November 25, 2014
Bio The path that led her to this point
I started Castle Design in 2010 after wanting to start a business that I could do from home.
I needed to be able to work for myself at my own pace as I was wanting to start a family.
My first job was at a cafe in my local town. I didn't go to Uni as I left home quite early and was always working to pay my bills.
I went from one industry to another - working across the world.
I worked in Real Estate in Byron Bay, Hotel Management in Canada, Beauty Salon Management in Scotland and then running a Kenyan Charity from Australia!
I had always loved computers and am a complete workaholic.
While I was running the Charity for the home in Kenya I was kind of forced to learn web design and graphic design to achieve what I wanted for the Charity.
I spent hundreds of hours studying online and practising. I am completely self taught in all that I do.
If I need to know it, I will take the time, how ever long it might take and I will learn it.
My business started to grow right around the time I gave birth to my daughter Lovisa.
I do my best to never work when she is at home. I focus on her.
When she sleeps, I work. When she is at day care, I work. When my husband comes home, I work.
I love work. It relaxes me. Most of the time!
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
My daughter, Lovisa is my greatest achievement, especially as I was told I would never have children due to car accident.
Being able to keep my business afloat and successful while having my daughter is a huge achievement.
It has been tricky managing it all, but my husband is very supportive of my business. I couldn't do it without him.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
My biggest challenge is doubting myself. I am self taught & I am up against so many other wonderful designers.
I had to tell myself (many times) to stop comparing myself to others. They do a great job and SO DO I!
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
I wish that i knew what I knew now. That we are not 'in competition' with each other. There is enough work for us all if we do a good job.
I try to put my energy into working hard, looking after my clients and doing the best job I can.
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
My most loved business resource at the moment would have to be Xero - an accounting program!! Have you used it? It makes accounting fun! No, really!
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
I admire my Mum. Most of all. A woman who has taught me so much and continues to do so every day.
She teaches and reassures me that there is no use in worrying and no need to feel guilt as a mother. We do the best we can and she was the greatest.
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
Take time to look at what others are doing and admire them. Don't give up when it doesn't happen straight away. If you work hard and I mean REALLY hard and do a good job you will be successful. There are plenty of people out there in this big wide world. Enough for us all.
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
I was thrown out of a car that was flipping at 120km per hour.
It left me with lifelong injuries and also a need to make a change with the life that I had been given back.
I only feel settled when I am actively doing something to help someone. Anyone.
Currently that someone is Rafiki Mwema. A home for girls who have been horrifically sexually abused in Kenya. I have started this Charity in Australia to support the girls home and cover all the running costs.
I have a sponsorship program established and all of the 25 girls are full sponsored. I am also fundraising for other projects for the home.
This takes up A LOT of my time. It's what I do every night when Lovisa sleeps.... This is my relaxation and how I love to spend my downtime.