Put the kettle on and pour yourself a cuppa for this week’s Leap Story. Clair has much wisdom to share from her succession of leaps. You’re going to learn about finding your ‘inner ding’, the power of your mindset, the possibilities for reinventions, the upside of searching, and an iconic Marimekko designer even get’s a look in too.
Clair studied art and textile design, worked her way into internships with interior magazines in the UK, leaped to Australia, and became a freelance journalist for Real Living magazine. During this time she took the leap to start her own homewares range. Eleven years later her and her partner Nick, leaped back to the UK to expand their business while simultaneously having to make new industry contacts.
Crafting a life on her terms Clair’s leaps have built upon her experience over time, growing her skills, broadening her horizons and creating a unique life of possiblities. Enjoy. x
What did you want to be when you grew up and why?
As a child I loved watching my mum turn her hand to anything from dress-making to upholstery. I grew up in a make-do and mend household – my parents were just like Tom and Barbara from ‘The Good Life.’ (We even had our very own Margo and Jerry living next door – in the form of my headmaster and his wife!) My mum had endless craft projects on the go and made all my clothes. I probably took it for granted, having my own seamstress on hand. I used to love sifting through my mums ever expanding collection of fabric and would trail around the fabric shops with her.
When I was a teenager, with my mum’s help, I started to take a more active interest in choosing fabric and learnt some basic sewing skills so I could make my own clothes. This was the start of my life-long obsession with fashion – I still dream of designing a collection using my own patterned fabric.
I knew I wanted to do something creative when I grew up, but focusing on just one thing was tricky! I discovered a passion for print-making when I was let loose in our school print room, coming up with some ambitious repeat patterns. From then on being a textile designer became my number one goal. I loved that it was creative, but practical at the same time. I always liked the idea of producing patterned cloth that could be turned in to clothing or furnishing fabric – the possibilities were endless.
I then went on to study art and textile design at university. A chance meeting with a group of ladies from a London interiors magazine, at a local home and garden fair, sparked my interest in magazines. At that time styling wasn’t really considered a proper profession, and the necessary skill sets were a bit vague. The idea of working in country houses and being responsible for creating rooms sets for glossy mags seemed quite glamorous. I decided to head to London and worked my way through a series of internships at home magazines – I was really a glorified dogs-body, but I stuck at it. This was the start of my magazine career….
I always remember an editor telling me that styling is 90% organisation and 10% creativity. She probably wasn’t far wrong, but it didn’t put me off – the job taught me tenacity, stamina and sheer willpower to get the job done.
What did/do you study?
I studied for a visual art’s degree at Aberystwyth University and specialised in painting, screen printing and art history. Aberystwyth, a small seaside town in Wales, was an idyllic place to study but the course didn’t prepare me for the working world. I then went on to study textile design and technology at Leeds University.
I also ducked in and out of a journalism course, until I realised it was more beneficial for me to get work experience because of all the contacts I could make.
Also, as I’m getting older I’m getting more aware of how important it is to design with the environment in mind. Using eco-friendly, non-toxic materials and up-cycling are all ways we can limit our footprint on the earth. As this is a special interest for me I love learning about new ways we can protect our precious planet.
I plan to specialise more in eco interior design, plus help people create spaces that improve their health and wellbeing – which might be as simple as creating a relaxing reading room or de-cluttering.
I’ve always been passionate about harnessing the power of colour – whether it’s creating a cool, calm room with blues and greens, or a vibrant, sunny feel with yellows and oranges. I work quite instinctively, but I’d also like to study colour and the specific ways it improves wellbeing.
I’m naturally inquisitive and I study people on the street, trends in interiors and fashion – I’m a real people watcher and love to sit in a cafe looking at how passers-by dress and style themselves. I get ideas for textiles from all sorts of places. The divide between fashion and interiors is more blurred these days – they seem to influence each other in a fluid way. I always have my camera to hand, or a little sketch book. I also take hundreds of photos of flowers and plants – I often get ideas for colour combos from nature. I never switch off!
