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The Gracious, Gorgeous and Giving Carly Crutchfield

October 11th, 2010

Carly Crutchfield is one remarkable person. At the age of 20, she had already done more then what many of us would do in our entire lives. She bought and sold companies, traveled the world and get her self on the track to being one very successful millionaire.

Because of her choices in life and her vaule for life itself, she decided it was time to give back. Recently starring on channel 9‘s The Secret Millionaire, Carly gave away a small fortune to people she didn’t even know, but needed al the help they could get. Watching Carly was truly inspirational and she proves that you can achieve what you want in life.

A beautiful, caring women, a natural on the small screen and an inspiration to many  this is Carly Crutchfield and all the things about her fabulous life…

Carly on Life

What projects are you currently working on or have in the near future?

In terms of development we currently have $250 million in projects under way throughout Australia. We have a new charity initiative, www.secretgiftangels.com.au which we are very passionate about.

We are committed to increasing the level of property and financial education amongst Australians and we are about to launch a new free training program PROPERTY UNIVERSITY, which is very exciting.

Tell us more about your successful company, CCORP…

CCORP was borne out of the fact that I loved what I was doing, but hated doing it alone. I wanted to be a property developer but on a bigger level and with a group behind me.

Our company culture is very unique, its high energy, fast paced and we believe nothing is impossible. We work very hard and we play pretty hard to.

We are Australia’s largest property development education company and one of the fastest growing development groups in Australia.

CCORP also has a property investment division and finance division. We spend a lot of time ensuring our clients are educated. A lot of people are making investment decisions without truly understanding what they are deciding upon. I have seen a lot of self inflicted poverty in Australia – people getting themselves into massive debt and financial pressure because they do not understand money, investments and property. This is something people need to be educated on. The more our clients know, the easier it is to help them achieve their financial goals.

You were recently on The Secret Millionaire, tell us more about this experience and how this experience affected you and your life…

It was such a priviledge to be involved and I loved it! It was a completely unique experience. Although I have done a lot of charity and volunteer work before, this was so different. I was taken out of my comfort zone, as my phone, money, computer etc were confiscated and for that time it was solely about confronting an area, its problems, families, groups and thinking about how I could help.

I was inspired by the resilience and positivity of the people I met. Since the show I have been overwhelmed by the feedback. I have received thousands of emails, letters and messages. I have also received many requests for help, money and jobs. This has made it even more real to me that there are a lot of people out there who need help. It has motivated me to take my life, business and foundation to a whole new level and start making headway in solving some issues in Australia and the world at large.

What advice would you give someone if they were thinking of a career in your industry?

It’s hard work. You need to believe in yourself, have persistence and thick skin. You need to be willing to handle risk and experience the highs and the lows. But if you can, it is incredibly rewarding, exciting and fruitful.

If you want to give property development a try, you need to educate yourself. The more you know, the easier it is and the more money you make. The less you know, the more money you are likely to loose. To start learning about property development, come to one of my workshops or order my free DVD. Visit www.ccorp.com.au or call 02 9371 4799.

Is there a charity/cause that is close to you and if so, why?

In terms of a charity organization I would have to say my own foundation, CFOUNDATION. In terms of a cause, there are so many situations in the world that need attention and help. One area I am very passionate about is Human Rights, or the lack of human rights that exists.

How do you maintain a life balance between work and home?

I might spend a week working 20 hour days and then I’ll take a week off and either travel or relax at home and just do an hour or two of work a day. I schedule in holidays and book flights so nothing else can sneak into the schedule.

My Mother/Father always told me…

Work hard and believe in yourself.

Greatest lesson learnt?

Don’t regret anything. It’s a waste of time and a waste of a learning experience. You can create anything you want to tomorrow as long as you’re not looking back on how you should have done things yesterday.

What is one quality you have, that you hope your children will get and carry through life?

Persistence. I don’t take no for answer, I think impossible is nothing and I don’t give up. You can get through anything and create phenomenal results with that mindset.

Carly on Fashion

What is a fashion trend you hope will never resurface?

Nothing really, bring it all back! It’s hilarious to watch life regurgitated with a new point of view. Who would have thought we would be wearing shoulder pads again!

Your thoughts on Australian fashion in comparison to International fashion?

I think there is a more relaxed and whimsical vibe to Australian fashion, which suits our lifestyle. International fashion tends to be heavier and harder edged.

