Upon meeting Eleanor Pendleton, the first thing you notice is that she literally glows from the inside out. Her spirit and nature are incredibly generous, warm-hearted and admittedly infectious. Her skin is flawless and her perfectly highlighted complexion would be the envy of any beauty aficionado. Eleanor is the epitome of the brand she has crafted over the past five years – she’s authentic, she’s straight talking and, as she eloquently puts it, she’s “a no bullshit kind of person”.
Like Gritty Pretty, an online beauty destination that fuses high-end products with practical tutorials, Eleanor strikes the balance between luxury and accessibility with pinpoint precision. It was perhaps these qualities and her innate drive to succeed and continually push herself that saw her become Australia’s youngest beauty editor (for FAMOUS at age 20) before shaking up the beauty industry when she went out on her own.
Eleanor is the epitome of the brand she has crafted over the past five years – she’s authentic, she’s straight talking and, as she eloquently puts it, she’s “a no bullshit kind of person”.
When I met Eleanor at her office in La Porte Space, an expansive converted warehouse home to photographers, bloggers and fellow creatives, she is fresh from returning home from LA, where she shot supermodel Miranda Kerr for the cover of the seventh issue of Gritty Pretty magazine. I had actually met with Eleanor to write a profile piece for Latte magazine, my work at the time, where we spent an hour diving into the business success of Gritty Pretty. However, being the kind and gracious person that she is, she spent another five minutes with me (which included a tour of her much-coveted beauty cupboard) for this blog post.
HOW WOULD YOU SUM YOURSELF UP IN 5 WORDS?
(And I hope other people would describe me as) Kind
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 5 INSPIRATIONS OR MOTIVATIONS IN LIFE?
+ To be successful. And my definition of successful is creative freedom.
+ To be independent and to always maintain independence. Whether that’s my personal life, my work life or any facet of my life.
+ To be open-minded and willing to learn from mistakes, and to learn from failure. There is so much attention on Gritty Pretty at the moment to be a successful brand, but at any point, that could change and I’m very open to that. So if that happens, then it will happen. But I am so driven and intent on making it a successful business, but I think that as an entrepreneur you have to be open to the fact that sometimes shit can go south.
+ To be happy and to be content I think is everything.
+ Practising optimism and positivity is something again. I wouldn’t say that I’m religious but I am spiritual and I think that to practice positivity can only bring joy into your life and the life of others. More often than not I can see when people are so ingrained in perhaps negativity or they can only see the darkness in the situation. And my mind, because I have trained it that way, does not operate like that. There is a bad situation, I will try and find the positive in it. Sometimes it doesn’t always happen, but if I can try and find that, then you’re only going to be better off for it. Nothing good comes from anything bad.
+ To inspire others, I think that’s a big motivation for me. I feel really fortunate that I get to go to work every day and I love my job. Not everyone gets that. Not everyone has I guess even the opportunity to have a job and to work. So if I can inspire people in some way, to stay true to their dream and to follow their dream, then I’ll die a very happy woman.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 5 SPOTS IN YOUR HOMETOWN AND WHY?
I live at Freshwater Beach, and I love where I live. Freshwater Beach is such a beautiful town. I love just going for the walk from Freshwater to Curl Curl.
+ My favourite bar would be Stowaway in Freshwater. It’s a really nice wine bar.
+ One of my favourite homewares stores is on the northside and that’s Tabletonic in Avalon.
+ I recently just went to the Newport on the weekend and that place is amazing.
+ For shopping I love Tuchuzy and Splice.
+ For breakfast, because I’m a big breakfast person it would be the Balmoral Boatshed.
NAME THE 5 MOST IMPORTANT MILESTONES IN LIFE THAT HAVE GOT YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW
+ Definitely studying was the first one. I did a Diploma in Journalism and once I started studying that was a huge milestone for me. I was the first person in my family to go to university and it started there.
+ That milestone I would then combine with my first internship which was with Zoë Foster Blake, at Cosmo, that’s kind of where it all started.
+ When I moved across to Famous magazine as their Beauty Editor. I’m pretty sure I was 19 or 20, I can’t remember! I think I had just turned 20. That was a massive milestone for me. I become the youngest beauty editor in Australia. At the time I was so ashamed of my age and I felt that I really had to prove my worth and my maturity and experience to other people within the industry who were much older. So I was really embarrassed when people asked me how old I was. Now I look back on it and I’m really proud of it. But I think, at the time when I landed that job, it was such a huge milestone because Jerrard Roberts who was the editor just trusted me so much. I didn’t even walk out of the building before he called me and told me I had the job. So I think that was a huge milestone for me, to have that promotion.
+ Working at InStyle on an international masthead, was a huge milestone for me. It taught me so much discipline as a writer and I took so much out of that experience. I guess it was three years of helping me hone in and find my voice as a writer.
+ Launching Gritty Pretty is the biggest milestone so far. I don’t think any of those experiences compare to that one now. But being able to work on a brand that you have created is the ultimate milestone.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS?
+ I hope to maintain happiness.
+ I hope my husband and I will have a family by then.
+ I hope I will still be working by myself.
+ I hope my brand will have expanded and grown exponentially.
+ I hope I will have a team of 20+ staff, full time.
+ I hope that I am still living on the Northern Beaches, but still travelling the world.
+ And I hope I’m still having breakfast dates at the Balmoral Boatshed!
SO YOU CAN ONLY STOCK YOUR BEAUTY CUPBOARD WITH 5 PRODUCTS. WHAT DO YOU CHOOSE?
Oh god! You can’t do that!
+ Makeup – (oh god, there are so many!) Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector
+ Charlotte Tilburry Film Star Filmstar Glow Pallet, in light and medium.
+ La Prairie Skin Cavier Foundation and inbuilt concealer (because then I can do two-in-one!)
+ SKII Facial Treatment Essence (I would actually die without that, my skin would fall apart)
+ And Mecca To Save Face SPF50.
Image credit: @eleanorpendleton