At a Glance
Bio The path that led her to this point
My original career was firmly in agricultural science and its communication. I completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and my honours thesis was focused on the communication of science to industry. I went on to work as an Agribusiness Analyst, then a Communications Manager for Western Australia's largest farmers' group, freelanced as an Agricultural Journalist and worked with my parents on our family farm.
In 2005, I was awarded a prestigious Nuffield Scholarship. At the time, I was the youngest Australian recipient of the scholarship in its long history. My studies with the scholarship took me to Asia, Europe, the US, Canada and New Zealand and opened my eyes to the amazing opportunities out there for people who work hard, show integrity and are passionate about their chosen field.
My Nuffield Scholarship gave me the tools to learn, to listen and to understand more fully how individuals take business ideas from conception through to reality. The ideas part of the business is the easy part, it is having the grit, determination and passion to convert the idea into a business that is challenging.
Following my Nuffield, I moved to my current home with my husband, Kristin. The next four years I was focused on my Journalism and making three babies!
I have always been a strong advocate of Australian products, be those agricultural/food products, merino wool or anything in between. When my husband and and I moved into our beautiful old farmhouse in 2009, I was determined to respect the heritage of the home and pay homage to Australian design. Here is where my frustration at either mass-produced or prohibitively expensive homewares started!
I started looking into small designers and found that there was a plethora of creative individuals crafting stunning homewares... you just had to know where to look. It was around now that the seed for my own curated collection of homewares begin.
With three kids aged from five down to one, I juggle Cranmore Home around family, farm and other life commitments. I find juggling keeps me motivated and inspired. The success of Cranmore Home to date has blown me away and I am loving seeing where I go to next with my business.
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
My biggest achievement has been learning to be a mother, a wife, a farmer and a start-up business owner all at the same time! I am getting better at taking a breath, stepping back and knowing that while I cannot be able to "do it all" right now, I can do my best at each facet of my life.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
My biggest challenge has been figuring out the best way to promote my business with very little marketing budget! Social media has been hugely instrumental in getting my business out there, but probably my best investment was a photo shoot with an excellent photographer to get both product and editorial shots done. These have been picked up wonderfully.
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
I have learnt so much about retail, marketing, self-discipline and setting realistic time frames. The bulk of my sales are online so I have learnt how to present my "brand" of Cranmore Home online but still get the personal experience in for my customers. I have realised that honesty and communication go a long way with clients.
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
Hmmm, other professionals who are generous with their time, advice and honesty. So, I guess in a word, my most loved business resource is my network.
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
I admire those who are creative and show integrity. In particular, I admire Laura Wortlock of Once Was Lost for her business savvy, Jessie Breakwell for her passion which in translated so well in her art and Zara Bryson for showing no fear in achieving her business goals.
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
Work to your strengths. What are you naturally good at? Do not embark on a new, independent business without a bucket load of passion for your business. Find your skill base, use it to your best ability and find trustworthy and honest people to help you in the areas where you are less skilled.
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
I was introduced to my amazing graphic designer, another independent creative living in regional WA on a farm. Who'd have thought? I am confident with the back end of my website but I was not feeling that I was representing my brand professionally until I chatted my ideas and my aesthetics through with my graphic designer who turned my words into beautiful images and a strong brand identity.