Which celebrity wardrobe would you love to raid and why?

Victoria Beckham would have an incredible wardrobe, but again very hard edged – I’d say her bag collection would be phenomenal (although mostly Hermes). Fergie would have a great cross selection and more rocky edge and I hear her shoe closet is amazing.

What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessory?

At the moment I am obsessed with Chanel earrings, I have about 35 pairs. Clothing wise, a dress I bought from Mackenzie Mode, which is perfectly tailored for my body.

Carly on her Home

What is your one design rule you like to stick to around the home?

Keep it unique, create interesting spaces and focal points. Mix items, textures and colors – don’t try and match everything. I’m not a fan of catalogue houses that look like everything was bought in the one store straight off the floor display. A home should show personality, stories and memories.

Do you have one feature in your home you love most?

I have a wall full of sepia photos all in white frames. There are about 60 frames in varying sizes containing pictures of my friends, family and favourite memories. I created the wall about 2 years ago and it’s got a great energy while also being architecturally beautiful.

Who or what influences you most in home décor?

The beach would be my biggest influence in my home and second to that art. I tend to pick a painting for a room and decorate around that. The art has center stage in my home, and so it should. Art’s a powerful thing.

Carly on Food and Drinks

Which foods and drinks most excite your taste buds?

I am obsessed with soda water and I love a good glass of French champagne. My wine of the moment is pretty much any Italian Pinot Grigio.

Food, all of it – my personal trainer knows I like food! I had a Wagyu steak in Melbourne recently which was incredible.

How often do you eat out and cook at home?

I travel a lot, which means eating out a lot. If I am home, I eat in about half the time and out half the time.

Though at the moment I am on a full on detox. So I get all my meals prepared for the day.

Signature dish?

I rival anyone to out cook me Mexican-fiesta style! My roast isn’t too bad either.

Carly on Lifestyle

Where is your favourite place to relax in Sydney?

At my home, or the beach.

What car do you drive, best thing about the car and why you bought it?

I have a few cars, but I usually only ever drive my Range Rover Sport. I bought it because it’s big and I can get lots in it! It’s also a really smooth drive. I also have a Prius but interestingly enough the Range Rover is more carbon efficient.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Art. I take a lot of pride in my collection and look forward to growing it. I think art is a powerful thing. It can completely change the vibe of a room. The art in my home is very relaxed. The art in my office is very contemporary and pop. You walk into our offices and feel an intense energy – a lot of that is from the people, but they bounce off and are inspired by the art.

Where would be your ultimate holiday destination?

I am dying to go to Africa and do a full Safari. I am heading to Venice with my boyfriend for New Years which I am really excited about.

The one thing I can’t leave home without is…

My phone and laptop. I get nervous thinking about it.

What frustrates you most about Sydney?

It’s all good. The frustrating things give Sydney siders something to talk about.

Favourite beach in Sydney and why?

Bronte for breakfast, Camp Cove for family vibe, Coogee rockpool for my dogs, and a secret eastern suburbs hideaway I cant tell you about is my favourite for a day of sunbathing, swimming and reading.

If you could be a fly on the wall of any celebrity home, who’s wall would you like to sit on?

Bono. The way he has “used his power for good” is pretty incredible.

Three pet hates?

1. Being limited to “5 or less” items when going into fitting rooms in stores. I only want to make one trip to the fitting room.

2. The loop strings sewn into the shoulders of women’s dresses, clothes etc. So annoying.

3. People smoking at the exits of buildings so when you walk outside of the building you walk straight into 30 cigarettes being smoked.

Faye De Lanty And Her Love Chile

April 6th, 2010

As a youngster, I grew up watching a few different shows like Heartbreak High, Hey Dad! and Home and Away. I also watched a show called Totally Wild, which started off the successful career of the very talented Faye De Lanty.

The gorgeous TV presenter and fashion designer with her own fashion label, Love Chile has captured the hearts of many Australians over the years, including mine. A kind, honest and spiritual person, her warmth pours out of her.

When I met with Faye to interview her, I was welcomed into her home, greeted at the door by her cute beagle, Soho. A glass of Puglia red, vegetables and lamb roasting in the oven, Faye and I relaxed on her exquisite Louis XV lounges and talked about everything that makes Faye, Faye…

What projects are you currently working on or have in the near future?

