I was one of those kids. You know the one. The one who always had impeccably designed cover sheets on their assignments all through school. The one who owned a billion pencils, textas, erasers of all shapes and sizes, a massive sticker collection and a squillion colouring books, notebooks, notepads and scrap books. I loved them all. I loved being crafty and creative and still do. Now I see it was all leading up to me becoming a graphic and book designer – who knew!
I graduated with a degree in graphic design way back in 2001 and my book design career began in 2004. It must have been fate which landed me in that first career-shaping role. I had no idea the magical, fascinating and diverse world of publishing would stay with me until today. I still love designing books as much as I did all those years ago.
In my early career I worked for an international publishing house where I designed countless books and marketing materials. I created pop-up books with flaps and all sorts of paper engineering. I designed jigsaw books, activity books, storybooks and was introduced to the world of licensed brands and so much more.
Whilst it was sad to leave, it was time to spread my wings and move to London! I spent the first few months backpacking around Europe and experiencing all there was to offer, including seeing some of the books I’d designed translated into foreign languages. MIND.BLOWING.
It soon came time to step back into the real world and armed with an abundance of publishing skills, I tried my luck and applied for a position in the licensing department at Dorling Kindersley (DK), sister company to Penguin Books and famously located on The Strand in the heart of London. And yep, I got it! Imagine that, little ol’ me working for one of the biggest publishing houses on the planet! I spent a year designing books with amazing Disney, Lego and Star Wars artwork and learning everything I could from some truly experienced designers. Some of whom had been at the company for around 20 years and are actually still there today.
Returning home to Melbourne in early 2010 was bittersweet. I was a bit homesick after almost two years away, but I terribly missed my London life as well. I landed some freelance work pretty much as soon as I stepped off the plane and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. I know – SO lucky!
That whole chunk of my life was the best thing I’ve ever done. I was old enough to appreciate it all (unlike some gap-year youth!) It opened my eyes to so much. It gave me new insights to everything. I learnt a lot about living. It began my love affair with London.
So, in 2012, and only a few months after meeting my future husband, Luke, we jetted off to live in London and experience all the hype around the Olympics. I landed a regular freelance role with Egmont UK in their Picture Book & Gift department and worked on classics including Winnie the Pooh, alongside some gorgeous picture books.
I’ve freelanced for my Australian clients whilst traveling Europe, used two bedside tables as desks in Morocco, worked in the heat of the day in Asia and walked its vibrant street markets in the cooler nights. Just a laptop and an internet connection is all I need. It never matters where I am, I always meet schedules and always provide a high standard of work. I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to do what I do from pretty much anywhere in the world.
In 2016 I took a leap and began Green Pea Books where I published my own small range of stationery. My core title was a Business Planner and actually came into being at the same time as Green Pea. I wanted a business planner to help me plan out every aspect of the daily running of the business but I couldn’t find anything on the market which catered to my needs, not even close. I figured I mustn’t be the only one needing and wanting this type of planner. I saw a gap in the market for tools to help small businesses achieve success through planning and organisation and so, my Business Planner was born!
Green Pea gave me an even bigger insight into the world of small business. I saw mumma’s working their butts off to create something amazing for themselves and their families. I saw ladies in their later years deciding to give up the 9-5 drudgery and step out onto their own. I saw young ladies starting businesses in their twenties and killing it.
I’m immersed in this world. I find it fascinating to watch so many women in business cater to all types of customers all over the country with such a mighty array of products and services.
This was my inspiration to launch That Design Lady – a creative lady helping other ladies design beautiful brands on a purse-friendly budget. Good design doesn’t need to cost a fortune. And, because I’ve been freelancing for so long, my process is streamlined to the bone. I know the right questions to ask so I can create the perfect design solution for you and I know exactly how long it takes me to do things. So, all this puts me in good stead to lower my costs so you can save some cash!
Branding is very different from book design, yes, but I’ve always dabbled in branding. I’ve designed my own time and time again for various ventures and for friends and for family.
As a busy mumma to a gorgeous little boy, I still freelance and design fabulous books, as well as help women with their design and branding needs. I love my job – any kind of design project sets my heart a flutter. Even in the juggle of everyday life and the busyness of motherhood, I want to work and create stunning books my boy will grow up to read and love. Not many mumma’s can say they’ve designed the books their kids read. Especially when those books are part of the delightful Bluey range! #I’mSemiFamous Ha!
It really is a huge honour and privilege to be able to do what I do every single day and I look forward to helping you create a business and brand your children and family will be proud of.
I don’t build websites! Eeep! But I design them, and my web-guru husband builds them under very close design instruction! Luke’s been building websites since the internet pretty much began and he’s written a snippet about himself below so you can get to know a little about the guy who’ll build your new online home.
I’m a nerd who likes to build things – software, hardware, lego. I’m all about process and working smarter so I’ve put a lot of thought and effort into setting up That Design Lady’s digital process and workflow to make sure we build your website efficiently and deliver the best, easy-to-maintain product possible.