Get Creative & Get Mental Health Aware

October is Mental Health Month. This week is National Mental Health Week. This is an important week for many reasons – not only does it mark one year since I started this blog (thanks to those that are still reading!) … Continue reading

Me Time – how taking a break can be the best thing for business

I’ve had a really loooong and difficult week with the kids. They seem to have been inhabited by teenagers despite being aged just 3 years (girl) and 15 months (boy). Add to this the busy work of preparing for an … Continue reading

A Story of Consignment in a Bricks-and-mortar Shop – Cactus & Co, Qld

Facebook can be a wonderful place for a sense of community when it is used appropriately. Amongst the handmade business community there are several groups where we creatives can chat and ask questions pertaining to anything from how to adjust … Continue reading

Finding my voice…What shall I say?

I have been blogging here for around 10 months and in that time I have written about business, my jewellery, vintage fashion, my history with depression, fundraising efforts, family traditions and a few DIY and sewing projects. But it has … Continue reading

A Special Announcement

When I first started this blog one of my very first entries was during Mental Health Week. I discussed my history of depression and how one of my great passions is to remove the stigma of mental illness in the media and community. You can read that post here.

Well, this year during Mental Health Week in October I will be doing something actionable on removing this stigma and bringing awareness to mental health in Australia. I will be hosting a “Get Creative Auction” proudly supporting beyondblue!

Proudly supporting beyondblue!

I have my Authority to Fundraise letter and I am about to begin accepting donations to the auction.

“Get Creative” is about using our gifts and talents to express ourselves and to regain and maintain our wellbeing. Creativity is instrumental to my wellbeing – from painting to express how I was feeling in the depths of my first breakdown into depression, to creating beautiful jewellery for my business Cordelle Designs today – it feeds that part of my soul that strives to make something beautiful out of the mess.

All items accepted into the auction will be in keeping with the “Get Creative” mentality – handmade, personally crafted and an expression of the donor’s own creativity.

I am so excited about this opportunity to fundraise for beyondblue as this organisation was fundamental in supporting me and my husband as carer during my darkest times of depression.

There will be more updates in the coming weeks and months as things get organised but mark it in your diaries now!

Mental Health Week: 6th – 13th October, 2013 | “Get Creative Auction” held on the Cordelle Designs Facebook page.

Venturing into the Real Life World – Markets, Consignments & Marketing

I’m in super-industrious mode at the moment. Next weekend, Sunday 17th March, I will be a stallholder at the Made With Love Markets in Coffs Harbour. It will be my fourth MWL market and it marks one year since I … Continue reading

Self Doubt, Depression and the Unexpected Entrepreneur

Self doubt.

It’s such a powerful thing, isn’t it?

I don’t know if there’s anybody out there who hasn’t experienced a little self doubt before but I know it is something I find myself fighting all the time. It’s not so much because I’m not a confident person. Or because I don’t have any real talent or aptitude for what I do. It’s more a scar of my battle with depression.

{As those of you who have been following my blog will know, I have battled on and off with depression since 2007. I have been brutally honest about this as I am passionate about ending the stigma on mental health that makes some feel that they cannot be truthful about how they are really feeling. If you want to know more about my journey with depression you can read about it here.}

So how does this relate to business?

Lately, I have been feeling a bit of self doubt. Sales have been a bit slow (as is usual at this time of year) and I seem to be waiting interminably for my next market in March. After all the busyness of the Christmas/New year period it’s all feeling a little slow. So those niggly thoughts start coming in…

“I’m not selling anything. Maybe it’s because people no longer like what I do”

“If this keeps going I won’t have any income left to continue with my business”

“I know lots of small businesses fail early on…will mine be part of that statistic?”

“Is it worth spending the money and taking the time to apply for Trademark?”

“Other businesses look like they’re selling well…why aren’t I?”

“I feel so guilty taking time to work on my business when I should be cleaning the house/folding washing/spending better quality time with the kids/etc.”

And so it continues.

Now, despite all the cognitive behaviour therapy I have done, negative self-talk and thoughts still blow through my mind like a whirlwind sometimes, making a big mess of calm and confidence and leaving a big pile of rubbish to sort through. I KNOW in my head what is happening and I KNOW it is not good, but I sometimes feel like I’m standing there helpless as I watch my thoughts get all muddied.

So, in my state of ‘blergh’ I signed up to do an online milestones workshop with Get It Done Mum and Build A Little Biz (two excellent resources if you are a small biz owner!). The big selling point was that they promised to “overcome the overwhelm”…just what I needed!

I scrounged together the time to access the meeting online in between juggling my two young children and threw myself into the exercises wholeheartedly.

What a breath of fresh air through my mind!

Through doing this workshop I found the clarity to discover what I really want (and need) from my business as well as from my personal life and set milestones and strategies to achieve this newfound vision.

Then, last night as I was talking with my husband about the workshop and how I’m feeling about business and all the rest, and I realised that the self doubt I had been feeling was because I didn’t set out to start a business, it just grew organically from a hobby. It’s this fact that has meant that I still have a mental barrier to considering myself as a true and proper “entrepreneur” (or “mumpreneur” if you prefer that term). I don’t yet recognise it subconsciously as a real job. It is the first time I haven’t had a clear job title or written list of responsibilities pertaining to my job, and it’s affecting how I see myself and how I value what I do. When I fill out a form I stumble upon what to write in the occupation part. It used to be so clear-cut and easy – “preschool teacher” fitted nicely and people knew what it meant. Now I find I fall back on “stay at home mum” because it’s too hard to come up with a title for what I do.

Maybe it’s also because there doesn’t seem to be as much social recognition of small home-based business. Yes, there’s the whole “mumpreneur” movement thing but some part of me thinks that it’s not taken as seriously as it should be. This perception could be because I keep having conversations like this with new people I meet:

Them: So what do you do?

Me: Oh, I’m at home with my kids….oh and I have a small business.

Them: Oh really? What do you do?

Me: I make jewellery.

Them: Oh.

Silence. End of conversation.

Is this just me? Is there a better way I can describe myself? Am I “good enough” to say that I am a “jewellery designer”? Will this make people more interested or value what I now do?

And see, there’s that self doubt again. Sneaky, isn’t it?

So I suppose the moral of this story is that I need to take myself seriously. I need to invest (time and…wait for it…money) in myself and in my business. I need to focus on my passion. I need to value what I do.

When I do this, self doubt disappears. The thought patterns of my depression-scarred mind can be changed. I can be proud of what I do.

So I have this manifesto from Build A Little Biz stuck up right in front of me at my desk and I am going to read it every day (or several times a day if I need to!) and I am going to keep marching on…

Thanks to Build a Little Biz

Thanks to Build a Little Biz


DEBUT! – For the love of ballet and vintage

Introducing my new collection…


A ballet-themed collection to appeal to that young girl in those of us who once dreamt of dancing in front of the Queen and fantasised about playing the beautiful White Swan in Swan Lake (although I always like the Black Swan more…don’t know why!). This collection features images that evoke all things ballet with vintage overtones. Lace and lustrous freshwater pearls accent the range.

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This collection holds a special place for me. I have always been passionate about dance. I began classical ballet as a young girl and studied it for many years. While injury saw me quit ballet, I still have that passion. I still get goosebumps when I see an excellent dancer in their element. And I still like to think that I am still a decent dancer!

For more information about the DEBUT! Collection please go to my Facebook page.