Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Point of difference

Communication, whether online or off, can be altered to suit the writer. We all make our own truths, create our own private vision of the world. Now why would our view -generally speaking- be so different from someone else's? Because it will be like reading the same book, but told by a different person. Other highlights here, deleted paragraphs there. That, I find interesting. The whole concept of uniqueness and yet of sameness. Things may look similar, but are not.

I was going to write about my fabric today. That I'm working on morphing the Cows & Couches cushion design into a full blown upholstery pattern, how exciting this is, as it's to be printed for a cow rancher in the US. I was going to tell you about my Highland girls Kate and Elsie who inspired me. A lovely story about personality and fuzzy vavoom with horns. So what happened? Something else did of course: I got another idea to write about. (Apologies to the lovely Kate & Elsie.)

You see, (financial) planning is not my strong suit, organizing things I can do. I wouldn't say that I always 'wing it' in what I do, but I go with my inner compass which has worked brilliantly thus far. Thinking and planning of course has its merits. We don't jump into something we should think more about, like marriage, buying a house or whether to get used to eating pizza every Friday night. Then I realized something while reading 'Industrial Design Portfolio Advice: Back to Basics', an article by Designdroplets. Instead of following their excellent advice straight away I thought: sometimes it can be just fine to run with an idea and continue to work on it while you're running instead of waiting till it's all ready. Why?

You miss out on the fun of learning, meeting new people and finding new clients while not experimenting but wanting to do it 'right'. Even if they find you on your imperfect website, they at least find you. Naturally this could give you the image of being premature or unpolished as it's clearly in transition. To be honest: does it matter? Whether someone likes what we do or not, it's about carrying out our own ideas and seeing if they come to fruition. I'd rather not wait till I'm all properly prepared but just go for it. Maybe that is silly. Heck it could be. I know it takes time to perfect a website and get an online store up and running. The trial and error phase is definitely an essential part of the process IMHO.

And the truth is: we are never ready. Even if you finally stand up to get started: whatever it was that spun your wheels before, it may have ceased to matter. It's like saying: ok we will have a child now only to find out you can't have them anymore (because you waited too long to decide and your ovaries went on a permanent vacation or your partner's sperm has stopped swimming uphill and the whole IVF is not what you want to get into).

We can think too much, get too worried, always planning to conquer life. (Whatever that is.) For what? They don't say for nothing: We plan our lives and God laughs. It's great to learn, lets' not start by limiting ourselves or dictating an essay about how it all should be. Life is now, just have that coffee and smile to your neighbour or the strange lady passing in the street.

Start on your project. Write your own story as it comes to you. Do what feels right. You know best. And yes if that means you do want to plan it all then go for it, research does have its benefits, just don't wait too long to reach "Stage Perfect". It may not happen. You may regret the wait later.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Back to basics

I have tried to narrow down what topics I write about. Truth be told: I like quite a few things which could confuse people as I shift from one field to another.

So... what the heck do I do? Really?

A creative whizz popsicle like me tends to enjoy:

  • communicating with others: what makes you tick?
  • connecting people (network beastie)
  • design: whether it's 2 dimensional or 3 dimensional...
  • live the good life (farm)
  • writing + learn in whatever capacity

So by implementing all of the above I enjoy doing my interior styling and advice work, chat to clients, network with people both in and out of the industry, design for New Zealand fabric company Hemptech, design my new line of jewellery for Bonvivant, write my blogs and also post on Businessblogs. I enjoy looking after the farm animals, they rock, especially the goats. And I learn, every day, or as my husband says: I have my moments :)

So I'm grateful for all of you for bearing with me, as I am finding my way in building my business and work, how to shape my blog, enjoy being happy at home, and write to you about various things that occupy my whirry brain.

All I can say is: I hope you're enjoying your life as well! Feel free to email me if you fancy a catch up or chat online: I can be found on different social media for your convenience. Have a good one!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

replay button

A friend of mine says certain events in our life may be repeated until we ‘get’ it. I’m sure you know as well as me, that it is in fact interesting how things can seem to have hit the replay button now and again. There may be a year of so in between, or even months. Oh dang! It’s THAT again. Bugger. Now what to do:

1. Ignore the situation altogether
2. Mull it over too much (analyze it until it creeps you out)
3. Gain some insights and recognize it for what it is

Naturally it’s nice when we get door number 3. It helps to see what the situation is for and how to change the way we behave and think, in order to ‘get it’ and evolve. It doesn’t mean you have to change yourself as such by force, more about integrating what you understand and choosing something different from now on. By being you and understanding why you react the way you do or why certain things seems to happen -just with a different person in a different setting- helps.

