[121] How to Embrace Change

How can we embrace change when change is either scary, or not happening fast enough?

Changes might be imposed upon your business by outside forces.

You may feel like you’ll never succeed because the challenges your biz is facing won’t ever change.

You might even feel internally resistant to having a successful business because it changes how you think about yourself. (Fear of success is a common example of this – who are you to be successful? How will you handle it?)

In this episode I discuss the many ways change can cause frustration and anxiety, and ways we can learn to roll with changes.


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Quotes & Highlights from this Episode:

  • Change is inevitable in business as it is in life.
  • When change isn’t going the way you want it to go – be selective on how you use your energy.
  • When change from outside of your control happens, try to switch your perspective, look for the silver lining and fold the changes into your business.
  • “We have limited energy and if we are constantly using that energy that comes at us from the outside world we will exhaust ourselves” {Jess}
  • When considering a change in your business, find a person/s that you trust, who will provide honest feedback, who understands the situation and doesn’t have a vested interest.
  • If you don’t have someone, write it down or record yourself and get the ideas out of your head.
  • Challenge established thought patterns about your business and yourself. Jess shares an anecdote that illustrates this regarding establishing Epheriell.
  • “Your perception of yourself may have to change and develop in order for you to really embrace this new thing you want to do” {Jess}
  • When growing a business it can feel like nothing is changing and everything is stuck.
  • “A lot of people give up because they can’t see a way forward and they can’t see that things will ever get better, evolve or change… They will, they always will” {Jess}
  • Be consistent and patient in nurturing your business. It is normal for this to take time.
  • “We can waste a lot of time focusing on the past or the future and neglecting the present and what we can actually achieve in this moment right now”. {Jess}
  • Focus on what you can do today.
  • Plan your week/month/year out but always bring it back today. And accept that is what you can do and be proud of what you have done.
  • If you feel like you are procrastinating, think about how you use your time. Plan the week ahead, identify key tasks, identify tasks you would like to complete and finally tasks thatare a bonus to complete.
  • Don’t overcommit. Allow sufficient time to complete tasks and allow space for the unexpected.
  • If you are feeling mentally cluttered do a spring clean – clear out your workspace, rearrange your space, empty your inbox and create a fresh start.


Download or listen to this episode.

You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher)

[118] The Only Race is With Yourself


Do you feel ‘left behind’ when you look at other handmade businesses?

Do you worry that you aren’t doing enough? That your business isn’t growing fast enough? That you should be where that person is?

I’m here to tell you that this is a super-common feeling. AND that you need to stop looking at and comparing yourself to those other businesses out there.

You can only do what YOU can do. You cannot compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.

That is: maybe you have a job, and children, and elderly parents, and a partner, and hobbies… etc etc. In other words – your life only leaves you with a certain amount of time free to work on your business.

Your free time may be vastly different to that person’s free time.

Stop acting like you’re in a race with other people. The only race is with yourself.



Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • Many fledgling creative entrepreneurs struggle with finding what they think is enough time, energy, and resources.
  • There are times when establishing a business will feel onerous and times when it will feel easy.
  • What really matters is that you enjoy the majority of the journey. Otherwise a time will come when it all becomes too hard.
  • “You are not in competition with someone else. You’re not racing someone else. You’re simply racing against yourself.” {Jess}
  • In the words of Mary Schmich “the race is long and in the end it is only with yourself.”
  • It is okay for your craft to remain a hobby rather than a business. (Jess shares an anecdote from a Thriver Circle member who made the decision to close her business and instead pursue her craft as a pastime).
  • Establishing a business is more than just creating your saleable project. You will be spending a large proportion of time learning about marketing, administration, finances, connecting with people.
  • Factor in your time, energy and resources when making goals.
  • “We get frustrated from the disparity between our reality and our imagined reality.” {Jess}
  • Create a toolkit of time management and planning strategies.
  • Building a business takes times, patience and long-term dedication.
  • “Every little step is progress forward. No matter how small it is. It is always a step forward and it is always something to be proud of.” {Jess}


Download or listen to this episode.

You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher)

[52] How to Thrive in the Face of Illness and Injury with Heidi Fahrenbacher

Ep 52 - Create & Thrive Podcast - correct

Heidi Fahrenbacher is a ceramicist. She has faced some huge challenges in her business following a fall on some ice outside her studio.

No one knows the stress of facing injury while running a creative business better than Heidi. She makes a living full time from her ceramics so it was a huge deal when she fell and injured herself.

From business success to a painful path to recovery, facing chronic pain and surgery it took Heidi many years to get back on track, and the healing process is still ongoing.

Heidi and I discuss how she stayed positive through some of her hardest days, how she managed her frustration and got her business back on track.

If you have faced illness or injury, are currently on the road to recovery or would like to make sure you are prepared just in case, have a listen to this episode!

Ep 52 quote - Brown Jr.


Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Heidi’s small business was going very well until in 2011 when she walked out of her studio and fell on some ice, knocking the wind from her. She thought she would be fine but soon noticed a numbness in her foot. She realised then that she had to get some medical advice.
  • It took years before the doctors could find what was causing the pain Heidi was experiencing.
  • Heidi had to undertake hip surgery and it was at that point she had to stop working.
  • After recovering from surgery, 6 months later she started to feel numbness in her foot again and began physical therapy.
  • ‘I was ready to quit ceramics.’ {Heidi}
  • A foot doctor found that the bones in her feet weren’t aligned and were pinching a nerve. Finally she had found the source of the numbness!
  • Heidi finally  was in the healing stages and it came down to waiting patently.
  • ‘That kind of strain and stress can really bring you down.’ {Heidi}
  • Heidi eventually accepted  what was happening and realised she had to be honest with herself.
  • ‘I would go through days when I would throw a pity party for myself.’ {Heidi}
  • Heidi could no longer focus on her social media and marketing and suffered greatly.
  • ‘It is much easier to self promote when you are excited about what you are doing.’ {Heidi}
  • Heidi soon came to the realisation that it was just work and it was time to cut herself some slack.
  • ‘I was surviving instead of thriving.’ {Heidi}
  • It took a year or so to get back into things, changing the way she worked and some of the techniques she uses.
  • The best practical advice Heidi can share with you is to ensure you are insured especially if you live somewhere where there is no free healthcare, figure out how easy your products are to make in the case that you can’t, and try and have an emergency savings account to cover you through the hard times.
  • Emotionally you need to stay positive. Heidi used to use physical exercise to find stress relief but now reads and listens to comedy to ensure she is laughing as often as possible.
  • Having a supportive person and/or community is also very important for you emotions.
  • ‘You can’t give up, you’re going to want to and there are going to be really bad days.’ {Heidi}
  • You can find Heidi at her website, Facebook or Instagram.


Download or Listen to This Episode


(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)

6 Tips for Balancing Motherhood and Creativity






6 Tips for Balancing Motherhood and Creativity


Despite giving many talks on signature style, market stall prep and business planning (yikes!) the topic I’m most asked about is how I’ve managed to combine creativity with motherhood. 


I’m so glad when this comes up because it’s a topic that’s incredibly close to my heart!

Firstly, let me tell you a little bit about me.

I’ve been creating for as long as I can recall.  It’d be safe to say that it’s in my blood, and it has helped me though many things over the course of my life.

For me, making and creating is a need that feels as necessary to my existence as breathing.

You can imagine then how it was to have my first baby, 10 years ago.  All of a sudden there was no time for self-indulgent weekends filled with painting!

I struggled through the first year uncreatively, yearning for the me I thought I’d have to set aside and then one day I realised I could be creative in different ways to before. 

Ways that would work with my new role, and ways that would fit in to my new timetable.


The first thing I did was let go of the idea that my only creative outlet was drawing and painting.

I learnt how to sew and appliqué and made clothes for my first-born, which surprisingly to me satisfied my creative urge at the time.  Time went quickly as it does with a baby and pretty soon we welcomed our second baby into the family.

Not long after this I discovered something that changed everything for me.  I discovered a whole network of other creative mums online!  I connected with them and suddenly I wasn’t alone anymore.

I sketched out and designed complicated appliqué designs and began selling my work at local markets and on Etsy.

It’s now 7 years down the track from that first market and along the way I’ve landed back at my first love of painting and drawing with a little woodwork tossed in for good measure!

I still enjoying sewing and crocheting but now I just do those things for my family.

I look at my 3 kids and see the amazing influence staying true to my creative self has had on them as they see creativity as a normal and everyday part of life.

They are excited and encouraging of my artistic achievements and are most importantly confident in their own creative selves.


Jetta 5

Here are my top tips for combining motherhood and creativity


1. Relax your mindset

Sometimes you have to change your creative expression up a bit for a short time.

2. Connect

Join a group, make connections with other crafty people and other crafty mums either online or in your local area.

3. Value

Treasure your creative side, it is valuable and provides your kids with different experiences and skills.

4. Time

Create when you can squeeze it in. A quick sketch before breakfast or some jewellery making late at night, if it’s important to you make sure you fit it in.

Jetta 2

5. Include

Create around your family. Let your kids see what you’re doing and they will begin to create alongside you.

6. Let go

Release any guilt you feel from indulging your creative side. Having a mum who is sometimes a bit distracted by her latest creation is much better for your kids than a mum who is sad and lost from not following her dreams.


I also recommend reading both editions of The Divided Heart by Rachel Power. 


This book made me realise that I wasn’t alone in needing to create and it showed me that being a creative mum is not only possible, it’s inspiring and fun too!

If you’re a mum (or a dad!) for whom being creative is a deep need – how have you balanced this with parenthood? Share with us in the comments.

The Rewards of Having a Creative Business (while still holding down a day job)


Balancing a Business and a Day Job

I have a confession to make. Whilst I know I’m not the only one in this position – far from it – it’s time to come clean all the same.

I am living a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde life.

By day I toil away in my desk-bound “regular day job” and by night I alternate to the creative mindset of designing and making handmade craft.

A little over a year ago I started experimenting with felt and turning the creature designs in my head into reality.

Like many people, I wasn’t overly confident in what I was making at first, but eventually plucked up the courage to start a dedicated Instagram account, Facebook page and ultimately an Etsy store, on the back of some solid encouragement from family and friends.

The plethora of you living similar lifestyles know how demanding it can be to turn around the mental drain of your day job, switching gears in the evening in tackling the swathe of demands that come with starting up a handmade business.

Of course, the creative outlet which my business provides, and the humbling feedback from customers make it all worthwhile.

When it comes to running a business, designing and making products is simply the beginning. I’m fortunate that when it comes to many of the administrative and commercial aspects, the skills from my day job actually come in handy.

I’ve always enjoyed design and craft – long holding a latent desire to convert on previous study in industrial design. It’s really satisfying when you put it all together and see the final product out there in the hands of customers.

I’ve been incredibly inspired by the sense of community amongst handmade makers and those who appreciate craft. The comments that I see daily on Instagram, Facebook, and craft blogs are so refreshingly positive, it keeps me going!

It’s wonderful how many people you can touch across the globe with creations you’ve made from the comfort of your own home.

Every week I set myself a challenge to design a new creature to add to the family. Inevitably the true challenge is not in finding inspiration, but rather time.

I have a myriad of plans for new creatures I’d like to develop, and other types of products to grow my range.

Stay tuned – I hope that we can inspire each other in our Jekyll and Hyde lives.


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