Esther Austin is an eclectic entrepreneur, adventurous and passionate about living life to the full. As an International Speaker, Moderator/Facilitator, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of the luxury lifestyle magazine – TurningPoint: Your Lifestyle, Your Well-being (www.turningpointmag.com), and Radio Personality and TV Host; Esther has travelled the world sharing her creativity and engaging personality.
She has trekked The Amazon as part of a Leadership Building Expedition and also The Inca Trail in Peru. Esther believes in creating one’s unique individual style, but also believes we should try to explore every aspect of who we are.
Esther’s hobbies are an eclectic range of experiences. Dancing, listening to music, going to festivals/concerts etc, travelling, health & fitness, reading, adventurous and doing children’s fun activities, horses (I’m an Animal Communicator), swimming, visiting the theatre, conducting reviews of shows/theatre/cinema, going on expeditions. I’m also interested in Psychology.
Esther was recently nominated as a CEO (A crazy individual who follows their dreams) in Philadelphia at The Motown Musical in Philly Awards on 25th June 2022. She received a Powerhouse Global Mentor
Award in October 2019. In February 2016, Esther was awarded a Be Mogul Award and Nominated as one of the most influential Black British Influencers in the UK. In 2005 Esther received a Barclays Start-up
Business Award and in 2000 Esther was awarded a Skillset Millennium Award for Creativity.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what your job entails on a daily basis.
I’m a mother of two young men and a grandmother to a baby boy and a girl of 7 years old and I have the most incredible relationship with all of them.
Everything I’ve created in terms of my Brand has stemmed from my life experiences. The need to create and sustain joy, freedom, truth, integrity and authenticity in who I am in my interactions with others is pivotal, along with harnessing good authentic communication. Through a lot of pain and even trauma, I’ve learned to be the bull but also the butterfly at the same time. Therefore, I am a hungry, curious and adventurous entrepreneur.
My ethos is all about walking in one’s truth and maintaining one’s authenticity and individuality as an adult whilst still connecting to the child within, who dances and is free to have fun. I also believe that we should explore every aspect of who we are, by seeking out and exploring our gifts, skills and talents to create, create, create. I love to dance, I love music, I love to explore, I love to roam and walk and climb. I love visiting the theatre, the cinema, art galleries.
I love most genres of music. I’m open to experiencing different cultures and experiences. I am an animal communicator, also known as ‘a Horse Whisperer.’ Animals have an innate sense of understanding us as humans, and yet often times because we are so separated from ourselves, we are often not aware that they are our mentors, healers and friends. I am also a Reiki Practitioner, fashion stylist and designer, author, keynote empowerment speaker and much more.
Life has been incredibly challenging and hard, however, I’ve never been the sort of person to say ‘Why Me? And to stay in the energy of doom and gloom. But to seek to find a solution and a way out of the problem. I exercise regularly and that has been my go-to place that has kept me sane. I also love music and love to dance, my other go to places.
I have had to learn how to process, how to understand the need to go on a personal transformation journey to understand the pain, understand the challenges and process those through healing and transformation so that I no longer allow those experiences to define me, but for them to elevate me and to show me the wisdom I need to keep moving forwards so that I can then reach out and support others.
On a daily basis, my role can entail any of the following: Give strategic direction on all aspects of my business by delegating in-house or outsourcing tasks. Liaise with other PR Firms to secure and interview artists. And I also research and make contact with individuals or their PR/Management of those I want to interview for both my Show – On the Sofa with Esther and my magazine; I set up the broadcast studio, and create the promotional videos for interviews.
Often liaising with my PA around her daily tasks i.e keeping the website up-to-date. I am in creating masterclasses as part of the Turning Point: Your Lifestyle, Your Well-Being Magazine Masterclass rollout. I conduct Personal Transformation/Energy Healing Consultations with clients; I work on Securing Contracts; Lots of International telephone liaisons and Meetings around collaborations and partnerships; I work on securing sponsorship deals for my brands; Write Proposals; Attend Press Events i.e Festivals, Theatre, Concerts, Plays, Art Galleries, Award Ceremonies; Organising TurningPoint’s Bespoke Events
How did your journey in the industry begin?
My journey began about 20 years ago when I won an award. I was awarded The Skillset Millennium Award. For this I created a website called ‘Caribbean Woman – Focus in the Community where I interviewed successful women from the Caribbean. I was brave enough to find out what award events were being held in London and request a press pass.
I often got in, because of the Website I had set up. This gave me a taste for the media. But the media work wasn’t just about showcasing individuals, I have a gift of being able to allow individuals to be their authentic self. So they are able to share more openly and I started to build a name for myself.
