Interview with Real Housewife of Melbourne and owner of Bloomfield Bali, Sally Bloomfield

Before we talk business, let’s talk Real Housewives. I am so jealous, I want to be one! How are you finding the experience? Is it what you expected?

Maybe you should apply for the next season, we need some new characters!!! To be really honest I went into this with a totally open mind. I really loved the experience and I think the key is to not take it, or yourself, too seriously!! I absolutely adore some of the girls and we have become really good friends and we catch up regularly and always keep in touch on the phone.

My mum also told me if I went to the show and swore she would never forgive me. so I kept that promise… well, sort of… until the reunion..!!! When I got home from filming I had to fess up to her and she said: “Darling, I couldn’t agree with you more”!!!!

Who’s been a highlight to meet and get to know on the show?

My girls are Jackie, Janet and Gamble, such fun girls and very down to earth. What you see if what you get. Gamble is hilarious, I adore Jackie and Ben and loved getting to know Janet, she is such fun and I love her naughty side!!

What’s your favourite RH show overseas? 

Hands down Beverly Hills…

So living in Bali & Mornington Peninsula, tell me how that works, how often are you flying etc? 

Mmmmm good question!! Somehow I make it work, I love what I do and try to be happy wherever I am instead of wishing I was somewhere else. I try to get to Bali every 2-3 months. I am also very blessed that my Mum lives with the boys and myself so when I am traveling their routine doesn’t change which is important at this age of their lives. Nic is in Year 10 and Jules is year 4. I used to take Jules with me but that became too difficult for him going back and forth with different schools so now he stays with Mum and Nic.

My friend Melanie Schilling (relationship expert) is over there living the Bali life and loving it too, tell me what’s the appeal? 

Yes, Mel and I are catching up next time I am there!! Well, the weather for one.. I am not a winter person so that was always a huge appeal for us all and we have such a huge network of friends in Bali, it is very social and I love that side of it and also the Balinese are just beautiful people, it is a very lovely lifestyle, although there are always a fair amount of cocktails involved at some stage of the day…

Bloomfield Bali

So you’ve launched your own hotel, Bloomfield, (which looks absolutely stunning by the way!), what inspired this business decision, and how is it working for you?

It was something my husband Ian decided to do before he died. He thought he had much longer to live and would be able to complete it but passed away only 3 months into the building. I didn’t think I could do it all by myself, there is just so much involved and being in a foreign country, the legal side of it, the setting up of the business, the building, the decorating, the staffing.. it was such a huge undertaking and I didn’t know I was up for given that I had my boys to take care of after losing their father.

I went to Bali to put it on the market and had half a dozen agents over and listed it and then I don’t know what happened but I woke in the middle of the night, it was like Ian was there watching over me… I decided that I needed to do it and move out of my comfort zone and face my fear. I rang my accountant the next day and he totally encouraged me to do it.. this took me one year to finish and open.

You recently owned a gorgeous boutique in Barwon Heads too, so quite versatile in your business interests. What else are you working on currently? 

Yes, Bloomfield and Webber (with my business partner Kate Webber) opened one week after Ian died, that was a surreal time! We had it open for around 7 months and then I had to start filming Housewives so we decided to go online which was much more manageable. We opened last Christmas for 2.5 months over the Christmas period which was fantastic and busy but I was so tired from the hotel and filming and we decided that we would just continue online as we were also moving back across to the Mornington Peninsula so it wouldn’t work having a store any longer.

I also launched my accessories business with another friend Caroline Cox last February called just BLOOMFIELD (yes that name again). We design jewelry, bags, sunglasses and also did a small clothing capsule. We are only online at this stage but are having heaps of fun and have always wanted to work together. Caroline has a background in fashion and shoes so is great for the production side of things along with the creative.

How do you juggle the kids with work/life in 2 countries? 

With an incredibly patient and wonderful mother!!!!

How do you manage the day to day administration side of things, do you have help (ie VAs etc) 

No, I do it all myself.. of course I have accountants to help with that side of things but its pretty much me, which is exhausting and needs to change sometime soon!!!

What’s your favourite way to unwind? 

Family dinners are my favourite time of day.. just sitting with mum and the kids and absolutely no devices allowed!! We talk about their day, the week ahead, who is doing what and try to laugh as often as we can.. oh and The Bold and the Beautiful is my guilty pleasure!!! I have been watching it for around 30 years and the wonders of Foxtel, I can now series link it and binge watch when I am home and have time… ssshhhhh

I love your bold jewellery and style, tell me your favourite places to shop for clothes and accessories?

Thank you!!! I am mad about earrings and had had these designs in my head for some time and so decided to make them myself, all our pieces are handmade and very bold, a bit like me!!! I am not a big shopper, I am usually walking past somewhere and see something I like and just go and buy it but if I had to name a few – I love Christine in the city in Melbourne, her hand-picked collections are insane and at the moment I am covering all the new Lanvin jewels..

My gorgeous friends Francesca Hubay has Hubay1969 and I love her mix and match approach. There is another label in Bali I love called Nikki Ross, her silver pieces are really cool rock n’ roll bold pieces. I also adore Heart of Bone by my gorgeous friend Emma Abrahams from Husk fame.. again they are bold and cool.. my latest favorite for jewelry is Isle and Tribe, Tania’s designs are fun and funky and easy to wear!!!

For shopping, I love Husk, my good friend Kirrily Johnston is now the creative director and designing some really gorgeous knitwear and faux fur pieces I am lusting after for my winter wardrobe. In Geelong I always found something at Women’s Collection on Pako, they have really interesting labels that other shops don’t carry line Anine Bing and Mr. Mittens. My all my wardrobe staples I can’t go past Viktoria and Woods, I love their cut and fabrics and it is like every piece was made for me. For basics, I love Bassike and Zara. For cool finds I love Shag on Chapel street and also Secondo on Toorak road is always somewhere I love to go, you never know what you can find there!

What’s next for Sally? Are you doing another season, is there anything else on the horizon?!

I am contracted for 3 series but none of us really know at this stage when filming will start again. I have started to write a book so wouldn’t mind finding some time to do that. I have also been asked to be the face of Australia for a skincare brand but that is being negotiated at the moment so won’t hex that but saying it out loud, so that will be huge fun if it happens and who knows what else, things just come up and if they seem fun and doable at the time I will always say yes!!

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