Brian is my 5 year-old mini dachshund. He was the reason I started a company to raise funds for our local animal hospital. When Brian was a young pup, he was often sick and The Lort Smith Animal hospital would always do a wonderful job caring for him. So I started making dachshund greeting cards to raise awareness and money for them.
Today, B FOR BRIAN has grown from me sitting alone at home cutting a million sausage-dog-shaped pieces of paper, to a team of 25 creatives who have contributed their thoughtful work in different ways!
Aside from running B for Brian and supporting other makers, Haily’s work focuses on carefully designed and colour-graded woven wall art. Haily first realised her appreciation for weaving in Turkey.
I had a sudden realisation that anything made well is something that requires time, patience and perseverance. I watched women working on a piece of carpet that was started by generations before them. To understand what it actually means to work on a project for as long as you can remember was mind blowing for me. More than the skill set I took back, I learned that no matter what your chosen craft is, you need to be patient to execute it well.
Haily’s inner city home studio is wonderfully decorated and has natural light filtered throughout. I will never forget the pot of tea we enjoyed that Sunday. When I asked where I could buy some I was excited to find out it was from the high mountains of Taiwan.
What inspires you and sustains your work?
Music inspires me… not just in my weaving but in almost everything I do creatively. I have days where I have so many orders to get through that the thought of it alone overwhelms me. But music calms me and gets me through it. At the start of my day when my thought processes need clarity, I listen to classical cello or piano. When I need to think outside the norm and brainstorm, I listen to instrumental jazz.
How does your environment nurture your process and work? What elements do you enjoy most?
My working space is something I have actively developed. My current space is an intertwining mix of musical instruments and tapestry yarn, a light-filled space that has a beautiful view of the north of Melbourne. The natural light is crucial to my tapestry work. I’ve often started pieces at night and upon reviewing it in the morning, I’ve had to start again because of the imbalance in colour gradients. I enjoy the visual component of my space and how inviting it is but the best component of it is having Brian and Harvey my two mini dachshunds at my feet while I am playing the cello or for hours while I am weaving.
For anyone starting a small business, would you have any advice to share?
Embrace and encourage all the different hats that you will get to wear. Take the opportunity to learn skills that you would not usually require of yourself. And when you have tried your best but can’t achieve what you want for your business, hire professionals who will happily do it and do it well!
How do you find a balance between running your own business and unwinding?
Balance is something I have never struggled with. In fact, my husband and two dogs make it wonderfully easy to stop working. Sometimes too often! To unwind, my husband and I have about 25 TV shows on rotation. Pretty much everything that is rated nine or more on IMDb is on our list. It’s a giant list that includes GOT, Vikings, every Marvel series and Suits (hence we named our son after Harvey Specter!)