1. Go to Girl; Networking Events, 1-1 Coaching & Mastermind Live Group meetings.
During the autumn, this year, I asked a friend if she knew where I might be able to do some networking in Auckland as I needed to build up a new industry network after being away in the UK for so long. She straight away told me about the Go To Girl networking Facebook page and events that were held centrally in Auckland for women. One month later I was signed up to go to the next networking event with over 100 other women and was blown away by the energy, enthusiasm and support that Natalie Cutler-Welsh, the Go To Girl, offered to this large group of women. That night I decided that I would enter into some 1-1 coaching with Nat to help me find a network of like-minded women and to help guide and re-focused me in my career towards my dream of having my own product line.
Eight months down the track from that first networking night I have since attended two more, joined the mastermind live group meetings and have had more 1-1 coaching sessions with Nat and feel that this has really changed my direction in such a positive way. I am so much more clear about my direction now, I have developed a network of some really talented amazing women, I have networked with like-minded creative designers, I am working towards launching a new product line next year... everything is going in the right direction! So there is no doubt that I will be committing to more of this ‘gold’ for the year ahead to help keep me on this amazing journey.
2. Bridge the Gap Project; Creative Design and Sewing as a ‘Heartspeak’ piece maker
During my creative brainstorming and development sessions with Nat, it became clearer and clearer to me that I wanted to take on an ethical and sustainable approach to fashion which is where I am now directing my passion and energy for a new business idea that I will be launching in the new year. As part of this I wanted to find a charity that I felt strongly about and that I could potentially work with and contribute to through my work.
During one of the Go to Girl meetings I attended it was suggested to me that I give Amanda Betts a call. Amanda is the founder and creator of the charity ‘Bridge the Gap Project’ which is dedicated to helping youth help themselves and one of the ways they encourage this is through creative expression. This sounded so inspirational to me and I couldn’t wait to meet Amanda and hear all about it! We decided to meet at the next Go to Girl networking night as she was one of the speakers for the event and wow did she blow everyone away with her honesty, passion, knowledge, experience and belief. I was straight away hooked.
Since then I have been given the amazing opportunity to be one of the Bridge the Gap Project’s Heartspeak piece makers. This means I have the privilege of getting creative, having fun and upcycling clothes & accessories to be sold through BTGP with 20% of proceeds going to the charity. Amanda is so encouraging and supportive of new talent and has so many amazing ideas so 'follow' and 'like' this charity on your social media clubs to see what super fun projects will be coming up for the new year! I can't wait to be apart of them!
3. The Healing Haven; Homeopathic Dispensary & Tonic Room; Natural and Organic Health needs
Another new direction I took this year was to take a more natural approach to healing. I have an amazing friend who is such a gifted Homeopath and as I have only recently returned from living in London I haven’t had the chance to consider her homeopathic treatment centre as an option for natural healing until now. Lee-Anne is so passionate, knowledgeable and I believe brilliant at what she does and when I had a consultation with her this year I got to experience this first hand for myself. Within a few hours I really noticed a change in energy and soon after this within days I felt energised and excited to have a new bounce in my step.
The Tonic Room in Kingsland is another place where I found an impressive selection of natural health products. I loved the way they had such a professional and confident approach to natural and organic health remedies. I saw a natural doctor here who ‘designed’ me my own specific tonic to take daily for two months. This was full of ginseng and other goodies which gave me that extra goodness that I needed to stay healthy and energised for the winter months. It worked a treat!
4. Society6; Society6 Artist
Society6 was also a new venture for me this year. I have had so much fun creating prints from paintings and illustrations of subject matter and techniques that I love, it was a complete joy. Seeing these come to life on some fun lifestyle product had been really rewarding. This has been a really great start to a new business venture for me and a great outlet for me to have fun with print and do my own thing which I love doing.
5. Melbourne Spring Fashion Week; Inspirational trip
I was so excited this year to go to the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week which gave me the opportunity to attend some amazing seminars, exhibitions and also to enjoy absorbing the delights some brilliant luxury and vintage fashion (my absolute favs! and only options in my eyes).
This was such a monumental energy change and inspirational booster. I had some invaluable time to myself to fall in love with what I was doing all over again and discovering the new approach to my career and projects that I was so desperately looking for.
In addition to these 5 points and several other contracts, commissions, collaboratons and design projects that I am working on for 2017 I will also be implementing some serious fitness and the one I am most excited about is roller skating. Yes, Retro roller skates so that I can re-live the 80’s all over again!
Thanks again to all my supporters this year. You have been amazing!
Best wishes for 2017 - let it be an exciting year for ethical and sustainable fashion!!
See you there!