Fresh Blood Podcast Episode Guest - Sandy Lowres
Sandy talks about the importance of believing in yourself, supporting other women, overcoming a great storm of difficulties and how it feels as life finally begins at the age of 40.
Sandy Lowres is a writer, creative and podcaster based in Melbourne’s west. She is the founder and Creative Director of Wb40 – Women Beyond Forty Magazine and the podcast host of The Good Girl Confessional. Sandy has enjoyed a diverse and interesting career spanning business owner, manager, coordinator, writer, blogger and creative. She has never been afraid to challenge herself and has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Sandy has always been passionate about women’s rights and through her long standing blog she created a community of amazing woman who are now a part of this Wb40 tribe.
Sandy talks about the importance of believing in yourself, supporting other women, overcoming a great storm of difficulties and how it feels as life finally begins at the age of 40.
Sandy Lowres is a writer, creative and podcaster based in Melbourne’s west. She is the founder and Creative Director of Wb40 – Women Beyond Forty Magazine and the podcast host of The Good Girl Confessional. Sandy has enjoyed a diverse and interesting career spanning business owner, manager, coordinator, writer, blogger and creative. She has never been afraid to challenge herself and has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Sandy has always been passionate about women’s rights and through her long standing blog she created a community of amazing woman who are now a part of this Wb40 tribe.
Sandy Lowres – Writer, Creative, Podcaster, Founder of WB40, Women Beyond 40 Magazine
[00:00:00] Jolie Downs: [00:00:00] Today we are speaking with Sandy Lowres. Sandy is a writer, creative and podcaster based in Melbourne's West. She is the founder and creative director of WB40, Women Beyond 40 magazine and the podcast host of the Good Girl Confessional.
[00:00:18] Sandy has enjoyed a diverse and interesting career spanning business owner, manager, coordinator, writer, blogger, and creative. She has never been afraid to challenge herself and has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Sandy has always been passionate about women's rights and through her long standing blog, she created a community of amazing women who are now a part of this WB40 tribe.
[00:00:44] I'm really looking forward to learning more about your story, please. Could you tell us a little bit about your path to this point?
[00:00:50] Sandy Lowres: [00:00:50] Hi, and thanks so much for having me on here, Jolie. I really appreciate it. I'm very excited. First of all, I'm loving your podcast as well. I think it's so amazing to have, to meet another person who's really out there highlighting the lives of people over 40. That's so brilliant. More about my career.
[00:01:06] Wow. It's really fascinating that while the pandemic was a really difficult time for so many people, what I also saw was there was so many creatives who were launching into new spheres. They were doing things like podcasts and they were definitely writing books and they were making art.
[00:01:25] And for me on the tail end or the backhand of the podcast during the pandemic really gave me enough time to finally launch our magazine, which is available in both print and digital, which was no mean feat. And it just really gave us enough time to really think of what Oh, crazy. But I often say this and it's true.
[00:01:43] I'm so glad I didn't realize how much work was involved because I think sometimes especially in our age demographic, if I had known that, I might've been more hesitant to do it, but I'm so thrilled that we have done it, that it's out there and it's a gorgeous magazine and it's really been a Testament to the collaboration of so many extremely wonderful women.
[00:02:05]And in the background is my partner, the only man on our team who does all of the tech, the website putting together the actual layout of the magazine. It really has been such a collaborative and beautiful process. And I'm really thrilled about that.
[00:02:21]Jolie Downs: [00:02:21] What was your inspiration for this and in this space, if you will.
[00:02:26] Sandy Lowres: [00:02:26] Yeah. Yeah. It's the inspiration really came from, so as you mentioned many years ago, I started a blog called the good girl confessional, and it was really about talking about sex and dating and relationships beyond the age of 40. When I found myself single after divorce at a very long-term marriage and.
[00:02:44] Jumping into that space of dating was really quite scary. And then through writing the blog, what I realized there was a whole community of women out there who were going through the same thing who were experiencing this kind of, stepping into a whole new chapter of their lives and through that, we built this lovely community of women.
[00:03:03] And from there, as it went on, it became less and less of a personal blog and started really to be about women's issues and as you so rightly say, I am very passionate about the rights of women and certain things would make me really angry. And women of all ages definitely faced sexism and we face different issues.
[00:03:22] But what I was finding from talking to so many women was that beyond the age of 40, not only were they facing sexism, but they were also facing age-ism. And what I really wanted to do was to actually have a platform where women could tell their stories about what was going on in their lives. And so from there, I woke up one morning and it was like a light bulb moment of saying, I think I'm going to start a podcast.
[00:03:46] I think I'm going to turn the good girl into a podcast. And it just happened very quickly. We got the podcast set up and my very first few guests were really close friends of mine who are all really incredibly interesting women.
[00:04:00] And I asked them to come on and tell their story. And what happened was something really remarkable where these women felt not vulnerable at all. They just, they were quite okay to show their true selves and to share their stories with such honesty. And did that for me, I was just in reverence of these women doing that, and it just has gone on and on from there.
[00:04:23] So the podcast was a really beautiful starting point and we still have the podcast going and I love it. It is actually one of my great joys in life to just speak with really interesting women. It's such a privilege, isn't it? It's yeah, it's really amazing.
[00:04:38] Jolie Downs: [00:04:38] it really is.
[00:04:39] Sandy Lowres: [00:04:39] It is. And there's so many.
[00:04:44]Jolie Downs: [00:04:44] For the listeners. We were actually talking about this before we started at how wonderful the podcast that we both started to try to help other people has brought so much joy in helping to our own lives. And it is a gift. So it's been wonderful. I'm curious, what has been most important to you?
[00:05:01] Would you say to lead to your success?
[00:05:03]Sandy Lowres: [00:05:03] I think it really was having some belief, of course, in myself. I've have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I think you mentioned that before, and it's true. I tend to. Rather than I'm not a huge planner. So instead of going, I'm going to write out this huge plan of where I want something to go.
[00:05:22] If I'm really passionate about something, I'm the kind of person who sort of leaps first and thinks about it later. And it's really carried me through and I'm really glad that I have, I think one of the big things and I think this is true of all business owners or entrepreneurs or podcasters or creators is to really follow your own instinct and your own gut and to have a belief in what it is that you are doing.
[00:05:44]And I know that there's a lot of especially amongst women, there is a lot of imposter syndrome out there. So women do really amazing things. And then they're so terrified that they're not good enough or it's not going to be enough. No, one's going to listen. So the one thing that I've always done is.
[00:05:59]First and foremost, I wanted to create a platform that was for other women, but if nobody listened, that would be okay because I was listening to their stories and their voices. And I think if you come from a place of authenticity in that, then that was okay. And of course what happened was that the stories of these women are incredible.
[00:06:20] And of course, people are listening to their stories, which is so wonderful.
[00:06:23] The inspiration really for the magazine then came from, in hearing all of these amazing stories during and we were already planning the magazine, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, so many people were out of work creatives, especially where so badly hit. They were losing all income and that was everyone from musicians to artists, to writers, you name it.
[00:06:46]And so it seemed, to outsiders a really odd time then to start a print magazine because the publishing world had been so badly hit, but actually for me, what it did was fuel a fire in me to really get it out as quickly as we can, because we've now created paid opportunities for female writers to get their stories out there.
[00:07:06] But actually it was a really lovely vehicle then to interview other women and tell their stories. So this is a magazine that is written by women for women over the age of 40, 50, 60, and beyond. And so we wanted them to be, the stories to be real. And we wanted people to be able to share their stories and, with interviewers who genuinely had their best interests at heart.
[00:07:30] So there's no clickbait celebrity gossip in this magazine, we have an incredible fashion editor who is Nikki hind, and she is Australia's first legally blind fashion designer, which is incredible. She's extraordinary. And Oh, Jolie you'd love to speak with her. She is just mind blowing.
