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Empowering Women Series: Bahar Etminan, Founder of Rescu

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m a mother, a hustler, an author, an immigrant, a survivor...I’m also usually very happy and positive about the future. I’ve proven time and time again (mainly to myself) that I have mega energy reserves, resilience and that I’m pretty flexible with what life throws at me. I’d like to think I’m also kind and generally forgiving.

Rescu seems to be a combination of all your greatest loves. Where did the idea for Rescu come from and what inspired you to create it?

I launched RESCU in 2007 as an online store to a beauty distribution business I had started when I was 28.  In addition to the store,we started publishing an online newsletter to inspire and inform our customers. It was really just a second thought to publish but the content was compelling and it took off. When I closed the distribution business in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, I kept RESCU and pursued just the publishing side of things.. More out of need than ingenuity.. But as it turned out, fate had another plan in store for me and so RESCU the website was born...I wanted an online destination that had curated content from the point of view of experts in their field. Somewhere to get both information and entertainment. I like to think that if you’ve read an article or watched one of our videos or read my book, you can start a conversation at a dinner party and be 100% sure you have an informed opinion and balanced point of view.  

You meet a lot of celebrities through your work, was there ever a time you were particularly star-struck?  

I was very excited to meet Dianne Von Furstenberg, the designer, having followed her career, worn her dresses, read her biographies. The opportunity to meet and interview a living icon was a dream come true. The reality vs the dream was somewhat different. She certainly lives in her own bubble and as I watched her interact with other people, the pedestal I had her on was lowered. To be fair, I saw her three times over two days. She was in her sixties, she was traveling, speaking, doing a show and endless interviews. Possibly she was just exhausted. Kim Cattral, the actress (best known as Samantha from Sex and The City) however was a total surprise. An incredibly intelligent, erudite and completely kind human. She leaves a trail of gold dust everywhere she goes.

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How did you build this business and brand? Did you have a very specific vision or did your plans change along the way?

The brand of RESCU has obviously evolved as digital publishing has gone from niche to absolute mainstream. My plans are updated every 3-6 months. There’s the brand plan and a business plan. They are different. The brand needs to evolve daily. The business side is about long standing relationships that you take on the journey with you.

Who has inspired you either personally or professionally?

Personally I have been inspired by so many people. Men and women at different phases of my life. My mother is a force of nature and the very embodiment of stamina, intelligence and resilience. She’s also completely in her feminine power and a great reminder that you don’t have to give that up to be strong and tough. Professionally, Real Estate Expert, John McGrath remains a mentor and inspiration. He is hard core in walking his talk. Attention to detail, constant self editing and improvement and never ever taking no for an answer. I worked for him in my early 20’s and learned so much. Sadly, I do not possess that kind of self control in any area of my life.

Do you think women in media face more scrutiny than men? Does this affect what you do and how you do it?

I think in everything women face more scrutiny so media is no different.

Why do you believe that every woman deserves to live a fabulous life?

I think we all deserve to have control of our experience of life and who wouldn’t want that experience to be more fabulous?  I’ve worked with a life coach Dr Fred Grosse on and off for 20 years.. He has taught me that every moment can be turned around by topping it up with things you like and that make you happy. You can literally dial up the fabulous.. You just need a list of things that sprinkle fabulous on every day, every moment and every occasion. It’s called 10’s, 20’s, 50’s and 100’s.. I talk about it in my book RESCU Me! A Makeover guide for a life more fabulous.

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Do you have any memorable moments in your career that stand out or any great moments of realisation and learning?

I hosted a conference in 2013 for RESCU readers at the Hilton. 480 women attended for a full day of experience the RESCU world and hearing 16 of our experts speak on stage.  Kerri-Anne Kennerly was my MC and Alex Perry did a full scale runway show. It was an otherworldly experience. I remember walking into the room for sound check and being awestruck that my little idea that saved me from going bankrupt just 5 years prior was this truly incredible full immersion experience. I loved it and the feedback was insane. My book launch was also a beautiful moment. My daughter was 4.5 at the time and still says it’s the proudest moment of her life. What can possibly beat that?

What do you enjoy doing when you have a moment to yourself?

I’m a sucker for a good facial.  I love a luxurious La Prairie facial and a good cosmeceutical facial from Ultraceuticals. I also have an Omnilux machine at home. I try to get under it 2-3 times a week. It’s like meditating…

What does your ideal day look like?

An ideal day kicks off when I can get my daughter off to school without a mini battle, a good hairdo and we sing and dance in the car on the way there. I get to attend a lot of beautiful launches and events for work and am in an industry where even your competitors are often friends. It’s really hard to have a bad day. After school, I like to do something fun with my daughter before homework/ bath/ book.. In summer we swim at our little beach, in winter we might have a little early dinner at our local Japanese restaurant. If I can squeeze in some reading, a pilates class at Pilates Physique which is virtually next to my office, an episode of Suits on Netflix and dinner with friends, I’d call it a perfect day.  

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