By Abbey Cannan
After moving to Australia from Italy 13 years ago, a Noosa local has managed to turn her passion into a job, all the while raising two kids and being an advocate against domestic violence.
Ruby Sillato arrived in Noosa when she was six months pregnant with her first child, choosing a quiet and tranquil place to raise kids.
“I owned a little Italian restaurant in the Junction called Ipazzi, and ran it successfully for four years,” Ruby said.
“I then had some relationship/ family issues and decided to move on and start a new chapter of my life.
“All of the sudden I had no income, I was living in a small unit and had two very young children to raise on my own, with no family and friends support around.
“It was a very difficult time, starting again to work as a waitress, and having no security whatsoever made that time of my life a very tough one.”
Just for fun, Ruby decided to explore a type of social media that was still building popularity in Australia, live streaming.
“I discovered it by mistake and thanks to a Twitter owned app, Periscope, I opened up myself to the world,” she said.
“I started to talk to the camera to strangers, which was so much easier since there was no type of personal connection and people were from other countries, mostly USA and Europe.
“Those strangers became my friends and connections, they became a digital family that helped me so much.
“I shared my experiences and talked a lot, so much that people started to appreciate my ’talk shows’ and the audience continued to grow.
“It was my free therapy, live streaming helped me immensely, to overcome a very dark moment of my life, and especially to appreciate myself, to value myself.”
While unleashing her potentials through social media trends, Ruby also learnt how to deal with and confront online bullying.
“The more I learnt, the more I helped people to find a positive outcome of life and the more I shared my past experiences and personal stories, the more I felt free,” she said.
“I speak about domestic violence a lot based on my personal journey, but I mostly want that to be a way to inspire people to speak up and share their story too.
“I helped so many women and men with similar stories, and that gave me the motivation to keep going.”
While doing her live shows, Ruby started to receive many requests from her viewers for recipes.
Those requests then sparked the idea for her cooking show in a live streaming format, which has now been going for four years.
“I always loved cooking because of my mum, she’s a great cook and the typical Italian mum that never stops cooking for others,” Ruby said.
“Since I also owned a restaurant I learnt a lot about food and cooking on a more professional level, but I’m not a chef nor do I pretend to be one, my cooking shows became popular almost by mistake while filming my lives.
“People loved my Italian recipes, and the authentic touch I brought.
“I do Italian dishes on my social media and my strong dishes are pasta dishes, especially the Sicilian ones, which is where I come from originally.”
Ruby’s shows started to produce income and so three years ago, she decided to quit her waiting job and focus on this new venture, and it worked.
“Slowly my cooking shows became a business and my social media handle became a brand,” she said.
“Ruby Noosa is now a global brand that accumulated, over the years, 80k followers and more than 45 million impressions (likes) on my videos.
“Funny because not many people around Noosa know this, since my audience grew organically in USA and Europe mostly.
“If you would have told me five years ago that I would create an income cooking my favourites dishes at home in my tiny kitchen and in front of an iPhone talking to myself, I would have laughed so hard and probably thinking you were crazy.
“But we do live in a world that is moving fast and so social media.
“Now managing social media accounts for Noosa businesses has become my second business and once again I have to thank this amazing town for trusting me and making me believe that with hard work and passion, anything is possible.”