[00:07:48]But Nikki came on board to be the fashion editor, but we wanted to come at fashion even from a very different angle because I was really quite tired of this sort of body shaming image has shaming thing that goes on for women, especially after the age of 40, that if you have any wrinkles or if you have gray hair or if you're a curvy girl like me, that, Society was like really piling on.
[00:08:10]So Nikki has come to these fashion editorials with such a beautiful viewpoint of talking about what is inclusive fashion. What does that look like? She talking about, different kinds of designers, indigenous designers, and if the cool design is, and what does that mean? And I think it's, we've just decided to take a real rethink on what is a magazine for women over the age of 40
[00:08:35]Jolie Downs: [00:08:35] This is brilliant. This is what we need. This is what the, this is what we need. . There's so much influence around us. That is horrendous. Really. It really is, and it's just the norm. It's the norm of what is being put out there. And it's slowly eroding the souls of women.
[00:08:49] And so thank you for putting out something that will build up the souls of women. That's beautiful.
[00:08:56] Sandy Lowres: [00:08:56] Oh, thank you, Jolie. I love that. Thank you. And that's really what it is about. It's about helping women to rise and rising. Yeah. I know that's such a cliche thing, but I mean it in the sense of every way that women can feel good about themselves, that women can pick up a magazine and read the stories of other women who, you know, who may not be like them, but they actually say, wow, that's incredible.
[00:09:17] What look what she's doing over the age of 40 and we've had some brilliant people that we've interviewed for this magazine. One is Gail Kennedy. She's an incredible writer and author, she's an indigenous Aboriginal Australian author. But she didn't start her writing career until 51.
[00:09:33] And she's now won so many awards and she's doing so many amazing things. So she's just a really great example. Gail's a really great example of how. Women can, really we can pivot, we can change our career. We can do different things beyond the age of 40 it's just that society keeps telling us that we can't.
[00:09:53] And, I think during the pandemic, as I was saying before, it's incredible how many people pivoted certainly through necessity, but sometimes it was because for the first time it may included to have time to sit and actually think, how am I going to make something work? There are so many women out there now doing incredible side hustles, but also who created incredible businesses at, through COVID it was quite mindblowing.
[00:10:17]So yeah, we're really interested in telling the stories of those women, and the women that we've had on the podcast and the women who were so privileged to have in this magazine are all so different from one another. It's very diverse. It's pretty fantastic. And the women that we've had on you have we're talking activists and disruptors and business leaders, survivors one of the women who's been on our podcast.
[00:10:39]Claire Ashman is extraordinary. She's a cult survivor and she's done four TEDx talks. And she, yeah, just this one. There are so many incredible stories. And when you scratch the surface of any woman, every woman has a story, and I think it's really nice for him to be able to listen to the podcast or pick up the magazine and actually think, wow, I'm actually in good company, yes. There's a huge community of amazing women out there doing really cool things. And And I belong to it. I'm part of that.
[00:11:12] Jolie Downs: [00:11:12] Love it.
[00:11:13]Sandy Lowres: [00:11:13] Yeah, we love it.
[00:11:14] Jolie Downs: [00:11:14] I love that you started this in the pandemic and made that leap, regardless of what's happening. Cause that's really that's where success comes from is in those moments, if you will. So of all the things you've done, what would you say has been, one or two of your greatest successes, if you will.
[00:11:30] Sandy Lowres: [00:11:30] I would definitely say first and foremost, I would have to say that, in the mother of three children who are now grownups, they that's my a hundred percent Zenith at they're, They're really great human beings. And I feel really proud of that. I think in terms of business, I would definitely say that the good girl confessional and WB 40.
[00:11:52] In my heart of hearts is my greatest success so far because it isn't just about me. It really is about a community of women and it really is about helping others. And even though, as you were saying before, and it's so true in helping women highlight their businesses or tell their stories or, have them write for us and get paid for it through all of those things, I will say that it fills my soul too.
[00:12:18] And that's really, that's what success is I've learnt. So I think it's such a pleasure to do it. Absolute passion project,
[00:12:27] Jolie Downs: [00:12:27] would you say that's your definition of success?
[00:12:30] Sandy Lowres: [00:12:30] Yeah. I actually would. I think I always knew that I wanted to help other women and I always knew I wanted to especially have their voices heard. And so I think to create what we've already created, is a Testament to that. I mean that it is built on the foundation of that, and that's what it's all about.
[00:12:49] It's it's really incredible. And when I say, paid opportunity, it's one of the things I do want to highlight here is that I could never do this magazine without the collaboration of certain women who have for each issue so far, we've got a food editor and a fashion editor.
[00:13:03] Our food editor is Sandra Reynolds and I'll shout out to her cause she's incredible. She's a published cookbook author and just an incredible human and a great friend. Nikki Hein, who's our fashion editor, Emily at Juliana's who writes regularly about changing careers after the age of 40.
[00:13:18] What does that look like?
[00:13:19] Jolie Downs: [00:13:19] yeah.
[00:13:19]Sandy Lowres: [00:13:19] Because what we realized was people were faced with losing jobs or faced with being, as you say, let go or they work with being downsized. So the hours were being cut or they were sitting at home during COVID thinking, I really do not want to go back to that job.
[00:13:34] What am I going to do now? And so Emily has been fantastic in terms of highlighting. W different ways, to think about how with women over the age of 40 50, and it's a scary thing to say what am I going to do now? And what, how do I change direction? Absolutely.
[00:13:54] Jolie Downs: [00:13:54] Deal. And especially at this time in our lives, we have. Families and mortgages and it's much different. And so I think that a lot of people hold themselves back and I love, that's why I love what you're doing. And just highlighting people who are putting themselves into that fear, if you will, or making those changes and and living their lives fully in, in really just experiencing that.
[00:14:20] And so I love that you're sharing that to help other people find that themselves it's
[00:14:25] Sandy Lowres: [00:14:25] Yeah, absolutely. And some of the stories in the magazine from women who are who have just gone through some sort of extraordinary journeys as well, and through telling their stories, I think that's helpful for other women as well for women who pick up that magazine and read that story and see themselves reflected back that's hugely important.
[00:14:44] And I think, It is really important that we start changing the narrative of women in society that we, for the most part, I do believe women want to see other women succeed. They want to see other women rise. They want to see other women be happy and successful. And this narrative, that society, if you like, and especially the patriarchy likes to tell us that women are bitchy and that we fight against each other, I think we need to start changing that narrative as well.
[00:15:10] And that's what this magazine to me has been hugely symbolic of is that there is no shortage of incredible women who reach out and say, we would love to write for you, or when can I tell my story, or you should really speak to this other woman because she's incredible. And so we're seeing that all the time and that's proof that women really want to just help other women.
[00:15:31]Jolie Downs: [00:15:31] Yes You're right. We need to change that narrative. It is, it's an. Antiquated narrative at this point. So what would you say has been your greatest challenge or greatest obstacle or a failure that you had to deal with and what you learned from it?
[00:15:46] Sandy Lowres: [00:15:46] Yeah, it looks so over the years I've done many things. And one of which was I was a business owner before, and many years ago I had a boutique retail store dealing in dancewear and I loved it and it was pretty exciting. And my daughter danced and I stepped into it and as it turned out, it was during the end of having that business, my marriage had taken a nosedive was basically falling apart and we were separating and and I just couldn't hold onto the business.
[00:16:10] And so for me, that was really difficult, but what I realized afterwards was.
[00:16:16] Jolie Downs: [00:16:16] It's going to say, because you went through a divorce and.
[00:16:19] Sandy Lowres: [00:16:19] Oh, yeah, absolutely.
[00:16:26] Jolie Downs: [00:16:26] Okay. Tell me keep going. And then please tell me how you got through this.
