Emily Waller is a book blogger, writer and avid reader from Perth, Western Australia. Since launching her bookstagram account in 2017, Emily has worked with a number of authors, publishers and companies to bring to life a vast array of bookish projects. Intrigued by the art of storytelling from a young age, Emily is also a passionate creative writer who spends the majority of her time pretending to listen to you whilst crafting fictional worlds in her head. She is currently working on her debut novel. You can follow Emily’s bookstagram @littlewaller

As a self-professed bookaholic, I was one of these literary fanatics who, upon discovering the community, didn’t think twice about starting an account. In the blink of an eye, I quickly fell for the platform and was blissfully engulfed in a world of whimsical ‘booktography’. Bookstagram became a creative outlet where I could retreat to quieten the hungry cries of my inner bibliophile and I viewed the community as little more than a source of light-hearted entertainment. I never could’ve anticipated my decision to start bookstagramming would lead to the amazing opportunities I’ve been fortunate enough to experience in the few years since creating my account.

In addition to providing an inviting space to share my bookish interests with a likeminded audience, bookstagram also unexpectedly opened many doors that’ve equipped me with some fantastic knowledge, skills and exposure. Firstly, and perhaps most notably, bookstagram has taught me the basics of navigating the marvelous world of book marketing. By means of uploading hundreds of posts to my account, I, overtime, have managed to develop versatile photography, editing and graphic design skills alongside a refined ability to interpret social media analytics and compellingly write for an audience. It is the application of these skills that have allowed me to create engaging content, grow a substantial online following and gain collaboration deals with a number of publishing houses—an incredible privilege through which I’ve been able to liaise with professional marketers and publicists and further my knowledge of the publishing industry.

As an avid writer currently working on my fictional debut, the opportunity to acquire marketing knowledge through bookstagram has been an invaluable asset. In the current publishing landscape, where both self and traditionally published writers have more responsibility than ever to promote their work, and the prospect of securing agent representation can sometimes rest on the size of your platform, both the marketing skills I’ve attained and the devoted audience I’ve garnered on bookstagram are nothing short of a godsend!

Alongside the important marketing skills I’ve learned on bookstagram, the platform has also served as a useful vehicle through which I’ve been able to get my work noticed. After a year and a half of bookstagramming, my account attracted the attention of Los Angeles-based media company, Frolic Media. After being invited to write a guest blog for their website, I found myself signing an author agreement, and I’m now a regular writer and content creator for the company. The opportunity to write for Frolic has been transformational, as its not only encouraged me to regularly practice my craft, but also made it possible to get my work published online and prove to myself that I can earn from my art.

In addition to working with Frolic, bookstagram has also been the portal through which I’ve received a variety of offers to collaborate with a number of other companies and authors. Last year, I was fortunate enough to be approached by both the Sydney and Melbourne writers’ festivals to undertake content creation work. My account also started attracting attention from authors interested in collaborating to create promotional book content, and a quote from a review I wrote was even selected for printing on the front cover of newly released novel! As someone who didn’t undertake a formal artistic education, and instead has a science degree hanging on her wall, being approached to provide my artistic services was the important catalyst I needed to fuel my determination to confidently and unapologetically pursue my creative ambitions—thanks bookstagram!

Alright, so, there you have it. Whilst starting and growing a bookstagram account may not be easy, I’m proud to say I’m living proof that with enough patience, persistence and commitment, establishing a presence in the community really can open doors to a world of opportunity. Within a few years on the platform, I’ve gone from an existence of creative obscurity to finally putting the first smatterings of my work on the map. I’ll be forever grateful that bookstagram has not only made it possible to explore my literary interests with a loyal audience, but also work with some amazing clients, learn a range of useful writing and marketing skills, and, perhaps most importantly, share my art with the big, wide world!

#bookstagram #emilywaller #speakyourmind

Climate activist, Sofia Ratcovich leaves her mark as the founder of the Zero Waste Company. A service where waste is organized, minimized, and recycled for you!

Sofia wastes no time! As we sat at a local cafe, the Hollywood weather reflected what the planet could literally look like if we don't do something about this climate chaos soon. Sofia had already ordered a croissant and tea served on a glass plate and mug. I ordered an iced matcha latte, which was served in a plastic cup with a plastic straw. Whoops! Fortunately, Sofia was forgiving. She knew her purpose was to educate me about how much our daily lifestyle choices, like ordering a cold drink in a plastic cup, can damage the earth.

Sofia's story begins with her first pregnancy. "There were so many things I couldn't do or eat. I started to wonder, what exactly is in our food and our products that limit expecting mothers so much. Cigarettes and alcohol I get, but everything else just shocked me." Since then, Sofia started her own company, Zero Waste Co. She provides a service minimizing waste at special events. "It actually comes down to preparation. If you don't take the time to prepare, then you will likely end up with more actual waste than zero waste." When booking clients, it is important that the client gives her enough time to consult with them on how to host a zero waste event. This gives Sofia the opportunity to make alternative suggestions to use reusable or recyclable materials in lieu of single use or disposable materials.

