confessions of a retail-owning, kid-wrangling extrovert...

October – Where Did you Go??

….into ‘galerie whispering’, meet our Lucky Wall, we put a poster in that very space – where the bare-chested guy leaning on the palm tree is – someone decides they want it on their wall.  We changed it three times in October..a good problem to have;

….into introducing our first mindful mornings – every Saturday from 8:30 – 11:00am in The Galerie HQ, you can get your zen on with meditation, creative readings & yoga, thanks to Stephanie from Page To Pose;

….into our first ever Interstate Pop-Up Exhibition ‘Bonjour Summer’, showcasing the posters of Lefor-Openo – the dynamic French women design duo – at Mild Manners Gallery in Sydney;

….into preparing, styling & introducing our fab Galerie Getaway, ‘Yurara on Moonah’ – 4 bdrm, 2 bath, luxury goodness down on the Mornington Peninsula – all ready for holiday rental. She’s stunning!

Phew!!  OK, feeling better now – any wonder November crept up on me so quickly…

Small matters

The Manor, Apartment Therapy and Me

Yep, that humble home the little blokes and I live in was recently featured on interiors mecca, Apartment Therapy.  She didn’t scrub up too badly considering every time I look at the open-plan living area all I see, after 15 years of dreaming and saving, is the little makeover I’ll be doing….soon!  She’s a good ol’ girl, that Manor, taken such care of us, the least I can do is give her a bit of special treatment to have her really glammed-up.

You can check the full story in Poster-Gal Press – go there and have yourself a sticky beak.

Thank-you Natalie Jephcott for the pics and story.

The Poster-Gal Hustle

Have you ever heard a phrase and thought, “Oh Dear Lord in Heaven above, that was created for me…”?

I’ve had that happen many times but none more memorable than when I attended the Big-Hearted Business Conference here in downtown Northcote, Victoria.  It was one of the first business-type events I’d been to in years.  I remember sitting there feeling pretty down, no area of my life was coasting.  In fact, at the time, everything was a bloody hard slog.  In my gut I knew that many changes were needed both personally and professionally and it was up to me to make them happen, but my energy levels were reaching an all-time low…so too were my funds.  As I took my seat, I thought, “Is this an un-necessary indulgence? Is this the best thing to be doing with my time, with my money?  It’s the weekend, I need to rely on others to mind the little blokes, to take care of the gallery.  I’m not sure how beneficial this will be when I can’t even be bothered speaking to people….” My typical glass half-full thinking was spiralling down…

I’d been hearing a lot about luck, do you find it interesting how people like to tell you (or others) how ‘lucky’ you are?  I’d found it particularly interesting given I was, by that stage, soul-parenting two children under 7 whilst dealing with their beautiful Dad’s newly acquired disabilities (thank-you 5th grade brain bleed), I was trying to lead a retail business through a global financial crisis and keep a grip on my mental health.  I have always known my good fortune and always felt a sense of gratitude but I was hearing alot about how lucky I was to have the people I had in my life, in business.  And quite frankly, it was pissing me off and turning me into a paranoid pinball; I’d been trying my hardest to show my gratitude in a variety of ways, particularly to Team-Galerie, being reminded of my luck through such a challenging time was making me question whether I was doing enough when I really didn’t have much more to give. But there was more about it that was niggling me, I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

So then, Clare Bowditch – that beautiful, glorious-voiced, big-personalitied, flame-haired, wonder of a woman – began talking and of all she said, I remember one phrase – Hustler with Heart.  I knew that three little word phrase was mine.  I finally got to the crux of what was driving me insane about the whole ‘luck’ thing.  Yes, I was lucky alright, I was born into a loving, incredibly giving family in a country that had given me every opportunity I could ever dream of, I had a clean-bill of health, as did my children, but the rest, I finally realised, might have – dare I say it aloud – had a tiny bit to do with me.

I thought back to all the opportunities that I’d grabbed, the chances I took, the risks – emotionally, personally, financially.  Everything from my working life to my personal relationships I realised was a bit of a hustle…to be noticed, to get the information, to acquire knowledge, to get that job, to be accepted, to get assistance…I was indeed a Hustler….with Heart.  And that realisation gave me a burst of energy, as I realised that I could definitely get through the imminent changes I needed to make, I could hustle my way towards the life I wanted, the support I needed, the business I imagined, the ideas that were constantly filling my head.  Nothing was impossible anymore.  I had a new-found appreciation for this part of my being.  Everything, though still a slog, was suddenly do-able.

The funny thing was, once I’d fully embraced that side of myself, I recognised it in so many others…particularly other people in small business and I loved them all the more for it. I was attracted to the ‘Hustlers with Heart’, I had unwittingly gathered a tribe of like-minded people around me who were all hustling their way into creative, interesting lives. I don’t want to give too much away, but really, the ‘fake it til you make it’ phrase should be tattooed on our foreheads – we are simply out there giving shit a go and if it doesn’t work, we try again, or head in another direction all together until something sticks….that, to my mind, is hustling, it kinda makes the ordinary an adventure. And through living this way I realised that, regardless of all the tough decisions and crazy times, I was indeed the luckiest.

