When friends come to visit me at home, inevitably they will ask “can I see where you work?” I guess curiosity gets the better of them and they want to see where I make the eco jewellery. Sometimes I mentally gasp in horror as I know my studio is an absolute mess, boxes and papers everywhere, but politely I give them a tour.
It gives me great joy to see their eyes light up as they see the studio and ask questions. I am excited when friends ask about the running of my business and how the sustainable jewellery is made, so naturally I would like to extend the tour to you too.
I actually work within two rooms at my home in Perth, Australia. In my previous ‘corporate day job’ I had an hour-long commute to and from work, every day in peak hour traffic (fun times!). If there had been an accident on the freeway, the commute would take two hours just to get to work. It’s crazy to think that now my commute to work is a leisurely 30 second stroll down the passageway to my studio office. Sometimes I stop for coffee (in the kitchen) on the way to work.
The first room, my studio office, is where I do the majority of my work. It’s a humble little office full of natural light and space. The walls are decorated with plants, artwork, vision boards, post-it notes, yearly planners and endless lists on butcher’s paper. I’m a very visual person and I find surrounding myself with pictures and lists helpful in keeping me on task for the year. For the most part, this is the room where I do all of my office-related work, such as administration, marketing strategies, blogging and website maintenance. Most people are surprised to hear that the majority of my days are made up of administration work, with only an hour or so dedicated to making and packing orders. Out of the two rooms, this one is definitely my favourite. It’s here that I stream the Italian radio and work away, usually from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday.
The second room came about as a result of the business growing and requiring its own dedicated production studio. This room is where I store my laser cutting machine and cut the bamboo jewellery. The machine and all its attachments measure about 2 metres by 1.5 metres, hence the need for the second room. When the machine is cutting it’s very noisy, and the room feels like a mini workshop. I also store the bamboo sheets, market trestle tables and props in this room. It’s fair to say that this room is pretty chaotic and definitely not minimalistic! I don’t spend too much time in this room, as I prefer to take the freshly-cut bamboo jewellery pieces back to my office where the lighting is great. It’s back in this room that I do most of the making and packing with my assistant.
It’s possible that within the year I will outgrow the two rooms but at the moment I am hanging onto them. This is mostly because I don’t want a commute longer than 30 seconds, but also because working at home has its perks! There’s endless food, I can work in my pyjamas all day long and have a dance party at a moment’s notice. Plus, I like bouncing ideas off my furry work colleague, my cat (she’s yet to contribute any of her own ideas to the business though).
So that’s it! Those are the two rooms that make up One Happy Leaf eco-friendly jewellery headquarters. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below. If you want to get regular updates on what’s happening in the studio, join the 2000+ strong Happiness Society and subscribe here.
Photography by Sarah Bailey Photography