Lucie Ferguson, Jeweller, Designer & Business Owner
Lucie Ferguson is all kinds of inspiring. She is a creator, maker and bizz lady, and ALL heart while she's at it. It really is a joy to read her responses here, full of honesty, integrity and so much beauty. We love that she's mastering her craft and pushing the boundaries of her work with every piece. Thanks Lucie!
What do you do?
I am a jeweller, designer, an entreprenuer and a business woman which all culminates in the jewellery brand Babyanything.
I literally wear all the hats, I am the one who dreams up the pieces, makes them, replies to emails, posts products and mops the floor of the retail store at the end of the day.
Do you have a maxim that you live and work by?
My maxim in life is 'Have courage and be kind', yes it was lifted from the most recent Cinderella film, but it is so powerful and personified how my mother @kimlouiseferguson interacted with the world.
I can feel my kindness sometimes (I am a Pisces, so we are conditioned to think of others before ourselves), but I was surprised not so long ago when a group of my friends gathered for a celebration and they had to give a word that best described me and many of them surprisingly said, Brave. That was very humbling as I feel like I have had had to be so brave to get where I am today, making sacrifices in life but also taking huge risks in business.
What are the three milestones that have led you to where you stand?
1. Choosing to go to the selective public highschool Newtown Highschool of the Performing Arts. A 4 hour commute daily to and from high school for 6 years on public transport really gave me the strongest work ethic possible. Nothing is too much trouble for me now as I committed to something so crazy so young and stuck to it. Newtown also gave me the most incredible education and allowed me to grow up with one foot on the beaches where I lived and one foot in the middle of the gritty city where I learned so many life lessons as I was forced to.
2. Having the priviledge of caring for my mother full time for 3 years. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but learning that I was mature enough to put someone else before me during my early/mid 20's was a powerful lesson. I gave away my job, my Sydney home and I lost almost all of my friendships and contact with the outside world. My one focus was to keep my mum alive. I got to see the strength human spirit can have and how a true angel walked on this earth. It forced me to create my business after hours and I got used to working 18 hour days as I did all my making and posting from 9pm onwards. I was so grateful for the outlet of Instagram and the window into other peoples lives and that's how my customer base for Babyanything grew, I was so personally connected to the brand, my customers got to trust the real me.
3. Opening my retail store. This huge leap forced the business into the next gear. We are the first jewellery business in the 'new breed' to open a bricks and mortar store and it is scary as hell. But I cannot imagine it any other way now.
Do you have a supportive female network in your field? Was it always this way?
No way! Jewellery is a male dominated field for sure, it takes guts to push into it and have respect shown to you.
In regards to other jewellery brands I feel like there is no support between us, perhaps it's the Australian Tall poppy thing, perhaps it's because I am gun shy having had my work 'appropriated' several times.
Can you share a creative experience that you have found defining?
I remember walking into the area where Michelangelo's David sculpture stood in Italy and just holding my breath for a second. I had studied this piece of art my whole life and then there it was, in the flesh, it was overwhelming. Baz Luhrmann's 1996 film Romeo and Juliet was life changing. I was so young when I saw it, but I came home and made a shrine in my bedroom and continue to get fresh inspiration each time I watch it.
What are you listening to, reading, watching of late, that is inspiring or entertaining you?
I've been listening to 'Weightless' by Marconi Union, it is instrumental music designed specifically to lower a persons heart rate and anxiety. I need to watch Stealing Beauty again, I designed our latest collection with memories of the film in mind.
What is one facet of your field that you want to see change?
I want to see more support of the business side of the field. I literally had no connections to start with and no one else in my family was in business so I had to teach myself about, accounting, distribution, manufacturing, postage, leasing etc. I want a mentor, someone that I can ask questions about business.
How can we find our more about your work?
Instagram is the closest channel to me @babyanything/ @lucie.ferguson and then our beautiful website www.babyanything.com.au.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
We are about to launch the SS17 range CHARMED, inspired by Stealing Beauty. Then I have the first Ceremonial range of ready made Engagement and Wedding bands coming out later this year. Usually I make bespoke pieces for weddings so to have a range ready to go for our clients will be a big step in scaling the business.
What is your dream project?
I actually really want to open a store in SOHO in New York. I feel like I have a strong brand DNA and it resonates with the US. I just need to be able to pull back from the admin side of the business and get back to the creative parts for it to flourish.
What’s something surprising about you, that we might not know?
I have nine tattoos. They are all red. They are all on the right side of my body. One says FUCK.
What places are important to you?
My family home in Terrigal, my mum was so creative. It is a beach shack with Mexican influence, a paradise surrounded by palm trees and a native plant rainforest that we planted together in my childhood. I can hear the ocean and see the trees from every window, paradise. My spiritual home and creative portal is Byron Bay, we were half raised there and it is my true home, I feel at ease there and we have found friends that are family at our beloved 'Atlantic Guesthouses'.
What is the best advice you’ve been given, or wish you had been told sooner?
Be kind to yourself, give yourself a break. I am hardest on myself, that allows other people to also think it's okay to treat you that way.
What do you want to be asked about that no one ever asks you?
What would I change about my life if I could? So much. If I had the freedom right now I would travel, travel so much I forgot where home was. The irony is, the person who had that same travelling spirit was my mother and now she is gone and I have to make the decision about what next. I tried travelling solo, India probably not the best place to flex your solo muscles and I found that I missed people, I wanted to remark how beautiful the temple was and get a photo with someone, not just millions of solo snaps and moody landscapes and monuments. So for now I bury myself in work and I wait for the decision to come up for air.