Even though she's now a jewellery designer, Tamara Harrison worked for many years as a florist. So she's taken some of the skills learnt from her former career and used them in a clever way with her current passion. She works metal in a similar way to the twines she would twist and contort for bridal floral displays. Tamara is a Perth based designer and has just launched an online shop.
Which five words best describe you? Joyful, content, passionately creative, unwavering.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I have grown up in creative surroundings and made my first piece of jewellery as a child (think huge Fimo earrings, oh so 80s!) so the basis for a creative job was always there, but the real passion came when my Nana passed and I received her tin of buttons. After many, many hours perfecting the technique the woven pieces were born. After making one for myself in every colour and being stopped in the street by people wanting to know where I got my necklace, the Tamara Harrison Design business was born. So I knew I had to do something creative, but before my business focused on jewellery I trained as a floral designer and worked in the industry and lecturing for a combination of more than 20 years. The amazing techniques we use in modern bridal work are so beautiful that I wanted to use them on more than just a special occasion, so I miniaturised them and started the crushed wire line. I think that gives my work a great point of difference, using such a different industry to inspire.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way ? To trust in yourself without wavering and to bring in the experts. I do what I do best but so do they! The right expert in their field is worth every cent.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Sounds cheesy, but every day is my proudest achievement. I love what I do so much and am so proud to have been able to adjust my circumstances to have taken the plunge to work for myself full time.
What’s been your best decision? Funnily enough deciding to have a child has been my best business decision because it forced me to re-evaluate what is a priority to me. And doing work that is my passion and is flexible makes me feel like I can achieve a really healthy balance in my life. After that, on a more practical level, would have to be having a virtual assistant, ahh they make the hardest thing seem so easy!
Who inspires you? Honest people and people who succeed despite the odds being heavily stacked against them. They show you that it is not your circumstances that define you but how you overcome it. Makes me feel like I have no excuses and I love that kind of reminder.
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about looking after the spiritual side of my life, it keeps me grateful. My family I can’t do without, they help keep me sane! Creativity is such an overwhelming force in me I must exercise it every day or I get grumpy (not an exaggeration!). Running my business ethically and not taking advantage of another person just because they live in a country with different working conditions.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? This is not so easy to answer there are so many people I would like to meet and learn from. But perhaps Sir Richard Branson, he seems to be so insightful in how to stay innovative and take risks and have belief in yourself and ideas and he makes them happen!
What dream do you still want to fulfill? There are two more arms to my business that I am yet to establish and this is in the area of a bridal bouquets concept and then homewares. I have a clear picture of what the business will be and look like in the future so to fulfill that picture is going to be very exciting and the making of a dream come true.
What are you reading? Most of my reading is done for research and inspiration so I read a lot of blogs and my visual diaries.
images courtesy of tamara harrison