Australian jewellery designer
This week I welcome Natalie Harrison to the show, Natalie is a jewellery designer and maker from Nairne, South Australia, and she's a mum of 1, soon to be of 2.
After finishing school, Natalie wasn't 100% sure what career to pursue, so she went into social work, and after a period of this found her passion in design, and went on to study Interior Architecture and Interior Design. From this she gained a job in the industry and for many years she was incredibly driven, in the toxic culture of the industry. 2.5 years ago Natalie left and she now works 4 days a week in her jewellery design business.
Her life is so much happier and less stressful now, designing and making earrings and jewellery with her husband in the hills outside of Australia, South Australia.
She is inspired by her love for art deco and creating something different for her clientele. She creates vintage inspired and art deco style jewellery and playful statement earrings, using a combination of wood and acrylic materials, Natalie designs on a vector programme and laser cuts on a machine and then assembles, and does hand painted items also.
Natalie's business name "Little Geraldine" is a derivation from appreciating the "little" things in life, and a nod to her late Oma's favourite plant the Geraldton Wax.
If today’s episode is triggering for you in any way I encourage you to seek help from those around you, medical professionals or from resources on line. I have compiled a list of great international resources here
Music used with permission from Alemjo my new age and ambient music trio.
When chatting to my guests I greatly appreciate their openness and honestly in sharing their stories. If at any stage their information is found to be incorrect, the podcast bears no responsibility for guests' inaccuracies.
Podcast transcript at the bottom of the page
Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Art of Being A Mum Podcast. I'm beyond honoured that you're here and would be grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or wherever you are listening. It really helps! This way together we can inspire, connect and bring in to the light even more stories from creative mums. Want to connect? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram tagging me in with @art_of_being_a_mum_podcast
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Alison acknowledges this Land of the Berrin (Mount Gambier) Region as the Traditional Lands of the Bungandidj People and acknowledge these First Nations people as the custodians of the Region.
Welcome to the Art of Being a mum podcast, where I Alison Newman, a singer songwriter, and Ozzy mum of two enjoys honest and inspiring conversations with artists and creators about the joys and issues they've encountered. While trying to be a mum and continue to create. You'll hear themes like the mental juggle, changes in identity, how their work has been influenced by motherhood, mum guilt, cultural norms, and we also strain to territory such as the patriarchy, feminism, and capitalism. You can find links to my guests and topics we discussed in the shownotes along with a link to the music played, how to get in touch, and a link to join our supportive and lively community on Instagram. I'll always put a trigger warning if we discuss sensitive topics on the podcast. But if at any time you're concerned about your mental health, I urge you to talk to those around you reach out to health professionals, or seek out resources online, I've compiled a list of international resources which can be accessed on the podcast landing page, Alison Newman dotnet slash podcast. The art of being a man would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land and water, which this podcast is recorded on has been the bone take people in the barren region of South Australia. I'm working on land that was never seen it. Hello, and welcome to another edition of the podcast. It is a real pleasure to welcome you. Thank you so much for joining me. Whether this is your first lesson or your 100 and verse. Listen, it's so lovely to have you here. Just a quick plug before I get into today's episode, I'd like to remind you all that I now do a weekly email, which you can sign up to via the podcast landing page at Alison newman.net/podcast. In the weekly email, you'll not only get some more information about this week's guest, but you'll get a sneak peek at the upcoming week's guests. And I've also been putting together some more information, things that I don't share on the Instagram or the social media pages. And it's also kind of in the back of my mind that if anything happens to my accounts if I get hacked or shut down for whatever reason that there is still a way to communicate with you. So please go in and sign up. It's just once a week, I don't send any spam. I don't forward your details on to a third party or that sort of privacy stuff. It's pretty important to me, so rest assured, I will keep your information safe. So onto today's episode. This week, I'm very pleased to welcome Natalie Harrison to the podcast. Natalie is a jewellery designer and maker based in Nan in South Australia, in the Adelaide Hills, and she's a mom of one soon to be a mum of two. After finishing school, Natalie wasn't 100% Sure what career to pursue. She went into social work briefly, and after a period of time, found her passion in design. She went on to study interior architecture and interior design. And from this she gained a job in the architecture industry. For many years she was incredibly driven and experiencing the toxic culture of the architecture industry. And two and a half years ago, things came to a head and that lady left she now works four days a week in her jewellery design business, her life is so much happier, she's enjoying the little things in life and life is a lot less stressful. She designs and makes earrings and jewellery with her husband in the hills outside of Adelaide in South Australia. When designing your earrings Natalie is inspired by her love for art deco and also to create something different for her clientele. She creates vintage inspired and Art Deco style jewellery and playful statement earrings using a combination of wood and acrylic materials. She designs on a vector programme, laser cuts on a machine and then assembles and also does some hand painted items to Natalie's business name is Little Geraldine. And this is a derivation from appreciating the little things in life. And a nod to her late Omar's favourite plant
the Geraldton wax. Welcome to the podcast. Natalie, thanks so much for coming on today.
