Meet the women who inspire thousands of followers to simpilfy their lives. By Nicola Conville
“About 10 years ago, I was working as a technical writer and feeling unfulfilled and unhappy. So I closed down my business and centred my life at home.
“I started my blog in 2007. I’d been working in my home for a few years by then and was writing down a lot of the things I was doing. It started with making soap, laundry liquid and household cleaners and I also cooked everything from scratch. We already had chooks and a vegetable garden but we planted a lot more of everything and got more chickens.
“I looked around for an Australian book that would help me in this new life and I couldn’t find one. I sent a book proposal to some publishers and no-one was interested, so I turned that book into my blog. [ Hetzel has since had a book, Down To Earth, published by Penguin.]
“A blog is an excellent way of reaching readers who have the same concerns and problems as you. I also wanted to show younger women how all women used to do their housework and that this work is important, valuable and satisfying.
“There are many benefits to living a simple life. We have broken out of the one-size-fits-all mould and live as we choose. We aren’t worried about shopping for the latest thing or being part of the crowd. We live well and we’re happier than we’ve ever been. I think we’re showing our children, by example, that this gentle way of life is enriching and significant.
“My advice is to start where you’re at. Make double portions so you only cook once every two nights. Start budgeting to pay off debts. Pack lunches for work and school, spend more time with your family and have everyone sit at the table for dinner. You’ll find one thing will lead to another and a whole new world will open up for you. Every small step matters.”