Berry Liberman is a social entrepreneur and one hell of a business woman. Berry is the founder of the company Small Giants, which empowers and supports businesses that are invested in being part of a socially equitable and environmentally sustainable world. She is also the Publisher and Editor of Dumbo Feather magazine. Oh, and did we mention she also has three kids?
This is one lady we all need to get to know a little better….
For those that aren’t aware of your background, can you fill us in?
I was born and raised in Melbourne Australia. I did a Bachelor of Creative Arts at the Victoria College of the Arts and graduated in 1999. After that I went and worked and trained in Hollywood working in the independent film industry. My time there was the most incredible five years and I was seriously fortunate to meet and learn from some of the best in the business! It was a deeply immersive and challenging time but it was there that I learnt everything I know today about storytelling. Structure, editing, voice, tone, rhythm and authenticity. Without authenticity and sense of who you are in the world our ‘voice’ doesn’t translate to the page or the screen. Which is another way of understanding connection. Those who are truly connecting with others have understood some fundamental things about themselves and are able to articulate those things through their work.
It’s very inspiring when form and content come together with integrity! Anyway, I’m straying from the question…. When I was about 25 I met my husband-to-be, Danny and what I thought was my life path suddenly changed! I realised I wanted a family and felt that a career in directing film wouldn’t support that so I came home and soon after we had our first child Amos, we began Small Giants together.
Tell us about the philosophy of Small Giants?
The aim of Small Giants was to align our personal values with our working lives – bringing together who we are, with what we do.
Small Giants was created to show we can do business in a new way. We can look at business as a powerful tool for change. Business can, and business should, be asking; is it good for the planet? Is it good for people? Does it make a profit? Those three questions are not and never were mutually exclusive. Small giants is also a way we can safeguard our values. We work with people we love and are inspired by to do good things in the world and hopefully create the world we want to live in – not the one we have been prescribed to accept.
We are huge fans of Dumbo Feather, how did your role as Publisher and Editor come about?
The founder of Dumbo Feather, Kate Bezar, and I were friends for a few years and after she had her first child and I had my second, we were chatting about the future of Dumbo. Kate wanted to move onto a new chapter in her life and see Dumbo Feather grow too. She asked if I new anyone that would be interested in taking it over. I said to her that nobody could do it because it was so iconic and so her. Famous last words….. Danny and I realised a few weeks later that it could be us and that it would be an incredible storytelling heart for Small Giants.
What is your vision for Dumbo Feather?
I see Dumbo Feather as an antidote to all of the negative media out there telling us how terrible, how selfish, how rotten, how evil and corrupt we are. The unending barrage of destruction and hatred that gets so much air time and newspaper coverage. I just don’t believe any of it to be the whole truth. It is a part of the human story but by no means is it the central story. I hope Dumbo Feather continues, through whatever means to make sense, to keep telling the story of people who are living lives of meaning and purpose and passion, people who contribute to the world to make it better for all of us. People who are human and fall and get up again. Extraordinary people who care and who fight the good fight.
During your time at Dumbo Feather what has been a highlight for you?
My personal growth and the growth of my team. I’ve had some enormous challenges which in the past would have frightened me into total retreat from the world. I’ve found that the more I do, the stronger I get. Also our readers and community. There are so many wonderful stories we hear of people seeking meaning and passion – hope. Dumbo Feather gives me hope.
How would you describe yourself in business in three words?
Passionate, Purposeful, ambitious.
What is the best and worse thing about being your own boss?
Best thing is being able to chart my own path and have total flexibility and creative freedom. The worst thing is the weight of responsibility for everything and the feeling that I’m never doing enough….
What inspires you?
My family. My husband, my kids, our garden, my colleagues, a beautiful spring day, music, people who are driving positive change and innovation.. …ummmmm the list goes on for a few pages actually!
You’re also a mum of 3 – how do you make it all work for you?
Well today it is working. Yesterday not so much 😉 Each day is a bit huge and overwhelming in terms of schedules and headspace. Having people who love and support you around you is the only way to muddle through. I work with the best people in the world. I’m naturally lazy and disorganized so I’m moving against my own type all the time (it’s true) – you cannot fulfill your own dreams if you can’t get your head around logistics, planning, scheduling and preparation.
You’re a very successful business woman, what is your advice for other woman trying to juggle career and parenting?
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else – my favorite saying is COMPARISON IS THE DEATH OF HAPPINESS. Remember that you are enough. Stay focused. Laugh a lot. Nourish yourself and the people you love as regularly as possible. Celebrate the good stuff. Find good support. Be kind.