How many identities do you have and why?
I suppose I should start with a quick run down of my childhood, to give you more of an insight. I skipped the whole ‘crawling’ stage when I was little, I just got straight up and started walking using whatever was around me to assist me. It was impossible to sit me still after this point, and once I got moving eyes had to be on me at ALL times. I was very driven, inquisitive, always on the move, and pretty fearless. This resulted in me nearly drowning a number of times because I wasn’t scared of the water and had 3 lots of serious stitches on my face before the age of 6, which were all ‘accidents’ of my needing to get from ‘A’ to be ‘B’ in a hurry. I wasn’t clumsy (I just like to explain it as’ very focused on what I wanted to do’) haha!
I think from very early on, it was apparent that a career that had me sitting in the one place for too long was never going to be for me, or where I would thrive and grow, so over time I have really started to embrace this. Currently a Wife, a Creative Director, Brand Manager, Educator, Photographer and Event Stylist - throw anything my way that requires me to be creative and challenges me and I’m all arms and all legs in! I don’t enjoy sitting at a desk all day, I love the balance of being out and about on site visits, meeting clients and location scouting. Sometimes I will even organise a meeting that probably can be done over the phone at a cafe, just so I have an excuse to leave my desk!
What was the reason behind starting Olympia Creative?
Olympia was never in the plan as such. I studied Graphic Design at Curtin University with minors in Branding and Photography, and graduated the top student in the Department of Design that year, so was asked to teach at the University the following year. I completed some components of my Diploma of Education whist teaching at Curtin for 5 years, but got to the point where I felt like I was doing my students assignments for them!! I clearly missed being creative myself...ooops!
I then worked for T2 Tea for exactly two years as the WA/SA Visual Merchandiser mentoring teams and planning and executing 11 stores. It was an incredible experience and I learnt so much working for such a successful brand but left the company just before Basil and I were flying to Santorini for our Wedding. We were moving in together for the first time upon our return, and I didn’t want to be traveling every 3 weeks in the first year of our marriage.
Since graduating from Curtin I always did freelance design work on the side whilst I was teaching and at T2, so just focused on this whilst I searched for another job… but that never happened. Before I knew it my freelance work became full time thanks to the help of Instagram, and other brides-to-be wanting me to design their wedding invitations and stationery.
How have you expanded into other businesses / industries since starting Olympia?
Originally Olympia was based around Weddings because that is where the demand was at the time. Basil and I had just got married and I had girls messaging me wanting me to design their Wedding Stationery after seeing ours. It wasn’t at all planned, but became a full time venture pretty quickly.
From invites, I then got enquires to style Weddings, and the natural progression was into Events. I then took on a handful of jobs where I branded businesses from scratch and then launched them into the market with a very strategically planned Launch Party. These sort of jobs really challenged me, but I was able to utilize all of my skills and experience.
I currently have Olympia Creative Store - where I blog and sell my products, I run workshops and one-on-one consults to teach small business owners the importance of Branding, and I also manage and work with a handful of brands through the Olympia platform styling, creating and photographing content. Recently - my husband and I also co-founded All the Dresses! Basil is a real tech geek, and I am very creative so we work really well as a team and it happened really organically.
How do you balance being a wife and family woman and running so many businesses?
I wouldn’t say that I have achieved the right balance, if I’m being really honest! It’s something I am always working towards. ‘Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted’. This John Lennon quote is in my diary for 2018! This year I am really focusing on scheduling time in my days as an actual ‘meeting’ - a meeting with exercise, a meeting with friends, a meeting with family and a meeting with my husband that is not work related at all. I used to feel guilty, but I’m slowly realising that I’m much more productive and less anxious knowing I am giving my full attention to those who deserve it! My family will laugh if they read this, my Yiayia and Mum now have this joke/rule with me where I have to leave my phone at the front of their houses when entering!
What do you believe your secret to success is?
Going with my gut feeling, being really true to me, and open to and adapting to change. If I always listened to others advice, and didn’t go with my gut I may not be where I am now. I have let my journey unfold and haven’t been too concerned if it didn’t fit into the original business plan. We learn much more from failure, than we do from success. If ‘Plan A’ didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters!!! So go with the flow and trust the journey, and most of all remember why you started!
What advice would you give to other “Modern Day Women” out there to inspire them to embrace their multiple identities?
You only live once! So don't let your dreams just be dreams.