[00:16:29] Sandy Lowres: [00:16:29] Yeah, it was a lot. And, as we all know, when it rains, it pours. So at that time, I think my marriage was ending. My father had passed away. My father-in-law had died. So my business ended, it was a really tough time. And then of course, like jumping into a new job to pay the bills and to support three children.
[00:16:48] And that was really difficult. But looking back now, what I realized is it wasn't a failure. What it was a huge learning and it was a massive learning opportunity. It took me a long time to look back and think, wow, I did that. I actually had, I owned a business and I did that and I built it.
[00:17:03] I sold it onto someone else. So when I bought it, it was quite small. And then we w it got bigger. And I was able to sell it off to someone else. So when I looked at that, you say it wasn't a failure at all. She's continued on with that business.
[00:17:14]. But I think as women with we're so hard on ourselves, when we do expect ourselves to be doing, amazing things and to be achieving all the time, but I think, and that's the other thing I've really learned through all of this is changing the narrative, not just about other women and how we, how society speaks about women, but I've had to change the narrative about how I speak about myself and how I feel about myself.
[00:17:36] And so that's been a huge one learning curve. Yeah. business, it took a little while I think really it was part of my healing, from the divorce and the loss of the business and all of the things was I do what I love to do, which is to write.
[00:17:50] And so I decided I would start this blog. I had no idea how to be a blogger. And I launched in and I originally wrote under a pseudonym because I had young teenage children. And of course I was talking about my dating experience. And I decided I would, because I was writing under a pseudonym and I was a little bit probably ignorant at that time, but because it's all out there on the internet, but anyway, I decided I'm going to be really honest about this. And I did that. Didn't occur to me that was a brave thing to do later.
[00:18:23] I would be told by many women manual was so brave. There's no way I'd be telling those stories. And it was really, it was like the good, the bad and the ugly of dating. But I think what was really nice about now what I'm saying all these years later is how many women are doing that and how they're talking about their experiences.
[00:18:39] And it's fantastic at the time when I was doing it, there wasn't really many people around, I think there was an American blogger and there was a someone in England maybe who was doing it. And so here I was just, I'm writing under a pseudonym. No, when you really knew who I was and, Vogue India actually listed me as one of the five top blogs to look out for.
[00:18:58]And they actually said, because India, they're like, wow, this girl's like telling it exactly how it is. And I was like, what?
[00:19:06] Jolie Downs: [00:19:06] You were paving the way if you're not authenticity , and that's the thing and being brave with the realness. That's why you brought it in. Cause that's what it's all about these days just being real.
[00:19:17] Sandy Lowres: [00:19:17] Now it is. But at the time I think I was going against the grain a little bit. But there was some amazing Australian bloggers that I was following at the time who were not talking about sex and dating, but they were talking about their experiences of Parenthood. I don't like the term mommy blogger because I think, dads write blogs and they're not called daddy bloggers.
[00:19:34]So female bloggers who are out there, but really talking about the reality and the truth of parenting, how hard it can be, the joys, the highs, the lows. I really respected those women and thought, that now, to me, that's brave, like talking about breaking down this narrative of us, trying to be the perfect parent, which of course there's no such thing.
[00:19:53] We all know that. So I think was really bouyed by them. And I, even though I went into a completely different sphere, if you like, it was fun, and at the time, sex in the city and programs like that were breaking taboos and starting to break down this definition of what does a woman over 40 look like?
[00:20:11]And that's fantastic, but it was for me, When I started, to talk more about women's issues, even that for me, I realized that there are many ideals that are set. Like I love sex in the city, but there's no way I could look like any of those women. And and I wasn't in New York and we, we're not all rich and successful.
[00:20:27] And it's all of those kinds of things. How do you speak to the ordinary person about this is my life experience. The only way I knew how to do that was through complete honesty, eventually, and it was really interesting. So all the men that I dated, of course, I just gave them name, code names.
[00:20:41] I didn't give anybody's name away or who they were or what they were doing. And I ended up in a relationship for four years and of course I was writing about him and he Oh, hang you. I think eventually, Dating. I was like, listen, I have this blog. I'm just gonna tell you you don't know what it is and you don't need to know what it is.
[00:21:01] And eventually of course, as the relationship progressed, I said to him, you probably should know what this blog is. And he said, if you been, wow, have you been talking about me? And I said, yeah, yes. And so for him, it was really interesting because it was one of those relationships that went up and down like, and so I'm talking about the highs and the lows of this relationship. And he went back and thankfully, I think it was a little bit of an ego stroke. He was quite fine about it. And he got to the point where he said, Oh, what did you write about on the blog this week? If it's not about me, I can't be bothered reading it.
[00:21:30] Wow. So I, then I think I took it at some point though, I went right. I'm just going to put it out there. This is who I am. All of my dear friends, my really close friends knew my children knew I had a blog, although they didn't read it. I think my oldest son who, by the way is now 30, but when he was maybe around, I don't know how old he was early twenties, he decided that I dunno, he decided he was going to read some of it.
[00:21:55] And then I remember him saying to me, Oh my God, mom, I can't believe you wrote about this. And then he was like, I'm never reading it again. Oh God. I was like honey, I didn't write Ye for youah, that was that was pretty funny moment.
[00:22:18] Jolie Downs: [00:22:18] That's great. Really great.
[00:22:21] Sandy Lowres: [00:22:21] Kind of funny, but I eventually started talking less and less about myself and the personal stuff, and it was more and more about women's issues. And I was inviting other women to come on and be guest bloggers and guest writers, which was fantastic. And cause they were bringing like a whole different feel to it.
[00:22:35] And then I decided that look, you just put it out there. So I put my name on it. I stamped my name on it. I was waiting for some sort of backlash because I had been warned by other bloggers. Who'd done that, that, sometimes there's a bit of a pile on from followers who thought you were someone different perhaps or, but at the end of the day, it was always my face.
[00:22:56] I had a whole shoot done for the for the blog which I still use to this day for the podcast and I think, everyone was just really kind and brilliant and lovely. And I was writing for other people under that pseudonym too, which was funny because they were saying, Oh, do you want to write an article?
[00:23:11] And I'm like, yeah, but I have to write it under a pseudonym because it's not really my name. But once I put my name out there, actually, it was a seamless thing. It didn't really matter. There were a few people who reached out if he follows. He said I had absolutely no idea who you were, but this is fantastic.
[00:23:26] It's so great to finally put a name to it. So that was really nice. And from there, that kind of, I think gave me license to pivot because I really, I found I was writing less and less on the blog, but wanting to tell the stories of other women. And so the new iteration of that blog turning into a podcast has been like a dream come true.
[00:23:48] If I'm honest, I think it's, it feels much more authentic to me in this space to, to now be doing that and sharing the stories of other women. My stories out there, it's just really nice to be able to share the stories of other women.
[00:24:01] Jolie Downs: [00:24:01] Yeah, it is. It really is. And you carry those stories with you. At least I do. I know I carry all the stories with me and I find myself just growing exponentially after every conversation. So it's really wonderful. I'm curious, because of all the things that you've learned through life, through this process, what would you say is brought the most benefit to yourself personally?
[00:24:24] Sandy Lowres: [00:24:24] Oh, that's a big question, Jolie I think I've learned that I can make mistakes and that is okay. And I can learn from those mistakes, I think. And you would know this being a podcast to yourself. When you put yourself out there, you have such a high, but I certainly had a high expectation of myself to get everything right all the time.
[00:24:45] And then you realize certain things are out of your control. And writing the magazine is, writing for the magazine, but publishing the magazine is exactly the same, the way you think things might work out. It completely different in the end, from how it works out. So I've had to learn to be less less controlling over the way.
[00:25:02] I think things are supposed to look and feel and be, and to actually let go a little bit and just go with that flow. I think it's made me far more relaxed and I think that's been such a gift. And don't get me wrong. With the magazine, there's so much stress. Like it's hard work. It's really hard work and it's nonstop because we're bimonthly.
