My Itinerary

International Women's Day: Celebrating Launnie women in business

First: a little history

March 8 marks International Women's Day, a day steeped in fascinating history with roots in global women's worker movements. This celebration of women and all that they do in our communities has existed since the early 1900s - a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

Though the concept of a women's day is generally agreed to have first been observed in 1907 in the US, International Women's Day as we know it now began in Copenhagen in 1910. An International Conference of Working Women was held, and a woman named Clara Zetkin tabled the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country, there should be a celebration on the same day to advocate for women's rights and needs, and that every woman should be recognized for their achievements without division; regardless of nationality, ethnicity, language, culture, or political or economic standing. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries - representing unions, socialist parties, and working women's clubs - greeted Zetkin's suggestion with unanimous approval, and International Women's Day was born.

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Suffragettes march for International Women's Day in New York, 1921. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Following the Copenhagen conference in 1911, International Women's Day was honoured for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March, 1911. More than one million women and men attended rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, hold public office, and to end gender-based discrimination.

International Women's Day was marked for a first time by the United Nations in 1975. In December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by member states, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.

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International Women's Day march in Melbourne, March 8 1975. Image courtesy of the National Library of Australia.

Today, International Women's Day is an official holiday in many countries, including (but not limited to) Afghanistan, Armenia, Belarus, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Guinea-Bissau, Kazakhstan, Laos, Madagascar, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal, Russia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition frequently sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends and colleagues with flowers and small gifts. In some countries, International Women's Day has the equivalent status of Mother's Day, where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.


Here in little old Launceston, we'd like to take this time to celebrate some of our amazing female owned and led businesses by asking them about their journeys, and what they love in Launnie. Read on to learn about some passionate local women, what inspires them, and some things you may not have known about their ventures.

Avenue Records: Wizz

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Wizz and co-owner Sam Stoffelen rummage through records in their store. Image courtesy of The Examiner.

Who is an inspirational woman in your life?

Working within music, I am surrounded by women who have had to overcome the challenges of working in a male dominated industry. They’ve helped create a space that allows women to express themselves comfortably and creatively, and connect through shared experience - an inspiring feat.

What is your favourite business in Launnie?

How could I pick just one? Wildly Abigail, Tassie Twos Vintage, The Royal Oak, Golden Brown, Kenzo’s Bakery, Sweet Wheat Bakery, Rhubarb, Fran’s Bags & Sabceramics (Slow Craft Market). Each has a woman at the helm of the business, and is beaming with fun, thoughtful products and service.

What's something you'd love people to know about your business?

Avenue Records is for anyone who enjoys music to any extent. We’re an inclusive space for people to discover and share music. We love what we do and are here to have fun!

📍 Visit Wizz at Avenue Records - 70B Brisbane Street, Launceston

Hope & Me: Lindi

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Lindi and her daughter Chelsea out the front of their Quadrant Mall store. Image sourced from Hope & Me on Facebook.

Who is an inspirational woman in your life?

There have been many inspiring females throughout my life, my nan, my mum, teachers, friends, colleagues and even complete strangers. I'm inspired by their stories, work ethic, business acumen, resilience, community connections, strength, empathy and zest for life. Engaging and surrounding myself with women from all walks of life who possess the attributes I've mentioned above has helped shape who I've become, I've strived to achieve the same attributes in the hope I might inspire others like they have done for me.

What is your favourite business in Launnie?

Oooh this is a hard one because we have so many great businesses and it's impossible to single out just one! I love to support our local businesses and experiences whenever and however I can. [I also] love that we have so many locally owned and operated businesses providing great products, service and local employment. I probably should mention Alberto's on George Street for keeping me caffeinated and fed most week days!

What's something you'd love people to know about your business?

Hope & Me features a curated collection of Australian and New Zealand brands big and small alike. Our collection ranges from homewares, gifts, baby and lifestyle products carefully selected by mother and daughter duo, Lindi and Chelsea. Every brand is personally loved by both of us and offers you a one stop shop when it comes to buying for yourself or gifting for others. We love Launnie and its people, we love the friendships we've made over the 14 years of Hope & Me, and welcome you to visit our small family boutique business!

📍 Visit Lindi at Hope & Me - 18 Quadrant Mall, Launceston

M&B Bar: Mandy

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A shot of the interior of M&B Bar. Image sourced from M&B Cafe & Smoothie Bar on Facebook.

Who is an inspirational woman in your life?

My mum is the inspirational woman in my life. She always tells me, “there is no free lunch”, “no pains no gains”, “can’t fill water with a full cup” and so on - but she is not just telling me, she's being a model to show me how and making sure I keep it in mind.

What is your favourite business in Launnie?

My favourite business… It isn’t exactly a business, but Harvest Market is always my thing! It brings the community together and showcases to the whole world all the beautiful local produce we have here.

What's something you'd love people to know about your business?

Food is a very important element to both our physical and mental health. We source fresh and nutritious ingredients to put on our menu. Our popular smoothies are made of fresh fruits/veggies, superfoods and protein to support everyone’s daily needs. We also serve house made sweet treats to cheer people up, without worrying about anything artificial being added.

📍 Visit Mandy at M&B Bar - 59 George Street, Launceston

EP Gallery: Eleonora

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Eleonora Pulcini sits in her gallery with some of her works. Image sourced from Eleonora's Oil Paintings on Facebook.

Who is an inspirational woman in your life?

I've always been captivated by Marina Abramovich, an influential female presence in the art realm. Her artistic pursuits delve into the interplay between performer and spectators, the limits of the human body, and the limitless potential of the mind. She revolutionised the concept of identity by involving onlookers in her creations. Her performances encourage audiences to actively participate, confront their own emotions, and question their role in the artistic encounter. The motto displayed outside my gallery is "I am not a painting; I am an experience." I firmly believe that art devoid of public engagement holds no value whatsoever.

What is your favourite business in Launnie?

I have a deep admiration for Business Networking Advantage Australia (BNAA), an esteemed organisation in Launceston that offers an exceptional platform for fostering business connections. As a proud member of this group, I am truly grateful for the sense of community and support it provides. Our group's strength lies in its diversity, and regardless of our gender, we all have equal opportunities to thrive.

What's something you'd love people to know about your business?

I'm a professional oil painting artist, and in my career I've sold over one thousand paintings and exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. But the story of EP is the story of a little girl who had no possibility to pursue her dreams; it is the story of a girl like many others who grew up amidst the difficulties that life presents, at the recurring crossroads of many difficult choices to make. EP in ten years wants to be the name of a woman, who does not represent just an artist, but the tangible proof that each of us, with dedication and commitment, can elevate our existence, transforming our dreams into reality.

📍 Visit Eleonora at EP Gallery - 33 Quadrant Mall, Launceston

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