At a Glance
Bio The path that led her to this point
From a high-conflict and high-stress corporate role to leap-of-faith creative business. I suppose it's the old adage that what I was desperately trying to fit in "in my spare time" was really what nourished my creative soul.
I knew I was good at making things, I had studied Vis Arts and Interior Design whilst working full-time, but I didn't have the courage to believe that I could make a living from it.
I worked successfully as a copywriter, in Marketing and also in mediation/conciliation.
Smart, ambitious, and happy to receive praise when I was on the right track. I was building a resume.
But really, I felt frustrated and had the inkling that 'something' was missing.
I had a wonderfully supportive husband who knew I was unhappy and said "Just do what you have to do".
So when my work offered voluntary redundancies - I jumped at the chance.
I initially struggled with the thought that I had wasted years in the corporate world, but in the end I was able to recognise that it was simply another path to where I wanted to go.
One that had offered money and the ability to fund travel and the like!
Long story short - I left full-time work in October 2012, and started my own events styling/planning business, The Creative Type.
I've since styled windows for Levi's and Marianna Hardwick, and private events across Melbourne.
I offer handmade and bespoke style for those who don't want a cookie-cutter event. Those who want to be married in a unique or unusual location perhaps.
I could see there was a market for this, and have jumped in head-first!
I have a few other jobs on the side for additional income, but my lifestyle has done a 360 degree turn from the old 9-5 in an office with lighting and stress levels that gave me migraines.
I have also found that the friendships (more than just 'networks') I've made with women in the creative industry have inspired and driven me, with their passion and desire to succeed.
Working together to build an empire is so much more satisfying than succeeding alone.
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
Having something that I made with my own hands in the windows of Levi's stores in Melbourne.
I still think I don't promote my achievements enough, but this one was pretty awesome. A string ombre curtain that was dyed and hung in their display was all me!
Also, gaining acknowledgement from people in the industry that I admire. It takes time, but when you get these small nods, it makes everything worth it.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
One of the biggest challenges I face continuously is the lack of a traditional "Judge and Jury".
I've been an over-achiever all my life, and always fed off the acknowledgement of when I was doing something well or faster or younger.
I've now realised that the only person who can give me this is myself - I have to be confident that what I am doing is good and worthy and offers something to the world. Then the good feedback will come with this.
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
Looking at networking as making new friends.
I think in the corporate world, networking is something you do to get ahead, to make relationships with people in the right places to get yourself higher on the ladder.
What I've learned along the way is that it is so much more valuable to find your people. People who inspire you, who you can learn from and draw inspiration from. These are your natural networks, ones that shouldn't be forced and that should be enjoyed.
When you turn the whole notion of networking on its head - this is when it becomes effective.
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
Designsponge.com is a fabulous resource for women in business, with weekly posts on how to improve/update/upskill as a women running your own show. Great tips from real women doing it for themselves and sharing their knowledge.
Skype is a godsend for those working remotely - which means that it often feels like my colleagues or collaborators are in the same room with me, having a good old cackle or conversation.
Dropbox - WHAT did we do without it!? This is one of the greatest tools for working as part of a team or business whilst being remote. It's really quite fantastic, and means I don't have to have more than an external hard drive and my Mac Air.
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
I really admire Megan Morton, she is a brand of talent, humour and just a touch of eccentricity that I really appreciate!
She also made a change of career, and has built a business that is based on reaching out to the industry and being inclusive. The School is such a great resource for anyone who has a hint of creativity and wants to explore it!
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
Do your research, find out what you can offer that is either not out there or isn't out there enough.
You need a solid grounding and knowledge about what you're offering, as your customers deserve that. It's not enough for it to be an interest, you need to passionate about it and in turn, your work will reflect this commitment.
Be bold, be brave and be yourself!
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
I chose happiness.