[00:25:21] So that's a lot of work involved. But I will say it's actually a passion project, so it doesn't feel like work. If that makes sense. It doesn't feel like it's really oppressive or anything like that. I just love it. It's a gift. I have had to learn to let go. I will say when the first magazine came out, the first print of that magazine had so many errors in it.
[00:25:41] And I remember just thinking on I'm going to die. I can't believe people had their hands on it. At the end of the day, everyone was incredibly brilliant, gracious. Fantastic. And then when we had to do a reprint, because we sold out of the first one we were able to then get those, getting the things fixed up and at that stage,
[00:25:58] Jolie Downs: [00:25:58] Yeah.
[00:25:59] Sandy Lowres: [00:25:59] And I just have to realize, and I a friend of mine said, when we do the re-print and it was all right, I said to her here, you can have it.
[00:26:06] And she said, Oh no, I want the original, I'm happy with the original, because she said to me, that's like a collector's edition and I'm holding the very first one in
[00:26:15] Jolie Downs: [00:26:15] Yeah.
[00:26:17] Sandy Lowres: [00:26:17] That for me was tough,
[00:26:19] Jolie Downs: [00:26:19] I completely understand. And I love this example that you just gave it's so important because it is it's, when you make those mistakes. So the things that you were really afraid of making you wanted that first one to be perfect, right? Fully get this. I completely understand all of those emotions coming in at you.
[00:26:36]And then for it not to have those mistakes that, that you were so concerned about having being upset about it and then it all just working out just fine and realizing that it's that's a gift too, and when you make a mistake and or that thing that you were really scared of happens, and then you just keep moving forward anyway, and Oh, look, your life is no different.
[00:26:59] Everything's the same, it's like, Oh, I can make mistakes. It's okay. It's human. It's very freeing and empowering.
[00:27:08] Sandy Lowres: [00:27:08] Oh, yeah. And it has been, it just has fade. And I think, and just learning to be like of course I still want to get everything right. There's no two ways about that. I do. And but at the end of the day, learning that things happen. And then, you we and I am constantly reminded by really brilliant people who say you have these huge publishing houses with huge teams of people and that the mistakes get through.
[00:27:28]So at the end of the day, we're a tiny team. And where, I feel like it's like everything that you do, any business that you have, every new magazine that comes out is a whole new experience because they're different stories, but we're learning so much more about the whole how publishing works and how to get the word out there.
[00:27:47] And I think that's been really fantastic as well. It's been such a steep learning curve and I one I can say I will just keep learning with, I don't think I'll ever stop learning. So as many magazines that come out, I'm sure I'll learn something new each and every time. And that's fantastic.
[00:28:03] That's been really cool. So it's been challenging, and I think challenging yourself, especially at this, like I'm 51. And I think to challenge myself at 51 and start a magazine, at 50, during a pandemic was now I can see it as, yeah. That was Epic. It was really Epic at the time.
[00:28:19] It just felt like it was the thing to do right. Thing for me to do. And I guess it's I was just gonna say, I love that on your podcast, you're talking to people, men and women about exactly that and write about the things that people do in the second half of their life. And when they say life begins at 40 I, 100% believe that. I think I went through some pretty traumatic experiences in terms of divorce and whatever, but you come out the other side and, someone once said to me, this is a great term.
[00:28:47] I love it. That you grow longer legs and you take bigger strides. And I think that's very true. And I think as a woman, I feel like I only started to come into my own really in my forties. And now in my fifties, I feel probably more empowered than ever. And I don't know if I'm even allowed to swear on this podcast, but in the words of Helen Mirren, the one actress who says you get to an age where you just have less fucks to give or no fucks to give.
[00:29:12] And I think that's true, right? I think it is about. And that's not into anyone else. It's not saying I don't care about other people. I absolutely do. It's really though about, I don't, I'm caring less about the judgment of others in terms of things that I really want to do of putting the magazine out there or, great example of that was being told, originally when I was starting the magazine journey, I thought probably I would need investment or funding.
[00:29:39] And so I, was put in touch with, I spoke to a couple of male investors who said to me we can't see how anyone would ever want to read the stories of women over 40 and that just put a fire under me. It just put a fire under me and really my attitude at that point, it was, I'm sure my eyes narrowed as but I just thought, yeah, watch me. because. They're wrong. And there's so many kick-ass women out here doing amazing things. So we did it as an independent magazine in the end, rather than taking investment and funding. And all of that, the sales of this magazine go back indirectly to paying writers and not just writers, there's other creatives.
[00:30:21]On the cover of each there's the first edition, which we love this artwork was created
[00:30:27] Jolie Downs: [00:30:27] Oh,
[00:30:29]Sandy Lowres: [00:30:29] isn't it beautiful? I'll just let everyone know it is Ruth Bader Ginsburg is on the cover of the first edition and this artwork was created for WB 40 by a young female artist, who's in Sydney, in Australia named Cathy, Frank and Kathy created this artwork of, I basically said, Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed away.
[00:30:50]I was quite devastated, like a lot of women in the world were about that and so she created this amazing artwork of Ruth and inside of Ruth in Australia's the images of Australia's very first and only female prime minister, Julia Gilad, who gave a very iconic speech, which is now known as the misogyny speech in parliament.
[00:31:10] And so she's actually embedded Julia Gilad into the image of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as well as the original, the first, the first women who were fighting on the frontline for women's rights in the seventies, it's just beautiful. It's a fantastic piece of art. But one of the things that we decided, or I decided this was my thing, but was for each edition of the magazine, that would be different artwork and that it would be a different artist every time.
[00:31:36] And we could highlight those female artists, we pay them a cover fee to use their art on the cover. And then within the magazine, we do a whole page and we talk about who they are as an artist and really get them out there because there's, it's so difficult for female creatives to get the. They are out there, their work out there and their name out there.
[00:31:56] So that's been one of my absolute highlights. I'm absolutely loving it. The second edition of the magazine and another young female artist, who's in Jordan who I've been following her work for some time. And I reached out and said, look, I just love what you do. And it's fun. And it's bright and it's brilliant.
[00:32:12]The second edition of the magazine is so radically different. I don't know if we're in audio, people can't see this, but it's illustrative and fun and beautiful. And it's actually a heart. And within the heart is, it's a whole
[00:32:25] Jolie Downs: [00:32:25] Oh, it's really colorful. Yes.
[00:32:27] Sandy Lowres: [00:32:27] and it's caught it's pink and it's got this beautiful kind of illustrated heart.
[00:32:32]And it's called secrets of the heart. And so each of our magazines has a different theme. The first one was hard won wisdom, because we like to say that the wisdom of women is hard won it's never just handed to you on a silver platter. The second edition with love and other catastrophes. And we wanted to explore love in all different forms which is beautiful.
[00:32:49] And the third edition, which hits this week the artist is an an Aboriginal contemporary artist. Her name is Sheree Stokes, it's beautiful Aboriginal artwork. And we decided to wrap the whole cover back in front in her art, because it is stunning. And the theme of this upcoming magazine is mother earth.
[00:33:07] And all the various themes that come to mind when we think about mother earth. And yeah, so it, it's just been such a beautiful. Journey, but in every way that we can, with this magazine, we want to highlight women. We have a section in the magazine called she endeavors, where we highlight micro and small businesses that are run by women that are owned by women who have been really, as we all know, hit quite hard after COVID.
[00:33:33]So we basically run this little section. We highlight products run they're owned by women that we think are fabulous and we do it for free free and the other.
[00:33:42] Jolie Downs: [00:33:42] fantastic.
[00:33:43] Sandy Lowres: [00:33:43] the
[00:33:43] Jolie Downs: [00:33:43] That's been, I'm just loving everything.
