By Jaclyn Carlson Taking inspiration from Tess' second book, Conversations With Creative Women: Volume Two, today I want to yet again shine the spotlight on a few local creative women here in Sydney that are shaping their own creative paths and inspiring those around them. I strongly believe that as a community - whether here in Sydney or in Melbourne - we need to support and encourage one other to succeed. When you take a look around you there are so many women doing amazing things that I think its time we give them a round of applause and a bit of recognition. This month please say hello to...
Natalie Hayllar, Eat Read Love
What is your background? After leaving school I completed a Bachelor of Science (Psychology & Nutrition) and then went on to complete a Masters of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics where my love of food began. After a short stint as a clinical dietitian I have spent the most part of the last 15 years in various nutrition communications roles within the food industry. I realised I loved marketing communications and the creative side of this part of my job so I went on to study Marketing Management at MGSM at night school and spent many years working as a Brand Manager. I have been really fortunate to combine my passion for food and nutrition with marketing and continue to work in an awesome marketing job during the day and spend my spare time taking photos and blogging. We are coastal dwellers and never to far from it - My husband Fletch and my two little boys live near Cronulla beach down in Sydney's South and also spend a lot of time on the South Coast.
Tell us about eat read love and how did it get its start? I started blogging after I had my second baby boy about 3 years ago. After very hectic days juggling a corporate marketing job and looking after little ones, I needed a little downtime at the end of the day to to relax and unwind. Some people would say - why not just sleep ?!?!? but for me I enjoyed some 'me time' late at night when the house was quiet, make myself a cup of tea, or pour a glass of wine and start exploring online, and I found a whole new world open up - beautiful food and interior sites. So I decided I would have a go at writing my own bringing my passion for food, books, travel and interiors together. It started as a fun little book club and a place to share inspiration with my friends. I also spend a lot of time on the NSW South Coast and started taking photos and sharing on the blog.
What is the best part about running a creative business and writing your own blog? The ideas continue to roll in. I am never stuck for ideas. My mind is constantly churning new stories, and dreaming of new places to visit and new ways of presenting the stories creatively. I can do it in my own time, no set hours and from home. I love that I get to support and work with some amazing local businesses - I am very passionate about promoting the work of local talent and a few of us have formed a great little creative community down in the Cronulla area.
What are the challenges? After 14-hour days working a corporate job, being a mum, getting dinner, homework, getting the boys ready for bed and then only starting to work on the blog around 9pm at night can start to take its toll. I have so many ideas in my head and so many lists of things I want to do and beautiful things to write about but sometimes there is just not enough hours in the day.
What advice would you give to other women looking to have more creativity in their lives? Just give it a crack - whether its ensuring you allow some time to read a beautiful book, go to an art class or start writing then just do it. The time is now.
What’s next for you? I am very excited to be hosting some of the Kinfolk Magazine events later this year. I will be hosting the launch of The Kinfolk Table cookbook in with Lisa Madigan in October and very exited to be invited to partner with Luisa Brimble and friends to bring theKinfolk Magazine team to Sydney for a series of weekend workshops, dinners and media events. As an avid Kinfolk fan I am just a little excited to be part of this awesome team. I am also working on some more exciting #eatreadlovepopup dinners in 2013/2014. And to keep those creative ideas flowing I am also working on a very secret project with a friend that I hope to kick off next year which will definitely be available to everyone to help people get in touch with their creative flair. Stay tuned on that one. I am also planning a milestone birthday trip to NYC and I cannot wait to return.
Amanda Fuller, Kaleidoscope
What is your background? After leaving high school I studied a variety of design disciplines including Interior Design, Textile Design, Jewellery Design and more at both The Whitehouse Institute and COFA. I worked in the Interior Design Industry for a while but when I discovered graphic design, it was pure love! Since studying I have worked for a number of small magazines, and then was a designer for Fairfax Media with my work appearing in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers. Now, I have the privilege of being a freelance graphic designer and design and lifestyle blogger.
Tell us about Kaleidoscope... how did it get its start? I have been blogging since 2009 (I just celebrated my 4th blogaversary!) on a variety of blogs, both my own and other's. Kaleidoscope was born out of the process of splitting my original blog into a personal blog, Amanda's Musings, and Kaleidoscope - a blog about the many facets of life and design.