"If a client gives me enough time to prepare, I help them find the best materials possible that can go directly into recycling or compost. If a client is a last minute client, the chances are they already ordered plastic water bottles, forks, spoons, plates, and whatever else that isn't biodegradable. At that point, all my company can do is just sort through the trash by putting everything in its proper waste bin. If we are given enough time to prepare prior to the client ordering supplies, you could say we could make the whole event zero waste."

After each event, Sofia gives her clients a report illustrating how much total waste was recyclable, how much was compost, and how much was actual trash. "Our goal is to encourage our clients to understand that they are doing a really good thing for our planet. When they see the numbers of how much waste from their event(s) can be diverted from the landfill, it is really rewarding."

Sofia's service applies to more than just clients throwing events. She also consults with individuals on how to live a sustainable lifestyle. As Sofia whipped out her stainless steel straw she said, "I recommend ordering a reusable straw." It turns out there are a variety of reusable straws to carry with you. Some straws even fold up so you can carry them in your pocket or purse. Perfect for the person who isn't a fan of plastic or paper straws.

In 2012, the beginning of Zero Waste Co, Sofia was practically a one woman show. Sofia's company is refreshingly innovative and has now expanded to the level Sofia charges what the job is actually worth. In the beginning, Sofia's kind heart and eagerness to help save the planet, left her to do most of of the heavy lifting with a small support system of friends. "Back then I only wanted to hire women and had only been hiring women, all who were my friends. But as the jobs got exponentially bigger, I realized we needed more muscle and I needed more people to help me. I was also speaking to the fact that I have since discovered, through tons of hard work (literally) that my specific skill set is better suited to take on different and more layered aspects of my consulting business - beyond just sorting trash."

Sofia runs everything! She takes charge of the social media, marketing, consulting, and much more. In 2019, her company has expanded to a point she can hire people to assist her. Sofia clients include greening conferences, music festivals and galas with companies like The Los Angeles Times, Adidas, RedBull, and the United States Green Building Council. "My goal is to make sustainability a realistic goal and a regular part of event operations going forward. With each client, I create a detailed plan that will reduce the negative environmental footprint of any project. Zero waste isn't just about sorting trash, it's about seamlessly implementing more innovative ways of doing things through creative messaging and custom activations. I show my clients how to host events that are more socially and environmentally responsible on every level."

As I sat there drinking out of my plastic cup, I could not help but feel guilty about my daily choices. After all, whether you believe in climate change or not, we all can agree that recycling is a good thing to do. I asked Sofia for some more tips on what else we can do to help make a small difference. "A good thing to do is carry your own take home kit." Sofia pulls out more items from her purse to place her left over croissant and tea in." The glass jar is for my salads and I even carry my own silverware." Bam! Out came the stainless steel the fork, knife and spoon. "Most of the time when people take home leftovers, employees put the take home boxes in plastic bags. I don't understand why because you only need the box, and literally the first thing you do with the bag is throw it away. It's just so wasteful. The proactive thing to do in scenarios like that, is to ask what materials your take home food or drink are served in." If it's plastic (like my matcha latte), then thats when reusable items, like Sofia's, can come in handy.

As I sat there observing all of Sofia's items, I thought about all the little changes I could make to my own lifestyle to follow her example. I have to admit, I'm not one to carry as many items as her, but a good start would be to get my own reusable straw and to go mug for the next time I order an iced matcha latte. I drink coffee nearly every day, so to think of how many cups and straws I have wasted over my entire lifetime is actually embarrassing. For more information email Sofia directly at sofia@zerowasteco.com or follow her on Instagram @zerowasteco or visit www.zerowastco.com

#givingback #zerowaste #zerotohero #sofiaratcovich

When Sara was 15, she wanted to become an entrepreneur. Even though she did not understand how to run many of the businesses she currently owns today, Sara was able to RESEARCH her way into success.

Photography by: Alaa Al Dahabi @aaldahabi

Sara Al Madani is the founder of Rouge Couture Fashion House and the Nature Bisse Middle East Ambassador. In addition Sara is an advocate for women, public speaker, and author. In an interview with Women In Power host, Elena Cardone, Sara states how she likes to be known as the “Lady in Black.”Sara does not see black as a sad color that you wear to a funeral, but as a happy color that you wear to work. "Black is a power color that makes you feel professional and confident, especially for women. Women in Dubai are taking over! Many people are still under the impression that women are still being empowered, when really in Dubai women are IN POWER.” The term “empowered” is not Sara’s favorite because she believes that women do not need to be empowered. From her perspective, women are already strong and they know it. They don't need to be encouraged or supported to make the same choices as men. Men don't need empowerment, so why do women? According to Sara, what every person needs, no matter the gender, is INSPIRATION. People who are inspired follow their dreams no matter the obstacles. They do the research, they take risks, and they don't let failure ruin their inspiration. Sara is a living example of the journey from failure to success. After losing everything, gaining it all back, and continuing to grow her businesses, Sara shares how the art of knowledge truly is power!