I’m an avid magazine reader and find this is the best way to keep up with interiors trends too. Fashion mags are useful for ideas – fashion trends are often easily translated into interiors. It’s a fun idea to take an outfit and turn it in to a room scheme, taking inspiration from the colours and patterns in the clothes. I’m always absorbing ideas, especially when I visit beautiful homes or flick through the pages of an interiors magazine such as Elle Decoration or Vogue Living.
What has been your most scary / courageous leap you’ve ever made?
Leaving the UK, and moving to Australia has been my biggest and most exciting adventure. I’ve grown so much as a person since I landed in Melbourne in 2003. My partner, Nick Young and I dreamt of leaving our high pressure London jobs and starting our own creative business in Australia. Settling in and finding our niche was a slow process, but we owe a lot to the amazing, encouraging people we met along the way. One thing I’ve learnt is that you can’t rush things. Take small steps, don’t waver and eventually you’ll see the fruits of your labour…
When I first moved to Melbourne I headed off to show magazine editors my interior styling portfolio. I didn’t manage to pick up work straight away so I used my initiative and travelled around Victoria interviewing artists and scouting for houses – I sold stories to Country Style and House & Garden. I met the then editor of House & Garden who introduced me to Deb Bibby who was about start a new magazine called Real Living magazine. This was the start of my long alliance with this award winning magazine, which pushed me to develop my quirky, colourful style and to become a more confident, creative professional.
Working as the Melbourne Style Editor for Real Living felt like a roller coaster ride every day. I didn’t know where the job would take me – I learnt something new with each assignment and came across fresh challenges all the time. I never had a chance to get bored!
It was another five years before I leapt in to my next challenge – my homewares and lifestyle brand, Curio & Curio. Starting Curio & Curio seemed like the natural next step, because I’d spent half my life surrounded by homewares. After years of hand picking other peoples designs to feature in magazines, I knew what I liked and was ready to try my hand at designing my own range.
We set up a basic printing studio at home and gradually started gathering wholesale orders, at the same time as juggling some styling and decorating work. Working for Real Living mag meant we knew a lot of people in the interiors industry in Melbourne. We were swept along by peoples enthusiasm – everyone was willing us to succeed. We could only be optimistic surrounded by such positive energy.
Having a career in magazines worked in my favour too, because when I needed to showcase a new range I wasn’t phased by the idea of contacting editorial teams with lifestyle photos of our designs.
The next leap came in the form of a tiny shop in Flinders, on the Mornington Peninsula. The old saying ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’ rings true. I’d come down to Flinders for a birthday lunch and, for fun, wrote a wish list – having a shop being at the top of the list. Then we bumped into a friend in Flinders, who told us about the little space next to the general store. Before we could take a breath, we jumped head first into retail for the first time! After that we set up shop at So:Me Space in South Melbourne market which is when our business really took off – we could barely keep up with demand!
We left the sunny shores of Australia at the beginning of 2014 and have been living back in the UK for the last 18 months. We decided to up sticks again, after 11 years in Melbourne because we were keen to expand the business in the UK and Europe (and spend time with family). We also wanted to diversify and employ UK digital printers to print our designs. This has been a huge learning curve and meant that we had to loosen our control a little, as we weren’t producing everything ourselves, by hand.
In some ways this has been our most scary leap because we were leaving all our contacts behind that we’d built up over 11 years. Even though we’d grown up in the UK, we’d made Australia home. No one knew about Curio & Curio here in the UK, so it felt like we were starting again, and has been tough at times. I developed a very colourful, modern and bold style while living in Australia and the vibrancy of our designs makes us stand out here in the UK.
I’m planning a return trip to Melbourne for an extended period later this year for work… Australia is my home away from home. Ideally I’d love to divide my time equally between the two continents.
What were you doing before you made your leap?
Before I made my first major leap (going to Australia) I worked in London as an in-house stylist for BBC Good Homes and Essentials magazines.
