“Don’t be intimidated by life”

Andrea Moore, Jane Sweeney and Antonia Prebble
“Don’t be intimidated by life”

Sweet 16: a time of intense passions and grand plans, limitless possibilities and sudden insecurities. If only we knew then what we know now… three successful Kiwi women give grown-up advice to their 16-year-old selves.


Andrea Moore, fashion designerAndrea Both

At 16, Andrea lived in Rotorua and was obsessed with Duran Duran and her red leatherette custom-made ball dress. The highlight of her week was riding to Pony Club, stopping at the dairy for an ice block along the way. Today she’s an acclaimed fashion designer, her eponymous label renowned for its exuberantly colourful aesthetic and impeccable craftsmanship.

“I was into art at school and wanted to be a designer,” she reminisces. “But back then I couldn't have begun to fathom the commitment required for setting up and running a business.” To the teenage Andrea, she says:

  • “Pay more attention to what you want to do, and seek out people who can help you.”
  • “Don't be intimidated by life or people.”
  • “Embrace opportunities to gain experience, strength and versatility. Your path to success doesn’t have to be direct. The twists and turns along the way are valuable.”

To find out more about Andrea or her fashion label, visit www.andreamooreboutique.com 


Jane Sweeney, public relations guruJane Sweeney both

Head of the Anthem communications agency, a former New Zealand Trade and Enterprise trade commissioner, a campaigner for early breast cancer detection through mammography, a champion for women in business, and a married mum of three sons – Jane Sweeney has packed a lot into her life.

She thinks her teen self would be delighted with how it’s all turned out.

“The year I turned 16 my family moved from the UK to New Zealand. I was dreamy but determined, loved platform shoes, and had a boyfriend who wrote me a symphony! I’d have been chuffed to know I’d go on to do things of social and economic value, live in Paris, and have such a wonderful family.” Her advice to that “confident” girl is succinct:

  • “Don’t take yourself too seriously too early.”
  • “Always believe you can do it.”
  • “Don’t dwell on the stuff that didn’t work out. Learn to put things right and reframe quickly.”

To check out more about Jane and her company Anthem, visit www.anthem.co.nz.


Antonia Prebble, actressAntonia Both

By the age of 16, early bloomer Antonia Prebble was already a seasoned actress. “I was filming ‘The Tribe’ and going to Queen Margaret College in Wellington. I had purple hair for the show, which contravened school rules, but luckily the teachers were very supportive.”

She took part in music and drama competitions, was a decidedly average netball player, and developed a fondness for accessorising with bindis.

“I was single-minded about acting,” says the award-winning TV, movie and theatre actress. “At 30, I have a broader perspective of what success is, one that involves quality of relationships and contributing to a community.” She believes understanding yourself is important, telling her ambitious 90’s incarnation: 

  • “You don't have to be good at everything. People don't expect teenagers to know it all.”
  • “You’re more capable than you think.”
  • “It probably isn’t the best idea to wear so many bindis on your face.”

Antonia stars in ‘ANZAC Girls’, screening soon on Prime TV. 

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