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The devastating story behind this magazine cover

The New Investors video series brought to you by Yahoo Finance reveals the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs and business people in Australia today. This is the fourth episode of the season.

“I would just lay on the bathroom floor crying and just trying to breathe, trying to get all the tears out, and then show up on set and get the job done.”

Australian entrepreneur and international jewellery designer Samantha Wills was a very busy woman at the year-end of 2015.

On top of designing six collections a year for her eponymously named jewellery label, Wills was shooting two magazine covers for Facon, a Newcastle-based fashion editorial magazine, and one for business magazine Collective Hub.

Wills makes for a perfect cover girl, exuding an effortless style and holding a gaze that communicates her natural confidence without coming across as arrogant.

A lot was happening behind the scenes of Samantha Wills's magazine shoot for Façon. (Source: samanthawills.com)

There’s no hint of a woman that is falling apart, a woman that is still reeling from the news that her boyfriend of three years had held not one but multiple affairs under her nose while she worked and travelled from New York to Sydney and back.

“I had to get myself together, and I flew back to Australia a few weeks after finding out,” she told Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Sarah O’Carroll.

WATCH: Yahoo Finance Australia’s full interview with Samantha Wills

But the spotlight is an unforgiving place to be, and near impossible to hide from.

With two magazine covers to shoot, Wills had to find a way to grieve for the end of her relationship – but then re-emerge for the cameras with a smiling face.

Samantha Wills was shooting for these magazine covers but dealing with a break-up behind the scenes. (Source: samanthawills.com)

“I'd set my alarm for 90 minutes earlier than I needed to wake up, and I did that so that I could fall apart,” Wills recalled.

“I would just lay on the bathroom floor crying and just trying to breathe, trying to get all the tears out, and then show up on set and get the job done.”

But sometimes that wouldn’t be enough to hold it together.

“Sometimes I'd have to excuse myself and go cry in the bathroom and come back, apologise profusely to the make-up artist and keep going,” Wills told Yahoo Finance.

“When we're grieving, the world doesn't stop. Small business doesn't stop. And it can often feel insurmountable.”

But in such a high-profile job, Wills was conscious of what she stood for in the public eye.

“Publicly and professionally I advocated so strongly for women's empowerment, it was what I was all about. And I truly believed it was what I was about in this life,” she said.

“But, the core of empowerment was self-worth. And, somewhere along the line I had lost my own.”

Light at the end of the tunnel

It was important for Wills to realign her public image with her personal self-worth – but when she did, it would become her new mission.

“Coming out of that, and it took me a long time to put the pieces back together, but it was in that darkness I had the idea to launch the Samantha Wells Foundation,” she said.

The Foundation is a platform designed to empower women in business, to help them share their stories and for them to feel less alone in their journey.

“Small business is really hard, and if we can be telling stories ... everyone's going through something tough, just no one's really talking about it,” said Wills.

“Life ebbs and flows and there's light and dark to all of it. And you feel it almost more acutely if you're running a small business because it's all kind of on your shoulders.”

The New Investors video series brought to you by Yahoo Finance reveals the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs and business people in Australia today. This is the fourth episode of the season.