Women of Influence: Part 2

To commemorate 10 years of South Australian Style, we’re celebrating women of style and influence – Alyce Tran of The Daily Edited, Rosanna Mangiarelli of Channel 7 and Karena Armstrong of Salopian Inn McLaren Vale share their stories of fearlessness, humility and success.

Wardrobe by Rundle Place
Jewellery by Aurum Jewels Adelaide

Alyce Tran

Co-founder of the multimillion-dollar fashion accessories brand, The Daily Edited, and homewares brand, In The Roundhouse.

“I started in law and never thought I’d have a career in fashion and retailing. Ten years ago, I was still at the University of Adelaide!
In the past ten years, the barriers to entry into the fashion industry have come down there is definitely less friction for someone wanting to create a brand or business. For example, creating e-commerce sites and retailing direct to consumers, rather than having to build a reputation and seek the endorsement of traditional retailers via wholesaling, means you can now go straight from ideation to the customer. I think it’s great! If you have an idea, just go for it – what have you got to lose?

The Daily Edited (TDE) grew quite quickly into a medium sized enterprise and, as a result, our team, store footprint and goals continue to be quite wide and challenging. I feel a lot of pressure to keep things moving and the pressure to keep showing our audience how we are evolving. For me, that creates a huge sense of responsibility and, as a result, I never really switch off. I’m still learning about myself.

On reflection, I’ve decided that I really enjoy the growth phase of brands and creating new things. TDE stands for a particular point of view on accessories, it has a particular aesthetic that evolves on a day to day basis, but sits in a certain sphere. Once you get a business to this stage – and I don’t want to simplify it too much, but – there’s not a lot of work that I need to do now to keep it going. I’ve decided I just really like creating brands, getting them to a certain stage, and then potentially working just on iterating and strategy with these brands rather than essentially being a CEO of a large business.

In The Roundhouse is one of my new passions! It’s all about colourful designed homewares that add life to your already existing white of tableware that you probably already have in your home. Brooke Bickmore, a friend of mine from school, came to me with the concept for the business and I was in two minds. I was quite busy already with TDE, but then after working on some TDE events and not being able to find great tableware, I felt there was a gap in the market.

I feel people are currently dining in and hosting at home more often, and I think taking pride in your table settings is definitely coming back – even if it is only for an Instagrammable moment.

Success is one of those words that I don’t necessarily like. True, I have a career in consumer goods and retail, but I’ve still got a long way to go. I think it’s about holistic success: personal life, your family, how you feel about yourself, and some of that is your professional output.”

Alyce wears:
Pleat shirt dress, $159.95, Witchery 
Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen Jewellery nature creole earrings, $3,900, Aurum Jewels Adelaide
Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen Jewellery amber and moonstone lotus rings, from $1,895, Aurum Jewels Adelaide

Rosanna Mangiarelli

Rosanna is an Australian journalist and news presenter, currently working with the Seven Network. She hosted Today Tonight in South Australia from 2007 until it ceased production in 2019. A mother of three, Rosanna is a passionate advocate for a wide array of charities dedicated to children’s wellbeing.

“I remember sitting in the back of a lecture theatre at university when the head of faculty told us it was unlikely most of us would get a job in the industry. It was dire and he was obviously preparing us for the worst. Back in those days it was looking pretty grim to be honest. It was tough to get a foot in the door.

News has always been a passion of mine. I love gathering it and producing and presenting it. I see it as a huge honour and privilege to be that window to the state, to the country and the world. In my career, I think every single step has been significant. Getting that first job at a regional TV network, going to the ABC and fronting the Asia Pacific News and getting to share important and inspiring stories, then moving to Channel 7 and hosting Today Tonight. Every move has shaped me in a different way. 

There’s been such a massive shift in the way news is delivered. Twenty-two years ago, there were four TV stations and the local paper. Now, we have digital TV channels, a plethora of social media outlets and, of course, social media plays a role in delivering news. As news producers, we’ve had to become more multi-skilled. Over the years, I’ve had to be my own camera operator as well as journalist. It’s just a matter of being able to deliver a news story to a whole lot of different mediums – so covering radio, TV and being able to do live coverage.

I think some of my proudest moments have been helping South Aussies when no one else cared to listen in any way. For instance, there was a little boy who had cerebral palsy, who was in callipers, and all he wanted to do was play footy. Seeing this young boy, despite all the odds, rise through the ashes… it’s those stories that have been so inspirational, and just put a smile on my face. Seeing that courage, that strength of people who, despite the odds, want to do something and achieve something, and they do, simply because they are dedicated and they have passion. Stories like that have really moved me.

I’m passionate about children, giving them the best possible opportunities and empowering them to make the right choices. I think giving kids a good, solid foundation and improving their wellbeing is a wonderful and rewarding opportunity. It’s an honour and privilege to represent these charities – Little Big Book Club, Novita Children’s Services, Sight For All, I’m on the board of the Sammy D Foundation and the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation.

