featuring .. laura
Name : Laura Douglas
Role : Founder/Director/Fur Baby Mum/Southern Girl ~ Real Country
Location : Kingston, New Zealand 🇳🇿
What do you do? :
I run an agritourism business in the south of NZ which I founded in 2016. We offer guests a chance to experience the real rural NZ with activities like claybird shooting, sheep mustering shows and teaching farm skill workshops.
What do you enjoy about your business?
People don’t always remember what you do with them, but they always remember how you make them feel. I love that I get to either delight my guests or help them build confidence in their abilities of both!
How did you get to where you are now?
I was born and raised on a farm and was an avid hunter right from a young age. However I went down the corporate path for many years after doing an MBA at university. One day in May 2016, I drew a picture at my desk of what I wanted my life to be like. There was a horse, jet boat and big truck in the driveway and I was looking out at the mountains surrounding me with a dog at my feet and a whiskey in my hand. I realized that no matter how much money I made in my corporate career, if this was what I really wanted, I was heading down the wrong path. So I quit my life and career several months later, switched the stilettos for gumboots and started my own company doing something that I was passionate about!
Has your business been spotlighted, or received recognition?
I was lucky enough to be on the Sunday TV show here in NZ which showcased my Southern Girl Finishing School workshops where I teach young girls farm skills to help them build confidence in their abilities.
Do you have a favourite saying or quote? :
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
What advice would you give to women? :
Don’t let your self doubt or feeling like your plan isn’t perfect get in the way of you pursuing something you are passionate about. I could never have anticipated the wild I have been on in the last 3 years, but as soon as I started pursuing what I really wanted that was true to who I was, I met the man of my dreams, I created a successful company that fills my heart and is starting to fill the bank account and I lead an incredibly fulfilled life.
Tell us a funny story about your role or an amusing experience you’ve had :
I went to a formal ladies evening hosted in Southland. It was the first time in 2 years I had worn anything other than workboots, flats or sneakers but I used to wear stilettos all the time in my past life so I figured I would easily be able to pull it off again….I was wrong….I lasted about an hour and had to walk around in barefeet, which was fine. Until I won a prize, was asked up on stage and totally forgot I was in barefeet. The MC (who was from Auckland, not rural Southland) made a big joke about how he head heard how rough and ready Southland women were, but barefeet at a black tie event was a new one for him! I wasn’t even embarrassed, just laughed and said ‘yeah but just as well a southern women was here to back your makeup trailer into the parking slot tonight!” (genuine, a lady had to back his trailer in, but it was an equipment trailer, not for make up) Still he went bright red and had zero comeback. 1 for the ladies. 🤣 (haha love this!!!!!)
Any feedback or comments about your she wear footwear :
I love my boots! Right now in NZ we are going into winter so it is freezing and muddy. My she wear boots keep my feet dry and toes warm, are hard wearing and dam they look hot!!! Over here everyone notices mine as they’re different to the usual!
Special comment from Laura :
I know things are tough right now for many people (covid sucks) and as women we tend to take it all on board. It is OK to not know what will happen in several months or next year, you don’t need to have a great plan and it’s OK that your journey this year has been changed from what you expected. Just try to make the best decision you can right now, then make the next best decision, and the next then before you know it 2020 will just be a small dot in your rear view mirror and you will create other paths and new opportunities!
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We have a TOTAL. Girl. Crush. What an absolute legend!
We are so impressed with Laura and her story is very inspiring – we love her “go get ’em” attitude! Laura has some awesome video clips on her social media to truly showcase what she does, and what she believes in. Please go take a look at her Real Country NZ Facebook page, or give Laura a like on Real Country NZ Insta.
From Real Country NZ’s website :
“Real Country was founded by ‘Southern Girl’ Laura Douglas in 2016. Laura was born and raised on a sheep farm just down the road and after nearly a decade in the corporate world, she switched the city and stilettos for the farm and gumboots. Growing up hunting, fishing, horse riding and working on the family farm, Laura has a love of the land like no other. Sharing what she calls ‘the Real New Zealand’ with visitors is what Laura and Real Country is all about.The Real Country Farm allows all its visitors to experience the real New Zealand and have authentic rural interactions with local hosts. Genuine Southern Hospitality is a trait that is cultivated over years growing up in a close knit, rural community and Laura takes great pride in ensuring that every guest feels like a friend, not a stranger.”