Thank you so much.
Oh, great. It's a pleasure to have here. So you are in a place that I know where it is in its name.
Yeah, yes, man. What was your Baghdad beer? I mean,
it gave me yeah, I've got family in Mount vaca and strathy. Alvin so
nice. Because a lot of people, a lot of people don't know when in is even if it's only about 45 minutes, sort of like an hour out of the city. But what are the times if you say Oh, I'm from Nana. You know, Matt Barker? Pretty much
yeah, You're very close to me. Yeah. Have you always lived there? Are you from somewhere else?
No, I'm I actually grew up in the city. I'm a I'm a city girl at heart. But kind of as you do you meet somebody, and then you kind of have to negotiate on your living location. Right. So my partner, he grew up in the Riverlands. And he's not a big city person. So I mean, I think he would have really loved to have moved a lot further out. But I worked down in the city, he worked out in for a while he was striving to just bury, if you know which areas? It's a good three hours drive. Yeah. So we tried it. But he had always intended to sort of move closer to the city. And anyway, so we kind of negotiated because I didn't want a big, isolated property, because I've always had a boy's been surrounded by people. And I still wanted to be close to my parents as well, who still live in my childhood home. So yeah, we just kind of negotiated and went around, we'll do kind of rural but still like, you know, there's a lot of build up around us. Yeah. So it doesn't feel quite so country. But yeah, and it's been good. I haven't. It took a little bit of getting used to in the beginning. But now it's just yeah, I can't imagine us ever moving back to the city. So yeah. Yeah, it's a good company. Yeah, I still work better myself as a city girl. Yeah.
And like Mount Barker seems to be getting bigger and bigger and bigger, spreading exponentially. So I mean, you'll be a CDC and anyway, the way it's
Yeah, I know. Yeah. And I'm just waiting for my partner to be like, alright, it's too there's too many people out, because it is we're really lucky in the location that we're in, in that we have this big hill on the opposite side of our house. And it's kind of too steep to ever be developed. So we're hoping at least for a while that it will stay that way. So we still kind of feel like we're in the country. But yeah, the matte black is spread is it's going to join the gap between you know, where there's still agricultural land. And you might you won't know you're in the country anymore, I still have trouble actually referring to it as the country because it's, it's really not.
So you a very creative person, I've been following your creations on Instagram, so you make jewellery, which is really, I haven't had anyone on the show yet. That's a jewellery maker. So I'm honoured. So tell us what you use. And what's your style, I can't describe it. I know, I can describe the Art Deco, which is really cool the earrings. But yeah, I'll hand it over to you soon to take the lead on it.
Well, I came from an architectural background. So before I started doing this, I was working in architecture, and all of my sort of early stuff was very Art Deco inspired. And I think, like, I still kind of try and stick with that as much as possible. But I don't know why I just had I had this art deco obsession. And I just wanted to, I guess express that in other forms. Because you don't really get much call for Art Deco. You know, when I was working in architecture, you didn't really get much call for that kind of style. And so that's sort of I guess, vintage inspired and Art Deco was kind of where it all started. And then I the more markets I did the more I kind of interacting with customers. When I wanted to start making it a bit more financially sustainable I guess. I sort of responded a lot more to what customers seem to respond really well to which is I tried out this kind of quirky, playful I guess it's personality dependent, kind of range and people just responded to it really well. So I've been expanding on that as well. So there's kind of the playful statement, quirky. I like to call it, you know, my emotional because people tend to buy them because they have an upset right now working on a range of cows, because they have an obsession with ours, or somebody who has an obsession with cows. So, yeah, I feel like those are kind of my two styles, I guess. And the Art Deco one, I think, is more of an my personal expression. The playful and quirky one is sort of, you know, I'm willing to make the customers happy as well. It's always really nice seeing people's responses when they say even if they don't buy them, when they see, you know, what I've got on display. So but, so we, we design them, and we do it all with a vector programme. And then it's all laser cut on a machine, and then we assemble them. And that's a pretty basic explanation of how it's all done. There's obviously a lot of design process that leads up to it. And it's just a composition of acrylic, and timber. And then we've got some hand painted stuff as well. So that is it. Pretty much. Yeah, those are pretty much the mediums at the moment.
Yep. Yeah. And yeah, some of them are incredibly intricate to like I've seen on yours, like he's sort of behind the scenes, stuff on Instagram about the level of detail in some of the designs. Yeah, work that you need to do, then to assemble them is pretty full on.
