1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi all, I'm Jess, and I hail from the countryside about an hour north of Brisbane. My husband Nick and I are currently living with my parents while we subdivide their acreage – then we'll be building our own home here, too! We love living in the country, it's so quiet, with birds and animals all around. We'll often take our cat for a walk around the property on an afternoon (no, not on a leash – he's just very much a people-cat and will follow you around everywhere when he's awake!).
Once upon a time I was going to be a research scientist, then I was a teacher, now I run my business full-time, making jewellery, blogging, and running a new Aussie zine called *bespoke*, all about handmade, vintage, photography, art, micro-business, eco-friendly goodness and much more – all in a sweet little A5 sized package that you can take anywhere!
Until September 2008, I didn't think of myself as a creative person at all! I was a scientist, a teacher – a logical, rational person… and I never felt totally fulfilled.
Then, I went to Fiji. My boyfriend (now husband) Nick and I met a lovely fellow Aussie family. We became friends, and the day we left, the mother of the family gave me a novel to read – she'd read it, and decided to pass it on. I can't remember what it was called, but it was a story about a woman who owned a yarn store in New York. When I finished that book, I decided to try knitting… and that's where it all began!
I discovered that I LOVED creating, making, working with my hands. The previously empty part of my 'self' was filled, and I finally became a whole person. I went from knitting to crochet to beads to resin to metal... and fell in love with metalworking. The Epheriell style as it exists now really started to come into being in mid-2009.
Oh, that was an easy choice. I'd invented the name 'Epheriell' years ago and used it online, it seemed like the natural choice when I started my business. It's a mash-up of the words 'ephemeral' and 'ethereal'. I love the sound of it, and the ideas it represents.
4. Where and when do you like to create?
I have my studio set up with all my materials close at hand, so I can always try something out if an idea comes to mind!
5. What inspires you?
Oh, I honestly don't know where the inspiration for my designs comes from! Often a shape just comes to me, and I'll sketch it in my A4 sketchpad – or I might see a geometric shape and that will spark off an idea. Sometimes I'll just make stuff right off the bat while I'm sitting at my workbench, but most often I'll at least make a preliminary sketch of an idea.
I have quite a defined style nowadays, which is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it gives me boundaries in materials and style to work within; and a curse because at times I'll have an idea that won't fit at all with my current style... but usually I can figure out a way to make it work!
6. What’s the best thing you’ve made so far?
Hmm, that's a tricky one! I'll have to go with my Nested Necklace - it's been one of my most popular designs, and I'm still pleased every time I make one! It embodies my ethic of simple, clean design, and is something that can be worn every day, or equally for a special occasion.
Endless cups of tea and water are number one! I often listen to TripleJ (the national indie radio station) and sometimes I will put on a movie that I've seen before to entertain me while I do repetitive tasks.
8. What skill would you love to learn?
I would love to learn lost wax casting - I have so many ideas for what I could make! However, I am yet to find a class close enough to me!
9. What are you working on now and what are your goals for the future?
Well, I'm currently working on my next line of jewellery for Epheriell, I'm always working on *bespoke* - Issue 2 is just out and Issue 3 is in the works! My main goal is to turn-over a certain $$ figure - I'm always striving to make my business more successful! I want to grow both my jewellery business and *bespoke*, while also devoting enough time to my blog, which I love. I think I'll have to bring in some staff - a VA [Virtual Assistant], at least, at some point this year, so that will be an interesting business development!
10. What are your five favorite websites?
Etsy: I love all the wonderful people and things I have discovered there!
Twitter: This is where I love to hang out - as a work-from-home creative entrepreneur, my internet friendships are really important to me!
Pinterest: A beautiful place to collate and collect inspiration!
Made It: My favourite Australian handmade selling venue
Craftgawker: Love the stuff that is curated there!
11. Where can we find you online?