Scenes From Sydney: Embracing Change

By Jaclyn Carlson The changing of the seasons, the slow and often sullen shift from summer to autumn has caused me to explore and embrace the idea of change and transformation in our lives.  As women, very few of us get to change our careers, shift directions and follow new paths.  For many it’s the responsibility of family, for others the burden of finance but often it’s fear that holds us back and allows self doubt to creep in and spread like wildfire until our desire for change and dreams of a new path become just that…an old and distant, dream.

Without wanting this post to sound like something out of Sylvia Plath novel, my purpose for embracing change this month was to highlight a few bold women who have made mid-career and/or life changes and haven’t looked back since.  They've embraced the fear, chased down impossible obstacles and have carved out new careers and hobbies one step at a time.  Hearing their stories is not only a source of admiration but inspiration and something we could all learn from. Whether it be big or small, life changing or not, we all need a bit of change to push us forward…

Emma Scamell
, Emma Scamell Photography Sydney-sider, Emma Scamell has turned a love for photography into a blossoming Sydney-based business.  Drawing on her skills as a marketer and using a business savvy approach, she is the perfect example of what happens when you allow yourself to follow your heart. Below she shares with the CWC what change means to her and the moment she decided to move on a new path…

When did the idea of change first become clear to you? A few years ago, I read a quote in an article by Ralph Simon which really resonated and stuck with me. "Work hard and be nice to people. Do what you love, then it’s not work”. The work hard and being nice is essentially my ethos, but I made me think, is it actually possible to turn what you love into a career?

When did you decide to take the leap of faith and follow your dream? I’ve been working in marketing for around 8 years and had been wondering if the dream of working for yourself could actually become a reality. I have always loved taking photos and began expressing that dream to others. As soon as I started verbalising it, things started happening completely organically. I started getting asked to do shoots through friends, and then friends of friends, and I started to take the concept of going full time more seriously. After a long lunch with a friend who has just launched their own business, I realised that it could be more than a pipe dream and there was no reason why I couldn't do the same. From that lunchtime onwards, I’ve made sure that every day, I have done something to take myself closer to my goal – be it shooting, studying, reading, researching or connecting with people.

What’s next? I've just taken some determined steps towards my goal by becoming a member of the AIPP and working on some meaty client projects in my free time. I'm also taking a strategic approach to the business with a brand and marketing plan. Yes, I absolutely have the fear of "what if no-one likes my work?", but I also know that the same fear drives me to continually improve. Above all, I know that if I didn't at least try to make this happen, I would always wonder 'what if'...

Leanne Ambrogio, Sweet Style Blogging for Leanne Ambrogio began in April 2009 as a way to document the building of her house with the creation of Mrs A In The Cove. What began as a whim, suddenly began to change direction in 2010 when she discovered the world of dessert tables and styling - something she had always been passionate about – thus began a brand new path never before imagined.  Since creating her first dessert table for her daughters fourth birthday in 2010 things have not stopped.  In June 2011 her new styling business took another turn when she again changed her career path to launch an online store stocking all the beautiful items that are required for creating a stylish party.  The store, Sweet Style,  has gone from strength to strength and the product range keeps growing. The styling side of her business also continues to grow as well with a number of requests for contributions to some lovely online magazines.  Leanne is an inspiration to me personally as she continually strives to taken on new challenges and pave out her own path. She leads a busy life with family as her main priority but is one of the best examples I’ve come across of taking what starts as a small hobby and turning it into a passionate, life changing career path.

For the rest of us still dreaming of or looking for change, Megan Morton might just have the answer. She has recently launched, The School, a Sydney-based hub for discovering new talents, and unearthing hidden charms.  As Megan herself sums up, “ we want to hold a candle to everyone's inner creative and tap into the magic that happens when you work with both your hands and your heart.”

Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Jaclyn Carlson is 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