SELF CARE SERIES ep#3 : Rural Women's Day, sustainability, small business support and skincare with Jackie Elliott

Mar 07 , 2021

Lel Banks

SELF CARE SERIES ep#3 : Rural Women's Day, sustainability, small business support and skincare with Jackie Elliott

We have the pleasure of knowing and meeting many people within the wellness space through elly b, and wanted to share some of the stories of these talented and inspiring women on this platform.  And what better time than now.  Thanks to the events of the last year, we have seen it become so important to take care of yourself, and to understand more about what makes your body, mind and soul happy.  We hope you enjoy x 

Our third discussion is with Jackie, the brains behind @ruralwomensday, "a community for rural and regional women to connect, collaborate and celebrate".   With COVID restricting so many events and isolating an already isolated community in 2020, Jackie and a team of similarly amazing women produced the first Rural Women's Day magazine to celebrate the International Day of Rural Women in a new way (Lel even got a little feature!).

We 'met' Jackie through Instagram, and she is a wonderful advocate for elly b and other Australian small businesses.  We trade tips on eco-friendly brands and gardening (more Lel, I am not a green thumb at all - Claire).


Where are you from, where do you live currently?

I grew up on the land in central Victoria, my siblings and I were fifth generation on the families beef and sheep properties. At the age of 16, I headed north to Emerald Queensland and attended Ag College. In 2010 moved to South West Victoria and met my amazing partner Dan.

Dan and I now live in Byaduk, a little town between the coast and the Grampians National Park. We have a collection of pets that continues to grow, as I am writing this, today we hatched another 5 Guinea Fowl keets, totalling 22. I am so fortunate to have an amazing established garden and my parent's farm a couple of km down the road where I can spend time with my dad working sheep and cattle. 

What do you do?

For the past ten years I have worked in animal health and farm supplies stores.  Last year I joined the Sales team, working remotely from home with Farm Tender.  I speak with farmers across Australia, assisting them with sales and acquiring farm machinery.

I am also the founder of Rural Women's Day, a nonprofit enterprise that celebrates rural women. I organise an annual event (or project) to share inspiring stories of rural women and also manage @ruralwomensday

What do you love most about what you do?

Rural Women's Day is a project I am passionate about, that truly gives me purpose and a community I can connect with. 

What do you find most challenging about what you do?

Working from home is amazing, although it can be isolating.  When I started my new role with Farm Tender the first lockdown in Victoria began.  I found it really difficult being home 24/7 with the only outing being the supermarket.  Working from home provides so much flexibility though, and the Farm Tender team is extremely inclusive of all staff members.  I find that having the Instagram community through Rural Women's Day keeps me connected.


Why is self-care generally important to you?

A few years ago, I struggled with anxiety. Once I learnt valuable skills to understand triggers that affected my mental health, I have been able to understand what kind of self care I need to function everyday.

What are your favourite types of self-care and why?

Finding a purpose. For me that purpose is Rural Women's Day.  It is a way for me to connect with a supportive community. I also love cooking a home grown roast with all the trimmings and enjoying it with family around the table. 


Do you get enough 'me time' (can be honest 😄)?

I would appreciate having more time at home, to really enjoy just being home - without work, cooking, cleaning, gardening or taking care of animals.

What would you do more of if you had the time?

Travel. If I had more time to get on the road regularly and travel, visit friends around Australia, and see amazing parts of Australia.

Do you like to use natural products, and why?

I love to use natural products where I can, especially in the home like cleaning products. I have found for personal care not all natural products suit my skin.

Do you like to use sustainable/eco-friendly products, and why?

Wherever I can change to using more sustainable products I do, like using "zero bottle" shampoo and conditioner from Ethique NZ. If developers are putting in the time, effort and expense into being environmentally friendly, we should be considering using the products available to us.


And of course, what is your skin type?

Dry. Sensitive. Prone to eczema and breakouts.

What are your favourite types of skincare product?

After many years of using products unsuccessfully, last year I was recommended by a friend to check out Elly B.  Elly B's product range that has really changed my skincare routine.  Now I actually enjoy doing a daily routine.  Using a daily cleanser, and face exfoliator a couple times a week, has given me skin to feel confident in.  The Elly B Dream Cream has changed the way I feel about face moisturisers, it gets me through the day, working inside on the computer to spending the afternoon outside.


Do you prefer your skincare routine to be simple, or do you like to experiment?

Keep it simple. The less products required the better. The less time consuming the better.

What do you love about skincare, what do you look for?

Finding a skincare product that is easy to apply in the comfort of home is really important.

What do you dislike about skincare?

After many specialist appointments for my skin and being told what I should be using, with most products labeled "sensitivity skin friendly/dermatologically tested", these products are still not a one size fits all. The big name brands (that I prefer not to mention, recommended by specialists), caused so much pain for my skin and set back. 

What are some of your favourite Australian Made brands/small businesses?

If I could have any art piece in my home I would certainly choose Colleen Southwell (@thegardencurator). I got to visit Colleen's garden studio and was completely blown away by the most beautiful creations I have ever seen.  There are so many small businesses out there that are deserving of our support and to help you find them, check out The Small Business Community (@the_smallbusiness_community) by Tori Packer. 


What was one of your best achievements/wins for the crazy year that has been 2020?

When our annual Rural Women's Day event was cancelled, instead of missing the year to celebrate rural women, with the support of an editor, Rural Women's Day published a keepsake magazine sharing 20+ rural women's stories from across Australia and New Zealand.

And finally, what is one of your wishes/goals/resolutions for 2021?

There are so many goals and wishes to complete this year, especially the things that were cancelled last year.  Hosting Rural Women's Day in October, spending time visiting family interstate and travelling back to Ayers Rock for a few days of relaxation. However, when the end of this year gets here, I just hope all of my family can come together and reflect on what we have achieved while navigating the pandemic.


Gorgeous photo of Jackie by Emma Leonard @littlewildlovephotography