Annah Stretton is a woman of MANY talents; she runs a highly successful fashion business empire that she built from scratch; she’s written three books and has a regularly-updated blog; in 2008 she was awarded an Order of Merit for Services to Business, Fashion and the Community; she was Verve Clicquot’s Business Woman of the Year in 2009 – the list goes on and on! (To learn more, you can read Annah’s impressive CV here.)
Annah’s life motto is “Live and Love Fearlessly.” Fabulous.
Annah is also a philanthropist and is involved with many trusts and charities, in particular the True Colours Charitable Trust, Waikato Breast Cancer Trust and Waikato Women’s Refuge. In 2014, she introduced RAW (Reclaim Another Woman) – a mentoring service for female victims of abuse – visit the website.
Anyway … on to the questions!
In 10 words or less, what are you most proud of?
My leadership, creativity, longevity in business and strong philanthropic contribution.
What habits would you say make you successful at what you do?
♥ The discipline I bring to each and every day.
♥ The timeliness in which I get things done.
♥ My ability to prioritise.
♥ Never sweating the small stuff.
♥ Always believing in myself – focusing on what I CAN do and not what I can’t.
♥ Never running from the challenges and always being prepared to have the tough conversations.
♥ Leading with a calm, considered but focused approach.
♥ Less is more – keep the conversation short and get on with getting things done.
What do you do for yourself that helps keep you going?
I invest in my relationship, my children and my extended family, they are the people I love and enjoy being with more than anyone else, so I ensure that my life ( albeit busy ) is never too busy to include large dollops of them.
Paying it forward … the philanthropy I’m actively involved in adds the balance to my life; my new initiative, RAW (www.raw.org.nz) will enable me to make huge inroads and to change the outcomes for a disadvantaged demographic of young Maori women. This is the stuff that ensures I get up each day, knowing I will leave a very real legacy to women in this country that will be far bigger than the frocks.
I never let any of the bad stuff define me – when the going gets tough, a great night sleep does wonders for me. I have a huge focus on my health; from the food I eat, my body weight and my exercise regime – they are daily considerations for me. If I don’t have my health, I don’t have this life that I love.
Know that as long as you love what you do, it’s not work. This is my passion and I can never be great at anything I don’t love.
What’s the first name that pops into your head when I ask who inspires you?
Sir William Gallagher
I have a a huge respect for this man, who remains incredibly humble in his contribution to his external environment; a business superstar and a serial philanthropist across so many platforms, yet he remains likeable and approachable to all.
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