June 24, 2015
At a Glance
Bio The path that led her to this point
Before Heaven in Earth was born, six months earlier was the birth of our first son. A move to the country really precipitated the beginning.
Prior to that my first business was a garden maintenance and design business in Sydney; a horticulturist to many beautiful gardens in the Eastern Suburbs.
Revamping gardens and getting many ready for sale was a fun and rewarding career; it just trashed my body a bit!
Before that, I always had a strong leaning in science. I did a zoology degree at UNSW. Very interesting but a lot of not very kind or necessary things were done to poor animals in the name of science.
The scientific illustrations I did as part of my honours degree still grace my office!
I look at Heaven in Earth as growing from my background, from the practical and the beautiful.
In the beginning I learnt to turn wood, some that my husband felled during his arboriculture career; to cut slate.
In the end the business has grown to a point where I do prototypes and work on the business rather than in it (usually!)
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
Creating Heaven in Earth and seeing what it is now. A balanced platform for useful, traditional, authentic home wares and garden items that is respected in the industry for quality.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
Learning such a different business. I never knew about sales, wholesale, trade shows, media, exporting or anything like it.
Each set back, I try to look at it as a learning experience; and they really are. And learning when to stop. I find it difficult to give up, to switch off, to tune out.
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
Not to be afraid.
If you feel something is right, deep inside, jump in and give a go. Claim it as your own.
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
Social Media. And this isn't because it is something I like a great deal or think it works as well as our loyal clients, but it a good way to keep touch with what is going on around the world.
You can never do too much research (unless it means you never turn off!)
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
Although a new distribution for us in Australia and NZ, I have known this brand for over 12 years. They do it right. From what they source, to the images they produce, it is all kept simple and honest and clean.
Another brand East of India is much like that too. They are honourable as well, and loyal, for that you'll bend over backwards.
As a lawyer told me once, principles is a dirty word. And I'd rather not believe that.
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
Ask questions, ask opinions.
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
I stopped entering every order and answering every call. When I got my weekends back and my family and I could do family things. That was only this year!