I’d hire studios and location houses, book photographers, scour the high streets for the best homewares buys and create room sets. No two assignments were ever the same – some stories included a kitchen feature when I hired set builders to build my kitchen designs from scratch, others included storage features, kids rooms, shopping pages, even a fireplace feature when I designed fire surrounds and had them made and installed for the shoot. Another feature called ‘Send in the Stylist’ involved me visiting Good Homes’ readers and carrying out makeovers on rooms in their houses.
I can remember being terrified at times – I was only in my twenties and knew very little about design really. Those first few years, learning on the job, were stressful and high pressure, but gave me a good grounding. Even though I was often fraught with worry during the build up to a shoot, I was always pleased with the end result. When I’d find myself in scary, challenging situations it was the perfect opportunity to learn and grow – (although the first reaction was probably to run!) It always amazes me how resilient and resourceful us humans can be when a deadline is looming!
Who have been the biggest 3 – 5 influences in your life, in terms of your career and doing work?
My mum, Patricia, encouraged me to experiment artistically and stuck a paint brush in my hand from an early age, so I have her to thank for a life absorbed in art and design. She took me to art galleries in London and Paris, so I could experience first-hand how captivating art can be. I was influenced by some of the best, such as Salvador Dali and David Hockney. She’s always been my number one fan – I know she’s biased because she’s my mum but I value her opinion. She worked as a fashion designer in the 1960s in London and Melbourne, so my artistic flair was passed down from her. She was thrilled when I went to art school and now she’s a fabulous painter. My mum’s in her 70s and more passionate about art than ever – she can’t wait to get up in the morning to start work.
My lovely partner, Nick Young has been my rock, encouraging me from the start, when he first helped me in the print room at school. Yes – can you believe it! I followed him to London to where we lived in the artsy area, Shoreditch, and then to Islington. We were there at a good time, in the late 1990s/early 2000s when the area was edgy. There was an underground Acid Jazz music scene and grungy art studios popping up everywhere. Nick’s always believed in me, more than I sometimes believe in myself….and if I need a confidence boost I turn to him. Also it’s been lovely to see him flower as an artist too. We’ve both encouraged each other along our journey. He’s become a successful artist and illustrator in his own right.
American potter, Jonathan Adler, has successfully built a brand around his quirky, fun style. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on his new book – ‘100 Ways to Happy Chic Your Life.’ He chucks out the rule book and throws colours and patterns together to create playful interiors. I like to think Jonathan and I have similar styles!
I love how he seamlessly moves from product designer to interior designer and retail guru. I read an interview by him once and he said he had to create his own job, because he was unemployable. His parents were really worried about him, but then he found his passion as a potter and the rest is history. He still builds prototypes and tries out ideas everyday in his pottery studio.
One of my favourite quotes by Jonathan Adler is, ‘I’m deadly determined when it comes to design, but I also appreciate irreverence. It’s a misconception that serious design has to be…serious.’ I’d love our colourful, bold brand, Curio & Curio, to become known around the world, employing creative, fun people along the way.
Born in 1927 in Finland, Maija Isola designed some of the most well known Marimekko patterns in the 60s and 70s, such as Unikko – an explosion of red poppies which embodied the design confidence of 1960s ‘flower power’. She designed a huge body of work, including over 500 prints, which were influenced by folk art, nature and her many trips around the world. I read an article on her once which talked about how she painted the patterns free-hand onto paper on the floor of her studio, using large brush strokes. I could just imagine this beautiful, free-spirited lady, being completely absorbed in the moment. Maija was unconventional, leaving her daughter to grow up with her grandmother so she could travel the world and find inspiration for her textiles. She belonged to a trail-blazing generation, enabling women to move freely into the arts. It’s amazing to think that her designs are still being sold and enjoyed all around the world – such a wonderful legacy to leave behind. Marimekko has always been one of my favourite textile design firms. Looking at their designs helps me push the boundaries with my own work. I also use their designs in my decorating jobs, as the patterns are so bold and fun to work with.
