“I want women to be able to do what they want to do without the barriers we face living regionally”.

Elyssa Giedraitis is based in Wongan Hills. Like most rural women, she is balancing work, mum life, and living regionally while running her creative agency – EJG Creative.

Growing up in the regions, Elyssa grew up in her family’s business of manufacturing spraying equipment. Having big plans to become a journalist, Elyssa was unable to sit her final year 12 exams due to her anxiety. Continuing to stay in Wongan Hills, Elyssa continued to work at the local IGA. Continuing to see her mental health decline, she looked for other opportunities. “The family business was there, and I knew they needed support to bring them into the 21st century”. 

Starting to work for her family business, Elyssa supported her business, and she developed their Social Media pages and website and essential marketing tools. “I realised that I liked the marketing side of thing”. There were opportunities in the regions to implement social media to help reach more audiences. Approaching Wongan businesses to see if any of them would be interested in Social Media support, she soon grew to have several clients she serviced, developing her business EJG creative. Elyssa has a business management certificate which has supported her. Other than that, she is completely self-taught and uses various resources to keep up to date with her Social Media strategies. 

Living in the regions for Elyssa, in the beginning worried her. “At first, I thought there was a limit to what I could achieve living regionally”. For the first two years, Elyssa has focused on Western Australian Businesses. With the help of her business coach, she has been able to work with clients on a national level. “Once I got down to my ideal client, I knew that I had to broaden my horizons to work with more of the clients that aligned with my business value”. Elyssa has realised that living regionally has allowed her to be more creative and resourceful so she doesn’t miss any opportunities that her city counterparts may be easily offered. 

Recently becoming a new Mum has changed Elyssa’s schedule and how she runs her business, but it is not stopping her! “I used to be very routine focused. That has all gone out the window since becoming a mother”. Elyssa says she works with her baby and his routine and around him and working around him. “Sometimes this means I work until 1 am after he has gone to bed to get a full day’s work in”. Balancing everything, admitting, is incredibly difficult “I have a very supportive family who is always willing to support me and babysit when needed”. Motivation is a crucial factor for Elyssa – “I am very driven and independent”. When she was having her baby, She said she would only have two weeks off. “I didn’t even have the two weeks off, and I had my laptop in the hospital after I gave birth”. Balancing work-life balance with her family and work is Elyssa dedicating her days to being ‘Mum’ and her partner dedicating his nights to being ‘Dad’ so she can work on her business. Saying young mums can have a career in the regions. “You need to put in the work and have a really good support crew around you. 

Elyssa also runs an only blog called theintroverarchieve on Instagram, where she shares her mental health journey. “When I was 14 (10 years ago), I was writing about my mental health experiences, but I wasn’t sharing it with the people close to me”. Elyssa wanted people to know they had feelings, and she didn’t want people to be scared of that. “It was tough to have mental illness during high school”. Having younger siblings, Elyssa would never want them to feel like she did during her high school experience. Admitting her motivation for continuing to share her struggles is due to her followers sharing their own experiences and meeting people on the street who share their own experiences, resonating with the blog “Seeing people other than me get so much out of it has been incredible”. For RRR Women in the regions, stressing the importance of getting help when needed. “Do not be scared to see a psychologist. I was terrified in the beginning and talking about everything”. Elyssa sees her psychologist almost weekly and says it is helpful to get it out and process your feelings. Living regionally, Elyssa says the Telehealth services have been crucial for her. 

For Elyssa, her hope for RRR women is to all be healthy mentally & physically. “I want women to be able to do what they want to do without the barriers we face living regionally”. Elyssa is also hopeful that people start to see living regionally as a positive factor with all the same great opportunities as the city. You just have to work a bit harder to get them.