A Day in the Life: Alice's Earth
Nestled up in the mountains of Brisbane’s North, Cath’s little sustainable jewellery dream has culminated in her business, Alice’s Earth. Working with strictly recycled silver and 9ct gold, Cath has mastered the art of working from home. From funky earrings, to re-vamped rings, Cath spends her days designing and making jewellery that is both sustainable and durable. Just scrolling through Cath’s Instagram feed, it becomes evident that nature is one of her major inspirations, with her gum leaf earrings that she sold to raise money for the Bushfire Relief, as well as her Wriggly Leaf earrings, made in collaboration with another Brisbane creative, @lemonlinesbylib . Cath’s ability to hand-make jewellery with such fine detail gives it a very personal touch. Whilst also ensuring her practice is sustainable and her products are high quality and long-lasting, has made Cath one of Brisbane’s rising stars in jewellery and product design.
So how does she run her own business, whilst being a science student at university? Cath knows that taking it slow and listening to her own needs, is the way to go.
Mornings are the day’s bliss for Cath, “I love mornings at home. If I’m home all day I try to catch up on sleep, so for that reason I don’t set an alarm. I’ll take my time to make a nice breakfast, listen to some tunes, make coffee and water my house plants.” Cath said, over Instagram, as we both try our best to practice social distancing.
It seems that taking her time in the morning and enjoying these simple things around her home are the key to getting in a positive mindset that allow her to remain productive for the rest of the day.
“I then answer emails, check my socials and write a list of things I want to get done. I start with any home jobs that need doing, then some uni work and then allocate as many hours needed for designing and making. I try to take breaks as frequently as I can. I make lunch and dinner and then, on an average night, I spend some time with my boyfriend, watching movies or playing video games. After that I’ll roughly plan the next day, shower and go to bed.”
With the outbreak of COVID-19, working from home has become the new norm for many of us, but for someone like Cath, who runs her own business whilst studying at uni, being productive in her home has always been the standard norm. So naturally, I asked her if she had any advice for those, like me, who may be struggling with this new adjustment.
“Make sure you designate the time to work but also take advantage of being able to work from home. Not having to commute gives you more time for you. Also set aside a space or room where the work is done. If you work better at a certain time of day, now is the time to start work a little later if that works for you.”
This little bit of wisdom that Cath dropped really hit home, not everyone is the exact same and therefore it’s unreasonable to expect that everyone will flourish under the same circumstances. Flexible working has become more and more mainstream in the workforce in the past few years, and times like these are the perfect opportunity for those who never really thrived in the classic nine to five, to find a new routine that works better for them.
Like many creatives, Cath is feeling the economic and emotional pressure of the pandemic. It has put many creatives in uncharted waters, as we all try and predict how these next couples of months will play out.
“At the moment, most people are saving money which means a decrease in sales. I myself am also saving money so I completely understand why. There is also a lot of uncertainty when planning for the next few months. Usually I’d be working and making stock for stores and markets but they have all been cancelled or closed. Not being able to predict and plan is the most challenging thing, but being active on Instagram and connecting to with makers about it is good, because we’re all going through the same thing.”
As we all hold tight, more and more it seems that waiting for this thing to just be over has turned in to a fool’s game. With no end in sight, Cath is right, it’s scary and hard to plan for the future. All we can really do now is stay home, wash our hands and show love and support for our loved ones, our hard-to-love ones and our broader community.