About

If you’re on this site, you probably know me or know of me. If not, hello! I’m a storyteller, entrepreneur and community builder interested in the interplay between humans and stories, and how the stories we tell shape relationships, build communities and grow businesses.

Some people have many interests but choose to focus on one. I have many interests and I’m lucky enough to be able to indulge in most of them, most of the time. The cracks in life are interesting and I  fall into them regularly and intentionally!

[see some of the things I do] [see some of the things I’ve done]



Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t. – Mary Schmich
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. – Albert Schweitzer
A woman who limits her interests limits her life. – Vincent Price (adjusted to fit the feminine)

Some of the things I do…

I am an oral storyteller and tell stories far and wide as Ziyadliwa.

Building on my belief that our stories underpin how well we communicate, I am a communication skills trainer at Start with Story helping professionals and organisations in the sustainability, social and environmental sectors make change happen by starting with story.

I am a business mentor, and work with a handful of transitioning individuals as well as new and growing businesses to help them get from where they are to where they want to be. I tend to work with women who are looking for a change or looking to turn their ideas into businesses.

I am the founder of Frauen Power, a network for women in business and women starting and growing their own businesses in Tirol.

I protect, maintain and rescue WordPress websites and offer WordPress training at Stress-free WP.

I created Living Innsbruck to promote local groups, events and projects in Innsbruck, and I run it day to day.

I start and grow local communities.

I write a blog about living deliberately at A Deliberate Life.

I run a speed meeting group to help interesting people find other interesting people in Innsbruck.

I run events across Innsbruck to give people a platform where they can share an idea or their expertise in a variety of formants.

I regularly add to my list of interests and projects as I go – because life is too short not to give things a try…

[see some of the things I’ve done…]

Fancy a chat? Get in touch.

“I’ve actively chosen to spend more time doing the things that make me happy. There are quite a few things that make me happy, it appears…” – SW


“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein

Some of the things I’ve done…

Born and raised in South Africa, I’ve lived and worked in 6 countries on 5 continents. For work and play, I’ve travelled the globe and don’t plan to stop.

I’ve worked in the corporate world as a programmer then a project manager, managing distributed teams and multi-million pound projects.

I’ve earned a degree in English Language and Philosophy and a diploma in English Language Studies.

I’ve studies ESL and have the certificate to do it for a living.

I’ve been a consultant, working for a silly daily rate.

I’ve given it all up to travel the world.

I’ve acquired accreditations in the technical, the esoteric and the sort-of practical – like Oracle DBA, Pivotal CRM, Visual Basic, Reiki, Aura-soma, TEFL and therapeutic massage.

I moved to a new country for love and it worked out!

I had a go at being a kindergarten teacher and realised I didn’t like it.

I’ve written a book. I’m in the process of writing and illustrating another.

I’ve learned to speak German passably well.

I’ve started businesses in the UK, South Africa, the USA and Austria.

I founded a creative agency where I crafted brands, design web & digital experiences, created design material and delivered marketing. After 13 years of running it successfully, I closed it to pursue new things.

I learned to tell people about the Pachamama project.

I’ve had great successes and a few failures.

I’ve helped hundreds of individuals and new and growing businesses get going.

I’ve started three inter-connected businesses that deal with stories, storytelling and communication – and they seem to be working!

Fancy a chat? Get in touch.

Random Suzanne

(I wrote this ages ago and feel that it reflects who I am pretty well. I thought I’d keep it, in spite of some overlaps with the above)

I am a globe-trotting South African who bounces between Innsbruck, Johannesburg and London. I’ve many interests as well as the skills to turn my interests into businesses and projects at the drop of a hat. Call me a serial entrepreneur, if you like. Over the years, I’ve founded and run a number of successful businesses and initiatives, and my current list includes a network to support women in business; a communications skills training business; a network for women in business and female entrepreneurs in Tirol; a WordPress support firm; an oral storytelling “business”; a creative agency; and an initiative to build community and resilience in Innsbruck. When time allows, I also write and illustrate children’s books; turn unused spaced into gardens; and create temporary (and sometimes long-lasting) communities. I believe in sharing knowledge and love opportunities to speak and train.

I believe that being kind is vastly under-rated.

I am an avid reader, keen scuba diver (and fish-hugger – as opposed to tree-hugger), and facilitator of events.

Early morning the best time of my day, but I delight in moonrise and stargazing. Prefer summer and autumn to winter and spring, and going barefoot instead of wearing shoes. Can be found reading cookbooks for pleasure.

Love bringing people together, jumping in puddles, losing myself in a good book, throwing parties, scuba diving, cycling around town in a sundress and a big hat, drinking wine, vivid colours, cooking up a storm, the ocean, birds, basil, writing, walking (not hiking), people watching, tea, words, growing chillies, and hopping on a train, plane, or other mode of transportation to travel just about anywhere.

I think life’s too short to only do one thing. Current side projects include mastering the guitar and ukulele, learning Italian, baking the perfect loaf of bread, and writing another book.

You can reach me online but I try wherever possible to create spaces for people to come together face-to-face, so if there is an opportunity to chat over a cup of tea, so much the better.

Fancy a chat? Get in touch.