12 December 2016

Tea with JT - Sarah Kelly

| Jenny Tiffen
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Welcome to a new series where I get to introduce you some of Canberra’s most fascinating women, starting with Sarah Kelly.

I invited Sarah to sip tea with me, although you will see that this particular cold day, we both opted for extra strong coffee. Thank you to On Flinders Manuka for hosting us.

Here is what I found out.

Sarah and Jenny

Who are you?
Sarah J Kelly.

What do you do?
I am married and a mother of three wonderful children. We have our own property investment company – Empire Property Planning. We help busy clients to source investment properties to meet their long term goals.

We also have our own sports management agency – Empire Boxing Sports Management and currently manage Australian boxer, Steve “tough love” Lovett, being trained by former professional boxer, Ronnie Shields, based in Houston, Texas.

Sarah Kelly

I am also management committee president of Canberra based charity, Karinya House, a home for mothers and babies (supporting pregnant and parenting women in crisis). I have been involved with this incredible charity for over 10 years and see how great the need is in Canberra and surrounding regions for the vital assistance we provide to some of the most vulnerable women in our community.

Lastly, but not least! I am Director of Fashion Empire Australia – fashion writer, consultant, stylist, emcee, racing fashion commentator, Fashions on the Field, Thoroughbred Park Canberra.

How long have you lived in Canberra?
All my life! I was born in Melbourne but relocated with my family on a naval posting when I was four.

What’s the best thing about living here?
That you have the opportunity to engage with a variety of interesting people – it certainly is a city of one degree of separation! Whether through business relationships, philanthropic relationships or simply warm friendships – it makes Canberra unique.

And stating the obvious – it is beautiful! I never tire of Canberra’s seasons and scenery, art and cultural institutions, each and every day. Being involved with Karinya House has given me an opportunity to see first-hand how generous our Canberra community is – there are so many good people doing good work for those in need – generous in heart and generous in hand.

sip tea with jt

What events do have you coming up?
I am going to New York again for New York Fashion Week. My contact there is Bill Cunningham, iconic street style photographer for The New York Times.

I had the opportunity to meet him last year at the New York Times during fashion week and we formed a warm fashion friendship. We both share a deep love for fashion – there is only one Bill Cunningham and there is only one New York City!

I will then return to racing season and the Spring Carnival. There will be a preliminary racing event with Danielle Clearly Events that I am involved in and I will then be preparing for Melbourne Cup and Oaks Day and emceeing fashions on the field for these events.

Where is your favourite place to dine?
Monster, Hotel Hotel. Food AND décor perfection.

What is the fashion must have all women should own?
An amazing pair of shoes that make her feel feminine and formidable.

Now, same question, but for the men?
A well cut suit. Every man should invest in one – EVERY MAN.

What is something a housewife like me could do to look trendier for under $100?
A classic blazer, a crisp white shirt, bright lipstick and ripped jeans ….. (and yes JT, these can be found for under $100!)

I know you are a lover of horses and Spring Carnival is just around the corner. What colours are going to be hot this Spring?
Burgundy and pink hues, digital prints always a stand out, monochrome always on trend. I think with racing fashion it is better to adopt a colour and style that suits you.

Just because a colour is in season, it doesn’t necessarily certify a winning look. Originality is key – clean lines and well co-ordinated accessories are vital and hair slicked back, hair slicked back, hair slicked back – did I say hair slicked back?!

Sarah and Jenny

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
It is debatable if this would classify as a superpower but I have always been obsessed with Samantha from Bewitched and her ability to twitch her nose, click her fingers and voila, she is ready for the day with a pristine home to match! Who wouldn’t want THAT.

Three words to describe you?
Passionate, intuitive, glamorous.

Who does your hair?
Axis Hairdressing in Braddon (Rebecca for cut and maintenance) and my “big hair” comes from the maestro, Heinz, owner of Vanity Fayre, Bougainville Street, Manuka. He was doing the original beehives in the 60s – need I say more?

What makes you smile?
Greeting my children after school each day and seeing them smiling back at me.

What is your life motto?
Someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to.


I really enjoyed meeting with Sarah and getting to know her better. Are you going to start slicking back your hair?!

Would you like to have tea with Jenny or know someone who should? Contact The RiotACT for more details.



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Fashion Queen3:47 pm 20 Aug 15

Love Sarah, such an iconic woman in Canberra. Generous, fun loving and super stylish.

Jenny Tiffen2:02 pm 17 Aug 15

Dame Canberra said :

That hair! I am in total awe of Sarah’s amazing beehive.

Me too! I think a lot of locals are. I am glad I got to ask her the question!

Dame Canberra10:11 am 11 Aug 15

That hair! I am in total awe of Sarah’s amazing beehive.

Jenny Tiffen9:48 pm 06 Aug 15

courtney_sarah_ said :

Where can I find this blazer??!!

Do you mean the one she is wearing or the one for under a $100? I was puzzled by the one for under a $100 but I am sure it can be done. She has so many trend setting pieces!

courtney_sarah_7:14 pm 06 Aug 15

Where can I find this blazer??!!

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