It can Yes, and it can get quite tedious. And I have to be very careful, too. Because that obviously started as a passion. And I wanted that to be something that I continue to enjoy, I have to be very careful that I have a balance between pieces that are more simple to make and pieces that are more intricate and challenging to make. And just a guess listening to myself when I'm not feeling or when I'm not feeling it, basically, if you know what I mean. So
so it doesn't become a chore for you to Yeah, to resent doing.
Yeah, yeah. And it's taken me a while to get that balance. But I think, yeah, it's slowly getting.
Yeah. So you said we so who else have you got doing it with you?
Yeah, so when I say we, I pretty much include my other half, because he not from the very beginning. But more recently, he's sort of gotten quite involved in it. We treat it a little bit more as a hobby for him because he works full time. And he's the kind of person who, if he could do everything he would, so it's just, it's just trying to, you know, maintain his manage his stress levels. But he does a lot of the kind of hand painted timber designs that we work on. And also, I say really, because he's quite, even though he's, you know, it's obviously not really his job. He's very supportive. And he helps a lot in terms of not just emotional support, but, you know, he's there at markets and you know, he's always giving me his feedback about designs and, and all of those things. So, yeah, to me, it feels very much like a we Yeah, even though it's my it's my business and I'm running it and I'm responsible for it. He's always there. So
yeah, yeah, that's fair enough.
So you said you started out with architecture, how did you get into that was was that a passion of yours? Sort of growing up and design or?
Um, it was it's a long it was a long journey, I think. Because I didn't go straight into it out of high school. I was not a I want to say like, I feel like I wasn't particularly driven to be anything in particular once I finished high school, and so I, I just kind of went for a job that might have been decent paying. But I was always really into design when I was in high school. But I was always really worried when I say I wasn't very driven, I was always really worried about the amount of competition and pressure and all of that, that would go into getting into any kind of design field. So I just didn't want to do it basically, was I was young, and I was just Yeah, I would just want to relax a little bit. So I went into, like a social work kind of job. And then I did that for a couple of years. And then I think maybe we spent that time maturing and going, actually, it's probably worth me pushing to do something that actually inspires me. And so I went, and I think this is going back a long time now. But I think when I started, when I went to uni, the first time around the degrees were different there. So I think they only had architecture and Bachelor of design or something. But then, when I was in social work, they created a a degree that was interior architecture, and interior design had always interested me. So I kind of took that as a sign, I think and just went in and did it. And then I think it was four years or something. And then I'm gonna prove it to prove really difficult to get into. But I think I think timing was everything. And I just eventually ended up finding something and it just kind of went from there. So yeah. So it was it was a it was a process of I think just maturing and just following my my passion, I guess. Yeah. Yeah.
It's good. It's sometimes No, you need to do something that you don't really like or not not super passionate about to make you realise that you really want to do the thing that you
get that drive. Yeah,
yeah. My, I feel like my son is going to be like that, like he's not, I don't think he's going to, he's not going to come out of school wanting to do anything in particular, like, he doesn't have this thing in his head, he just wants to do something that he likes. So it's gonna be fun, fun couple of years,
I hear so many people saying that these days as well. And I still feel like, it's so young, to decide what you're going to do for the rest of your life. And in reality, so many people I know, have changed their careers multiple times anyway.
It's all just winging it. Like, it's ridiculous to be asking your child, literally a child, what they want to do, because they haven't been in the world to see what it's like to do that, or not want to do that. And you know, like, I always say to my son, like, I was almost 40, before I found, or actually probably 35, when I found the industry that I am so passionate about took me that long to discover what I actually wanted to do. And the thing I'm doing now was never on my radar, as a teenager, like would never have thought of it. You know, I'd say just mate, don't worry about it. Just do something you like in the rest of
your life that way through your life. As long as you can feed yourself. It really doesn't really matter.
That's easy, isn't it? Yeah, it's easy.
So you're talking about you to your markets, and you have the online store? So is this something that you do full time now? Are you still doing architecture? How does how does it sort of fit in with your days?
No I so architecture ended up becoming not the most comfortable career for me to be in because it was quite stressful. And so I actually left with the intention of just taking a break because those suffering so much from burnout. And this was kind of like the hobby that I was going to do to keep myself entertained while I worked out what I wanted to do. And so I left and I just kind of never really went back because I just was just like so much happier now why do I need to and it's exactly what you say just do what makes you happy. So you know why? Why go back? And I was really worried that I would would fill the pool To go back and wouldn't be particularly happy just doing what I'm doing now, but it's really nothing compelling me to go back to pictures. I love that. Yeah. Yeah, it's got a, it's got a bit of a reputation, unfortunately for being.
Yeah, just a time just a little bit toxic. And so I've just decided I don't really need that.
