Embracing tree change


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I’m chatting with Jenny Hardman today about embracing tree change and how she and her husband, James, moved from corporate Sydney to country NSW to pursue their vineyard dreams. 


We talk about the ins and outs of what the tree change has looked like, the highs and lows of taking on a 1868 heritage listed property and the huge amount of work required to turn the property into an airbnb. 


Jenny and James still have big dreams for the future. They plan to open a cellar door alongside their newly planted vineyard and we talk about how they are navigating the path toward their goals.


Many people dream of living that country life but actually taking the plunge is a whole other story. Jenny says that her biggest lesson has been finding the right people to help them on their journey. Running both a wine business and airbnb cottage, Jenny also talks about the importance of doing your research, solid marketing and building a strong network.

Topics discussed:

[2:15]: Jenny’s husband is a wine maker and they’d always talked about moving to the country. Covid accelerated their move to the country and they made it happen within 5-6 weeks. 

[4:00]: The property market was tight and has continued to grow. They are renting but have bought a heritage listed property which had been partially renovated.

[6:30]: The renovation and styling work that Jen and her husband did on the cottage to turn it into an airbnb. 

[8:15]: Lockdown restrictions meant they couldn’t have any guests in the house, which made their budget tight. They started out with a property manager but it didn’t align with their values and Jen learned to trust her gut to find the right people. 

[10:40]: James’ vineyard is on the same property. They’ve had a lot of rain which means they’ve had a lot of things to deal with. 

[11:55]: James and Jenny have always wanted to have a vineyard and cellar door on the property. Jenny talks about how they intend to make this happen. 

[13:40]: Due to the heritage listing, they have enlisted the help of a heritage consultant to ensure their renovations are approved. 

[14:30]: Jenny has worked alongside James in a part time marketing capacity but it will be a shift to work alongside him full time. 

[16:00]: James and Jenny chose Shoalhaven as it’s not such a saturated market and their airbnb is going really well, which gives them confidence. 

[17:45]: Their daughter has taken a while to find her feet but there’s never a right moment to do these things. 

[19:45]: They are currently in the calm before the storm. The next stage of hard work will be getting the cellar door ready. 

[21:00]: The biggest lesson has been to find the right team. Jenny’s advice to others is to do your research, think about social media, content and connecting to other people doing similar things. 

[23:50]: Where to find Jenny, the cottage and James’ wine

Links & Resources.


Connect with Jennifer: 

Connect with Rebecca: 


Check out my 5 Part Video series about how to really plan a live virtual event here.

Thank you for listening!

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About the Show:

The Rebecca Saunders Show is your place to discover how to build resilience, craft confidence and have a huge impact on the world. This podcast is for female business owners wanting the skills and knowledge they need to show up and stand out in a noisy, digital world.


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