Celebrating International Women's Day 2024: Count Her In

Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress.

March 8th marks International Women's Day, a globally recognized day dedicated to celebrating the multifaceted achievements of women in society, from social and economic spheres to cultural and political domains. At OnceWas, we hold a deep reverence for this year's theme, 'Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress.' 

As an Australian, female-owned small business, we intimately understand the significance of inclusion and investment in women's advancement. We reflect on our own journey, where the support and dedication of others propelled us to establish OnceWas and our mission of creating clothing that makes women feel confident, comfortable and good about themselves. 
This theme underscores the vital importance of fostering inclusivity and investing in women across various sectors, driving forward progress and empowerment for all. In honour of International Women's Day, we had the privilege of sitting down with three remarkable women who are making waves in their respective fields. 
Model, Business owner & Advocate for body positivity, Terri-Leigh Jacobs.
TV presenter & Ambassador for the Ronald McDonald House, Elly Wicks.
Singer, songwriter & philanthropist, Ren Barlow.
Terri-Lee shared some inspirational advice for young girls & women accepting their own unique beauty when we ask her if she had any pivotal moments that have defined her career.
"In the modelling industry, I always tried to be what I thought I needed to be. I tried to be a size 8. I tried straightening my hair. I tried to hide my natural eye colour. The moment that everything changed for me was the moment that I embraced my natural curve, my natural curls and colour. This was when I started to embody true self-love and acceptance; the moment that I did that, everything changed in my career and now I’ve reached new heights that I never thought was possible!" TLJ
When discussing  pivotal moments & hardship in career progression, Elly discussed the break in her career during Covid.
"When I got the call up to move to Canberra, it was the biggest gig I had received in TV at the beginning of my career. I did want to go, it was really exciting! But the thought of leaving all my friends and family behind, and moving to a place where I had no support network was daunting. Also to do my job as a weather presenter, I didn’t know anything about synoptic charts and all the rest of it. TV is totally sink or swim, so I hoped I could swim! This period of my life set up my career. I ended up doing 3 and a half years including throughout Covid lockdowns. If you go through challenges and jump into the deep end, it only gets easier." EW
Ren & Elly shared inspiring words of wisdom to help overcome hardship when building your career.
"Once you’ve developed a purpose & you know what you’re driving for, that helps break down barriers when you have things thrown at you. Resilience comes from getting up in the morning, getting out, and doing it again. When you get knocked out or pushed down, it’s hard, but you just have to keep moving forward. I think that's really important - hard, but important. If you don’t believe in yourself, if you don’t believe in others, if you don’t believe in your purpose or what you are driven for it makes it a bit harder so once you actually define what your purpose is, I think you really thrive and keep moving forward." RB

"Persistence is so important. I could have given up many years ago (trust me, there were many moments I felt like this) but I wouldn't be where I am today. It’s so hard but so important. The knockbacks in TV and media are huge. I could send 10 emails and get 9 no's. After a while when you keep hearing no, it’s hard to stay positive. You have to be resilient & believe in yourself. It helps to have others that believe in you. My resilience came from hard jobs and constant rejection. The people around me were crucial to my success and to keep me going." EW
Ren is wearing the Pisces Wool Blend Coat in Fawn, Altair Cotton Silk Top in Aries Floral (coming soon) & Tallitha Leather Elastic Cuff Pant in Scarlet (coming soon).

Terri-Leigh is wearing the Atlas Linen Viscose Contrast Bind Pleat Sleeve Dress in Aries Floral (coming soon).