And you bring it home, you know, I've got, I've got a kid, and you bring it home with you, you know, and it just just end up at the end of the day not being a very nice person. And it's just like, I don't have to, I don't have to put that on the her. If we can survive, you know, the way that we are now. So sorry, this is four days a week for me. Four days in air quotes, because, really, let's be real. It's a get it done whenever I can get it done kind of thing. But I'm lucky that my daughter's that candy two days a week. And then she's with my parents two days a week. So I do have that, you know, Monday to Thursday, but then there's always stuff that needs to be done on the weekend.
And oh, yeah. And I guess being on time. Yeah. And like being on social media. Like I think there is no, there's no office hours is there. It's like people message all at different hours of the day and night, depending on where they are. Exactly.
Yeah. It's just and I'm, I'm a sucker for that too. Because I don't want to miss opportunities. And I don't want to I don't want to be inaccessible. Even though being too accessible is an issue in itself. But yeah, we'll be sitting there and I'll be watching TV with my partner and I'll be relaxing, but I'll be scrolling through my social media, I might get a message and it's you know, 930 at night, like normal business hours, nobody else would expect you to respond. But yeah, he's gonna do it anyway. Yeah. Yeah. I'm a really, really bad. Yeah. Your Own Business. It's so you're so emotional about it. You don't want to do anything that's gonna put it in a bad light. Yeah, responding responding to people straight away is obviously, that's a good thing, right, that comes across as a good thing as a customer, I guess.
Yeah. It's hard to it's hard to create those boundaries, isn't it? Especially, like, on Instagram, when we're on Facebook. I remember three years ago, I noticed this, like you were getting a rating, depending on how quickly you responded to customers. It was like, this is the average time this person takes and I was like, oh my god, now we're getting judged on how quickly we get back to people. Like I thought Bloody hell, that's a bit of pressure, isn't it? Like, so much work.
I don't know how you feel about Instagram, but Instagram drives me completely nuts. With like, and sometimes I'll just kind of stick away from it for a week or two, because I just can't, I just can't be bothered. Yeah. And it used to be something that I enjoyed doing. But then they kept once you become a creator on there, or you have a business or any kind of investment in actually becoming visible. Then it starts becoming a whole nother thing. And you're constantly fighting out about, you know, the algorithm changes. Or don't do this, do this, or now this Yeah, and the real was and just yeah, that's just like, you know, I'm just gonna do whatever. I can be different.
Yeah, that's how I feel like years ago, I remember there was this girl in our town who was doing these face to face trainings on all these because when Instagram started to get serious about business when he started, you'd be able to get business accounts. And it was like, dude, now don't don't put any more than so many number of hashtags. And don't edit your post so many minutes after you've posted and all this in Sacramento go do all this and then eventually I just went oh my god, why? Like I did it was same thing. I just couldn't be bothered, like, Yeah,
I know. I know that like this used to be fun but now and that's what I take a step back. I'm like, I'm not enjoying this anymore. And yeah, I'm gonna I'm gonna stop for a little bit and then I'll go back to it when I feel like it. But yeah, it's like he's 30 hashtags. To use five hashtags in your in your description, put them in your used friending sounds don't use defending sounds. Yeah, I can. I could go off on a tangent about it. But yeah, it's just unfortunately, we rely on it too much. But what are we gonna do?
Oh, yeah, the whole thing. And it's like, it's it's created this whole world where if you want to be in it, you feel like you've got to do it the right way. But then I just think stuff. And I'm not going to do that I'm going to be a rebel and just do it how I wanted to, and who knows if it will work, or it won't work. But I don't care. Because I don't know. I just
do you ever find yourself sort of trapped in that comparison hole where you kind of? I don't know, maybe it's just me, but you. Sometimes you look at other like, for me, I might look at other earring makers and go like I'd have grown so much faster than I have. And then I just have to stop myself and go, Well, we're different. You know, you can you can you just wonder Yeah. It's so easy on Instagram to compare yourself to other people and see that as them being more successful. Yeah, because the numbers are right there. Yeah. But in that, yeah, there's a there's a little bit of mental gymnastics that goes on when it comes to dealing with social media, I think. Yeah, for me, anyway. Oh, yeah.
You do sort of have to have the blinkers on I think like, because it is easy to get distracted. But I always tell myself, like, I bet you get them to like, every day you get messages are, build your followers pay this matching, get whatever. And I'm like, maybe they just did that. You know, like I tell myself these little stories. It's like, just worry about what you're doing. Allison, like the classic example for me was this this lady particular guests that I've been trying to get on my podcast, and I've been in touch with her agent, who is also a husband. And he's like, Oh, she's been really busy, whatever. And the next minute, I saw she came up on someone else's podcast. I was like, that's not Yeah. So that was that was a mate and I had to go Elson, just relax. You don't know how long it caught it. You don't know what the circumstances were? Get out of your head and forget about you know, scroll.
