Fiona Hoptman – Local Supplier
Fiona Hoptman is a Natural Medicine Practitioner based in Berry & Gerringong. We first came across Fiona in the surf at Gerroa & soon after engaged her to create some bespoke teas for WorkLife. Fiona has recently opened a new clinic in Berry and continues to see clients in her Gerringong clinic. We sit down to chat to Fiona about why living on the South Coast is so perfect for that elusive work life balance and how she came to create her own business.
What’s your local life story? How long have you called the South Coast home?
I am 49 yrs old, married with 2 children. We live in Gerringong and I absolutely adore being close to the beach and the added bonus of rolling hills surrounding me. I grew up on the northern beaches in Sydney, so I am a beach girl from way back. I have been calling the South Coast home for 11 years now.
Working for yourself. It’s a journey. When did you take the leap?
Working for myself came naturally to me during my late 20’s when I took my first leap into self employment in events and marketing consultancy. A huge growth curve, with alot of ups and downs. I am ok with taking risk and take the good with the bad. My career changed from corporate to private practice in my 30’s when ill health from high stress struck and I sought the support of a Naturopath, which changed my world and lead me to leave my job and study full time as a Naturopath.
You are clearly passionate about your business, that’s why WorkLife was drawn to engage you as one of our key suppliers! What got you started on your current business journey?
Herbal Medicine is my passion and main modality as a practitioner. After working in clinic for many years, I was searching for a sideline and how I could get my creative hat back into action! This lead to making medicinal herbal teas for friends, which then got packaged, named, labelled and released to the local South Coast community. I then thought about making personalised teas for local businesses, initially with local allied health businesses in Gerringong and for South Coast Experiences, this then lead to the blending of teas formulated for Work Life.
What’s your passion project/side gig? Is there anything that you’re hustling on?
I think personalising medicinal teas to match the business is such a lovely way for me to get creative, offer herbal remedies in an enjoyable way and give the client something special for their own customers. I feel like it’s a win-win relationship.
When people come to the South Coast, what’s the one thing they should try/do locally?
When people visit the south coast — just relax, but it’s hard to not do too much with so much to offer! Maybe take time out to explore the beautiful coastline on the Kiama Coastal Walk, swim at our amazing beaches, visit Jervis Bay, grab some local wine at our wineries and pick up some fresh produce from the local farmer’s market during your stay.
If anyone is thinking about taking the plunge and moving to the South Coast — what do you think makes it such a great place to balance Work & Life?
I would encourage the move based on my own experience enabling a shift from a fast to moderate paced lifestyle, allowing a better stress response and improved management of work and life in combination. The trick is to not bring Sydney or other place with you and get involved in the community initially and find the best employment options after some connection with the area, this is when the light bulb moment arises and new patterns of behaviour emerge!