I discovered Louise L. Hay when I first moved to Melbourne. She’s an incredible lady in her 80s. She founded Hay House in 1984 in America, which is now an international power house for spiritual teaching and self-help book publishing. I listen to Hay House radio frequently and have learnt such a lot. I learnt how to visualise and practise positive affirmations, which have helped me greatly, especially in terms of believing in myself, sticking to my career goals and general wellbeing.
What did you have in place before you made the leap?
I don’t think I’ve ever been properly prepared before taking a leap. I’ve just had to rely on my own belief that things will work out. Sometimes it’s best not to know too much, or prepare in too much detail, because you’d never get started!
Moving to another country with my partner, Nick, meant that we had to be self reliant, as we had no solid foundation to spring-board from. I like the idea of starting from scratch. I think maybe that was the best way, as no one had any pre-conceived ideas about us. We could re-invent ourselves and we made being new-comers work in our favour.
Nick, my partner, had a sales and marketing background, but he ended up working with me for Real Living magazine. He taught himself Photoshop and screen-printing, then together we designed homewares and art for Curio & Curio. I had experience working for homes magazines, which gave me inside knowledge in to the interiors world, and gave me confidence when designing homewares.
I’ve learnt that people only do business with people that they like. We’re both genuine and friendly and always have time for people – I think people remember that. I’m comfortable chatting to everyone from warehouse staff to heads of companies. If you run your own business you have to be able to deal with people from all walks of life.
We also bend over backwards for customers, and we never like to say ‘no’, so we have a reputation for always being helpful and easy to deal with. We were no spring chickens when we started our business in Australia and I think our experience and maturity really helped us carve a niche in Melbourne. I’m not sure whether our business would have worked so well if we’d been younger.
What was your defining ‘I can’t do this anymore’ moment that lead you to the leap?
Working in London, the daily commute and living in a concrete jungle was starting to take it’s toll. I’ve always been a country girl and animal lover so I missed spending time in nature. I also got quite ill and needed an operation – so that made me realise I couldn’t carry on at such a fast pace. (I had cysts on my ovaries, which were twisting and causing me a lot of pain, so I needed an emergency operation. This also led to me discovering that I had endometriosis).
I had dual nationality and was born in Melbourne, but my parents decided to move back to England when I was still a baby. The idea of moving to Melbourne had been brewing for a long time. I yearned for open spaces, being near the beach and starting my own creative business. We’d had a very urban existence living in London, so when we were looking for somewhere to live in Melbourne we were drawn to the beach suburbs. We saw a house advertised in Mentone, just a short stroll from the beach. Mulling over what to do, we went to a beach cafe and spotted dolphins out in the bay. We were sure that was a sign – so we bought the house the next day! We could never have a dog in London, so one of the first things we did was adopt our beloved border collie, Jack.
How did/do you overcome/work with the fear that comes with leaping?
I like the sense of the unknown and have learned to harness the good feelings about change, rather than negative ones. The older I get I think the more I hanker for adventure. I’m starting to realise time is limited, so I better get on with it. I think in the past I have held myself back with fear, but the more you try things the more you realise you have nothing to lose. Now I’m constantly coming up with ideas for new projects and collaborations – the problem is there’s not enough time in the day!
I love working for myself and have never felt comfortable fitting into someone else’s time schedule or rule book, so it seems natural for me to always be thinking about the next leap. I’m a free spirit and and happy to work late, but also like the option of taking a cheeky mid-week day off, without having to check with my boss, although that rarely happens!
I’ve never been driven by money, but the sense of satisfaction of having done a good job makes me feel good. I tend to manage my time in bite sized pieces and just work on one project at a time, if I can. I know the idea of multi-tasking is great but I’m calmer, and less fearful, if I focus on one job at a time.
How do you decide to choose courage?
I don’t consciously choose courage. I think it takes a certain type of person to take a leap – some would say a slightly insane person! I’ve always been a free spirit, so going it alone doesn’t phase me. Obviously taking a leap requires a certain amount of monetary commitment, which does worry me at times. But I’m a believer in what you put out to the universe will reflect back at you, so I try not to become too anxious about money, because I’d be sending out a message that there’s a shortage rather than an abundance.