But you do you see these people getting these opportunities that you're not getting it? And what am I doing wrong? Yeah, but there's so many factors that come into it that you don't,
that's yes, yes. So that you have no idea what's going on with someone else. And it's so easy just to see that tiny snapshot and make that massive, like judgement and assessment based on exactly right information, basically.
Yeah. Yeah. Do you like that,
too? Like you mentioned, you've got your daughter? Do you find that to with your parenting that if you're following particular people, and they're doing this or that you sort of question yourself? Do you do that? Yeah.
There's this whole gentle parenting movement thing going on at the moment. Sorry, I didn't laugh. But I have to be very careful. Because I mean, I think we all try and be gentle with our kids, right. But we all have breaking. I think most of us experienced that witching hour at night when you've had a really long day, and you just are not getting through to them because they're overtired. And but that's, that is probably my biggest. Oh, this one I get stuck on a lot on social media is that gentle parenting? And I'm like, sometimes I raise my voice. Should I be looking into this gentle parenting thing? I haven't looked at it in that much depth. But there seems to pop up a lot. I don't know, social media is trying to tell me something.
I've seen it a lot too, lately.
Should we read into that? Yeah, and then, even on my because I have, I've got my business profile. And then obviously, I've got my personal profile, which I'm not very active on at all. But every time I switch over to there, I obviously have a lot of a lot of friends. And we do lead I guess. I mean, we all live different lives. So you do sit there and you compare, you know, they're doing this amazing thing with their kids. And, but also at the same time, I never really posted anything about social media, I'm very private in that respect, even on a private account. So you can scroll through, you know, one of my mum friends feeds and it'll be very colourful with their kids and, and all their family activities. And mine has, I think, maybe two or three photos of my daughter on it. So it's not, but I think, yeah, with my private account, I think I've only got, you know, 20 or 30 posts on this. It's not Yeah, it's yeah. But I do I'm very conscious of the whole. You know, it's so many snapshots of people's lives. Yeah. So you got to talk yourself down a lot. But
yeah, I couldn't relate to that. Yeah, yes. There's no photos on there of people fighting with their children in the mind to quit their shoes.
Somebody needs to just record the whole witching hour process.
But I do follow a lot of a lot of moms now who are just taking the piece out of that really, like, I've found that there are some really good people I follow who like into, they analyse different ways of parenting, so they're not telling you what to do. They're sort of picking apart different things. There was a lady I had on my podcast a little while ago. Her name is Elise Adlam. And she does, she's a feminist, and she's a philosopher. So she spends time reading and researching and then sort of sharing her findings on it. So she's not telling you what to do. She's just giving you a different way of looking at things. And I found accounts like that. And people that are basically comedians, making fun of what it's like to ask someone to put their shoes on 20 times, you know, that's the sort of stuff I follow. Now, I've sort of had to switch off from the people that made me feel a little bit uncomfortable, because I was like, questioning myself too much. Like, I don't need to be feeling like that. You know, you do what you got to do. This is me in my home in my country, my town, it's totally different to you know, everyone else. We're all very different.
Yeah, so yeah, I need to get on.
Oh, absolutely. You know,
everybody's got their different challenges. So yeah,
yes, yeah. So I feel like that's, that's suiting me a lot better. Now. I can never laugh at something. And then I can learn something. Say, Hi, Elise, if you're listening, love your stuff.
I have to look that one up. Yeah.
She's actually created, she's sending out if you get on her email list, she does a, like a reading list of feminist and then sort of reading lists. So you can and you can choose medium hard or extra hard or whatever, depending on how hard how hard you want to go into, or how long you've got to read or how, you know, your mental capacities at that time to whatever to write. And I'll find that rule number two. Yeah, I love learning. So yeah, my backgrounds in early childhood education. So I find that sort of stuff really interesting gives you a new perspective on things that you might never have thought of so yeah.
You're listening to the art of being a mom with my mum, I listened to him. And
this, this sort of might tie it be into social media. So I've segue onto this topic of mom guilt that I love to talk about. And not because I love to say, hey, tell me how guilty you feel. Or don't you know what I mean? I just find it really boring. covered that. Yeah. Do you feel like that in terms of your own creativity, though, like when it's time for you to make your stuff? Do you have that? That feeling of cute.
I think one of the hardest things I'm finding with running my own business and having it be less regimented and structured than the nine to five that I was doing before. I call it nine to five but it wasn't really a nine to five it was a, like I said, quite a stressful industry is that I do have trouble sort of creating and sticking to my own boundaries. Like we just said before, where I'm texting people, and I'm, you know, supposed to be having downtime. And I do find if I don't reach a point where I'm satisfied with how much work I've done, or, or especially when I get into the creative process, I need to finish it. I can't sort of stop creating something halfway through because there's a momentum and there's a thought process and that does sometimes overlap with when I really should be paying attention to my daughter or helping out with you know, dinner time and time and all those things and I do get a lot of I don't get I don't get anything from my partner or my daughter. It's really just me. And you know, those times when my daughter says that she misses me. Obviously that's, you know, that can sting a little bit. But yeah, I do find I'm sort of having my own bound, or sticking to my own boundaries with regard to balancing between spending time with her. And working can be really tricky. So yeah, I think it's it's definitely there pretty much daily. Don't think that there's necessarily an answer to it. I think it's just trying, keeping trying to maintain a balance, I guess.