A lot of factors to consider for making a profit. A major one is how much you understand marketing. Marketing entails its own research. If you research your competitors, you can get a good idea of how they are marketing their products or services. This should give you a good idea of how you can market yours, but again, you have to be innovative. "Do not copy your competitors way of marketing because your audience will see that you are imitating and not innovating." Take what is already there, and find new ways to build on it so that your business can stand out in a new and interesting way.

Marketing does cost money, so remember to apply what you learned on how to collect the money you already have. You can not just make a product and then charge a ton of money to pay for the cost of marketing it. When it comes to pricing Sara says, "you have to remember that charging a little bit too much might kill your business, or charging too little might kill it". Pricing is tricky because it is understanding how to create a dynamic demand and supply relationship with customers. A myth in business is that if you have to cut costs, then the quality of the product or service should go down as well. But that isn’t necessarily true. The quality of your product or service should never have to suffer if you are being innovative with your cost and price. Again, this all goes back to doing the research. This is also where having a small team or asking people for their ideas can come in handy. They may have new and innovative ideas on how to save and spend. This is called “culture innovation.”

Culture Innovation is used especially when you have reached the level of hiring employees. How you manage your employees creates the work environment or "culture." Innovative employees need be working in an environment where they can trust you as their leader and feel free to be creative. Provide rules or guidelines for employees to follow, but do not micromanage. Rules are great because they keep everyone safe and prevent legal problems, but people need to feel their bosses are approachable enough so they can pitch new ideas. Managers who are open to new ideas will find their employees will be more loyal to them. That is leadership. "I once had people working for me for free for a period of time because they told me how much they loved my leadership style. Had I been a supervisor who oversaw every little detail, I would have no loyalty from my employees." Invoking fear by micromanaging is not healthy for your business. You need an environment where your employees are happy so they are motivated to help your business grow.


"There is no such thing as life, work, balance. Every person creates their balance based on their comfort, happiness, and priorities." In other words, time management is the ability to prioritize how the person is feeling on a daily basis. For example, if you wake up and are feeling absolutely exhausted from working endlessly the day before, then your priority should be getting rest for your mental health and comfort. Everyone needs rest and if you do not rest, your other priorities will suffer.

Most people try to manage their time by writing things they have to do in a planner or calender. Time management, however, isn’t always a by the hour schedule. Although it may work for some people, for others, time management is more of a feeling.

Life happens when you're busy making other plans. It is important to recognize when one part of your life needs more time. If you haven’t seen your friends in a week, make time to grab lunch. If you feel you have taken too much time off, then it is time to get back to work. Understand that life is not just about work, it is also about relationships with other people and most importantly yourself. So if you feel an area is lacking in your life, then trust that feeling and give your time to it as best you can.

Sara also talks about multitasking, where she fits time in with her family and work. "I was a single mom with eight businesses and writing a book. People used to question why I would bring my son with me to work, as if I wasn’t giving him the time other parents thought he needed. I honestly feel like it is good thing for my son to see how hard his mother works and to see that she is pursuing her dreams. Hopefully, one day he can understand working is a part of life and if his mom can pursue her dreams, so can he. It is a constructive environment for him to be in because I get to teach him and he’s developing healthy social skills. The society we live in today, there are too many parents (mostly stay at home parents) who give 90% of their time to their kids, but during that time the parents and the kids are on their phones, computers, watching television etc. So as a result, these parents are not actually spending real time with their kids." Sara makes a valid point that younger generations are missing out on what it looks like to work. It is so important that parents lead by example so the next generation doesn’t live in a fantasy world, where they don’t understand following your dreams requires being innovative and working hard.


"Remember fear is just a state of mind and it doesn’t actually exist." Fear stops us from unlocking our potential. Many think they can skip the step of failure, but the most successful people know they can not.

There is a really great experiment. Put an ant on a piece of paper, and then take a marker and draw a circle around the ant. The ant will stay in that circle because it is afraid to cross over the line. That is what fear is. It is just an idea that you can’t or shouldn’t. If the ant does cross over the line, it will learn it had nothing to be afraid of the whole time.

Many people are afraid of failure. Just remember, there are a million excuses to do nothing. Then there are those who are actually more afraid of success. Success means more responsibility. This is because after succeeding, the next big question is "What is the next step?" Have I failed enough to understand how to handle the unknown? It can be overwhelming both ways.

At the end of the day, if you want to accomplish a dream, you have to make a decision. Do not be afraid to make the wrong decision because even the wrong decision is better than making NO decision. If you do not decide anything, then you do not make any progress. Remember that the best decision you can possibly make is an informed one. An informed decision starts with inspiration, research, and innovation. That is the art of knowledge.

#saraalmadani #onthecover #theartofknowledge #lifeisartmagazine


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