[00:33:46] Sandy Lowres: [00:33:46] thing we do in the magazine is we give free full page ad space to charities and not, nonprofits who are out there supporting women and children.
[00:33:57]And so we highlight two of them in every magazine that's completely free, but it gets the word out about what they're doing. And through that, we've been able to highlight as well the, the female leaders of some of these incredible businesses and we've interviewed them and got their story out there, how their charity started and why they started it.
[00:34:14]I think those things are really important and I'm a huge believer. We call that our pay it forward initiative. I just, I'm a huge believer that if we can help other organizations who are doing extraordinary things, yeah, we're publishing a magazine, but some of these organizations are out there on the front line, really helping women who are leaving domestic violence situations, or they're supporting women who are going through their journeys with cancer or they're, nonprofits who are supporting businesses in the Outback of Australia
[00:34:42] who've been devastated by bushfires here in drought. And now COVID so, if we can highlight them and people are made aware of what they're doing, I think that that's one of the most precious and important things that we can do as a business. And we have to think of business. But if we can do that, then you know, I wake up every day.
[00:35:02] I can smile knowing that we've helped other businesses and all of these small little businesses run women are so Epic. We all know what it feels like to start a business and to be we don't, but if you don't know what it's like, it's tough out there to start a small business.
[00:35:18]Jolie Downs: [00:35:18] So you said this is digital, so people can find you digitally and subscribe that way.
[00:35:24] Sandy Lowres: [00:35:24] yes, so it's print and digital. So you have a choice and we deliberately went digital. We know that a lot of women over the age of 40 and 50 and 60 actually want to hold the magazine in their hands. So they quite like that. There's a print edition, but we deliberately wanted to make it digital as well. A because it's.
[00:35:39] More cost-effective for people if they can't afford the print mag, which is fine. But also too, because a lot of we've even got like writers in our magazine from America. And so that's been really nice and I think to have an international kind of flavor, it's been really lovely and we have that on our podcasts as well.
[00:35:55] So digital is so easy because you can buy it doesn't matter what country you're in. So you can head to w B forty.com and head to the shop there, and you can basically buy the digital version. I think it's Australian dollars, seven 99. I think it's under $10 us is what it works out to. And as I said,
[00:36:16] Jolie Downs: [00:36:16] Because I think it sounds a lot of people are going to be interested in checking that out.
[00:36:22] Sandy Lowres: [00:36:22] thank
[00:36:23] Jolie Downs: [00:36:23] So now I'm curious, because this is a lot of work that you're doing. I can't even imagine all of the things that go into building a magazine. I know how much it goes into a podcast and there's a lot.
[00:36:34] So all the different editors, writers, artwork, what have you. So you're juggling a lot. Have you adopted any specific habits that help you manage this or that help you with your own success?
[00:36:45]Sandy Lowres: [00:36:45] Yeah, absolutely. And then one thing I learnt really quickly was that I needed to forward plan. And as I said, although I can't micro manage the planning because things do evolve. I think I really needed to have a very clear idea for the next 12 months from when I started, what is a tradition going to look like?
[00:37:03] Because you really do need to forward plan in terms of who's going to write for each edition, what's the content going to be? What sort of, because we went with themes as well. It was also about reaching out to cover artists and giving them enough time to decide if they wanted to be low. When I say to give them time to decide, we've been really honored in that everybody that we've reached out to I've had not one person say no yet, which has been incredible.
[00:37:29]And I think that is Testament also to the fact that women understand this is a platform helping other women and that they want to be involved. And they also are so thrilled to get their artwork or their writing or their story out there. But one of the big things that I've done is actually, so I have almost like a planning calendar.
[00:37:46] If you like that, I know what each edition the theme of it is going to be that. Then I start reaching out to writers and artists and once, almost like for me too, what I found was. When I stumbled across artists or when they're artists that I follow and I reach out to them. If I see something that instantly, I think, Oh, that's it, that's almost the artwork becomes the pivotal center,
[00:38:08]if you like for the rest of the magazine. And so the third edition, as I said, having Shariece Stokes, beautiful, extraordinary artwork on the cover. And calling it mother earth, everything bounty in her artwork is called sacred women's business. It's really, so for me, I'm so proud and honored that she let us use it.
[00:38:28] It's incredible. But but from there really, it you just know which direction you're heading. And I always knew that the third edition would be mother earth. We know that the fourth edition coming up is called sisterhood. And what does that mean? And it really, one of the big things I've learned is to plan ahead and really have at least some idea in my head of what is that going to look like?
[00:38:47]One thing I've discovered about myself is that I, and I didn't really know that I would do this, but that I have become that being a creative director as being easy for me. And I'm really blown away by that because I was thinking, how am I going to be a creative director? How are we going to earn enough money to hire one?
[00:39:05] Because how can I be one, necessity, then I became it. And then I realized I do have a really strong vision for the magazine. I think that's the other thing I would probably really recommend to anybody. Who's start any sort of business, have a very clear vision and idea about what it is that you're doing.
[00:39:21] And also the big one. Why are you doing it? Because I think once you know that and that sounds cliched as well, but I realized how true it is now once your, why everything else follows it's actually easier to, you just come back to that all the time, oh, it's really hard.
[00:39:38] I'm so tired this week. There's so much to do, but why are you doing it? And then that makes sense. Yep. And as you say, Correct. And that's the thing I used to always be like, Oh, that's so cliched, but now I'm like, yeah. Okay. I'll own it. Happy to, I'm happy to, yeah. There's a reason that they're out there. And as you say,
[00:40:08] Jolie Downs: [00:40:08] Yeah.
[00:40:10] Sandy Lowres: [00:40:10] you would know, you would absolutely know that. There's a lot of hard work in a podcast as well. I didn't know that when I started it, I'm very lucky, as I said, to have a partner behind me who works in the world of software and tech and he's quite amazing.
[00:40:23] He is the podcast producer and editor. I'm very lucky to have that. I think what an extraordinary learning curve, it's been to do a podcast even. And I'm very lucky to have that support in terms of the magazine. Yeah. Look, it's a constant learning curve because as I said, my partner is also heavily involved in the layout of it because he works in InDesign and different kinds of software that people use to create magazines.
[00:40:47] And he also used to be in the working within the print industry. And so he had contacts and I think that's been really great. So one of the other lessons that I've learned in all of these is to always ask for help. I'm terrible. And I think a lot of women are terrible at asking for help where the help is where the duels.
[00:41:03] And it's really difficult for us to put your hand up and say, Hey, I need some help. I don't really know what I'm doing here. I've joined an enormous amount of online groups of business women and online groups of just women. And obviously through WB 40 and the good girl confessional, we have an online private group for women as well.
[00:41:23] Jolie Downs: [00:41:23] great.
[00:41:24] Sandy Lowres: [00:41:24] Yeah, and it's, which is great. And we call it the confessional which is, if you go to Facebook, the good girl confessional group there Oh, will you be 40? And the, the good deal confessional is now obviously proudly the podcast of WB 40, but they are two separate entities because we find, some people follow both and some people really love the podcast I've been following along for a long time.
[00:41:45]We have men, obviously you follow along with the podcast. We've actually had some really lovely feedback from men on the magazine, even, which has been really lovely. And I think in Australia, we've just recently had all these. Amazing sort of rallies that went on called March for justice. When several young women came forward who had been sexually assaulted in the houses of parliament here and how badly handled it was by the government.
[00:42:08] And so I think, there's this constant reminder for us as women, that this is such a journey. It's not a journey that we've wanted women, to have quality and equal rights and autonomy over our own bodies and all of the things and I'm sure, I don't have to tell you, we've been sitting back watching the political landscape in America as well.