I have my own clothing label called Love Chile (pronounced ‘Chyle’). I have been working on my 2nd collection. It’s inspired by Hindu Goddesses and it’s a range of accessories for clothes – detachable shoulder pads, double brooch chains, pieces for the hands and feet, as well as some gorgeous customised vintage pieces. Before I could finish the collection the first few pieces got snapped up for a show at the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival. I also just supplied all the accessories for the White Party parade at Sydney Super Club ‘Ivy’. It’s an Amazonian theme so I had a ball creating crazy feathered/chain pieces. I will be finishing the collection and taking part in an event during Sydney Fashion Week called the Fashion Forward Festival. I am also a freelance TV Presenter/Producer so I have lots of on camera/voice over work that always pops up. Plus I teach TV Presenting for NIDA and AFTRS.

Who or what influences you most in Fashion and home décor?

Fashion wise I LOVE the 70’s rock aesthetic… Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin had killer style back then, so did Mick Jagger. I also love the American Indian culture so my two favourite jewellery pieces are hand crafted silver/turquoise pieces from NYC. Designers that really resonate with me are people like Karl Lagerfeld, D Squared, Anna Sui, Zuhair Murard – these guys are storytellers – they are always pushing the envelope and doing something unique, always with exquisite attention to detail.

In my home I love quite a few styles so I like to mix them… my home has a real eclectic feel. I have a baroque vintage couch teamed with a glass top table from the 60’s. There are feathers everywhere (I am obsessed with feathers) I love colours. A white room with splashes of green or a bright yellow lacquered chair taking centre stage. Personality, warmth and richness.

What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessory?

Accessory wise I think it would be a tie between my turquoise cuff I mentioned before and my caramel leather embossed handbag/satchel – it’s an original piece from 1973, long plaited leather strap – worn in leather and carvings of flowers and birds. I found it in an antique store in Brisbane for $30 about 10 years ago!

Clothing – I think it would have to be my black silk Butterfly tuxedo jacket. It was my Dad’s in the 70’s – it’s an original from the coolest store back then called ‘Granny Takes a Trip’ (there is now a remake of the store in Surry Hills). The jacket has coloured butterflies all over it. There were only two made – Keith Richards from the Stones has the other one!

Do you have one feature in your home you love most?

Oh so many things I love in my home… I have the most divine tree outside my balcony window – I have filled it with fairy lights – it looks beautiful at night, makes me feel like I am a fantasy forest somewhere. Nature aside – I have a beautiful pearl/oyster like vase from BIBA – the most unbelievable style destination in 60’s/70’s London. My Mumma was a BIBA girl and my Dad bought the vase for her – it takes pride of place on my mantelpiece in the lounge room – it’s filled with giant feathers.

Which foods and drinks most excite your taste buds?

I love lobster, goat’s cheese, beautifully cooked fish or lamb and I am a sucker for anything with caramel or white chocolate. Drinks – French Champagne for sure – Moët and Dom Pérignon would be my pick. Apparently when Benedictine Dom Pérignon discovered he could make champagne he called to the other monks “Come quick, it’s as if I’m drinking stars!!!” I also love a good vodka on the rocks with fresh lime… If I’m feeling extra fancy I’ll add a dash of soda water and chopped up fresh chillies from my little garden.

What is your greatest extravagance?

French Champagne, going out for a beautiful meal and I love to buy flowers and candles for myself.

Greatest lesson learnt?

You have to love and honour yourself before anyone else can!

What advice would you give someone if they were thinking of a career in your industry?

If it’s what truly makes your heart sing – go for it! Life is too short not to do what you love. Immerse yourself completely in it, become a sponge, learn and do all you can. Become a ‘junkie’ for your craft! Work hard, believe in yourself and know that you can do it. Then stop talking about it and go get your dream!

How do you maintain a life balance between work and home?

Transcendental Meditation. It saved my life! I was such a stress head, always thinking/worrying I didn’t have an ‘Off switch’! It came to me just at the right time and has opened up my world – I have more energy, clarity and an unlimited supply of creative thoughts and ideas for my label. It’s taught me to honour and love myself, be kind to myself but has also instilled an overwhelming need to give love and help people in my life or those I come into contact with. Check it out www.timbrownmeditation.com.au

Which celebrity wardrobe would you love to raid and why?

Definitely Robert Plant from Led Zep, Mick and Keith from the Stones. The Girls – Mary Kate Olsen and Rachel Zoe.

How did you get into doing what you do?

