Over the years I’ve been referred to as an innovator, agitator, and visual communicator. An educator, maker, a mover and shaker. An environmental warrior. A champion of reuse and sustainability, an installation artist and social entrepreneur.
Recently I was called a creative supernovae and a force to be reckoned with. All the above attributes have led me to Belle Flaneur.
Born in Sydney, I was brought up by my proudly practical single mother, but my industrial design aesthetic came from visits to my father’s factory as a child.
After leaving school and TAFE, my first job landed me squarely in the windows of Sportsgirl. I rose through the company becoming the acting visual merchandising manager for NSW and ACT, overseeing 52 stores by 20. Why do things by halves?
My time at Sportsgirl was heaven. There was no fail, only trial and error along the way and it will work out… and so it did.
When I was 21 I went on the classic round the world ‘overseas’ 12 month trip…got to New York and called it home for 12 years. I cut my teeth in the world of fashion styling in the glamorous fashion department of NY ELLE magazine, before establishing a freelance career.
Living in New York City for many years provided a rich lived experience that I continue to draw from in everything I do, from my installations to my teaching. In New York I saw every sidewalk as a catwalk, every New Yorker defined by their fashion – every bag, jacket and pair of shoes tells a styling story.
At the end of 2001 I returned to Australia and started a freelance styling career, which took me into the world of interior magazines and home styling. I am proud to passionately practice what I preach with my company Belle Flaneur, which I set up as a collaborative practice in 2011. With Belle Flaneur I strive to work with materials that already exist to make beautiful art installations for high-end boutiques, events and community initiatives.
I was responsible for the development of the subjects Style Merchandise for Photography and Manage Visual Merchandising Projects, which are now part of the TAFE Visual Merchandising Diploma curriculum. I proudly teach and learn with a fabulous faculty within the Sydney TAFE VM Department.
I relish the power of collaboration. My mission is altruistic. I like to inspire people to springboard their innate creativity and potential into a purposeful future.
At Belle Flaneur we are all about inclusivity. We believe each and every person has creativity to tap, and we pride ourselves on teasing out the creative talent of each person who rolls, blows, cruises our way and engages with us. Belle Flaneur offers a place for creative practice and growth.
I have travelled the world spreading a message of sustainability through reuse in design. Indeed, public speaking is an important part of Belle Flaneur. I study international retail trends and bring them back to Australia.
In 2015 we established Style Springboard where we combine our huge wealth of experience in a set of unique courses, which address the needs of the budding fashionista to the more experienced industry expert. Not only do we share our knowledge of fashion, design and visual communication, I also share my experience with the iconic drama teachers, Uta Hagen and Carol Rosenfeld at HB Studios in NYC.
I feel my work experience makes me uniquely placed to teach others about success and failure by personal growth – to question and search for new answers and have a willingness to take risks and the daring to fail.
At the end of the day I’m an educator, activist and social entrepreneur. My ultimate aim is to reduce the amount of waste in landfill. If my gentle art of activism leads to less waste, I’ll be a happy woman.