Since Today Tonight wound up, I’m back on news. I’ve re-joined the newsroom where it pretty much all began for me. I’m focusing on that and motherhood right now.

I think everyone measures success in different ways. I mean, what is success? I feel so blessed to have had an exciting career, to have a great job, an awesome family, special friends and a beautiful haven I share with the four people I love most. To me, success is going to bed at night, putting my head on the pillow and knowing that I’ve done the best I can, whatever that may be, but doing it with kindness and compassion.”

Rosanna wears:
Rib hi neck knit, $99.95, Witchery 
Flat front trouser, $99.95, Seed 
Long belted wrap coat, $749, Ted Baker 
Ivy 85mm hair on pump, $169.95, Witchery 
Autore (South Sea) pearl necklet, $11,000, Aurum Jewels Adelaide
Autore (South Sea) pearl studs, $4,200, Aurum Jewels Adelaide
Yellow sapphire and diamond ring, $39,000, Aurum Jewels Adelaide

Karena Armstrong

Managing Director of Culinary Delights, The Salopian Inn

“I started cooking when I was 19… it was definitely challenging. I was one of three women in a brigade of 64, so it was very much a male industry. But I was never put off by it; I was quite ambitious. It’s only when I look back now and see how much it’s changed that I realise maybe I should have been daunted.

When I opened The Salopian Inn, there were definitely other restaurants using local produce, but it wasn’t an easy thing to do. McLaren Vale felt like the ugly duckling compared to the Barossa, whereas now as a region we’ve really embraced who we are. Businesses in the area have worked really hard at getting supply relationships that work for all of us, and there’s just a general sense of confidence about what we’re doing in the region.
The Willunga Farmers Markets are huge – they’re almost like a library of our food for the region. And then there are also those of us who grow our own fruit and vegetables, and there’s a few. That’s taken the McLaren Vale region to the next level.

Our garden… it’s actually not just a garden, it’s a way of life, and I think we’re doing something responsible. We welcome school groups and anyone who wants to come just to have a look to see what we’re doing. It’s a way of looking to the future about how we think about food, and what’s actually going to happen on our planet. I think if you’re going to talk about selling food and cooking for people, you need to include where it comes from and what’s your responsibility in that process.

At this time of year, 70 to 80 per cent of what we serve is from our garden. I’m so proud of it, it’s really good. But sometimes it’s not about the percentage we’re serving, it’s that we’re using everything we grow. You have to get creative with how you’re using your food so that it’s being used at its maximum capacity. It’s opened up all these other areas of cookery to us, like preserving and fermenting. It forces you to be creative and it’s such a good challenge.

In any high-pressure job you’re going to get some mental health challenges. Seeing operators and leaders being open about mental health makes a huge difference. When people hear other chefs talking about it, then they tend to open up. I had an apprentice who came to me; he was suffering from anxiety. He asked me what I do. He knew he could ask me and that I’d be open to that conversation. So, from a leadership role I think people being open and honest is really important. I’ve definitely had problems with anxiety and managing stress in a creative sense along the way, and when I was growing up my father had serious mental health issues, so I think I’m more sympathetic to it and I’m also more aware of it.

Now I ask for help when I need it. I get nannies in. I have an amazing husband, Michael – we work together really well as a team. We really focus on what’s important in our family and in our businesses and we cut down on a lot of white noise outside of that. I also find exercise is the best balancer – I practice a traditional form of karate, I do F45, and I go to the gym fairly regularly. When I’m fit and well, creativity comes easily to me.

I think I’ve had some success and we’ve definitely had moments at Salopian where I’ve stopped and enjoyed it, absolutely, and obviously the people that you meet – that’s amazing. There’s opportunity in success. So, I won’t feel completely successful until I have used these opportunities to my full potential… and I haven’t actually done what I want to do yet. A lot of the food that we cook at Salopian is really high end, but I actually really want to look at getting people back into the kitchen, getting them away from pre-packaged food and how we make that accessible to people in low-income brackets.

But, on success, I’m really enjoying the journey, it’s been amazing. It is important to remember that it’s just cooking, it is just food, but food brings us all to the table, and I think that’s an important part of eating and cooking.”

Karena wears:
Plisse lace splice skirt, $179.95, Witchery 
Pleat georgette blouse, $119.95 Witchery
Morgan leather boot, $349, Witchery 
Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen Jewellery grey moonstone dew drop earrings, $3,100, Aurum Jewels Adelaide
Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen Jewellery grey moonstone lotus ring, $6,800, Aurum Jewels Adelaide
Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen Jewellery grey moonstone and leaf necklet, $13,545, Aurum Jewels Adelaide

Interviews: Sharmonie Cockayne
Photos: Gretl Watson-Blazewicz
Styling: Chris Kontos
Client Liaison: Ellery Mitchell
Styling Assistant: Tiana Della-Puta
Photography Assistant: Adam Stanley
Hair: Monique Hateley, Clipjoint
Makeup: Samantha Vlassis