[00:42:28]Yeah, it's difficult one, but so I think for me too, every time, either a story, as you think, when that happened, the March for justice, and I was very lucky to be at that rally and really proud to be there to, be amongst so many women. And there were so many women and realizing that, probably.
[00:42:45]Two thirds of those women had a story or have a story about sexual assault or inequality or workplace harassment or whatever it may be and worse as we know. And so that kind of continues to inspire me as well, to keep telling these stories. And after the March for justice, just things like that, me putting it up saying I was there.
[00:43:06] I was at the rally. We had women who actually came forward and said, can I tell my story? In the first edition of the magazine, we had an extraordinary woman, Lisa Westgate who shared her story which was a rape story. So there were trigger warnings in some of these stories and we make sure that we put those up as well.
[00:43:22] I know it's difficult and triggering for some people and, that was so brave of her to tell a story. And then after the March for justice, other women have come forward. And so we've published, just this week and these women over there over the age of 40, who are saying, Hey, I've got a story.
[00:43:37] That's happened to me. This is why these things are really important. So I think in, and that's, I guess that's my why in sharing our own stories, in sharing the stories of other women, it inspires other women then to have a voice and to know that they're in a safe space where they can speak their truth.
[00:43:53] Jolie Downs: [00:43:53] It's so good. Thank you for your why, cause you're doing a lot of good for a lot of people. I'm curious if there were one thing, is there one piece of advice that you would give people who might feel stuck or might feel struggling or trying to find their voice to help them move them a little bit closer to that success that's for themselves.
[00:44:14] Sandy Lowres: [00:44:14] Yeah. I think. Biggest piece of advice, I would say, just do it. But if you're feeling,
[00:44:21] Jolie Downs: [00:44:21] favorite slogan.
[00:44:24] Sandy Lowres: [00:44:24] if you're feeling really stressed, Oh, and I've been there myself and I get it. One thing that helps me is always to write it down. If you're listening to this and you're thinking I really want to do something different, I really hate my job or I'm really unsatisfied in my life. Or I know I want to do something, but I'm just not sure what it is.
[00:44:43]Write down maybe 10 things that inspire you or that you love, or that you would, if money were no object and if time were no object, what would you want to be doing? Write it down. And it's really interesting. I once spoke to a woman about this and she said, Oh yeah. But what if I wanted to be an astronaut, that would be ridiculous at my age.
[00:45:03] And I said, perhaps, but perhaps you could be writing about that. Perhaps he could be blogging about it. Perhaps you could be doing podcasts, talking to other women who are doing that. So there's all these other things that you can do. And so I think we, we try to limit ourselves all the time. And we all do it, and like it's human nature.
[00:45:23]But I think. Write it down, really write it down and then zone in on the things that you really love out of those 10, if you could highlight two, what would they be? And then out of those two, which one actually, inspires you or gives you joy, even thinking about it and then think of new and innovative ways to do it.
[00:45:39] So if you say I can't be an astronaut in my fifties for what, maybe not, but if that's your passion and you're in love with space and you've always dreamed about being an astronaut, innovative ways that you could be doing, talking about it, writing about it.
[00:45:52] Yeah. Getting something out that you could do a whole podcast on space exploration, or whatever. The sky is the limit. And the other thing is chief, he'll go, Oh, I'm too old to podcast. How would I even start one? Honestly? Yeah. Make YouTube, your friend, because so many tutorials on YouTube, pretty much for everything you can imagine.
[00:46:10] Now my big thing at the moment is, I have a gorgeous part of our team, Debbie, she's gorgeous. She does our social media now. And sh she, I was talking to her about Tik TOK and she's yeah, you'd have to do it. Do tick talk. And I'm like, I have no idea how to do Tik TOK, but that is my mission in the next couple of weeks to figure it out, because, she's saying, Oh, she's okay,
[00:46:30] Jolie Downs: [00:46:30] going to figure it out.
[00:46:32] Sandy Lowres: [00:46:32] And I'm going to do it, I have no idea how to do it, but I currently at the moment, I've got, I write myself to do lists every day. And that's another thing. I would probably say that if you're going to start a business and to not feel overwhelmed, to do lists and whether or not you plan them online or you write freehand, I actually write mine physically down.
[00:46:50] I go old school. And part of the reason I do that I think is when I write something physically, it kind of sticks. And then I'll walk away from my to-do list and really think about it. I'd start mulling it over and then I'll come back and go, wait a minute. I've got an idea. And underneath the different points on the table.
[00:47:08] Jolie Downs: [00:47:08] Scientifically it, it does stick when you write it down. If they say that, if you want to remember something, actually physically write it down.
[00:47:17] Sandy Lowres: [00:47:17] Yup.
[00:47:17]Jolie Downs: [00:47:17] And on that note I really resisted the writing. When you're told to write things down all your life. I This is wisdom that's been passed on, but we don't listen to it.
[00:47:25] I didn't listen to it for most of my life. And then I started writing things down and that's when everything changed.
[00:47:33] Sandy Lowres: [00:47:33] right. Stuff starts to happen because I feel like, for me, and obviously for you, and probably I'm so pleased to hear that scientifically proven and I'm like, Oh no wonder yes. Cause I'm a writer, right? So you write and, but in writing things down to, and this is why I say, when someone's stuck, write down a list of 10 things, 10 things you like, or you, whatever, you might be a film buff.
[00:47:54] I don't know whatever it is. But in the writing things down for me, I then walk away and I just keep mulling it, that list over. It's you do remember the list and you keep mulling it over. And then I come back and think, you know what. That's not going to work. So number four on the to-do list will get scratched off.
[00:48:08] But then I think of two other things, I go, Oh, I have to do those. Then when I actually start ticking things off the to-do list that I've done, and I don't get to the end because you never get to the end, especially if you're doing a magazine or whatever that you, I put it over.
[00:48:24] Everything that I haven't done is top of my list. On the next days to do list and it goes from there and it flows. And I think some, and then from there I find out what I'm most likely procrastinating about. There's some things that suddenly they're on the to-do list every day for two weeks.
[00:48:39] And I think why aren't I getting to that? And that in itself has process as well, because then I think a, why am I resisting it? Is there a reason that I shouldn't be doing this or if I do need to do it, why am I resistant? Sometimes it is, the tick tock thing. I don't really know how to do it.
[00:48:52] So then I have to go right where you've been sitting on that now for two weeks. So this is what your goal is going to be. You have to go and find out. So instead of me putting on my to-do list, make Tik TOK videos, I've actually put on my to-do list, find out how Tik TOK works. So it's, it just changes my mentality, because I think.
[00:49:09] Jolie Downs: [00:49:09] it's great advice. Really good.
[00:49:11] Sandy Lowres: [00:49:11] It's so easy to procrastinate. I'm a big one for it. It's my daughter was home the other day and she said, Oh, do you want to watch this thing on TV with me? And I just went, yep. Yep. Like I had so much work to do, it's and then I have to, so then I have to bargain with myself.
[00:49:26] You can do that and spend the time with your daughter, which is lovely. And I was glad I did that. But then, I realized that means I've got to work later that night or I've got to get some stuff done. I, I give myself deadlines and and with the magazine there's definite deadlines.
[00:49:38] So I can't hold other writers or people to deadlines if I'm not holding them myself. Yeah. So I think that's all of that is important. So if you're stuck, write it down.
[00:49:48]Jolie Downs: [00:49:48] That's really good advice. Thank you. So before we wrap up, this has been wonderful by the way, I thoroughly enjoyed this, but I like this question just because you get really interesting answers. What are you sure of in life?
[00:50:03] Sandy Lowres: [00:50:03] Absolutely sure. Sincerely that women, matter a hundred percent. I'm absolutely 100%. That's it? I know that women matter, but I also know that our wisdom matters and even though society will try and push us to the side, once we hit the age of 40 and over the reality is that women have so much women in this age, demographic, we have life experience.
