We had the absolute pleasure of speaking with girl boss, Marie-Louise Aicoboaie. The passionate owner of Watermark Docklands opened up on all things body positivity, being a mother and how she finds running a successful business while juggling her little one and baby on the way! Marie-Louise offers ultimate inspiration, as a smart, successful entrepreneur and doting mother, who proves you really can have it all!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Wake whenever my daughter wakes up, feed her, dress her and take her to daycare (or hubby takes her on his way into work). Get ready for work. Park car, get into work, process bills and/or pays, set up daily tills, roster staff for weekly events, stock count across all sectors (kitchen, bar, bathroom supplies etc), order food, order beverages, order linen, order kitchen inventory, order bathroom inventory, order bar inventory, order office supplies, ensure cleaners come in the day after an event, organise meetings with our suppliers to ensure we have the best prices, create artwork for marketing material with InDesign, organise marketing material with agency and send out times/dates of promotional material, update website, input more material for marketing use for Instagram and Facebook, respond to enquiries, provide solutions for bespoke enquiries. Pick up daughter, organise dinner for family, spend time with family, bath daughter, put her to bed, feed dog and take for walk, log onto work computer and respond to more enquiries, log into online uni and try to get some writing done or assignments done, sleep.
Who is your biggest inspiration in life and why? (Can be living or passed)
Lisa Vanderpump I guess… I really never thought about who was an inspiration to me before because I’ve always just wanted to work my best and keep myself busy. If I had to name someone, I guess it would be her, because she’s successful in everything she does, works hard, doesn’t take flack from anyone and trusts her judgement, all while organising her own family and personal goals. Why can’t you do more than one thing in life? Only person that can stop you, is you.
What do you see as your biggest achievement in life and why?
My daughter is my biggest achievement. Teaching her a second language, how to do things for herself, how to take care of a dog and appreciate the things she has in life. Seeing her grow and taking on these responsibilities brings me joy and fulfilment.
What made you decide to enter the hospitality industry?
I wanted to start earning money when I was legally allowed to work (14 and 9 months), and the hospitality industry was the easiest way of being able to attend school, and work as a waitress on weekends. From there it grew into the flexibility of hours and making connections along the way.
You know we are massive fans of your venue Watermark Docklands, because of the venue itself along with the amazing team and delicious food you offer but what do you feel makes Watermark Docklands unique?
We have an absolutely amazing unobstructed view of the Victoria Harbour and the Bolte Bridge with direct views of the fireworks every NYE. Our venue is also a blank canvas! With our contacts in the styling industry, we’re able to transform any room into what you need, We’re able to do indoor picnics, or a car showroom, a ceremony for weddings, or a nightclub! Having five rooms that are interchangeable to our guests’ needs is absolutely unique too!
What entrepreneurs inspired you in your career?
This sounds awful, but no one. I don’t know any entrepreneurs. I know some people would answer Gina Rinehart, Lorna Jane Clarkson or Jo Horgan but I don’t look at them for inspiration, I’m just glad these women are top 20 entrepreneurs in Australia and look at them with pride! Good on them and I hope to meet an outstanding million-dollar entrepreneur one day ... until then I hope that list grows with more successful women that do it all! Mother and business owner! Best of both worlds.
How did having Adelaide, your daughter, change you and how did it change how you run your business if at all?
Having Adelaide made me realise that there’s more hours in the day! It slowed me down with regards to writing my book and having more than just one career, BUT it showed me that my husband can step up to the plate and partner with me. Everything is more regimented these days, and a lot less spontaneous, but it’s all achievable. It also showed me that you have to rely on others to get things done sometimes, and to train staff. It’s very important to share your knowledge with others so there’s less of a burden when things at home require more attention. It also reminded me why I do what I do … I do everything for my family. Having her hug me and tell me she loves me, reminds me to take a step back and appreciate what I have, not just what I can have.
What are the biggest obstacles you face raising a young child and now being pregnant whilst running your own business?
Having to stay back at work and sacrificing time with my child. Trying not to break promises made to my daughter because I’m needed at work. Wanting to take a break when I’m exhausted from work, means I’m taking a break from my family when I get home … it’s been hard with nausea and sleep deprivation.
What did you dream of doing for a career as a child and why?
I always wanted to be a scientist, and actually I went to uni for a year to do it. I was really good at chemistry and biology, and even good at physics, but I couldn’t see myself working in a laboratory my whole life and I didn’t want to work outdoors either. I think it’s just something I enjoy doing; investigating, solving problems and learning in general. I’ve been able to adapt that in everything I do now. Both my parents dabbled in science, if anything, they probably pushed me in that direction until I figured it out on my own.
What age did you fall in love with your body? What changed or happened in life to make this happen?
You know, it’s funny, I think once you hit your 30s you seem to gain confidence, even though you might be 10 kilos heavier than you were in your 20s. I just accepted who I was, which turned into loving who I was. Seeing your body transform after having a baby, and then your body bouncing back out of pure memory, is something that I love about my body. I’ve always eaten quite healthy and am quite an active person (I just walk a lot really), so when I try to lose weight, my body just says, “yep let’s do this” and I’m back to my standard weight. I’ve never been overweight, and I most definitely have never been skinny, I’ve been me. I’m happy being me. All scars, all wounds, all stretch marks, it’s all me.
What is your favourite body part and why?
My brain. Sorry but that’s the truth to it. My brain allows me to think outside the square. When I try to think of solutions my imagination kicks in and I can have a bit of fun while solving problems.
If I had to name a superficial body part, I’d say lips, hair and my back. My lips are full, my hair seems to just work without putting too much effort into it, and my back is quite trim and straight. I’m only 5”1 so that straight back makes me feel taller.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Understand who you are and really invest time in that. Don’t try to be anyone else, or make anyone else happy, but know who YOU are first and foremost.
What is one word your team would use to describe you?
What is your favourite TV series or movie and why?
The Gilmore Girls. Girl power. Writers and entrepreneurs and ruling the world. Small town. Love. Funny characters. Smart and witty!
What is your mantra in life?
Take it easy, everything can be done, one step at a time.
What type of undies are you - Brief, boy leg short or G String?
A bit of a combo between briefs and boy leg shorts. Depends on the outfit. A G-string may have its appearance every now and then too!
Now for a few fun questions!
Red lipstick or Gloss?
RED!! All the way! NEVER GLOSS.
Cocktail or Wine?
Wine. I love a cocktail every now and then, but a wine always makes me appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to make, sell and market! It’s not cheap and easy, it’s hard work that needs to be appreciated.