Womaneer: Meet the Creative Who Continues to Innovate and Grow

Introducing:В Womaneer, our new series that highlights and celebrates the oft-overlooked women of our day who are making waves in the fields of politics, crypto-currency, not-for-profit, and design. Each of these women have something in common: vision, grit, and a heavy dose of persistence that keeps them going despite the odds.

These women are proof that the gender gap is closing… that is, if you fight for it. With some guts, you can become the next pioneering voice in your field-a womaneer. Last week, we heard from Rebecca Yazbeck of NOMAD. Now, meet the next Womaneer in our series, serial entrepreneur Hayley Bonham, the founder of La Porte Space, Bonél PR and Maison D'Amore. It's also worth noting that Bonham has also just been nominated as a finalist for the prestigious 2018 Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award. Read on, to learn about how Bonham is making a difference in the creative industry, and some of the obstacles she has faced along the way.

В My career started 11 years ago working in international sales for for a fashion house, then moving into various roles in PR and styling, before launching my PR agency, BonГ©l PR in 2012.

Starting the agency allowed me the opportunities to work with some of Australia's leading fashion and lifestyle brands as well as a number of well recognised international brands. Through frequent travels to Paris and London for work, I realised there was a gap in the Australian market for inspiring and beautiful working spaces that ticked the boxes from a functional and luxury perspective. My partner Rory Elsom and I decided to take a massive gamble and launched our first La Porte Space in 2015 and La Porte Deux 2017.

IВ didn'tВ studyВ fashion, but I did take up a fashion businessВ courseВ atВ FBI Fashion College beforeВ taking my first fashion job. Most of my experience and knowledge has come from work experience and learning from amazing mentors and brands that I have worked for over the years.

I feel veryВ fortunate to have the opportunity to style,В creativelyВ direct and provide strategy for all of the businesses I own. My roles haveВ definitelyВ evolved over theВ years, as IВ started solo with no assistance or team in placeВ for support.

As my reputation grew and moreВ clients joined my agency orВ employed meВ creatively, I was able toВ employ a great team to support the growth. I now have an incredible team ofВ like-minded women and men that allow me to focus on theВ growth andВ evolution of myВ businesses.

I'veВ definitelyВ facedВ challenges over the years. As aВ start-up andВ young entrepreneur you need to workВ extremelyВ hard to create a greatВ reputation and garnerВ belief and respect from yourВ peers.В

LaunchingВ La Porte was a greatВ challenge as myВ partner and I did notВ employ designers,В architects or take on anyВ externalВ help, asВ resourcesВ didn't allow. We workedВ tirelessly to create a vision that we had dreamed of for years and it paid off, but it didn't come without the ups and downs.В

I'm very instinctual, and IВ don'tВ hesitate when it comes toВ making businessВ decisions. If you start doubting yourself and your ideas, it will have a negative effect on how you move forward. I try toВ remain veryВ positive andВ surround myself withВ positive andВ like-minded people inВ business and life.В

I think theВ biggestВ obstacle isВ authenticity and creating a real andВ unique voice and anВ honest platform to showcase your business or ideas to the world. I thinkВ a lot of youngВ women look at Instagram and social media and feel like they need to be at a certainВ placeВ beforeВ establishing themselves andВ gainingВ the right experience. Take your time, learn and listen and this will create a long and greatВ career for you.В

Multi-taskingВ andВ innovation, as well as managing multiple teams.В

My business partner is male and we treat each other and our teamsВ with equal respect and create equal opportunities. IВ have beenВ lucky toВ avoid gender bias during myВ careerВ so far.В

MyВ partner and I workВ together, soВ a lot of our conversations areВ workВ related. I try to meditate daily, exercise and ensure that I have time for family and friends. If I don't allow myself time to step away, it can affect my motivation andВ performance on the job.

I'm aВ veryВ visual person, I like to createВ mood boards for my goals. As much asВ I'm creative andВ visual, I like to beВ organised and set daily, weekly monthly and big-picture goals that I canВ tick off.В

I will beВ launchingВ the first phase of my boutique luxury wellnessВ hotel, Maison La Porte, along with theВ hotel will be some exciting projects that will extend intoВ wellness and other extraordinary experiences.В