Good Hustlers || Lauren Harris, Jeweller

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I first met Lauren in Byron Bay when we were in our early twenties, and neither of us had any idea that we would both end up living in Tasmania, and re-meet through the roulette of social media where my profile popped up on Lauren’s feed, and she reached out with a ‘is that you?!’ message. I’ve been through a million careers in that time, but Lauren is gracefully and exquisitely doing the dharma she was when I met her all those years ago – making amazing jewellery. She is definitely one of those people I hold in awe who so clearly knew what she wanted to do, and pursued it with a resilience made of not questioning what it is you are here to deliver to the world. Family, studying music for pleasure, a move to Tasmania, and a life that chose her as much as she chose it, Lauren brings happiness and meaning to people through her art and creative practice.

1) Describe your business in one powerful sentence.

Like my Instagram profile says “I make rocks and metal into jewellery” 

It’s in my blood, I can’t not create! I think I’m even working in my sleep. I’m passionate about what I make and each piece comes from my heart. 

2. How do you integrate service to others in your business model?

As far as jewellery goes, it’s not a life’s necessity but it’s the happiness it creates that I believe is my biggest service to others. Over the years I have had a lot of feed back from my customers telling me about the way they interpret the piece they have chosen. Some feel a spiritual bond, some tell me the powers they have picked up by the gemstone. Some love the story of the piece. People have given me their treasured heirloom jewellery to transform and give it a new life for them to enjoy and continue passing it down in their family. Something so amazing and something that is so awe inspiring(not sure if this is the correct term) is when they tell me the piece has made them feel empowered and gives them self worth and when they wear that piece it reminds them of who they are and to believe in themselves. It just really make me feel so good when they tell me it makes them feel so special. So when someone’s is drawn to a piece I’ve put my heart and soul into and it makes them feel awesome, that’s what keeps me driven! People’s happiness! 

3. What were some of the highlights and lowlights of your journey to where you are now?

Anxiety. The pressure to be perfect, the pressure to make sure a custom order is perfect for my client. The pressures of putting a price on my passion, things I’ve created from my heart! Pricing has been one of the hardest things for me. I did my apprenticeship with two separate bosses and pricing must have been a taboo subject because it’s not something I was ever taught! It can play on your emotions. Or your emotions can play on your pricing but I have been lucky to get great advice from other artists which has really helped me come up with my own formula which helps take the emotion out. Having days when I feel like all my skills have gone out the window (deep breath, remind myself I’m human) The hard times, trying to make ends meet when the bills keep coming, the anxiety of not knowing when something will sell and how long my last Gallery payment needs to last. 

The tug of war between motherhood and creating is tough.  I read an amazing book called The Art of Motherhood recommended by an artist friend. I cried in the first page realising it wasn’t just me trying to juggle with making time for my my two biggest passions. I’m not awesome at juggling even after 11 years but I have come to accept my crazy life and enjoy it! 

Highlights

The highlights for me was realizing you can make lowlights work in your favour, a bit of pressure can create a driving force! Having a career which is also my passion, I know how rare that is, and treasure it. 

Creating things that make people happy! Wow! I can hard to describe how good it feels to hear something you’ve put your heart and soul into has made someone so happy!!  Peoples trust in my work, encouraging me to use my artistic licence in creating a piece I’m making especially for them. 

Having always had a very supportive family and friends through our my career. Plus I get to play with amazing metals and stunning gemstones all day long.

4. Do you have a spiritual practice?

I wouldn’t say I have a spiritual practice. I don’t call myself spiritual as such. I am just here and now. I treat others with kindness and am a big believer in positivity and happiness . I don’t follow any religion, I don’t have a “higher up”.  I think the closest thing to ‘spiritual ‘ for me is playing Drums in my band. It’s really the most focused I get, I guess it’s one of the noisiest meditative states you could get! So if meditation is spiritual at all then that’s my version:) it takes me away from everything and I get the same high you get from a massive load of cardio. Haha! What’s that chemical called?  Music, playing and listening to it plays a huge part in my creativity. Exercise is probably next in line for the best meditation for me. It removes anxiety. 

 5. Advice for others who want to start their own good hustle?

Negativity and stress is a waste of time. Try to see a positive in any situation, even mistakes and low times.  Do the things that make you happy. Work your ass off in jobs you may not like for years if it helps to get where you want to go. It’s worth it! Blood sweat and tears are worth it! Burn the candle at both ends but don’t burn out, remember to rest!! Be passionate. Be strong! Sometimes accept a bit of creative criticism. Accept you are human. Be kind to others and be kind to yourself. Be yourself!  Never give up! Put you heart and soul into your work, people will feel it! 

Polly McGee