Life is not Monopoly. Still it makes sense to not hit our head repeatedly. One step at a time and surely we will get there. We think. Oh jeepers, now there is something else again! Why oh why? Well would you want a pre ordered menu then? Nah. Too boring.

When you start enjoying the experience, you love living life. It’s not about avoiding the cracks or the pitfalls but learning to spot them before hand and go oh goodie! Found another one, yay! I know this one!! (Bouncing up and down now.) Also it pays in general to just focus on what does work well and not worry too much (gives you headaches and aspirines are not to be used like lollies).

So there you go: there’s no shame in making a mistake, having to learn something again, or to repeat an experience. I’m in favor of nice ones though. It’s sure amazing how that Law of Attraction kicks ass.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I write a lot about attitude. I think I do because I find it so fascinating that people's psychological outlook reflects directly on how their lives develop. I have found great joy and benefit in seeing people that have the same upbeat attitude I generally have. Recently I have noticed how some people I started to see less off are complaining and that they get upset when things don't work out the way they want to. From my own experience I can say that if you force your hand, or make demands on other people, it's definitely not going to take off. It will crash and burn. Results: zero.

On the other hand: if you share something of value with someone, and you know they have an interest in it, things can pick up and develop almost by themselves. I find it's definitely more preferable to meet people who are on the same wavelength and who are actually keen to work hard and enjoy what they do. It's not about fluffy positive thinking, it's about awareness. Choosing who you associate with is more important then you realize, so choose carefully. I try and see people who like to peek outside of their world and comfort zone. They know things I don't, which is cool and I always learn from them. I'm an inherent giver and like to help others out when I hear they are looking for something or someone particular.

Putting the effort and the belief in what ever it is you enjoy doing most, it will always grow. Sharing it in such a fashion that your gift is received happily and respectfully, makes all the difference. There is a time and place for everything, sometimes you cut yourself by wanting something to happen too quickly, or it runs away with you as the process is actually quicker then you are. Is it all linked with your attitude? You betcha.

"Share you ideas and work with those who you respect and want to learn from, if people are stuck in a set way of thinking, choose to keep your thoughts to yourself."

light shown: Alex Earl of Melbourne, Australia

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I've noticed recently that some people I know seemed to have the notion that I must have a lot of play time on my hands. Because why, I seem to be able to follow social media and write blogs. Forgive me but I'm baffled. Today someone literally said: "I don't have time for that as I'm too busy."

Writing blogs and following others on Twitter is not because I'm a lady of leisure, it's because I like to know what's happening out there. I've been writing since I set foot in New Zealand in 2002, it's not a recent thing. In order to sell my jewellery it's also helpful that I'm easy to get to know. To sum it up: I like writing, have a passion for designing and I love people.

I get the strong impression that many think sales is about getting to know people so they can sell their products or services. Buzzer! No. I sell both more furniture and jewellery when people trust me, because they like me, and value what I offer them. But the connection comes first, never the product. It's about building a relationship, not to 'score'.

Marc is from Business Blogs twitters (@BusinessTalk). He is on Facebook as well to promote Business Blogs of which he is the Founder, he's director at Mobilize Mail and owner at He runs these businesses from Wellington. He's a very busy man and has invited me to join Business Blogs. I am grateful that he appreciates my stories and that I'm getting to know him.

Marc says: "If you are not passionate about what you are doing then you will fail. Only do what you are passionate about as the passion will get you up in the morning after working 4 years without a holiday and keep you going when it all seems to get too much."

Is he someone to lounge about? I don't think so. How does business work: we trust someone, we like their services or products, we listen to them and we talk. Online and offline chats both have their value.
Word of mouth even works in the twittersphere. What's important is how we think and what we spend energy on, how we represent ourselves and how we do our promotion. Things are changing. As my work dictates I have to stay put during the day, online media is another way of staying in touch. I have found Businessblogs a great read, have inspiring articles and good information.

"Buyers research online before making a purchase decision so if you cannot be found via search, blogs, forums or social media networks then you don’t exist! Businesses also need to gain trust with buyers and continue to deliver value. increases the awareness of your brand and message." So building your name is groovy, but it starts with your passion. What makes you tick and how is that different from anyone else?

Basically: if you love your work: awesome. If not, you might like to think about why the heck you do what you do, and HOW. (Visit Jonathan Mead's website and download his free ebook on the Zero work week, which is what I'm currently reading.)