I’m a pretty sensitive person, but can also grit my teeth and get on with it. When I’m in mid-flow, when I’m enjoying the creative process or getting good feedback, I’m on cloud 9. Real courage is needed when things aren’t going so well. I’m a mostly positive person and rarely entertain the idea of packing it all in – I think about how far we’ve come and I soon dust myself off and focus on the positives.
I’m stubborn, determined and tenacious too – I’m like a dog with a bone! I get carried along by the creative process, and get excited about all the possibilities. I think if I thought too much about the money aspect I would start to get scared.
If I wasn’t leaping, I don’t know what I’d be doing instead… Leaping takes a certain amount of courage but when you’re in mid-air, all sorts of emotions go through my head – excitement and fear mainly, about where I’ll land. I try to focus on the excitement and let fear take a back seat.
Having mentors helps to keep me feeling courageous. I admire people like Jonathan Adler and 1960’s textile designer, Celia Birtwell. Maybe I’m naive, but I think, ‘well if they can do it, why can’t I!?’ Their ability to look on the bright side is inspiring. I just keep telling myself ‘the future is bright!’
What are you most fearful of? How do you deal with it?
I’m most fearful about people not responding well to my designs. Putting a collection together is exciting, but vulnerable. I have a bold bright style and sometimes, when I waver, I think I should water the colours down, do some more muted options, but that’s when I try to please too many people. I’ve learnt it’s always best to stick to what you’re good at and there’ll be enough supporters out there if you’re willing to put your neck out to find them.
How would you rate your level of happiness about making your leap? 1 being sad, 10 being rad.
I’ve taken a few leaps….but most of them are definitely up there around the 8 out of 10.
What’s the biggest upside to making the leap?
The best thing about making a leap is you’re following your hunch and trusting your own judgement, which is a powerful place to be. So often we get those feelings but don’t follow through. Those first faltering steps could lead to something big – bigger than you’ve ever imagined. If we don’t try, we’ll never know what’s possible.
Taking a leap helped me grow in confidence – there’s always bumps in the road. It’s a cheesy saying, but it’s true when they say it’s about the journey, rather than the destination. Looking back over the years that I’ve been working on my brand, it’s the connections that I’ve made and the people we’ve met that have made it all worthwhile.
To me taking a leap is about that satisfying feeling that you’re doing something worthwhile, you’re out there in the world living life to the full…and being the best ‘you’ that you can be. I love being able to push myself and experience my fullest potential…
What’s the biggest downside to making the leap? And how do you get through it?
Sacrificing a nice routine existence is probably the biggest downside to taking a leap. I do sometimes feel envious of friends who have regular jobs, who can switch off in the evenings and weekends. I sometimes think I’m a glutton for punishment, but I’m not sure how well I’d flourish in a more conventional life.
If I’m having a down day I flip that worry on it’s head and think about people like Richard Branson who are fearless entrepreneurs. When I read about how he worked from nothing to create his empire it gives me a little lift and makes me feel like anything’s possible. With a bit of self belief, luck and sheer hard work you can create something to be proud of.
Taking a leap is choosing the road less travelled, so it’s going to be lonely at times. Like most people, I do sometimes have down days, especially as we spend so much time working on our own at the moment, but then I remind myself that part of my drive to succeed is to inspire future designers. I love to hear from young designers and show them ways to use their talents to make money. So often they leave college with no idea about how they’re going to make money from their art. Seeing us thrive gives them hope that they can do the same. I’d love to spend more time mentoring youngsters and offer them placements.
Taking a leap has meant that I’ve had to make sacrifices, like being single-minded and working longer hours than my friends while I get established, locking myself away to create collections and plan our next range.
Taking a different, less well-trodden path can be difficult because loved ones and family worry for you – they see the risks and sometimes try to put you off. Hanging around people with a similar positive, entrepreneurial spirit helps – I love bouncing ideas off my creative friends and swapping contacts. Sometimes if we have doubts, it just takes a simple chat with friends to re-ignite our passion.