Yeah, that's it, isn't it and what you said about that, it's just us it feels that way. It's not coming for anyone else, that that's such a common thing. Like, yeah, I would say, you know, everyone that talks to me about this topic, if they're, if they're feeling that it's, it's, it's all us, you know, no one else telling us this stuff. It's just we're doing it to ourselves.
It's not nobody's coming up to you and saying, Are you being a bad mom, because you're working? You know? I've never really had it sort of verbalised to me, I've never, never had anybody say anything kind of, you know, like, that connotation of, no, or, you know, you're, you're not a full time, stay at home, Mum. It's my own expectations of myself. But yeah, and then when you're when you're running a business, it does bleed into every minute, and hour of the day, so yeah, but, ya know, nobody's sitting there and telling me that I'm doing a bad job at being a mum. You just you do it to yourself.
Yeah. You come up with it all on your own. Yeah.
Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
It's a horrible thing, isn't it?
concept of identity. Did you hear you saw yourself? Did that change much when you became up?
Yes. But not, it didn't really change for me until I tried to go back to work. I tried to get back to work, I did go back to work. Because before I was before I had kids, I was very, very career oriented, orientated. And I remember feeling, you know, I'd go home at the end of the week, and I just couldn't wait to go back to work. And it was just me and my partner and our dogs. So you know, it was it was nobody really kind of relying on me to be. So I was very self centred in that respect. It was just, I just want to go back to work and, and, you know, I had projects that I was really passionate about, and I was trying to progress my career. And you know, I was feeling very successful, I guess, in my own right, in that sense. And then I had my daughter and I stayed home with her for until she was about eight months old. And then it was at that point, I started kind of itching to go back to work. And I went back and it was just like, like, somebody flipped a switch. It was just I think when I, when I went back in the beginning, I thought it was just, you know, a transitional thing, because I was getting used to being away from my daughter all the time. And it was driving down into the city every day. And I kind of put it down to that. But then, after a while, I kind of realised my drive for my career had kind of stalled. And it wasn't everything to me anymore for obvious reasons. And, yeah, that that whole being you know, this single career driven woman just wasn't there anymore. I think a bit of it was it was related to sort of being unhappy with my return to work with that particular company as well. So then I I switched companies and things improved a little bit, but there were other problems after that. So you Yeah, I think I think there was a definite shift there and it was very, very noticeable for me. Yeah,
So is that when you decided to take your break from it? Was that all? Year?
Yeah, so I think I worked for them for I don't think it was quite a year. And then of course, we had COVID go through all of that. So that, you know, everything was changing. And I just couldn't. I just couldn't settle, I think. And then the projects that I was, I was working on really stressful, and I wasn't getting the satisfaction out of it that I used to so. And then that kind of overlapped with the earring business or the jewellery business. And after a while, all I could think about, I remember, at the very end of when I was feeling really unhappy, all I could think about was creating things. Not I mean, because obviously, I was creating things working in architecture, you know, designing these spaces, and, but I think I just wanted to, I had all these ideas that I feel like this trauma or whatever it was that it was going through, just kind of flip the switch in me and all I could think about was just anything I could do that was creative, that wasn't architecture. You know, it was thinking about writing books, like writing kids books, and, you know, painting and macaroni or you know, all of these things. But I'd already kind of started the jewellery hobby at the time. And all of these kinds of new ideas came, so it felt very kind of transitional in that sense. Yes, sorry, I forgot what the question was. I went off on a tangent then. But no, that's
no, that's a good. So have you ever tried the other things that you're thinking about doing? The painting? And?
Not? Not really. Thing is, I get, I am the kind of person who I can fall into the trap of having all of these ideas, but then overwhelming myself and never really focusing on one. And so the jewellery thing was, was me putting my foot down? Myself? going, No, this is what you're doing. It's working, you're enjoying it? Don't ya, I had to tell myself to stay focused. And so I do some of these other things as a hobby. But nothing that and you know, you don't want to you don't want all of your hobbies to turn into money making endeavours, because that generally can sometimes ruin them? Yeah, yes, I have to be really careful, really conscious of that, I think what I'm doing now, is trying not to kill the creativity, the enjoyment that I get out of the creativity of the side of the business, because when that goes from a hobby to actually being able to having to take it seriously, you shift from, you know, 80 or 90%, just creating stuff to 80 90% administration. And then a small amount of that is actually creating so yeah. And like
you said before, you're thinking about what your customers want. So it changes that level of creativity. Like, yeah, he was saying, you get that free you that enrichment and that enjoyment with the Art Deco, but then you're conscious of what people want to buy more aware. So yeah, it could, it could sort of a bit murky couldn't like,
it can Yeah, not that but I mean, in in that other respect, I still get enjoyment out of making these other most more playful pieces for customers because of the reaction that I get. And the whole reason I started that business was my little slogan, I guess, is creating moments of joy. And that's what I'm what you deliver when you see it when customers see things and they and they like it. So yeah, it still serves the same purpose.
