Getting into the fashion accessory business seemed organic for Wiradjuri woman Kristy Dickinson, who has always been creative and had a strong sense of style. Her bespoke jewellery brand, Haus of Dizzy has been growing somewhat of a cult following thanks to her bold designs.
Dickinson says that creativity comes naturally to her and from a young age, it was her Mum's style that was always a source of inspiration.
"I have always been creative and loved to draw, paint and make anything with my hands. Growing up I admired my mum and her fashion and the way she could make something out of nothing."
For the past 16 years she has been making jewellery and in 2015, she finally decided to take the plunge and start her own business. She hasn't looked back, saying that turning her passion into an entrepreneurial venture is incredibly rewarding. "I absolutely love what I do and I'm so happy, I can finally do what I love as a full time job."
I absolutely love what I do and I'm so happy, I can finally do what I love as a full time job
Looking through Haus of Dizzy's range shoppers can find earring-designs with just about anything. From lightning bolts, to glittery green T-Rex cutouts and the popular 'Deadly' range, sporting the colours of the Aboriginal flag. Dickinson's designs are largely driven by aesthetics, as well as, everyday life and issues that are close to her heart. "I like to shine light on political, Indigenous, environmental and feminist issues."
Starting your own business can be a daunting process and Dickinson says that she wouldn't be where she is today without guidance and inspiration from others in the same market, as well as the support from other Aboriginal creatives.
"There are a few online fashion websites that I have been inspired by, especially a site called Nasty Gal from the USA. Sofia Amoruso who begun the site actually wrote a book about starting her business and I read that just before I started Haus Of Dizzy.
"When I first started out, I got the awesome people at Ngakkan Nyaagu [Aboriginal owned and operated digital agency] to create my website and it's founder, John Saulo taught me a lot of great tips on how to run a business."
I like to shine light on Political, Indigenous, environmental and feminist issues
Dickinson's work day starts early and ends late and says that her biggest challenge is having time to get everything she would like done. "My day starts at 6am and finishes at 10pm. I get up and get ready for the day, return emails, update socials and organise my orders and meetings for the day. I make all my orders and try and get to the post office by 5pm and then come back and make stock for any events I have coming up.
My biggest challenge at the moment is time management, there are just not enough hours in the day... "
The thrill of creating and seeing her designs come to life is a source of inspiration. "The most rewarding part of this business is seeing my customers wearing the pieces I make. It still gives me butterflies."
Dickinson says that her career highlight so far is having her jewellery sold at the Museum of Contemporary Art gift store in Sydney, a popular destination for local and international consumers when looking for something contemporary and unique.
For those considering getting into a similar creative path, she offers. "The best piece of advice I have received is to 'always stay true to yourself. For others thinking of getting into business I would say 'Don't be scared and just go for it."
Indigenous Business Month runs from 1st - 31st October, celebrating Indigenous entrepreneurs who are providing everyday acts of leadership and helping close the entrepreneurial gap in Australia.