Interview: Bahar Etminan of Rescu Me!

Bahar Etminan, the creator of RESCU.com.au, has just published “Rescu Me!”a book sharing practical insights and advice from leading experts in health, relationships and wellbeing, finances and career, fashion and beauty.  While it features two fashion and beauty makeovers, this is not your average makeover guide. Rather than believing that women need fixing, it believes that we can all do with a little more fabulous in our lives.

As Bahar says in her foreword, “Celebrities don’t go from being Charlize Theron on a farm in South Africa to being Charlize Theron, Oscar winner, red-carpet icon and darling of Dior by themselves. If the stars that shine the brightest are using a personal SWAT team, we can too. More power to us all.”

In this book, Bahar shares advice from over 16 experts in their fields  making it one of those books that you can easily dip into as you need to say:

  • follow a healthy and safe detox meal planner created by dietitian and nutritionist, Lyndi Polivnick
  • understand the “real I-dos” with Dr Karen Phillip a family, marriage and relationship therapist who includes The Pre-Wedding Checklist of the ten things that couples need to consider to start their marriage on a good solid platform
  • achieve financial goals and break the debt and credit cycle with accountant and financial advisor, Anthony Bell
  • make the most of your day (like Beyoncé) and plan your ideal one to create a better life with Dr Fred Grosse, life and business coach
  • detox your wardrobe with image and fashion consultant, Colette Werden and then rebuild with style guides and advice from fashion stylist Emma Read

and more. There’s even sections on injectables if that’s something you’d like to know more about!

I have the pleasure of working with some of Australia’s and the world’s leading minds and experts in the areas of health, wealth, beauty and fashion. I collect experts like some women collect handbags. It would be rude not to share! – Bahar Etminan

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BusinessChic spoke to Bahar to find out more about this fabulous business woman, mother and immigrant. 

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Where did you start your professional life?

My first job after university was with Clarins at Trimex. I was Assistant to the National Training Manager and I thought it was the most incredible job in the world.

Do you remember what you wore to your first ­­job interview?

YES! I wore a navy blue dress from Cue.

What were some of your favourite work outfits?

One of my mentors who I became great friends with was and is a style icon. I tried to emulate her amazing wardrobe of European designers on a modest budget. When I got my first managerial position at FJ Benjamin, as Sales and Marketing Manager of Gucci Timepieces, I got to step it up as I had a Gucci clothing allowance.

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In Rescu Me you share worksheets and advice from life and business coach Dr Fred Grosse on how to plan our ‘ideal days’, to make the most of each day like Beyoncé! Looking over your own days, weeks, months – what are some key elements that help you feel productive and conversely to relax or reward yourself?

You have to resist the urge to start your day reading emails. It’s so easy to get side-tracked with other people’s agenda for your time. Starting your day with a list of your own priorities and having a morning ritual has been a total life changer for me.

What does an ideal day look like for you?

Wake up at 6.15am, do some stretches in or out of bed, check news and RESCU site, review my goals, review my priorities, shower, wake up my daughter and spend the morning together getting ready to take her to school, arrive at office by 9am, plan content, plan and brainstorm campaigns for clients, measure campaign results, pitch for new business, meet with team and suppliers, get new business signed off, respond to all emails received, pick up my daughter from school, dinner, social media, late news, Q&A, bed.

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How do you decide what to wear to work? Do you plan the night before? Do you have a uniform vs decide on-the-go each day?

I don’t plan but I do now have a planned and organised wardrobe. Dresses in one closet, pants and skirts, jackets and tops. Gowns. I can see everything in one view and it’s much easier to dress every morning. Colette Werden taught me how to detox my wardrobe and it’s simply wonderful.

What are your favourite hair, make up and skincare products? What are your go-to products to have a “10” experience bath?

I love Sisley and Philosophy shower gels, La Prairie and Tom Ford Body creams make shower time fun. Clinique sparkle clean body scrub is a total spa experience in a jar. I have my hair done at Joh Bailey twice a week and take my own products so I can try different things. My favourite hair brand is Kerestase and Dessange Paris. I am crazy about Ultraceutical MD range, La Prairie Caviar Moisturiser, La Mer face masks and Elizabeth Arden Pro Facial Peel Pads are my skin care saviours. I love Bobbi Brown foundations and blushes, Tom Ford and Estee Lauder lipsticks, MAC eyeshadows and highlighters, and Dior mascara.  Guerlain bronzers and pearls are my go to for complexion perfection and the final step.

In your own professional experience, what are the must-have pieces in your own work wardrobes? What’s the most practical? What makes you feel great?

I live in dresses. One item and you are done. I also love to wear colour. It cheers me up to be in a bright or lovely printed dress and I always get lovely compliments. It looks like you have gone the extra mile.

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What tools are indispensable in your work and life?

Iphone 6 plus is my life. I run everything off that. What a wonderful device!

What are your favourite apps on iPad or smart phone?

Facebook and Instagram!

Podcasts or music playlists that are helping you get things done?

I like all my old music. I am still crazy about Madonna and George Michael so if I need to turn a day around, I blast a bit of 80’s pop and I’m good to go!

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Bahar, in Rescu Me! you talk about your own life makeovers. You are a business woman, mother and immigrant. Can you shed light on your experience as an immigrant and your advice for immigrants seeking to build businesses in the countries they have adopted?

I would simply say that in my experience, integration and respect for local cultural norms is the best policy for success. I am very open and proud of my heritage. I was born in France and my parents and family are Iranian. I speak Farsi fluently and I consider myself both Australian and Iranian. The best advice we received was to learn the cultural norms and sensitivities of the country you live and work in fast, and to understand that to some extent you really do have to accept these as the guidelines to live by. When I moved to Paris in 2002 as a 28 year old and started my first business, a distribution business for niche cosmetic brands, from my flat in the Marais, I had to quickly learn and adapt to the cultural and business rules of France. I couldn’t just behave as though I was living in Sydney and operate as an Australian and hope for the best. I had left a prestigious job at Estee Lauder company and I had an MBA degree, yet I really was not prepared to live and work in another country. I had to seek advice and support from local French friends and business people to integrate and operate effectively in that new culture.

Because my family and I integrated seamlessly and quickly when we moved to Australia in 1981, we have always felt totally accepted and at home in Australia. I’ve never really felt like an outsider because my parents, brother and I chose immediately to learn as quickly as we could how to be Australian and we surrounded ourselves with mentors and friends who taught us everything we didn’t know.

Rescu me! (Harlequin MIRA) is available for purchase at www.harlequinbooks.com.au or at all good book stores nationally for RRP $29.99 

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