Good now that's cool. When you're talking about that, then I just got an image of the you make these little octopus one. Yeah.
So cute. Like they're one of my best sellers.
And it's unique to kids like you don't see that kind of stuff. Like that's really cool as well.
Thank you. Yeah, we do. And it's such a competitive field to be in as well. So constantly trying to We'll do things that are different and identifiable as well. Because when you're really trying to build a brand, you know, if you get the feedback that people recognise them and know where they came from then you don't feel like you feel like you're doing.
Yes, yeah. When people go to market and they want to find the, the lady that makes octopus earrings, you know, like, that's you. Yeah, that's exactly what they'd say. But you know what I mean, from what I'm trying to
So how far sort of far away do you travel with you market to you? I mean, I've never I don't want to say come to me and came here. But
one day we've, we've travelled pretty far the furthest I think we've gone is Kadena, which is about a two and a half hour drive. But at the moment, not, we're not going as far. Most I've actually got another I've got another girl Julie in on the fifth of May. I'm actually she thinks I'm actually six months pregnant. But the concept of doing markets at the moment is quite draining. Yeah. So it's, we're sticking quite locally, but I think when you know, things, blow over and we settle down again, we'll start doing we actually quite enjoy the you know, we're very outdoorsy people. So we've got caravan and, and all these things that we can sort of do big trips with and then do markets. You know. Obviously, we've gone I say that but we've actually gone further than container. But I'm blanking on the name of the town now. Just it might come back to you has actually we have actually done we did a road trip to absolutely terrible with names of towns. But we made it we made a good a good weekend of it. So I think we'd like to do more of that kind of stuff. Yeah, we were big trouble with Yeah, maybe
check to make a note at the Christmas
Coming back to their identity. Is it important to you that you're more than an I wanna say just a mom putting that in air quotes? Because we're never just a moment but is important to you that that you've got something for yourself? That's just yours when you're Sydney, share with your husband, but you know what I mean? It's your it's your passion. It's your outlet?
It is because and I'm yeah, I'm always so careful about saying just a mum as well, because I think it's it's pretty hard work. Her mum. Yeah. And I think you know, if you find fulfilment in that, that's great. But I did kind of start going a little bit crazy at the end of my maternity leave. Being a stay at home mom. So for me having my own thing that I'm doing is important to me. And I think, you know, I've always kind of seen that with my parents, you know, I don't really remember a period where my mum was just a stay at home mum. I mean, it might have happened when we were born, but she, she's always been working. So maybe that's where that comes comes from. I don't know. But I guess I kind of want my daughter to see that it's okay for us to pursue other things as well. And it's really important to me to communicate to her that she needs to be happy in whatever she's doing. And that was my big thing between changing from architecture to this is that it's not just about making money. You know, you've only got one life You've got to be happy. Don't I? I really don't like the whole, you know, just working so that you can enjoy retirement.
Tell me about it. I'm married to a financial planner
know, I honestly, I struggle with it. Because you're like, you're alive. Now, you who knows what could have happened, you know, tomorrow 10 years down the track 20 years, you might not be there for retirement age. Like, I really struggle with that. So it's the funniest
estimate, you need some time? Yeah. And a lot of the things we want to do they require us to be physically well, so yeah, we're better off doing it now. You know, we, we try to take trips and spend as much time out in nature and, and all those things as we can. So yeah, I just I think my big thing is just making sure that my daughter sees that, you know, she's got control over. I mean, she's only five, she's not probably not really registering that yet, but it's good to start me. You know, you know, that was, you know, five years time I might be, you know, might be different. I don't know, but, ya
know, I think that's a great attitude to have. I feel like that with my boys. Like, I've got three sons, and it's like, for them to, to get used to the idea that a woman is not on this earth just to be a mother. Or a waitress, or cleaner. Or a slave for these boys. You know what I mean? Like, yeah, yeah. And I grew up in a home where my mom did everything for us. And because, you know, her mom did everything for her. And that's how it was and, and I feel like, the last thing I want my kids to think, is that, that that's what I'm here for, like, I actually feel really, really crossed. If I think about that, if that's what they think I'm here for it makes me really mad. It's like, No, I wasn't not to wait on you. And so yes, if I can instil that in my boys, I will be.
