When Apéro met Ingela Furustig, we knew we met something special. While she is an intelligent marketing whiz, Ingela is also a talented photographer and possesses a keen eye for styling, making her an invaluable asset. Feisty and passionate, Ingela’s conscientious nature has pushed us all to better the way we care for the environment, look at social issues and have the courage to stand up for what we believe in, just like she does. Her supportive and nurturing presence is apparent in the way she helps everyone and works to foster their growth alongside her own. Ingela’s ambitious outlook and joyful laugh beams through the office and lights up our days – we adore her! Read below to see some of the charities and issues Ingela is passionate about! 

How did your journey at Apéro start? Were you drawn to their heart to give back?

My journey with Apéro began in June 2018 as an intern. I had just completed my degree in Fashion and Marketing at QUT and was looking for a fashion brand where I could develop my industry experience and knowledge. I never expected to get a job out of my internship, but quickly within a few weeks I had already been offered a part-time position and I was over the moon about it! Back then the office was a small team of 5, and over the last two years I’ve seen us grow to 11 staff members! It’s been really exciting to see the growth and increasing recognition we’ve received as a brand in the Australian fashion scene. To this day we still find ourselves at our Monday meetings excitedly sharing stories about which Apero t-shirts we spotted out in the wild over the weekend.
I was initially drawn to the Apéro’s personality; I loved the fun, vibrant, lifestyle that Apéro was trying to cultivate. I could just imagine myself throwing on an Apéro tee and exploring Europe with my best friends. Once I began working at Apéro I soon learned about their give back pledge. I thought it was incredibly special that Apéro committed to donating a percentage of its profits to Women’s Community Shelters each month. It’s not often you find a brand that uses its platform to raise awareness and give back to the community. I think that it’s beautiful that women can come together and lend a hand to others in need - we need more of this in the world!

How would you sum up womanhood?

That’s a tough question and I think that’s so unique for everyone. I personally feel womanhood isn’t about gender or a stereotypical way to exist as a woman, for me it’s about the right to choose how to live your life. It’s about the choice to decide whether you’d like to be a mother, what career opportunities you’d like to explore, your right to live true to yourself in gender-identity and sexual orientation, to live free of judgment, the right to gender equality, to decide whether you want to wear pink or blue, and to be able to walk down the street safely. I hope one day we live in a world where all this exists and that young girls can grow up in a safe world regardless of their race, religion or gender.
Ingela Furustig

Do you currently support any charitable organisations? If so, how do you contribute and why is it important to you?
End It Movement is a really powerful coalition of charities working together to eradicate slavery worldwide. With approximately 40million men, women and children fighting for freedom, the End It Movement has never been more important. Together they bring awareness prevention, rescue and restore. I would highly recommend checking them out and their coalition partners to see how you can help end slavery. 

What role have women played in your success? 

I don’t think I’d be at this point in my life without my mum. She’s supported me all through all the tough and beautiful moments. When I struggled through uni, when I was uncertain about my path, or when people upset me, my mum always gave me the confidence to move forward and become a better person because of it. 

Knowing what you know now, what is some words of wisdom you would tell your younger self?

I would encourage my younger self to care less of what people thought about me. The older I’ve become the more confident I’ve been in my style, my personality and standing up for things I believe in. Today I feel really passionate about being a voice to incite change. If you look back in history so many pivotal moments happened such as marriage equality and women’s voting rights, which wouldn’t exist without the power of the collective voice of women and men taking a stand and putting pressure on governments. 
Ingela Furustig

What do you think women should celebrate about themselves?

I love that women’s hearts are always so full of love and empathy and a whole range of beautiful emotions! Having feelings is good!! Whether you’re male or female, embrace your feelings and lead your life with empathy. If everyone could stop for a moment and think about how it would be like to live in someone else's shoes, maybe the world would be a better place for it! 

What is your PMS go-to - chocolate, watching a chick flick, heat pack, a good cry for no reason, classic overreactions, sassing everyone?

I was diagnosed quite young with Endometriosis so when I have my period self-care is so incredibly important. Physically I find a lot of relief with heat packs, plenty of warm teas, and making sure I’m always taking time to rest. Mentally my period can sometimes take a bit of a toll. I’m acutely aware of how I can get quite sad leading up to my period. This is something I’ve come to recognise and have learned to manage so that I can still function day-to-day, but also I’ve learned to be kinder to myself because it’s okay to feel the emotions that I do. 

Funnily enough, March is also globally recognised as Endometriosis awareness month. For those who might not know, Endometriosis is when tissue that’s similar to the inside of your Uterus lining grows on the outside of your Uterus and can often develop on many different organs. Pelvic pain is one of the most common symptoms but women can experience a whole range of issues. It’s far more common than people realise, there are around 200,000 million people with it worldwide and sadly a lot of young girls and women are misdiagnosed. It took me around 6 months to convince doctors that there was something amiss with my body, despite knowing within myself that something didn’t feel quite right. Now knowing I’m able to manage it the best I can, take the appropriate medication and really make self-care a priority. If you want to find out more about endometriosis, I recommend heading to Endometriosis Australia. If you’re concerned about you might have Endometriosis or experience any sort of pain, please talk to your doctor. 

Favourite Apero style right now?
I’m currently obsessing over the Brooklyn Oversized Tee. I wish there were a way to allow customers to feel the fabric through their computer screens because it’s honestly one of the softest fabrics I’ve felt. The cut of the tee is super comfy and drapes over the body so elegantly!