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Pavilion Chats With: Camille Aniversario

In the lead up to the Invincible Young Women of Adversity event, to be held at the Pavilion on Northbourne on Sunday 10th December, we chatted to the woman behind it all, Camille Aniversario. After the recent arrival of her twin girls, Franki & Gigi, Camille continues to take Canberra and the surrounds by storm with her dessert business, PIP & LOU. which produces unique, custom made cakes. If that's not enough, Camille runs a blog, Invincible She, which details the heartbreak, trauma and abuse that her and her daughter, have suffered. She speaks about the adversities she faced, and how she overcame them, in hope that her stories will allow others to speak out and overcome hardships, in whatever form they may be. Following an overwhelming response to her blog, Camille decided to host an event which brings together young women and celebrates overcoming hardships. Here we have the Invincible Young Women of Adversity event. 

Given the extremely high demand for this event, having sold out within three weeks, a second event has been announced. To be held at the Pavilion on Northbourne, Sunday 4th February, from 11am until 2pm.



Who is Camille Aniversario, the face behind PIP & LOU.?
I created PIP & LOU. From my home kitchen in 2013. I was in the midst of an incredibly expensive divorce and custody case following mine and my daughters escape from domestic violence and started selling cakes to friends and friends of friends to earn grocery money as my full time income was being expended on legal fees, daycare and living expenses. It was also a really nice way to work from home and spend time with my daughter while making the extra money we desperately needed at the time.

I took PIP & LOU. public in 2014 after I had established a full time clientele from word of mouth. It was then that I could put my one-of-kind freestyle ‘beautiful mess’ forward. Being the very first dessert business of its kind, it kind of just exploded across Canberra and into Sydney from there.

Juliet Moody from THE FEARLESS INITIATIVE approached me with respect to sponsoring her first event in 2016. It was then that I decided in the interest of authenticity that I to needed to be fearless in putting our story forward. I published a Facebook post that in turn was shared and then re-published around the country thousands of times. From there I realized that there was real value in speaking out. That other people experiencing my situation could draw strength from my words and so my blog, INVINCIBLE SHE. was born from there.
What is the Invincible Young Women of Adversity event?
In response to my Facebook posts and subsequent blog, I received what was sometimes hundreds of emails and messages from around the country each week. A great deal of these came from young women within the Canberra region.  I had noticed and often been invited to local women’s events which were primarily focused on business women. There were not however any events for young women accomplishing their goals outside of business.

Coming from a working class single parent family and then having become a working class single parent at the age of 21 myself. I felt that there was a real need to pull together an event celebrating young women in their fight to overcome adversity and succeed. I wanted to create an event that told young women, “it does not matter if you are not traditionally ‘well educated’, didn’t go to a ‘good school’, nor like me didn’t come from a societal typical ‘good family’. What you’re doing is incredible and you deserve recognition in despite of the circumstances that have led you here”.

Being worthy of recognition should not require a cookie cutter approach. You should not have to tick all of the pretty boxes and meet a particular standard. You can be 18 having lived a life many 45-year-old professionals for example, will thankfully never know. This statement is controversial I understand. But in my mind, recognition simply needs to be earned and there should be a broader criteria considered in determining that, particularly where age is considered.  
We’ve read about some of the other speakers who’ll be presenting at your event. How did you come to know these women and their stories?
I have been fortunate to meet these incredible women in a diverse array of ways. Some from school or through a friend of a friend. Some have been customers or those I have linked up with via mutual social media recognition. I put out a public EOI for those who might be interested in contributing to the event and received 63 responses. These women  were the very first to raise their hands and for that I am incredibly grateful. It is likely that INVINCIBLE YOUNG WOMEN OF ADVERSITY may lead into a large-scale series of events. There is certainly no shortage of inspirational young women in this town and I’m looking forward to the chance to acknowledge each of them.
Can you share some tips with us for managing work/life balance?
Yes certainly! First of all, try to learn to stop apologising when you are in fact doing your very best. This is a skill I am yet to master.  There is very much a truth to the old ‘take care of yourself first’ speel. You’re no good to anyone if you’re falling apart personally.

On any given day I am pulled in dozens of directions and sometimes as a result I let people down both personally and professionally. Just last week I RSVP’d to an event at the last minute, but then didn’t make it due to my twins having been poorly from their injections. I didn’t know at the time but my email server had crashed and so as far as the event coordinators were concerned, I simply hadn’t shown up as they hadn’t received my email advising I couldn’t make it. These types of things weigh heavily on me and I feel awful for some time after. I’m learning to remind myself to take it easy in situations that are beyond my control. I think that is the most helpful advice I can offer. Make up for it where you can, but don’t beat yourself up over not being a super hero. They’re fictional for a reason, sometimes it simply cannot be done!

What is next for Camille Aniversario!?
2018 is going to be insane for me. In addition to wrangling my ever increasing brood, I will finally launch my brand new biz MARGERY. By Camille Aniversario. This business is incredibly close to my heart, more so now that I’ve had my girls. I will keep it under wraps until the launch, but like PIP & LOU, MARGERY has a targeted community focus. Each item involved will be limited release and 100% handmade by me. This has meant that it has taken some time to pull together with everything else on my plate. But it will be incredible and I’m so excited!

Further, there are many more events and workshops in the works, I will be employing the role of panelist and key speaker at numerous events both in Canberra and abroad and it is my hope that my book, THE INVINCIBLE KID will be available for purchase and distribution to schools and children’s organisations.