TV – I started when I was 15 on a show called ‘Totally Wild’. I actually jumped out of a plane for a story while I was on work experience – the GM of the station at the time said to me “Your that crazy b*tch that jumped out of the plane, I said if she’s that F’ing crazy, give her a F’ing job!” True story. Fashion I have wanted to start my own label for as long as I could remember, so 3 years ago I decided to do it.

What is your one design rule you like to stick to around the home?

Always fresh flowers in the lounge room and the bathroom, turn as many lights off at night as possible and use candles to illuminate your home and always do the washing up before you go to bed!

My Mother/Father always told me…

To be cool! (don’t ever get too big for your boots!)

Is there a cause that is close to you and if so, why?

The Butterfly Foundation www.thebutterflyfoundation.org.au

My label is aligned with The Butterfly Foundation – a charity dedicated to supporting people suffering with eating disorders and negative self-image. I have been through low self-esteem and an eating disorder myself… my life journey was a big reason to create Love Chile. Love Chile is all about inspiring women through style to love and believe in themselves. We did a big fashion fundraiser together last year called the ‘Night of the Butterfly’. We plan to do lots more together this year too.

Where is your favourite place to relax in Sydney?

My house or Camp Cove at Watson’s Bay.

How often do you eat out and cook at home?

I probably eat out casually once a week. A really special dinner once or twice a month.

Signature dish?

I’m just getting into cooking so right now I’m keeping things pretty basic – I ‘m loving my oven baked lamb cutlets, sweet potato and pumpkin dusted with fresh herbs, cracked pepper and seasoning.

Your thoughts on Australian fashion in comparison to International fashion?

Look I think we have some fantastic labels – I’m a big fan of Sass & Bide, Toni Matichevski & Antipodium. But I feel like we could take more risks and tell more of a story… I love to see a show that is dripping with personality and detail or where the models actually look like they are happy and enjoying themselves like in a Sonya Rykiel show! She even got them to speak in her last one! Fashion can tend to take itself a little too seriously sometimes. I feel like International designers push it a little further.

The one thing I can’t leave home without is…

My lipgloss, eyedrops and a happy heart.

What frustrates you most about Sydney?

That it’s not New York!

If you were Clover Moore, what would be the first thing you’d inject money into fixing?

Dogs allowed in all restaurants – that request comes from my Beagle! From me – the roads… there are holes and bumps everywhere.

Favourite beach in Sydney and why?

Camp Cove at Watson’s Bay – this place is heaven. No matter how crappy a day you may be having – go there and everything is washed away – it’s magical.

If you could be a fly on the wall of any celebrity home, who’s wall would you like to sit on?

Robert Plant or maybe Lady Gaga to see what she wears to bed!

Three pet hates?

1. Smoking

2. Nastiness/negativity

3. People who drive up my street the wrong way.

Fashion and home must-have’s?

Fashion – a great tuxedo jacket, a cool rock tee, sexy jeans and a killer pair of heels.

Home – fresh flowers, candles and a clean space. Your home is your haven – it should be well looked after and reflect your style and personality throughout.

What is your one diva demand?

A special meditation room with Indian paintings, lotus flowers, Buddhist or Indian goddess statues, a small potted palm tree and incense, a soft pillow or designer blanket for my dog and vanilla scented candles everywhere! (Man I could definitely handle that!)

Charmaine Bingwa – Strength, Brilliance and Inspiration

March 30th, 2010

Charmaine Bingwa is one of Australia’s very special and unique talents. Not only is she a stunning girl with gorgeous braided hair and luscious lips, she has an amazing voice that can belt out the notes on demand.

I sat outside Coco Cubano in Taylor Square waiting for Charmaine to arrive for the interview, two chilled glasses of wine waiting.

At 6:30pm on the dot, out of the corner of my eye, I could see this striking girl, wearing tight jeans, stilettos and a white military styled jacket with big gold buttons. It was Charmaine.

As she approached the table, the attention was on us – the beautiful Perth born 24 year old commands attention just by her presence.

With a love for singing from a young age, Charmaine never revealed publicly that she could sing, till she sang angelically at the eulogy of her father’s funeral. If was from that moment Charmaine knew what she wanted in life. She knew it’s what her father would have been proud of her following – that was singing.

An inspirational person, with such love, passion and commitment to what she does, it’s unmistakably obvious that we will be seeing alot more of Charmaine in the many years to come.

