I’ve known Damara for some time and I always admire her incredible artworks and range of jewellery which is unique and thoughtful. Core. is a blend of artisan work and crafting through design and construction of beautiful wearables and wall hangings. Read on to see how a little craft market stall turned into a burgeoning creative business.
Can you take us on the journey of your creative career path so far?
Art has been a major part of my life since I was little.
After floundering at university briefly studying anthropology, I decided to follow my true passion, and became a Graphic Designer.
I worked in graphics and (at the time) the newly developing world of digital photography until my first child came along.
After focusing on family for a number of years I found my passion to create was itching just below the surface, so I started my own business. After learning on the run and a few changes here and there I settled into Core.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome so far in your business?
The biggest was definitely a small legal battle last year.
Someone was trying to copyright my business name even though my business was established and they already knew of me.
I had been naïve when starting the business not copyrighting the name, only registering it. I had no idea of how my venture would go and had little money to put towards such measures.
It ended up costing me A LOT more in the end, but thankfully with the help of a great IP lawyer my name is safely trademarked now.
It was a taxing time both emotionally as well as financially.
Do you ever have doubts as to your future creative direction? Are there things you yearn to achieve, but haven’t yet found the time for?
Yes, all the time (for both questions).
I think a lot of artists can relate to the fear involved in running your creativity as a ‘business’.
As an artist I just want to create what I love, but as a business it needs to be viable as a ‘product’.
I am constantly wondering if what I’m doing is what I should be doing.
Will it work?
Will people like it?
Even more so, will people part with their hard earned money to buy it?
And there are always a thousand more ideas in my head I do not either have time to get to or get pushed aside to make way for other things. I also have a problem with the word ‘success’.
I honestly don’t feel like a ‘success’.
It’s all a process rather than a definitive end and I am still within it, trying to keep moving forward and be happy.
Are there times when your creativity and inspiration seem to disappear? How do you handle that?
I just have to work through it.
I find that by going through other processes, getting things done, that it comes back.
Even if I have to spend days just gluing or sanding or doing paper work, eventually I will be struck by a moment of inspiration.
How do you balance your work with the rest of your life ~ what does a typical day in your life look like?
My family comes first. That will always be the case. And that sometimes makes things very hard, but I am fortunate that this business is a ‘choice’ for me.
Yes it is a necessity for me as an artist to be creative, but I get to do that with my 3 children as well. As my youngest is getting older it is becoming easier to fit more focus time into Core.
Each day begins with getting everybody up and off to school, then my business time begins after that.
After school hours is quite tricky, and Core. just has to fit in around soccer and hockey and cello and holidays etc.
What has been the best marketing move you’ve ever made for your own business?
In one word – Instagram.
By far the best and easiest marketing tool, and I love it.
Everything goes on IG, all my processes and finished products, plus it is a visual tool, which as a creative person really appeals to me aesthetically.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to give fellow makers about running a successful creative business?
Don’t worry about anyone else. Just do what makes you happy.
You can’t compare apples and oranges, just like you can’t compare your life to what you perceive is how someone else’s life is. Stick with your reality, and produce what you love.
That authenticity will shine through your work and people will believe in it… and in you.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Still on this creative journey.
I hope that my little business moves forwards and upwards.
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