When I first started working with Jennifer Nini aka Eco Warrior Princess I didn’t really know what to expect. When you live in a small country town like I do, you don’t really expect the unexpected to happen.
I grew up on a coastal town north of where I am now. So when I moved to Gympie, a regional town in Queensland land locked between the Fraser and Sunshine Coasts, my life became glum. I thought everything was old, everything looked kind of boring, and let me just say, country lifestyle with cowboy hats and baggy jeans was NOT my ideal teenage lifestyle.
Honestly, I was lacking so much motivation in life. I mean, how is a 15-year-old ‘beach babe’ supposed to motivate herself in an old country town? Sure the people and the community are down-to-earth but when you're young like I am, you need some style and career inspiration and I sure as hell was not going to take advice from the farmer down the road (no offence to any of the farmers in Gympie).
So when Jen walked into my life let me tell you, it was like a style goddess had somehow took the wrong turn on her way to Hollywood and landed herself here. She's from Melbourne originally so that explains it a bit.
Working with Eco Warrior Princess has legitimately changed my whole perspective on life. It was like learning the ways of a new culture - a culture I hadn't ever witnessed before. It's amusing, interesting, eye-opening and inspiring all at the same time.
Now I don’t just work with for Jen, I learn what makes Jen tick - like why she lives, eats and breathes sustainability, why she goes day-after-day throughout the night non-stop pouring her passion into a blog post or a written piece. She talks so much about the stuff behind the stuff. So I learn about the fashion industry, the beauty industry, the food industry. And I'm also learning not to be fooled by the pretty advertising, the cool branding or the cheap price tag.
I take photos, do social media and generally work on the Eco Warrior Princess website so you can understand that it’s not all that hard for Jen's eco lifestyle to start rubbing off on me and the way I live my life. For instance, my first day working at Eco Warrior Princess was also the first time I had my first ever coffee WITHOUT sugar. I was completely mortified and literally dying inside smiling and nodding and pretending it was all okay, while sipping the tasteless coffee. It was soooo gross but I swallowed my pride and drank it. After a couple of weeks of working in the sugar-free office, sugarless coffee became just a natural part of my routine and I was feeling so much better for it. I don't even think twice about it anymore.
Every day I'm working with Eco Warrior Princess on Eco Warrior Princess, it changes me in little ways that sometimes I don’t even realise to myself until much later. The questions I ask myself when I shop. How I start to ask how something was made, who it was made by. Sometimes I think myself and Georgia the other trainee, are developing into mini-Jens. But I don’t mind following in her footsteps if it means that I will be using my life to make even the slightest improvement on this earth while looking stylish as hell and wearing my beauty products and clothing with pride knowing where they came from. Seriously, why not?
Working at Eco Warrior Princess is more than just my job. It is my inspiration. It is the reason I now eat healthier. It is the reason I understand the meaning of fast fashion. It is the reason I feel motivated again. I don’t even picture what I do as work. I feel like it should be me paying Jen to be a part of something she seems to have spent her whole life creating.
I don’t think there’s anywhere or anyone else in this world that could have taught me all of this at my age. It feels so great to walk into 2017 with a whole new outlook and with my work colleagues and with Jen leading the way into another year to teach me even more. I am hoping this year not only do I learn even more about the fashion industry, but I want to learn exactly how Jen manages her career, because let me tell you, I have never met a woman in my life so formally ambitious and competitive (if you ever play a sport with her, you'll find that out, like we did at our Christmas party at the bowling alley!), but at the same time I have never met anyone so kind and sweet.
Eco Warrior Princess is my role model to become a better person while at the same time trying to do just little things in my capability to make this world a better place.
So helping Jen keep Eco Warrior Princess alive is not something I am paid to do - it's something I really want to do.