Yeah, that's the thing. And we're very welcome very equal share of the housework here, kind of thing. So my partner is very lucky, loves to cook, eat clean the, we don't really have that domestic struggle as much as most people do. And I think that's really good. Because then my daughter sees that she can't have standards. Doesn't have to just be like, well, this is my, this is my life. I'm the housekeeper. And I mean, if that's what she wants to do, that's fine. But she, yeah, she can have expectations of her life partner. So, yeah, I think if I had boys, I can be quite stubborn. So I don't think I would respond very well to, to that kind of expectation being projected on me. So
no, I, I mean, I just I say that a little bit in jest. But like my husband's similar, he cooks like because I don't eat meat. So we've gotten this good habit where he cooks for the boys and I cook for myself. So they say that men do things apart from that, but I just just, I don't know, I've just got this thing ingrained in me that that's how society sees mothers. And I'm just really desperately trying to make my kids know that that's not right. And our hierarchy, the exception where the dad cooks, like there's lots of homes where dads cook and dads clean dads stay home with the kids and moms go to work like, I don't know, I'm just really determined that they don't.
It's just diversity in general, right? You just, you just want them to understand that everybody's different. Every family unit is different. People look different people talk different. People have different types of relationships. And that wasn't really a thing during when I was growing up. I wasn't really something that was kind of openly talked about. Yes, yes. You kind of had to work
it out. So yeah. And in our town like mint, Gambia, for those who don't know, we've only got maybe 30,000 people. I don't know if even if we've got that many, so we're not a very big place. So when I was growing up, there wasn't cultural diversity. We didn't have you know, people that that didn't look like me so, and now we've got a lot of like refugees have settled in the country. We've got in the town. We've got the Karani community that's really big and people from the DRC. And so my children are growing up with children in their class that aren't from Australia, and the English isn't their first language and I reckon that's fantastic. You know, yeah, I agree. We should be more of it. Like I feel like I missed out Growing up, because I, I still have heaps of pimples and I was really interested in people from overseas, but I never really got to I mean, now I'm working with them, which is awesome. And I'm always asking that question to them probably driving them nuts, but I'm really interested in, in other people's experiences and what it was like living in somewhere that I've never been teaching.
Yeah. That's, that's why we travel, isn't it? But yeah, I'd love to so multicultural. Yeah, and I definitely want her to be exposed to lots of different backgrounds. And, yeah, I mean, I think that's pretty normal, isn't it? Yeah, it's
easy. It's a good change
what's your website where people can check out these beautiful designs that you make?
It's www dot Lidl. geraldine.com.au
I was gonna ask you where did that name come from?
It was it's actually I get this so much. People either assume my daughter's name is Geraldine Oh, my name is Geraldine. I'm getting so used to being called Geraldine. Now I'm just I don't know, but I, I actually, a little part of it came from the concept of wanting to enjoy the little things in life. So when I started this business, it was through COVID, as I think most small businesses did, and I was getting really dragged down by the by everything that was going on. And so I was trying really hard to focus on small details and little things that were making me happy. And so that's where the little came from. And then the Geraldine is actually a it's a nod to my grandmother's favourite plant, which was the Geraldton wax. Yeah, we just had to sort of morph a little bit because little Geraldton didn't sound particularly a little Geraldine. So that's kind of where the little Geraldine came from. Gelatin wax.
So do you do you say your grandmother is like an influence on your life and your creativity and what you're doing?
Yeah, what was she, I mean, she passed away a long, long time ago, but I do remember having lots of conversations with her about just life and what you know, what we wanted to do, and, and all of those things, and she had a pretty tough upbringing. But we were very close. And, you know, we spent a lot of time together. And I kind of, I always try to remember her in a lot of things that I do. Like, we've got a lot of children WebParts in our front yard, and I've got a lot of her trinkets from her house, in my house. So I just like to, I like to just remember, you know, loved ones as much as I can just keep the memory going. So yeah,
that's lovely. Lovely. I'm glad I'm not the only person that asks the question. I feel a bit like, oh,
no, sorry. People either just assume that that's my name, or they ask the question.
That's awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming on. I really loved your chat this morning. It's been lovely way to start. This with baby number two.
Thank you. And hopefully I'll see you on that again. Beer at some point.
Yeah. Thanks for your company today. If you've enjoyed this episode, I'd love you to consider leaving us a review, following or subscribing to the podcast, or even sharing it with a friend who you think might be interested. If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on the podcast. Please get in touch with us via the link in the show notes. The music you heard featured on today's episode was from LM Joe, which is my new age ambient music trio comprised of myself, my sister, Emma Anderson and her husband, John. If you'd like to hear more, you can find a link to us in the show notes. I'll catch you again next week for another chat with an artistic mom