How many identities do you have?
Ah, multiplicity, that old chestnut. If anything all of my hats combine to make one big sombrero on the head of a diverse, unfiltered, passionately authentic (and I'd like to think), well grounded and rounded 'little' lady!
...but if I had to pick a TILT of personality that really brings out the inner Deb - it's definitely the stand up comedian in me. I love laughing, at myself, at life, at moments, during sadness, despair, in celebration, you name it. It makes me better at being a mum, being a partner, a brand curator (a what, what is that?? keep reading!!) and a constant encourager of anything and anyone that radiates good joo-joo!
We all know you as the 'Interiors' business go-to, but your not an interior designer? So what don't we actually know about Spreading Roomers??
Such a 'Pinteresting' question Jen! But seriously; did you know I also co-run a podcast called @designbanter with @elementsathome? You should listen. We're funny!
What else? So many of my roll models are men and it's likely why 'girlbossing' has never really resonated with me personally.
I moved to London in my early 20's and stayed for nearly 7 years. First as as a Marketing Officer (specifically, I'd pull tender together) and later as the EA for our CEO (a role that I thought I was filing for 1 week) for a high-end Australian corporate development and construction company.
When I started SR, I knew corporate structure and process like the back of my hand, so I implemented it on a small but highly personal scale combined with what I loved - interiors. It was the one thread I never got to pursue when I was in the saddle so I set about remedying that.
Did you know that SR started as a simple showcase for Australian homewares and interiors? Well sort of. I couldn't quite put my finger on the pulse of 'how' i wanted to create this new platform so I literally switched my business plan on it's head - yep, 180, the bottom became the top. I always thought I would use the showcase to build trust and respect in the industry first before moving into the brand development / coaching side of things so it was really balls to the wall tough, starting in an arena that took long hours and hard work to prove myself. I definitely feel I've achieved that though.
Spreading Roomers is now; far greater recognised for it's deeply relatable approach yet intuitively accurate grasp of how a brand needs to communicate.. I started with business planning and that has evolved to the elusive first beginnings - showcasing, but in a strategic brand & business curation kind of way.
Oh and one sneaky little caveat; I'm a closet ghost whisperer! I know, I know, it's super duper popular to have a 'gift' but as of the age of 12, I realised that my intuition had slightly more depth than the average bear. I see things (not just dead people but there has been the occasional deceased pop up to say hi), I get feelings (one time in a friends bathroom DM for those details **insert neck hairs straighter than a 'spirit level'** - stop Deb, just stop, the jokes are way too much), I have visions, dreams and experiences that often lead me to places I might not typically arrive. Am I psychic?? I have no idea what I am other than very spiritual, yep, let's run with that.
What has been the biggest life lesson you have learnt so far?
"Pride isn't about leading the pack, it's having the ability to walk without one" - me.
My upbringing was under quite difficult circumstances with a mum who suffered extreme bipolar so long story short I grew up with my younger brother and my Dad. We struggled massively financially and I won an academic scholarship to my high school. I remember the day in year 10 when some of the 'meaner' girls found out that we had financial support.
"Your family is poor. You're only here because you got a scholarship!". The words were like acid, but it lit a fire in my belly..."That's totally true. They think my results are that good, they’re paying for to be here!" I finished in the top 10% of the state in my TEE year. I remain proud of that.
What do you do to switch off?
I'm the first to admit I have a somewhat manic personality, so I use organisation to keep me in my box. I love to run, although my left achilles tells a slightly different story right now, and I'm a keen swimmer. I love doing laps, the world and it's woe's simply don't exist if I'm in water.
Other than personal care, honestly; taking time to park my biz and simply do 'stuff' with my boys is my zen (even when they swing off the light fittings). Leo, Boston & Jax are literally everything to me, and whilst I'm a huge advocate for carving out your own life even as a mum, I don't feel myself without them.
...and wine, with Derek. I love them both a lot.
What do you believe your secret to success is, in balancing your passions and pursuits?
Is there a secret? Clearly someone forgot to share that with me! I still haven't found out what it is - can I come back to you on that one?? (**runs off to get a wine, feels she may need it**). The only thing I ever, ever rely on is my own brutal honesty. I don't feel I could follow my heart or run with purpose at all without being prepared to self assess regularly.
What advice would you give to other women out there who are too afraid to start their own business?
Hmm, you got good questions lady! OK. I've sat on this for all of 1 minute, as it's really a life philosophy of mine - so here goes...."live by the sword or die by the sword". If you jump could you fail? Yes! If you don't could you live to regret it? Yes! The most important decisions in life you'll ever make are YOUR OWN. So make them, live with them, work with them and love them, good or bad.
Once you know your true purpose, you can actually be unstoppable, so seek out those who share those non-negotiable values and let them help you plan your strategy as early as is humanely possible. It will save you so much in the long run.