Terri-Leigh, Ren & Elly shared the best advise they received to help grow their career.
“Something that really stuck with me is when I was simply given the permission to be myself, to accept my natural size, and that I think is probably the thing that changed everything for me. The advice that I have is that you don’t need to wait for permission, you can give yourself permission to go after your goals and to embrace your natural beauty - to love yourself just the way that you are because you are perfect just as you are. You’re capable of everything you dream of because that’s why you dream it.” TLJ

"The best advice given to me was when you think you know everything, you don’t. It’s really important to keep going out, learning, and being the best you can be - but also consistently looking at different areas in things that you don’t know so you can learn and educate yourself." RB
“Don’t wait”. I used to say a lot, “I’ll wait until I have this”, “I’ll wait until I can do this” or “I’ll wait…”. Maybe a lot of women and men do it as well - we think we are not perfect or the best, so I’ll just... wait. One day my mentor said to me “what are you waiting for?”. I sat there and didn’t know what to say. I’m waiting to be perfectly skilled at presenting and writing, but that happens when time goes on and I practise those skills. When he said, “Don’t wait, call them now, e-mail them now or go speak to them now.” I didn’t think it was that easy! And I have taken that advice with me throughout my entire career and I don’t wait. Why wait, what have I got to lose?” EW

Left to right: Elly is wearing the Atlas Cotton Silk Shirt in Zodiac Print & Nova Merino Wool Knit Skirt in Ink/Storm, Terri-Leigh is wearing the Nova Linen Viscose Dress in Ink, Ren is wearing the Astra Cotton Silk Dress in Zodiac Print.

Elly discussed how she manages a career in the spotlight & what she does when she doesn’t feel her best self.

"Fake it until you make it”. I read somewhere recently a celebrity that hated this saying. I laughed because I live for this saying! You are who you are, you have rough days and challenging days, and sometimes you just have to put a smile on. But I believe it’s those days, the ones I show up to the lunch with friends, that huge meeting or the biggest show I have presented, that are the best lunches, meetings or shows because if that is your purpose, there is no better feeling.” EW
In our ongoing commitment to inclusivity and diversity, we're proud that in the past 6 months, we have extended our size offering by two sizes! We believe that every woman deserves to feel confident and beautiful in her own skin, regardless of her size. By expanding our size range, we're ensuring that women of all shapes and sizes can find the perfect fit and style that empowers them to shine.
We are committed to supporting and uplifting women in every aspect of our business. From our inclusive designs to our diverse team, we strive to create a platform where all women feel seen, heard, and valued. Through initiatives like our collaboration with i=change, we aim to contribute to the advancement of women in our community.
This International Women's Day, let's come together to celebrate the achievements of women past, present, and future. Whether it's through mentorship, advocacy, or simply uplifting each other, let's commit to investing in women and accelerating progress for generations to come. To celebrate this momentous day we are proudly increasing our donation to $3 from every sale to i=change. After completing your purchase you will be asked which life-changing charity you would like to donate $3 of that sale towards. With 100% transparency, you can track exactly how much we have raised for each cause and you can even see your donation coming through in real time here.
As we celebrate International Women's Day, let's remember to count her at every table, in every conversation, and in every opportunity. Together, we can create a more inclusive and equitable world for all.

Belinda & the team at OnceWas x

Left to right: Elly is wearing the Vega Linen Viscose Contrast Bind Maxi Dress in Aries Floral (coming soon) & the Altair Faux Fur Cropped Knitted Bomber in Scarlet, Ren is wearing the Pisces Wool Blend Coat in Fawn, Altair Cotton Silk Top in Aries Floral (coming soon) & Tallitha Leather Elastic Cuff Pant in Scarlet (coming soon), Terri-Leigh is wearing the Atlas Linen Viscose Contrast Bind Pleat Sleeve Dress in Aries Floral (coming soon).

Elly is wearing the Vega Linen Viscose Contrast Bind Maxi Dress in Aries Floral (coming soon) & the Altair Faux Fur Cropped Knitted Bomber in Scarlet (coming soon).

Elly is wearing the Venus Ponte Blazer in Oatmeal Check, Florence Cupro Viscose Shirt in Galaxy Print & Getty Ponte Pant in Oatmeal Check.

#OnceWas #InternationalWomensDay2024 #IWD24