I don’t have a grand plan of where I want to be in 5 or 10 years time but I’m getting good at this leaping thing. Taking a leap does often involve a big investment of time and money. The one thing that I need to get better at is managing my money. You have to wear many hats when you’re a ‘leaper’. I know I’m artistic and hard working but being good with money was never a strong point of mine. One of the downsides of taking a leap for me is having to manage my money and making sure I charge enough for my products and time. I need to work on my relationship with money and I sometimes have to drum it home to myself that my work is worthy of a decent price tag. I realise now that what I charge for my services and products is a reflection of my self esteem and self worth.
There’s a lot to be said for stability and security but I’ve never really thought about pensions and retirement funds – I tend to live life in the moment. In our parents and grandparents day it was more common to stick to one job all your life and look forward to your retirement. We’re lucky these days as we have more options and I owe it to myself to follow my ‘inner ding.’ (Louise L. Hay coined the phrase ‘inner ding’ – meaning listening to that little voice inside – it’s an instinctive thing, when you sense the right thing to do). While I’m working and if I’m feeling like I need a blast of positivity I tune in to Hay House radio, founded by Louise L. Hay. More often than not the show I tune in to is just what I need to hear at that particular moment.
My problem is I sometimes want to leap into too many things at a time, and I have to reign myself in. My main challenge is to stick to one thing at a time and do it well. I took the leap in to clothing design a few years ago, because of my long held dream to create a fashion range. I came up with some simple designs, found a pattern cutter who graded the patterns, then gave our hand screen printed fabric to a seam-stress to make into dresses, skirts and tops. I think I realised at the time that I’d probably bitten off more than I could chew, but when we got the orders to the shops I felt a great sense of satisfaction that I’d fulfilled a dream, if only temporarily. I can be swept up in the enthusiasm of the idea, and don’t sometimes think about the reality of how time-consuming or expensive a project will be.
I also developed a gorgeous silk scarf since I’ve been back in the UK and had samples made at great expense. Even though I’m quite confident that the scarves are beautiful I haven’t been able to work out an affordable wholesale and retail price, as our cost price is currently so high, so I’ve had to put them on the back burner. I’m so proud of my achievement and can’t wait to see women wearing them. I won’t let myself believe that this was a wasted opportunity – I’ll find a good manufacturer that will make them for me at a more reasonable price, maybe in a different fabric. I just have to be patient as I’m sure they’ll be resurrected one day soon – for Liberty’s perhaps!
What might be your next leap?
I’d love to compile a book about modern Australian style – plus the people and places that epitomise it.
I’ve always dreamt of going to India, to soak up their culture and learn more about their vibrant textiles industry. I hope to work with Indian artisans to produce colourful homewares, one day soon…
I’d love to work on some collaborations with other artisans and creatives. I’d like to apply my prints to clothing so I’m on the lookout for a clothing designer to work with.
I’m about to add a small range of wallpaper to our website. I love wallpaper, so designing my own is exciting….
I studied painting at university – every now and then I get my paint brushes out and dabble. I’d love to take some time out to develop my painting skills again and have an exhibition.
After moving back to the UK at the beginning of 2014 to grow our business in Europe, I’m now ready to leap back to Australia at the end of this year for an extended stay.
I don’t know how I’ll feel in a few years time, but I’m hoping I’ll be more inclined to travel and go with the flow. One day, when I’m older, I’ll sell the business, and maybe become a painter in a far-flung, tropical place – watch this space!
What are your favourite words to live by?
‘Be a searcher. Those who seek are the finders of treasures’.
I found this saying in a little book called ‘Wrapped in a Ribbon’ by Flavia – a selection of inspirational writings. I love how serendipity can play a huge part in our lives, if we let it. I believe that messages appear in front of us all the time – we just have to be open to receiving them. Just as I was about to take a major leap in my life I happened to open Flavia’s book on that page, which was just what I needed to read. A few times now, when I’m about to take a leap, this book has fallen in to my lap.