Let’s get to know the real Charmaine Bingwa and get down with her vibe!

What projects are you currently working on or have in the near future?

I’m working on my first release with the label. It’s going to be an EP with music video for the single. The beauty of my adventure this time, is I get to just go away and write. Write, write, write! I get to be completely creative and my focus is the artistry, later in the year when the record comes out, it’s promotion time which I love just as much, as I feel such a love for the stage.

And the great thing is along the way I get to work with some pretty freakin amazing people which I just vibe off.

What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessory?

I think it’s probably both of my Carl Kapp leather jackets. So beautifully structured, but think it’s the way they make you feel when you wear them. Put ‘em on and instant rockstar!

Do you have one feature in your home you love most?

It’d have to be the loveseat I had installed. It’s in front of the bay window I have in my lounge room – it’s an amazing place to chill and looks out at Sydney Harbour & the bridge. It’s all about the luuuuurveseat!

Which foods and drinks most excite your taste buds?

Veuve Cliquot, oysters & Wagyu beef.

And I hate to admit amongst all the classy things but an Angus Burger if it’s been a late night!

Greatest lesson learnt?

That you never stop learning lessons. I make mistakes all the time, but I think it’s the overcoming part that you learn from the most.

What advice would you give someone if they were thinking of a career in your industry?

It’s the same advice I got from all my music mentors, you are uniquely you for a reason. Know your craft, work hard – really hard, believe in yourself and the rest is a given.

How do you maintain a life balance between work and home?

My home is such a sacred place. I always keep it immaculate so it feels like my sanctuary.  Whenever I’m home I get the balance I need from whatever other craziness is going on in my world! I’m a big fan of weekends away.

My lamest attempt to keep that balance was installing a plasma in my kitchen in a bid to inspire me to cook when I’m home! I’m not 100% sure that has worked!!!

How did you get into doing what you do?

I honestly believe it found me. I have always been as astute musician playing since I was 12.  But I only ever played to myself in my room, never with any aspirations to take it further (at least none I’d share publicly).

It was only when my father passed away, I was frozen. I couldn’t communicate any other way. I performed a song at his funeral, and since then have poured myself into songwriting as an emotional release.

My Father always told me…

One day you are gonna be a star…

Is there a cause that is close to you and if so, why?

It’s definitely Oasis Africa. A beautiful cause that a friend and totally inspiring man Kim Winter put together. It focuses on a community in Kibera, one of Africa’s poorest slums. They built and run a school there and are looking at broader initiatives to help out. I know Deni [Hines] recently went there with the team to do some work and even recorded an album with the kids there. I’d love to get over there at some stage and lend a hand.

I’m a big believer in giving back, I also am part of the Big Brother Big Sister program, mentoring kids who need support.

Where is your favourite place to relax in Sydney?

My fave alltime place to chill, write, relax would have to be under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. So peaceful, such a good view and satisfies my bridge fetish (true story – I’m a little obsessed with bridges).

How often do you eat out and cook at home?

Hahaha – I only just discovered where my kitchen was the other day! I eat out all the time, because I love fine dining and just too busy to be a MasterChef too. Which is why it’s kind of ironic I was on a cooking show recently!

Signature dish?

Blue Swimmer Crab with Angel Hair Pasta – it’s like the one thing I can make.

Your thoughts on Australian fashion in comparison to International fashion?

Love it, we really are trendsetters, and I think this is known internationally. Get excited as it feels like every fashion week a new hero is born.

The one thing I can’t leave home without is…

My Sennheiser headphones. Listening to music in average headphones is like having bad sex, it’s ok but… [giggles]

What frustrates you most about Sydney?

Traffic – argh!!!!! Drives me up the wall.  But I still love you Sydney, you are amazing. xo

Favourite beach in Sydney and why?

Camp cove. It’s just so cute, quiet and private, and you can even pull up in a boat and hang there. Very closely followed by Balmoral.

If you could be a fly on the wall of any celebrity home, who’s wall would you like to sit on?

Lady Gaga – she is a f**kin genius and so fascinating…

What is your one diva demand?

It’s not as crazy some of Mariah’s extravagances, but mine would be having my entourage. For example I was playing a 15 minute set I told festival organisers I needed 22 passes for my crew. Woops! Diva!

I’m a real people person and really vibe of that, so I like gathering groups of like-minded creative people. Energy like that is so contagious.

Check out Charmaine’s great website – www.charmaine.com.au