A Friend of Mine started in January 2009 a few weeks after I returned from living in London. With no money, no mortgage and job — it seemed like a perfect time to start a business before I got locked into anything! Initially I worked from the second bedroom in a rental flat that I shared with my now husband. After supplementing my business with freelancing and teaching, business slowly grew and after a year I moved into a studio space. Renting a studio space was really worth the investment for me — meetings were more professional, I was taken more seriously and it was easier to justify design fees. I learned much from trial and error, and asking people like my generous mentor Scott Bonnanno of Liquorice Studio. Things really geared up in the last 3 years, and I now have designers Cassie Brock and Emily Fitts working with. Both women are incredibly talented and add so much depth and fun to the business — A Friend of Mine wouldn't be the same without them!
I'd have to say the most unusual collaborations would be creating a weaving which with Carla Grbacfor Wired Magazine — it was so much fun exploring the challenges and beauty of a different hand made craft.
My advice is to make clever work which is well crafted and well presented. The clever part is the most important!
To be honest, it's the tricksy, complicated job applications which I tend to really dislike! Keep it simple: It's about the work and presenting yourself professionally. It's handy if you have a website to supplement a PDF portfolio. PDF's are great to keep on file in case an employer doesn't have work immediately but might like to hire you down the track.
I love to move away from the computer in the early stages of a creative process. Sketching with a pencil and paper, talking to someone else about the project really helps as well. If all else fails, go for a walk! Showers are also great for brainstorming — but the common thread is not being in front of the computer when trying to think ideas through.
A baby! My husband and I are expecting a baby boy in mid October. I'm imagining it will be quite challenging to have a baby and run a business at the same time — but I'm determined to do it! Thank goodness for my amazing staff who are going to hold the forte whilst I'm on maternity leave!