I’m really excited to feature a leaping pair over the next two weeks! Last December at a City of Port Phillip meeting for creative businesses Jane Fenn came up to me and said ‘Hi! Oh, you’re Kylie who writes The Leap Stories. I think we might qualify!’
And she was so right! Jane, founder of White Lightly and her husband Lloyd, co-founder of Glowpear, have both taken independent leaps in the past few years. This week we’re featuring Jane. Next week we’ll talk to Lloyd.
In a previous life Jane was a financial power of attorney, working in the city, raising three children and moving so fast that life was a blur. In the midst of the commotion, she chance upon a reading that stopped her in her tracks: ‘You don’t always need a plan – sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, and let go, and amazing things might happen’.
Those words cracked open the door of possibility, shifted her mindset and helped her get in touch with her intuition. With encouragement from her industrial designer husband, Jane leapt like a ninja away from her professional identity as an expert consultant, to retrain as a jewellery designer running her own show. When you see beauty of her jewellery, it’s hard to believe all that creativity was locked up in corporate office for so long, and what might have be lost had she not been an avid reader!
GIVEAWAY! Jane is generously offering a set of beautiful Whitelightly Daylight/Nightlight earrings (below) to one lucky kin. Comment below or on Instagram, tag someone who makes your life bright and beautiful and tell us why. Entries close midnight Friday 22 April 2016.
What did you want to be when you grew up and why?
I wanted to be Liv Tyler, not because she was an actress but because she was the daughter of rockstars – a life less ordinary, full of excitement, music and fun.
What did/do you study?
It’s funny, at school my favourite subject was art, always, but after high school I studied a Bachelor of Social Science and Psychology at ACU’s Fitzroy campus. University was so interesting and I really enjoyed focusing on a subject. Fast forward 10 years to the end of 2012 and, as a birthday gift, my husband Lloyd encouraged me to enrol in a silversmith course. It was fabulous and proved to be a catalyst, highlighting my true passion for gemstones and jewellery. I continued to study at night completing units in jewellery and object design. I also practise yoga any chance I get and I read a lot too, like, everything.
What has been your most scary/courageous leap you’ve ever made (preferably in your business/career/life direction)?
For me, changing my own mindset around my professional identity was really hard. From the security of working in an office for a big company to the unknown of ‘I have my own business, I’m a jewellery designer’; it was nerve racking. I was so scared people wouldn’t take me seriously. I’d been a consultant in my previous job for eight years; I was an expert in my role, I knew all the answers. Even though I was unhappy, it took all my courage to step away from that safety.
What were you doing before you made your leap?
Working in the city, raising two children (pregnant with my third), and moving so fast the world was a blur.
Who have been the biggest 3 – 5 influences in your life, in terms of your career and doing work?
In no particular order:
I went to see Jean Paul Gaultier at the NGV last year (I’ve totally loved him since I was 16). The exhibition was incredible and really crystallised a lot of ideas that were swimming around in my head at the time.
Music, from Kevin Parker and Meg Mac, to Cloud Control and Phoenix, all the way around to The Strokes and The Cure. I always work with music on. When people write and sing with passion it’s a true gift.
My husband Lloyd Fenn: we have been partners in crime since we were teenagers. His unwavering support gives me confidence when I have none.
My mother Margaret Wilmot is an artist with endless creativity. My father is a pharmacist and ran his own business; he is a truly happy man and taught me that the harder you work the more luck you have.
What did you have in place before you made the leap?
I learnt to trust myself and follow my instincts. Without this in place there would be no leap.
What was your defining ‘I can’t do this anymore’ moment that lead you to the leap?
In an effort to get everything done I was spreading myself very thin and I realised I was missing all the fun.
How did/do you overcome/work with the fear that comes with leaping? How do you decide to choose courage?
I’m a big fan of Kung Foo movies and secretly think of myself as a ninja. This makes me laugh but also provides deeper principles to follow. Whenever I am on shaky ground I remind myself that I’m stronger than I think and that all I have to do is listen…. tread quietly….. then leap (ninja style).
How did you fund your leap?
I run a very lean business that is self-sustaining with the aim of growing slowly but surely. I would love to have a dedicated studio space but to keep overheads low I work from the front room of our house (meanwhile my son sleeps in the alcove at the top of the stairs – mother of the year, I know).
What other leaps have you made in the past?
None really, Ive always played a very safe game.
What leaps didn’t work out? What did you do about it?
Not leaping or taking a chance in the past has probably meant some missed opportunities. I hope to be bolder in my 30s than I was in my 20s.
What are you most fearful of? How do you deal with it?
WhiteLightly is just me, so putting my work in front of people was quite overwhelming in the beginning. The fear of being the focus of someone’s attention (good, bad or ugly) is terrifying, but with each step I take it’s getting easier.
How would you rate your level of happiness about making your leap?
1 being sad, 10 being rad.
Rad, defiantly rad.
What’s the biggest upside to making the leap?
Balance. Having my own business gives me flexibility; I can spend part of my day being creative and working on something I love, but also have time (and energy) to spend with my children. I feel stronger than I ever have before, and with strength comes the confidence to take more leaps. Now, a lot of the time, I feel excited about new challenges rather than nervous. I’m so lucky to be living such a nice life.