[00:50:34] We have hard won wisdom. We have lived experience of stuff that we should never have to have lived through, but we all have. And we, in sharing that wisdom, we're helping the women coming in behind us. We're helping those women who are in their twenties and their thirties. And we're finding our own voice.
[00:50:50] And I think so the one thing in life I'm absolutely sure of is that women matter and that women are equal in importance to men and that society has a long way to go to catch up to this belief tragically, and while there are a lot of, you always get this hashtag not all men, there's a lot of good men in the world.
[00:51:09] We know that, but there are also a lot that a lot of the world sadly, is still run by white, powerful, wealthy men, willing to oppress women. And so for me, the one thing I do know is women matter and women over 40 our wisdom matters all women, regardless of age matter. And. All of them. And so for me, yep.
[00:51:31] That's my one piece of truth. That's my absolute, why on why I do what I do. And thank you. And I'm, watching women who are my daughter's age and she's in her early twenties. And I just see how extraordinary some of these young women are, they are breaking down barriers that we've been trying to break down for a lot of years, and I think that's so important, we need to listen to their voices as well.
[00:51:58]And it's really important. And I'm grateful to say that there's a lot of young women who are actually reading WB 40 and we've had some lovely feedback from younger women, saying, Oh, I didn't know that one of the women who has written for the latest edition Kali Finley. Who's actually quite a well-known disability activist here in Australia is written for the magazine, but she's not yet 40, but she said, I'm so grateful for this stuff, because I didn't know anything about menopause and I'm reading all these issues, like health issues around menopause which was, yeah.
[00:52:29]Which we feature in the magazine. Yep. Great writer, Catherine McKenna, who writes about menopause and different things that affect you. But Kelly was saying, I, reading this now I know what is going to happen when I get to that age, , when I hit menopause, when I'm peri-menopausal and yeah, she said, no one talks about that.
[00:52:45] Why isn't anyone talking about this? And I said exactly right. Why aren't they, for young girls, there's plenty of information out there about puberty. Now we know about, whatever, but women, every woman or everyone, not all women sorry, not everyone who menstruate.
[00:53:00] She's a woman. We know that but the reality is for anyone who identifies as female or for anyone who has to go through female hormone changes, whether it's a puberty or whether it's at menopause that information really needs to get out there. And so we're quite happy to be talking about it, but it is important that in sharing that information and that wisdom that younger women are saying, wow, okay, hang on.
[00:53:21] I didn't know that would happen because no, one's talking about it. So I think that's another thing that we're really proud of with this magazine is just nothing should be taboo. We can talk about female sexuality, we can talk about female biology. We can talk about all of the things that impact us as women and the emotional roller coaster that goes with it.
[00:53:41] All right. And, I think that's the other thing too. I think that, for your listeners men and women who are over the age of 40, it is never too late to pivot to do something new, to try something different, to learn new information, to change our views on the world that perhaps have been embedded.
[00:54:00]And yeah, and just to remain open and realize that, everyone's important. And if you give something a go and it doesn't work out, what's the worst that happened. You learn something amazing about yourself as well.
[00:54:11]Jolie Downs: [00:54:11] Speaking of which there's a cliche, I really don't like, and that needs to be eliminated. And that's the, you can't teach an old dog new tricks that needs to go.
[00:54:22] Sandy Lowres: [00:54:22] needs to go. I don't believe that it's true at all. I think. At all. And I think that, unfortunately we like, when we holding ourselves back, we buy into that sort of mentality. Oh, I'm too old. Oh, I can't learn this. Or I can't, whatever. Bullshit. And you look at like extraordinary women say Iris, that for whom I love his fashion designer in New York city.
[00:54:43] And, I think Iris is in her nineties, late nineties and she's glamorous and gorgeous and fabulous and and has really wonderful things to say, I look at women like the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg and all she was achieving, into, into her last years, still sitting on the, the Supreme court of America and going well, And clinging for dear life because and being really political and saying, I don't want to pass away yet because Trump's in or whatever.
[00:55:10]I don't think we can, I don't think that we can hold ourselves back using age as an excuse because, am I, there are women who run marathons for the first time in their fifties, right? There are women who write their first novel into their sixties. You look at the extraordinary author, Toni Morrison, like I'm just so you know, I look at women like say you're Ellen degenerate and you're Oprah Winfrey.
[00:55:36] And you want to, these are, there's a women, not in their twenties. These are incredible vibrant women in their fifties and sixties doing extraordinary things. And I think that we need to look more towards that, but the, and in WB 40 being able to highlight. The everyday woman who's doing really cool things.
[00:55:55] And, I think that's so important and it really important for society to grab hold of those stories and actually go, wow. Women are kicking ass
[00:56:03] Jolie Downs: [00:56:03] yeah. I love that. That you've created with your magazine. You said that you have a group that people can join.
[00:56:08]Sandy Lowres: [00:56:08] Yeah. We
[00:56:09] Jolie Downs: [00:56:09] So is this for people all over the world or Australia? Is
[00:56:13] Sandy Lowres: [00:56:13] all over the world all over the world
[00:56:14] so it's just women supporting women. It's free. Obviously, if you jump on to So the Facebook page for the good girl confessional and there you'll see a button, you can actually join the private group, which is called the confessional.
[00:56:26] It is for women only. And you don't have to be over 40 to join the group, but a lot of the women are over 40 and over 50, it's just a group of women supporting women. So a lot of it is just funny memes making people's day. People will put funny things up or they put informative things up that they've have you read this article about menopause or have you, but sometimes women ask for advice and we just say it is a safe place.
[00:56:51] And anything that is talked about within that group, please keep it sacred and keep. So people have a safe space to talk about things, whether it's, I'm having real issues with my teenage son or I'm, I'm in this really unhappy relationship or whatever it may be so that other women can give advice and help them and support them.
[00:57:09] And I think that's. I really lovely thing. And as I said, it's it's all things. So once you're a ma member in there and I, we do try and keep a very close eye on it. We don't allow any bullying or hate speech or racism or anything like that. I think it's, it should be just a safe space for women to jump in and say, hi and Hey, doing so we do have people from England, we've got people from New Zealand, we've got people from the States.
[00:57:33]And then we've got people from Canada, which is nice. And yeah it's a nice space. It's a really lovely space. Nice. So everyone's welcome.
[00:57:40] Jolie Downs: [00:57:40] out myself, Sandy.
[00:57:41] Sandy Lowres: [00:57:41] Good, please do Jolie.
[00:57:43] Jolie Downs: [00:57:43] Yes. So we'll have that. We'll make sure we have all of this information in the show notes for people so they can find you, they can find your magazine and your group and all of that great thing. I am so grateful for your time, Sandy, before we go, is there anything that you wanted to add or share or that I haven't asked about.
[00:57:59] Sandy Lowres: [00:57:59] The only thing I really wanted to share is a big, thank you to you, Jolie for all that you are doing to highlight how incredible life can be beyond on the age of 40. So I'm, we are, so in that space and I'm just grateful. I'm absolutely loving your podcast. It's brilliant. And obviously when you share this podcast, I'll be sharing it too, but I'll be putting the word out for you as well.
[00:58:20] And the only other thing I will say as well as that, I was very honored this week that there's a us. New magazine, which is new called women who podcast that's just come out. Kathy Baron is the name of the editor in chief, and she asked to interview me for the magazine, which was great. And I was actually on the front cover.
[00:58:42] So I'm a bit blown away by that I'm a first time or a podcasting mag. So I'm really thrilled about that, that I would say your cost is so amazing to really check that one out as well, because she's really interested in talking to women who podcast and and really chatting to, grassroots, independent podcasters who are women.
[00:59:03] And I think that's amazing as well. So what I'm finding through this journey is finding people like yourself Jolie and finding people like Cathy Baron and realizing how many women are out there really wanting to support other women and especially women over the age of 40. So that's very cool.
