Over the past 20 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living selling touch lamps, working as a nanny, a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a newspaper columnist and a secret shopper (once).
Rebecca Sparrow is the author of a handful of novels (The Girl Most Likely, The Year Nick McGowan Came To Stay and Joel & Cat Set The Story Straight) and the non-fiction guide to surviving high school “Find Your Tribe (and 9 other things I wish I’d known in high school)”.
Bec is a columnist at Mamamia (www.mamamia.com.au) and is an Ambassador for Givit.org.au and The Pyjama Foundation.
She also spends much of her time running writing workshops – if you want to know more about her next Brisbane Writers Workshop click here – and giving motivational talks in high schools across the country.
When she’s not writing books, columns, tv scripts and illegible grocery lists Bec’s acting as a personal assistant to her two kids Ava and Fin and trying to convince her husband Brad to watch Offspring.
But where do I start? As self-appointed leader of the Bec Sparrow Fan Club? How do I sum up the beautiful person that is Bec and why to this day, she is still my favourite author, mentor, friend, a woman of incredible strength and natural style? A woman I am proud to include in “my tribe”?
I guess the beginning is as good a place as any…
It was 2003. I was working at Channel Seven and quite unexpectedly scored a last-minute spare ticket to attend a book launch/lunch at the Hilton. The launch of “The Girl Most Likely”. I heard Bec speak. I read her book. And what can I say? I fell in love! My first and only ‘girl crush’ I guess! There’s just something about her. The way she writes. The characters in her books. Her uncanny ability to quite simply connect with the “real” person. The dag in all of us. She has that certain “it” factor without even trying. It’s just her!
SO, being a big believer and proponent of my own style counsel motto “If you’re thinking something nice about someone, say it! To them!” I did just that. I wrote her an email! I’d never done anything quite so bold in all my life. I was sure she’d think I was some creepy stalker. But, being the woman of style that she is, she didn’t! Instead, she replied! We chatted this way for quite some time, sharing stories and getting to know eachother better. Until, after leaving Channel Seven sometime later, I shared with her my dream of being able to help women using my styling skills with my plan for my own little business (Style Counsel). In fact, I think it’s because of her social conscience and our shared interest in helping girls/women believe in themselves and develop a healthy self-esteem, that we truly connected all those years ago.
Fast forward many years later – I’ve since attended many more of her book launches, the stage play of her book, and even her wedding to Brad! But you know what? Aside from being a huge Sparrow fan, I personally owe Bec. I really do owe her big time. You see, she played a huge part in the creation of Style Counsel! How? She not only believed in me enough to mentor me when I was grappling with the idea of starting my own business – she actually was the catalyst that pushed me to do more with it than even I thought I was ready for!
Out of the blue one day, she asked if she could use my story as part of an article she was writing for her Courier Mail Column. She compared three ways women could choose from to find their personal style. One was attend a grooming and deportment class, the other was to buy a book on style, and the other was to have a Stylist (me!) take you shopping. From that day forward, I grew in confidence with confirmation that there was indeed a market for what I was offering my clients. Remember, back then, Personal Styling was not really commonplace. It was considered by most to be a luxury service that only celebrities or the media could afford – let alone everyday people living in Brisbane! I had no idea that over 8 years later, my little business would still be flourishing, and I have Bec to thank for it. For believing in me from day one. To this day, she is still the friend I call upon for advice when I’m filled with self-doubt or even just not sure which direction to move in.
I don’t know if I’ve ever really thanked her properly. So I hope when she reads this, she will understand just how much she has (and continues to) help me – and so many others – through her books and her own mission to keep it real and to connect/help others.
So, now, lets get even more up-close and personal with the woman herself. You’ll quickly see why she really is a woman of such great style. Because for me personally she really is and always will be “The Girl Most Likely”
The Girl Most Likely. In her words…
A well dressed person… Ruins their outfit with a mean-spirited or sour personality!
A man should always… Offer to pay on the first date. And a woman should always offer to split the bill instead.
I would describe my style as…. Disastrous. I don’t ‘speak fashion’ but I like classic outfits with a quirky or interesting accessory thrown in.
My favourite wardrobe item at the moment is…. A polka dot scarf from Jigsaw
My favourite shops… ones that are online, who offer free or fast delivery and whose quality and sizing match what their website claims!
My tips for looking great… A fabulous necklace can transform a boring t-shirt! (I have no clue .. nobody should ever take style advice from me!)
If I wasn’t doing what I’m doing today, I’d be… doing something else I love. Teaching kids, performing in local theatre, studying interior design … there are so many things I’m interested in.
If I had but one wish it would be… that my children have long happy, healthy lives. And that they understand the power and importance of giving back to the community.
Happiness is…. In the every day small things. It’s rarely found in ticking off the big goals.
Love is… conditional. I’m big on teaching teenage girls in particular that if a partner suddenly starts hitting you or being verbally abusive, if they cheat or start behaving in a way that goes against your values — you walk away.
I’m really proud of… the mother I was still able to be to Ava following the death of my daughter Georgie in 2010.