Over the years, I have found that I get asked A LOT of questions about my online jewellery business. So here are the top 10 questions I get asked about me and One Happy Leaf.
I live in beautiful, sunny Perth, Australia. And yes, we do have the best beaches in the world!
A graphic designer sounds much cooler than what I really am. I am actually a big nerd - I'm a scientist by education and career. I graduated from university with a double degree in Environmental Health and Environmental Science. After working professionally for 12 years in the field of public health, I found that my creative side outweighed my need for climbing the corporate ladder. Cue the birth of One Happy Leaf.
I started making jewellery in the evenings as an outlet for stress. I found the experience of creating wearable art with natural influences both rewarding and relaxing. I no longer create jewellery to de-stress, but now I create jewellery that is designed to remind the wearer to reconnect with their authentic self, and with nature.
To create the laser cut wooden jewellery, I first hand sketch a bunch of ideas, often after being inspired by something I have seen on a bush walk. I like to keep my designs simple and organic, allowing the natural grains of the wood to shine through. I then transfer the hand sketch to a digital image, usually with a computer mouse in one hand, compulsory hot tea in the other. The digital image is sent to a laser cutter who use magic to cut my image from eco-friendly bamboo wood. Well, it's not magic... but because I don't really understand the technical aspects of laser cutters it might as well be sorcery. The laser cut wooden pieces are then assembled into necklaces, earrings, hairpins, brooches or cufflinks by me, in my studio. During this time, I have a bunch of TED talks running on YouTube while my hands are busily busting out the jewellery (see, I did say I was a nerd earlier didn't I?). If you have a favourite TED talk that you think I must see, let me know.
Some days I have crazy inspirational days where there aren't enough hours in the day to get all my designs onto paper before going to bed. Other days I struggle and I just have to accept that I can’t force myself to be creative (these days I normally work on the ‘boring business stuff’ like bookkeeping etc). I try to create pieces that represent moments or times during my day that have impacted me positively.
YES! All orders are gift wrapped. The jewellery piece is placed in a quality cloth bag before being gift wrapped. I actually really enjoy this part of the job. I get a little kick out of wrapping the order knowing that someone will be unwrapping their gift in a few days time. It's like I get to be Santa all year round.
I’ve always been an animal lover, and in 2011 my husband and I volunteered at the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand. It‘s a park that cares for elephants that have been abused by the tourism industry. It was an incredible experience, and since then I have believed firmly in being a voice for animals who cannot speak. I wanted One Happy Leaf to reflect these values. Since then, I decided that a percentage of profits from One Happy Leaf should go to animal charities including Animals Australia, World Animal Protection and Free the Bears.
(Two gals having a stroll in Chiang Mai, Elephant Nature Park)
I use quality materials with you, the wearer in mind. My stud earring posts are made from hypo-allergenic surgical steel. The necklaces are either silver plated or made from a bronze alloy (nickel and lead free). And importantly, the eco friendly bamboo is Forest Stewardship Council certified. Yep, high five to Mother Nature right there.
Oh, this is a tricky question to answer because it depends on how drunk I got the night before. Just kidding! Seriously though, every day is different depending on what is required for the business. It also depends on my energy for the day, some days I am bursting with energy, other days I might as well hook up an IV caffeine drip into me. Generally speaking though, I work anywhere between 6-12 hours a day. Because sometimes I can work long days, I try to get a tiny yoga session in in the morning. I do this to clear my mind and stretch out my body to prepare for potentially a long time sitting down. From there, I spend the first hour answering emails that have arrived during the night. I really enjoy putting together customer orders, so after the email responses are completed I get cracking on the orders in my studio.
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