Follow on from Life Shifters introduction…

Sarah’s tale is more than a change in career; it’s a liberating change in lifestyle. Leaving behind a marketing career with an investment bank in Sydney, Sarah now markets her own business, creating and selling stationery. It’s delightfully named Simplethings Press.

Sarah embodies creativity. She holds a sparkle in her eye when she talks about her shift to become a small business owner. Sarah now dedicates her time to building her online business and delivering a quality product, and to caring for her family – including the picture-perfect Clementine, her daughter with husband Adam. Here is Sarah’s view on her Life Shifter life.

So life threw you a curveball – or rather you threw one at life – and you did a 180 with a change of career. Tell me about the reason for the change.

In a nutshell – corporate office jobs and I do not go together. Once I realised that, I had to find a way out. Ideally doing something creative and more meaningful than marketing (what I did in my previous life). Turns out my thing is designing stationery, and letterpress printing (who knew?). Put the two together and I am very, very happy.

And now – life is peachy with your own business? 

Peachy indeed. I love the freedom and flexibility of being self-employed. I love enjoying what I do on a daily basis. I love working in my pyjamas at 3pm if I so choose. Working for myself is so much more satisfying than what I did before. It is not just earning a paycheck – I really enjoy what I do and I care about it in a way I never could when working for someone else. My business is an extension of me, and I don’t have to ‘fake it’ between the hours of 9 and 5 anymore. That in itself is very liberating.

What has been the most rewarding part of owning Simplethings Press

All of the above. Plus the fact that I am also a mum – I have a 17-month old daughter, Clementine – so a hugely rewarding part of owning my own business is being able to juggle my work around caring for her, being the best mum I can be, and being with her as much as possible. It is a constant attempt to be Superwoman, but for me, it’s definitely the best of both worlds. I shudder to think of what life would be like if I had to turn up at someone else’s office every morning at 8.30am.

Tell me about an interesting person you have met in your new career. What about them is interesting to you?

The brides I work with are all interesting characters. Some are easier than others, but on the whole they are all lovely to work with, and full of excitement about the day ahead. Maybe I’m lucky, but I haven’t met many that are much of a ‘zilla! I also receive some of the nicest emails I’ve ever gotten, from couples who have just opened their order – this is one of my favourite parts of the job. Every client is different, and it is interesting to discover what each person wants, and then deliver that with their stationery. Everyone responds to something different, whether it be a particular font or a certain colour – we’re all individuals! But pretty paper and designs aside, my job is really about interpreting what the client wants and then making sure that when they open that box, that they completely love what they see.

Who do you look to for inspiration, or what do you do to stay inspired? 

People who are self-employed and working in a creative industry – and doing really well for themselves – are a great source of inspiration/motivation to me. In moments of doubt, I always think – “If they can do it, so can I.” I am also a prolific reader of far too many blogs, many of which inspire me. Pinterest is also great for finding inspiration when you least expect it.