I’m also a firm believer in the ‘power of now’ and Ekhart Tolle’s writings. A dear friend gave me the book ‘Stillness Speaks’ and I carry it around everywhere with me. I used to have a favourite bench in a nature reserve, where I’d take my dog for a walk, and I sit and open the book up. One quote from his book is: ‘Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are. How deeply rooted in Being. Allow nature to teach you stillness.’ Ekhart’s a genius…
A piece of advice for someone with an itch to leap?
We can tie ourselves up in knots worrying about the ‘what ifs’. The knack is to quieten our minds (our brain chatter) and write down all the pros and cons. Ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen? Normally it’s just a bruised ego, but at least you’ve had a go. And even if your leap doesn’t go to plan, the so-called ‘mistake’ or ‘misfortune’ might be just a stepping stone to something better. Don’t be disheartened because you never know what’s around the corner…
I love listening to people I admire talk about their lives. My all time favourite TV shows are Oprah Winfrey’s Master Class and Super Soul Sunday. She interviews the most interesting and spiritually enlightened people on the planet – they open up about their lives, the secrets to their success, and what they’ve learnt along the way – it’s fascinating. It often brings me to tears (happy tears)!
For me, the worst fate is to stay stuck in a situation that’s just OK. You know you’re not happy but you’re too scared to leap – I’ve been there! Sometimes it’s the hardest thing to get out of a mediocre situation because we worry about what’s around the corner. Changing your beliefs, and imagining a bright outcome, makes a huge difference.
Finding our ‘inner ding’ – is a phrase coined by Louise L Hay, which I love. It’s about tapping into our true essence and what really makes us tick. I think deep down we all know what brings us joy, but we talk ourselves out of things….’I can’t do that because I have a family to support, what if it’s a complete disaster, what if people laugh at me, I’m no good’, blah blah blah…
It takes courage to leap, but once you’ve taken that first step you feel so much better. This is because you’re moving, you’re going somewhere, anywhere. As long as you’re moving forward, that’s the main thing.
I love notching up all the firsts – the first time someone said they liked my work, the first time a store ordered our products, the first time I stood up and talked to a whole room full of people about my career, the first time I sold a painting, the first time I opened a shop. Those moments are exhilarating and life affirming. Although I’m sometimes full of self doubt, it just takes a little nudge to take the plunge. I try to take one day at time and not to worry about the bigger picture.
Right now I’m:
Hearing: Gregory Porter – Liquid Spirit. I love Gergory Porter’s music – I put this CD on when I want to chill and unwind. His voice is like velvet.
Eating: Chicken Dim Sum with coconut buns, cucumber pickle and Hoi Sin sauce from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute cook book. I’m a hopeless cook, but was excited to discover how easy this recipe is, using a bamboo steamer. Now it’s my signature dish!
Drinking: Blueberry and ginger smoothie – my local cafe sells a fab selection of smoothies and this is my current fav.
Reading: ‘Secrets from the Chuckling Goat’ by Shann Nix Jones. I recently went to hear Shann talk at an event and I’m now a Chuckling Goat convert. Her story is amazing – she was a city girl, working as a top radio host in San Fran, California. She ended up finding love with a goat farmer in Wales, UK and saved his life using natural remedies and a probiotic goat milk drink made on the farm. This lead to her award winning business ‘Chuckling Goat’ selling health-enhancing soaps, creams and kefir drinks.
Loving: My clever, cheeky 12 year old border collie, Jack. I can never have enough cuddles from him.
What firsts might you notch up this week? I’ve got a one or two up my sleeve. I’d love to hear yours.
p.s. You can follow Clair’s gorgeous designs on Instagram here.
p.p. s. Here’s that great Gregory Porter song Clair mentioned. Turn it up! x
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We take the overwhelm out of promoting yourself online and help you approach your online marketing with authenticity, purpose and a plan. This course isn’t about turning you into someone you’re not, but rather celebrating who you are and building and connecting with a clients who appreciate you, your unique talents and what you have to offer. Courage. Content. Clicks.
Enrolments now open.
Class starts early September 2015.
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