[00:59:18]Jolie Downs: [00:59:18] Yeah, that's wonderful. Congratulations on that. That's really exciting. Your first cover first magazine cover. All right, Sandy. Thank you so much for your time. It's been wonderful and enlightening.
[00:59:32] Sandy Lowres: [00:59:32] you so much, Jolie. Thanks so much.
I couldn’t think of a better guest for the week of Mother’s Day than Sandy Lowres, a mother of three who when faced with tragedy all around her – divorce, business closure, fathers death – – successfully reinvented herself in her 50’s. Instead of looking at her difficulties and thinking – ugh, failures, she adopted the successful growth mindset and turned this tough time into a massive learning opportunity.
She is a perfect example of the many ways we can pivot and do new and great things after the age of 40. Society has been feeding us a rubbish story about aging, which has resulted in the dampening of the collective older spirit. I’m grateful for people like Sandy who are bringing attention to the amazing lives being lived in the second half of life. The only thing stopping your second half of life from being completely epic, is you.
For so many people, they haven’t learned how to follow their gut, to have belief in those internal feelings driving you in the right direction. We end up sidelined, diverted and unfocused because of outside influences. Many of us move into mid-life in a bit of a haze, hanging on to the busy life that has been created around us, reacting to all of the responsibilities we carry each day, but not fully in touch with who you really are anymore. It takes a shake up, or a mid life crisis to wake you up and realize, perhaps you aren’t exactly where you are meant to be.
I see this happening all around and it’s important to share these stories so we can a, feel normal and b, learn and grow from one another. Learning the lessons from others can often stop us from experiencing difficult situations ourselves.
Sandy feels this deeply, this is why her greatest professional success isn’t about her, it’s about building the community of women, sharing these amazing stories with others so that they can help each other rise. Sandy is encompassing that golden rule in living a fulfilled life - In helping others you find the greatest help for yourself. Helping others fills your soul, in a way that no one else can take away, and that is truly a feeling of success.
I love that Sandy is all about changing the narrative of women in society. Amazing women are doing amazing things everywhere and they are helping other women achieve. Women DO want to see other women rise. We DO want to see other women succeed. The narrative that women are bitchy and want to take each other down needs to be eliminated, there is no shortage of women wanting to help support other women. And I applaud each and every one of you. Did you notice how Sandy kept mentioning the women she has worked with by name? She’s giving them the verbal step up. This is what we all need to be doing. Who around you can you help? Who can you help lift? Let’s all keep holding out our hands to the women coming up behind us and giving them the step ups we wished we had received ourselves.
It’s amazing what can be put in motion when one person has a mission to make something happen. Look at what Sandy did, she said, hey, I want to create this magazine celebrating women after 40. And what happened, she had countless amazing women step up and say hey, I want to be a part of this with you. Let’s make this happen.
And ladies, let’s not let men decide what is of interest to us any longer. They clearly are experts on the male species, let’s leave that to them and reclaim our divine wisdom of the female species. There are few things more powerful than a fired up woman.
I’m so grateful Sandy didn’t let those male investors detour her from her goal. Sandy didn’t allow their misinformed judgement to stop her, she let it fire her up.
Just Watch Me.
Let this be your mantra the next time someone tries to stop you from doing what you know is important.
By Sandy stepping forward and taking action on this project, she not only highlights the stories of women doing incredible things, but she’s giving artists, writers and photographers a place to showcase their work. She’s giving good work businesses deserved publicity.
She’s stimulating the global conversation of what it means to be a woman in mid life.
Think about what a huge difference one life can make with one suggestion.
What difference have you been wanting to make?
What is that passion project you haven’t been able to stop thinking about?
Sandy started a magazine, let’s be clear - a dying art form in a diminishing industry during a global pandemic – and guess what, people are here for it. They love it. Whatever excuse you are giving yourself, trash it and come up with your solution.
Think about the people you admire, the people who are making big changes in life – people like Stacey Abrams, making huge impacts locally resulting in massive impacts nationally. These people are stepping forth and giving voice to what’s important to them and they are finding the people to support them.
You can to.
Give voice to that which is percolating inside of you. Express your desires and your goals and find the people who want to support you on your journey. We are all capable of great things, and even more so when we come together with like minded souls to make them happen.
Find your tribe and if you can’t find them, do as Sandy did and create your own. We are all looking for a place where we can connect.
I love how we can follow the threads of inspiration through other peoples stories and so often we are influenced by those who have no idea they impacted us in such a way. Just like Sandy was inspired by the parent bloggers and their bravery, they gave her motivation to open up about her own name and claim her brand, who knows how many people Sandy herself has influenced through her blog, podcast and magazine to open their own selves up and be brave. You just never know how you make an impact in this world. The ripples are endless.
Sandy brought up another important topic, changing the narrative about how we speak to ourselves and how we feel about ourselves. We can be so hard on ourselves always trying to get things right. But so much of life is out of our control and so often the way we want things to be don’t align with how they actually work out. Learning how to be ok with this is transformative. It is ok if our best laid out plans don’t work out. It is ok if we make mistakes. It is ok to be human. To err is human. We are learning through our mistakes, we learn from the challenges. Fully embodying this mindset, knowing this deep down and understanding this at your core, is nothing less than living a free and empowering life.
I used to harsh on myself when I made a mistake. I would ruminate on the things I did wrong. Mentally flag myself for perceived shortcomings. Friends, this is a torturous way to go through life. It’s a sleepless way.
Learning how to let go of the mistakes, learning how to forgive myself for my errors and instead look at the situation through the lens of learning has been one of the greatest gifts. It is as if I had been moving through life with heavy ankles weights and they were finally released. It is incredibly liberating. I now walk through life with an ease I never experienced in my younger years.
These learnings, they come from the beauty of aging, from the beauty of your story unfolding. When you are young you think life begins to end at the age of 40. This is the big lie.
Life begins at 40.
It’s when you’re just coming through the other side of life.
You grow those longer legs and you take those bigger strides.
It’s when you start to come into your own. When you feel that empowerment and letting go of the judgement of others, owning and honoring that unique influence within yourself.
Moving forward let’s focus on celebrating and embracing the gifts of aging.
Another good tip Sandy left with us is forward planning. The forward planning is vital for her magazine work, to have an idea of where they want to go with the issues and what it will look like each month in the future is key to their success. The same goes for your life. If you want your life to look a certain way, you need to forward plan. You need to have a clear vision and idea of what you want it to look like a year in the future, five years in the future, and then you can work backwards and create your month to month plan.
If you are not sure of what you want, if you know you want something different but you haven’t created the vision for yourself yet, take Sandy’s tip and start writing things down. Write down at least 10 things that inspire you or that you love. Think about if money and time were no object, what would you do? What would your passion project be? Write it down. I’m telling you, the power of writing things down is very real. I resisted writing (I couldn’t tell you why_ but I resisted it for years and what I’ve learned, is that there is a magic to writing down your dreams and goals. No joke, you want to see things start to happen, write them down.
Once you have a nice list, of at least 10, cut that list down to 2.
Out of those 2, decide which bring the most joy? Once you have your topic, look for innovative ways you can work that into your life. Can you write about it, podcast about it, video about it, create a fan group around it, join an existing group around the topic, just bring that joy into your life. There are no limits. And if you have questions about a certain avenue, as Sandy suggests, make youtube your friend – you can learn anything you need on youtube.
Remember, it is never too late to pivot. Never too late to learn something new. Never too late to change our views on the world, to remain open and embrace our limitless capabilities. Never too late to make a massive impact with this one short life we’re given. This is my wish for us all, that we no longer use age as an excuse to hold us back and instead embrace the vibrancy that lives within us allowing our unique light to shine as a beacon to those around us.
Until next time