I was then on several radio stations, with my brand ‘On the Sofa with Esther’ and decided I wanted to get the interviews onto bigger platforms, hence TurningPoint: Your Lifestyle, Your Well-Being Magazine was born in 2018, since then ‘On the Sofa with Esther’ which is currently streamed on www.soultvonline.com, which has an audience of 1.6m (we will shortly be expanding onto the ROKU platform and onto Strimm TV Network), and my magazine www.turningpointmag.com is now expanding into Africa and Asia.
What are some of your career highlights?
- Some of my career highlights have been interviewing some of the most high-profile legends and pioneers from the entertainment world, who have shared openly and authentically never before told stories about their life.
- To have been awarded 5 awards for my work
- To have trekked the Amazon and delivered workshops as part of a Leadership Expedition
- To have single-handedly created what is now seen as an International Luxury Lifestyle Publication – TurningPoint: Your Lifestyle, Your Well-Being
What projects are you currently working on?
Projects I am currently working on are The Summer issue of TurningPoint: Your Lifestyle, Your Well-Being Magazine. It was recently published, so there is a lot of PR involved and social media promotion. I am also going to be building out on my TurningPoint Masterclasses and Retreats I am also working on the Autumn season of my show ‘On the Sofa with Esther’ where I interview legends and pioneers from the entertainment world, who often share never before told stories. This involves sourcing individuals to interview.
I’m also working on my Fashion range called The Funky Butterfly the ethos behind the range is to create your own Unique Signature Style. There are a few more projects, but I am not at liberty to talk about them.
What and who inspires you?
I am inspired by people who are authentic and who walk strong in their truth – it’s refreshing. People who don’t need to follow trends or be identified because of who they know or what they do. There is power in authenticity and being who you are.
People who are down-to-earth, loving, approachable and who truly understand and appreciate the value and real essence of life and humanity. I’ve interviewed so many beautiful people who are legends and pioneers, who are famous and yet have a grounded humility to them, in spite of the challenges and pain they have been through they have an appreciation for life and people, and wisdom gained from their experiences and that is real power right there.
So legends such as The Emotions, Shalamar, Sister Sledge, The Late Sonny Turner from The Original Platters, The Late Jimmy Thomas, The Late Mary Wilson, Martha Reeves, William ‘Mickey’ Stevenson – Motown’s First A&R Man, Martha High (Who toured with James Brown), and so many more. I am inspired by life itself, by people and animals, because each one of us has a story and often times it’s in the coming through and the over-coming that really makes me realise, what life is really all about.
What do you think FAME Week Africa can offer the Pan-African Market?
I feel FAME Week Africa can offer the Pan-African Market a wonderful bouquet showcasing the essence and authentic creative expression of what Africa truly has to offer. It’s a virgin market full of potential. And rather than exploiting and taking away from, FAME Week Africa can be part of the rebuilding and seed planting of the creative industries.
It is a wonderful way to bring people together from all over the world, with key messages of putting Africa back on the map, to re-celebrate and re-member the core of what Africa has to offer the world such as Her ingenuity, her rich and eclectic culture, her fusion of many different creative expressions from fashion and dance to music. From this FAME Week Africa is reclaiming and re-engaging with the Diaspora opening up newer, fresher and more authentic dialogue, building bridges and creating partnerships and employment that can support Africa on all the social-economic levels.
FAME Week Africa can become the place to go, because of what She has to offer as a destination, as an experience and a place where businesses and industries can be created and grow and where a network of individuals from different backgrounds, cultures and disciplines can come together creating a paradigm shift.
What do you think the future of the creative industries looks like for Africa?
I think the future of the creative industries looks promising. Seeds will be planted at FAME Week Africa, and those seeds will be watered with much dialogue and creative expression and interest. Africa has been the birthplace of so much cultural and creative richness and I now feel that there is a hunger, a curious understanding and requirement for change, transparency, more diversity and inclusion even more than ever and creativity in all its various forms is the bridge that brings people together. And FAME Week Africa is creating that bridge from the world to Africa and from Africa to the world.
What is the best piece of advice you can offer someone wanting to get into the industry?
Stay true to you. Find practices that will help you stay true to yourself. Keep your vision and focus, dig deep inside to see what your own creative artistry is, and try to not always follow what has been done already, maybe you might be the one to ‘Become the change you want the world to see.
Try not to be enticed or get drawn into the narrative where you sell your soul just to fit in or because everyone else is doing ‘it’, as is often seen on social media, but seek to maintain your authenticity and your uniqueness at all times. You can be part of something but not be of it. Be defined by your own standards, and not because of status and who you know.
Work on your self-belief and be respectful to others. And most of all enjoy what you do and always seek to be an inspiration to yourself and others. Be eager to learn and know that success is also made up of the things you don’t like to do and the things that make you feel uncomfortable because often that is where you grow and last but not least, surround yourself with people who tell you the truth and who have your back.
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