My Little Bookshop owner Kerry Ridley decided at the age of 54, she was going to live life her way.
After years of working 9-5, taking care of her family and looking after everyone else, it was time to do something for herself.
She loved travelling, and she loved books, and so took a leap of faith by combining her two passions to open Australia's first travelling bookshop.
"When I initially started, my literal thinking was, I'll just get a caravan, travel WA and sell books," Ms Ridley said.
"I thought, I'm a 50-something year old woman, what am I going to do?
"I was sitting in a spa drinking bubbles at the time and I thought, my god, I love reading, I love travelling, I've always loved it.
"It was my mum and dad that, back in the day, took us around in the caravan that inspired that love of travel. I didn't feel scared because I thought, this is something that I really want to do."
Three years later, she's had three bookshop vans and opened her first permanent store on the Rockingham foreshore.
"It just comes down to, I've looked after everybody else, I've contributed to this family in every way, I have contributed to society in so many ways, now it is time for me.
"And I didn't really think, 'what if it goes wrong', I thought, 'well this is going to be a fun adventure, whether it lasts 60 days or six years, the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work out'."
Owning her own bookshop meant Ms Ridley could stock whatever she liked.
Where larger book stores stock what's trending, Ms Ridley said she focused on local authors, books promoting diversity and giving female writers a place and platform to share their stories.
"That's the beauty of having an independent bookshop, we stock a lot of women's empowerment books and gender equality books," she said.
She added that Frida Kahlo, women in leadership and politics and motivational novels made frequent appearances in her store.
"Once that new release has run its course, it's very rare you'll then see it in a shop. So, that's what we do. We keep it there on the shelves," she said.
After noticing a distinct lack of diverse literature, she said her passion for giving local and female authors a place to sell their work started to grow.
"I've always been a 'closet feminist'," Ms Ridley admitted.
Pressed on what she meant by the term, she said it was something she felt she'd been for most of her life, and only in the last five years did she feel there was too much inequality and bias against women to continue quietly.
As a speaker at the Soroptomist's International Women's Day luncheon tomorrow, Ms Ridley will be talking about the theme for 2022, #breakthebias.
"Breaking the bias to me is enlightening and powerful because we have come a long way, but I'm saddened at the same time that these young women of the next generation are dealing with the same stuff."
The gender pay gap, bias in the workforce and even her own daughter's experience of purchasing a home by herself, were the catalysts that sparked Ms Ridley's motivation to speak out and do more for women.
By using her business to promote female voices, Ms Ridley is giving the stage back to women to share their stories.
Of course as an avid reader, Ms Ridley shared some book suggestions by female authors in celebration of the 2022 International Women's Day theme, #breakthebias.
The first novel, 'The Good Wife of Bath' by Karen Brooks, a Tasmanian author, is a clever and comedic retelling of Geoffrey Chaucer's, 'The Wife of Bath's Tale'.
It follows a woman through medieval times, as she breaks the status quo of doing as she's told, and forges her own path.
"It's basically a 'stuff you' throughout her journey of 40 years, it was very powerful and so hilarious," Ms Ridley recounted.
The second book, 'Women and Leadership', by Julia Gillard, features chapters with previous US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and other high-profile leaders.
"It's very relevant because they just talk as women, and you've got Hillary going on about the scrunchie brigade, Teresa May on how she just dressed in suits after a while because she got bombarded for whatever she was wearing," Ms Ridley said.
International Women's Day is celebrated every year on 8 March. The theme for 2022 is #breakthebias. What does this mean to you? Let us know by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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