What’s the biggest downside to making the leap? And how do you get through it?
Does small business tax count as a downside? In exchange for having time for my family in the day, I often work at night too so my sleep bank is pretty low. Working on my own has also been a challenge, but the more WhiteLightly grows, the more connections I’m making. In fact, it’s given me the opportunity to meet some really lovely and interesting people.
What might be your next leap?
Expanding WhiteLightly’s retail presence over the next year in small but definite leaps will be exciting.
What are your favourite words to live by?
‘And though she be but little, she is fierce’ – Shakespeare
Obviously this has a literal meaning about strong women, which I like, but it also reminds me that little things can be magical, and it’s important not to underestimate their power.
When it comes to being the mother of three young children (Lillian, 7, Audrey, 5 and Edward, 2) I also frequent the phrase, ‘What could possibly go wrong?’ and then laugh with hysteria.
Who do you admire who also made the leap?
My husband, Lloyd Fenn, is one of those enviably creative people and knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up. He studied the right subjects at school, got accepted into his first choice at uni (Product Design) and then got a cool job. He always planned to launch a business to develop his own products and now with three other talented guys this side project has become a reality. This may not sound like a leap story but when you are on the right path, actions seem natural, not giant leaps of faith. Lloyd has always stayed true to his vision, I don’t know many who can claim that.
A piece of advice for someone with an itch to leap?
Your initial reaction is usually the right one so trust yourself.
What is your dream project?
If I could wish for anything in the world, I’d love to work with a local fashion designer and create an exclusive range of jewellery to complement their designs. I’m dreaming of limited edition jewel encrusted shell tops where gemstones and gorgeous fabric collide.
Right now I’m:
Jane’s favourite subject at high school was art. I might just be that her leap was giving herself permission to go back and discover the joyous part of her self she’d popped to the side for a while. Which makes me wonder, how many of us are still in touch with the things we did as kids that we lost ourselves in flow for hours?
Lovingly, Kylie x
p.s. Final enrolments for The Time eCourse close midnight Monday 18 April, so it’s not too late. If you’d like to get back in control of how you spend your precious days, and be living, loving and working with purpose and productivity, this is your chance to do it. This is your time to make a shift in how you manage your energy, cultivate your focus and reach your goals. More details below. xx
Now. Is. The. Time.
Class starts Friday 15 April 2016
Enrolments now open until Sunday 17 April
Calling possibilitarians from across the globe! We invite you to take a leap this leap year and join us for an productivity and planning ecourse to program your business GPS for 2016.
Our newest ecourse, The Time, is a creative and interactive 6 week (or self paced) ecourse for curious and entrepreneurial types, exploring your business goals, getting to what is essential, planning tools, dealing with stress and overwhelm, and becoming the master of your time and energy with a good dose of self care. It’s like a day spa for your business brain!
Mindset, Action, Self-Care Method
We strongly believe if you don’t prioritise your life, someone else will do it for you. From our experience of surviving corporate careers and building families, to leaping and starting our own businesses, we’ve taken the best of what we know from both camps and devised our method for prioritising our lives, and crafting a career on our own terms.
Over six packets we take you through the following phases:
- Phase One starts with heightening your self awareness and checking in on your mindset;
- Phase Two is about capturing all that is going on inside your head, wrangling it into a structure and creating doable action;
- Phase Three makes sure that we take care of ourselves in the process by lovingly managing all our vital energy sources.
Suss it out
Want to hear us talking about what you’ll experience in the course and get a taste of what it’s like working with us? Watch our webinar here.
I think for me the biggest take away has been to really spell out my priorities . I tend to get lost in the “urgent” rather than the important things that will actually propel me forward to my goals. I spent a lot of last year feeling as though there was a lot of action, but not much progress. Amazing how focusing on my priorities – decluttering my life and our home in particular – has seen so much change and transformative energy flow. – Kate McMahon
At a time of change and new challenges in my work and family life Kylie & Binny’s THE TIME course helped me immensely. It offered tools, insights and tricks to gain clarity and focus, and with that in mind to plan and plot my realistic daily, weekly, monthly rhythms. – Bettina Kaiser, Bettina Kaiser art + design
The Time workshop was invaluable. You are guided through business and wellbeing topics with exercises along the way to help you articulate for yourself where you’d like to take your business and what you would like to achieve. – Anne
This workshop came at a critical time for me – it enabled me to get the space I needed to focus not just on my business, but also on making the most of my life. Thank you! – Elise Heslop, Director, Plyroom
Kylie and Bin are both so lovely. They emphasised simplicity, mindfulness and self awareness, along with tapping into feelings and beliefs, planning for the next few months and prioritising tasks – which was all a great reminder for me. – Nhung Vo Founder, The Sunday
The Time workshop was a magnificent combo of personal development and business planning & development. Who we are is such a critical part of what our business is and how we operate, so this workshop really helped me connect these. – Emma Diffen Peritus Communications
The first quarter of 2016 has already passed. Are you where you’d hoped you be?
Get on track and enrol now, and ensure that the rest of 2016 takes you where you want to do.
The Time Is Now.