At a Glance
Bio The path that led her to this point
I’ve always been a tinkerer. As a kid, I hung out in my Dad’s workshop making all sorts of things and that’s where I developed a fascination for metal and making in general.
When I was 12, I started an after school jeweller class. I loved it!
I was hooked and continued it all through high school. It was my teacher Pip Keane that told me you could study gold and silversmithing and her own success as a self-employed jeweller showed me it was possible.
It really was a ‘seems like a good idea’ moment, there wasn’t anything else I really wanted to do, I loved making so it seemed to make sense. I was very lucky and I was right – it was exactly what I wanted to do!
I moved from Sydney to Canberra to study at the School of Art where I received a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Gold and Silversmithing) with Honours.
Just as I was finishing uni in 2008, I set up a studio space – Pocket Studio.
Over the last five years I have built it up to be a fully equipped jewellery and silversmthing studio. From Pocket Studio I run my own practice as well as teaching a program of short courses throughout the year and rent bench space to three jewellers.
After finishing uni I began working part time at Fink & Co, where I stayed for four and half years.
It was an amazing place to work, such a supportive environment with incredibly talented people. Definitely a dream job that showed me what was possible and the hard work involved in running a business.
Since 2008 I have worked part time for myself, taking the leap to work full time this year.
A very scary decision, but totally worth it!
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
Being invited as one of twelve international silversmiths to exhibit at one of the largest trade fairs in Europe, Inhorgenta 2011.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
Taking the leap to work for myself full time and juggling my time.
It took a while for me to not feel guilty if I wasn’t at my bench working everyday. I felt like I was failing if I didn’t have finished work to show at the end of everyday.
Dividing my time up to focus on making some days, and business things other days made a huge difference to my productivity.
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
Learning to ask for help.
There are a lot of people out there willing to help you out and give advice – you just need to ask.
I struggle with this, I can be stubborn and feel like I need to tackle everything myself and there simply isn’t enough hours in the day!
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
Your website! It’s an invaluable asset. It can be a big upfront cost, but it is worth investing in it.
As it is most often the first point of contact your clients have with you, it really paints a picture of how professional you are.
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
Maike Dahl. A German silversmith and my mentor in 2012, she has successfully built her practice as a silversmith and exhibits all over the world. Her work is truly beautiful too!
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
Take the leap and believe in your skills!
Keep actively engaged within your industry. The help, advice and support of like minded people is so important.
Take the time to document all of your work as you go. It might seem like a hassle at the time, but having great photographs of your work is incredibly important!
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
I realised I could make a career out of what I loved.