A day in the life of… a homewares designer continued

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A fashion designer or a go go dancer!Who was the biggest influence on your career?

It’s too hard just to name one as at different times different people have supported, inspired and encouraged me. But I guess if I have to name one – my mother was a great role model for achieving success in her career in many cases against the odds.

How do you deal with work related stress?

Eat well to keep my strength up, socialise with my friends and talk through my problems with other small businesses. Don’t stress over the stress.

How do you deal with difficult people at work?

Try and see their side of the problem, try and identify the issue, don’t make more of an issue than what it is and then work to give the person some ownership of the project or work I’m doing. With experience I have found most difficult people have other agenda’s that have little to do with me or my work – so don’t take it personally, work through it and move on.

What would you spend your last $100 on?

Food – I can do with out a lot but not eating.

What would you never wear again?
Very tricky question – my fashion motto is ‘never say never because next week you’ll want it’. But I probably wouldn’t wear toe socks with Mr. Christian sandals again!!!(circa 1975)

What are you reading?

Just finished Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner and always reading magazines and the Sydney Morning Herald.

b>What can’t you live without?

Being positive and of course my husband Stephen, my dog Maggie and my fat boy cat, Mr. Fang.

What inspires you?

Almost anything. I just bought a book on the designer Paul Smith, the title is You can find inspiration in everything* (*and if you can’t look again). I would agree 100%.

For more information on Colour Box Homewares call 03 9552 6000.

February 25, 2003

A day in the life of… a homewares designer

SheSaid gets the goss from Louise Bickle, Designer and Creative Director of Colour Box Homewares.

Describe a typical day…

Mmm most days aren’t typical – I could be working on the next range, approving samples, styling a photo shoot, working with the sales team presenting the range to buyers, liaising with the pr company, making invitations, answering emails. Sometimes I could be doing this all at the same time.

What’s the best part of the job?

Creating a range that everyone loves and seeing people getting excited by my ideas.

What’s the worst part of the job?

I hate to think of the worst – I have a quote stuck on my wall above my desk – ‘you can’t seek newness if you regard constraints negatively’. So any negatives I try to turn around for a positive outcome.

What would you consider to be your key talents?

A strong sense of design, a good eye for colour and the commercial application.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Know why you’re doing it, prepare a good and honest business plan before you start, seek help and advice from experienced mentors, keep focused on your goals, build a supportive team around you and never burn your bridges.

What was your first job and what was in your first pay packet?

My first full time job in ‘the real world’ was as a window dresser (now known as visual merchandiser) at David Jones. I had no experience but I managed to talk my way into the job. My pay packet – I can’t remember exactly but it must have been just under $100 per week.

February 25, 2003