchase your ticket online.

Bernadette: And the tickets are, the early bird is a significant saving so get in there. And also, we are offering payment plans.

Marina Mandoukos: Yeah, definitely.

Bernadette: To help people to budget. Now, let’s just think about some of the things that people might worry about. So we’ve talked about Covid but the other thing is, if by chance the health advice changes and we’re not allowed to run the event, we will be refunding the tickets in full.

So you don’t need to worry about, “Oh, if I’ll buy one and if something happens” and we’ll come back next year bigger and better. But I think that from all that I can see, I think that with their numbers, the numbers that we’ve got and the fact that we’ve got the social distancing in place, we should be fine. And so, yeah, that’s it. Is there anything else we should say?

Marina Mandoukos: No, I think we’ve covered everything.

Bernadette: Beautiful. Thank you for listening and I’m really looking forward to meeting you in the flesh at She Renovates live on the 1st of November.

Marina Mandoukos: Sounds great, bye.

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    “Hands down best renovation podcast there is. There’s no scams or tricks here and Bernadette provides honest and practical advice that you can actually apply to your life. There’s also great insights into the property industry (not just renovating) and Bernadette’s simple approach gives you tools to mitigate risk and fuels confidence to start your own projects.”
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