Have you always been a creative person? Yes! From as soon as I could hold a crayon, I loved to colour in. Growing up, I loved to craft with my Grandmother and my love of interior design came from my parents constant home renovations. The seed for my love of graphic design was planted by my Dad who brought home a Mac computer when I was about 9 years old. He used to play around with page layout and clipart in his spare time. I guess it must have rubbed off! I loved art at school and photography too.
What are the challenges? Probably the biggest challenge is trying to get paid for what you do. Blogging is still a relatively new form of media in Australia. It can be difficult to get those bills paid. There can be some great product perks, but unfortunately they don't pay the rent. It can also be a challenge building your audience and getting people to know about your blog. With so much media being thrown at people everyday it is easy to be lost in the crowd. My own personal challenge is my health. There are days when not much gets done as I am just too unwell.
What’s next for you? The dream is to be a full-time blogger "when I grow up". So I will continue to blog about amazing creative people and their work and build up Kaleidoscope to be a "must-read" blog and get it known. Blogging has rekindled my interest in photography and sparked an interest in styling, so you might see more of this from me in the future. Right now I am working on the huge Kaleidoscope Christmas Gift Guide which will launch at the beginning of November. Keep your eyes peeled!
What is your background? I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio and moved to Sydney three years ago. I studied Public Relations and minored in Deaf Culture and Language while at University. However, most of my work has been in digital roles with start-ups and a couple years of agency life. Currently I look after marketing and community at tech start-up Canva, in Sydney. The other hat I wear is as the Sydney Curator of The Fetch, something I’ve been doing for the last couple years just for fun.
Tell us about Canva how did it get its start? Our CEO at Canva, Melanie had a vision of creating a collaborative online design platform to help make design more accessible. She started on the journey five years ago when she was teaching design part-time at the University of Western Australia. She and her partner Cliff started their first company from her parents’ house and went after the niche market of school yearbooks. Five years later, Mel and Cliff teamed up with their co-founder Cam went decided to take on the world with Canva. They shared their idea with others, raised the funds, built the dream team and here we are now. A few weeks ago was our press launch and public product reveal. I joined them at the start of this year, so pretty excited to be part of their team and along for the ride. It’s just the start.
What is the best part about working for a creative company? The people I work with for sure. We dream big together on a daily basis at Canva. Being surrounded by passionate people inspires you to build, create and think. I find that spark also inspires me across the board.
What are the challenges? I’m someone who constantly bites off more than she can chew. Honestly, it usually works in my favour. It forces me to get massive amounts of work done, and I thrive under that nice extra layer of pressure. However, I’ve had challenging moments where I was in over my head and felt I came up short. I have to remind myself to prioritize constantly. Someone told me that there is no such thing as this idea of being “too busy” for something. It comes down to priorities and if something is important to you, you’ll find the time and make sacrifices. I try to embrace this approach with most of what I do.
What advice would you give to other women looking to have more creativity in their lives? Be proactive and seek out other creative people. You can’t rely on others constantly to make you move, but let their passion inspire you and help fuel your own creative projects. I’m biased obviously, but get your name on The Fetch and find out what’s happening locally in your city each week. Attend events that are interesting to you for creatives, entrepreneurs, designers, developers, writers, etc. one day after work rather than practicing your normal routine. In Sydney, check out ABCD Meetup, Think Act Change and the Idea Bombing series to name a few. There is so much happening, just go seek it out.
What’s next for you? I’m planning on starting a new blogging project with my friend Brooke, a creative thinker, entrepreneur, and fellow expat American here in Sydney. It’s something we’ve been scheming and talking about for a while, so time to make it happen.
Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Jaclyn Carlson is the founder of Blog Society, a community for bloggers & creatives as well as the author behind the Sydney-based blog, Little Paper Trees. When not documenting her expat adventures, she can be found working for one of Australia’s top design & homewares trade shows. Passionate and prone to wasting hours on Pinterest, she has years of experience in marketing, advertising and PR and aims to put Sydney’s creative women in the spotlight with her monthly column.