Be courageous

Five things… you should know about this blog

The Galerie Fitzroy Will Not Be the Main Player

I know, it’s a very strange thing to have a blog attached to a business that may or may not actually be about the business. I’ve grappled with this fact for a long time, it’s probably one of the main reasons it’s taken almost two years from talking about starting, to actually doing it. Truth is, nine out of ten posts will likely not be about posters but everything to do with my world around it…which is what leads me to living The Galerie life anyway…

If I think about it, I’ve never been into the ‘hard sell’, at The Galerie we like to share our collections with poster enthusiasts, allowing them the space to decide if they could live with one or not and I suppose, in essence, that’s exactly what Poster-Gal will be; A safe, happy place for you to relax a minute, if you like what you see, you’ll stay and if not, then thank you for dropping by.

It Will Be Written by Me

This might seem like a very obvious statement, I know, but I thought it was worth clearing up from the beginning. ‘Poster-Gal’ will serve as a record of my ideas, the things I love, quotes & experiences that inspire me, unprofessional pics I’ve taken with my I-Phone, people I know and adore, businesses I admire, creative stuff I’ve heard about that I (more than likely) wish I’d thought of myself, the odd Galerie goings-on, a confession or two, lessons I’ve learnt, soul mama-ing my little blokes, the whole kit and kaboodle of a woman doing her best to create a meaningful life.

I’m Not Sure Where We’ll End Up

Therefore, when you consider the previous two points, there’s no telling how this blog will evolve over time but one thing’s for sure, it will definitely move as my life does. The past five years have been all about transformation for me, I’m not sure that there’s been one single element of my life that hasn’t been changed in some way. Some dramatically and others a little more on the subtle side but there have been definite shifts in every area of my life. And truth is, there are still quite a few more to come but I don’t fear it, I say ‘bring it’ and this time, I will be blogging my way through…

Without Team Galerie, There’d Be No Poster-Gal

I don’t want to get overly dramatic here, but it would be completely remiss of me to not acknowledge all the hard-work that goes on behind the scenes allowing me to indulge my love of writing and connecting via this forum. I’ve received an amazing amount of support and enthusiasm from Team Galerie to get me back to the blogosphere and I want to say a big thank-you.

Our beautiful Humming friends, Jo and Todd, who are an absolute bloody dream to work with – it’s like Jo and I have the same design head, but her’s is more refined than mine. I get so excited every time we work together, as I know she will come up with something wonderful. Then there is Todd who is the TechKing, nothing too hard, easily explained and everything is done when he says it will be to the highest, most user-friendly standards. I think we all agree they have come up with a fantastic, very pretty space for me to blog from.

DD, my book-keeper, who is constantly reminding me of what I do well. We are supposed to talk money and figures but our conversations always turn into a cheerleading session of things I do best and what to concentrate on.

And Ms Michelle Belle, who manages everything, particularly my go-a-million-miles-a-minute mind, without stress or fuss….quietly squirrelling away, making sure all the plates stay in the air at The Galerie Fitzroy, gentle reminders and suggestions, questions and ideas, incredible work ethic, always listening and learning, all under-pinned by her complete devotion to original poster-art.

This Blog May Actually Be a Replacement for Therapy…

…read at your own peril.

Owning our story

Burn Baby Burn

Winter at ClifHill Manor has been all about the open-fire this year!

Let’s do this!

It might seem silly in an online world saturated with blogs, where even longtime bloggers are questioning the relevance of their efforts, to start one. But I have to; the past five years have been all sorts of crazy, yet in the moments of stillness there has been a consistent voice in the back of my head reminding me that once things calm down, I need to get back to the blogosphere.

Some of you may remember ‘femme de montmartre’ from a gazillion years ago – I started it around the time my littlest bloke was born in 2007/2008. I found it a creative way to express myself when I was otherwise absorbed in raising two people under 2 years of age and building a business also in it’s infancy. I’ve loved writing all my life, it’s how I process this constantly moving brain of mine, it’s also my go-to connection tool… I love sending letters, texts, notes, and emails… Even the odd questionnaire!

Quite frankly, once I release my mind chatter into written form, I feel more sorted, almost euphoric and believing I can change the world! Therefore being an extrovert with a tendency to share… alot… blogging was the perfect platform for me. I’ve missed it.

Over recent months – after June 22nd 2010 turned my entire life on it’s head, requiring me to dig deeper than i’d ever needed to before – I’ve found myself ready to fully immerse in the world again. I’ve been saying ‘yes’ to more opportunities, opening myself to interviews and online conversations with women i’ve met (and admired) via my old blogging days. All this questioning has led me to see how blurred my personal and professional life is – ie. what I do is who I am and vice versa – so with that reminder, I need to ensure that I am doing the things that make me come alive, not just get bogged down in the nitty, gritty of running a small business. I love writing, I love reading, I love connecting, I love learning, I love collaborating, I love laughing, I love participating, I love social media, I love my little blokes, I love The Galerie Fitzroy and our team, I love people, I love sharing – so, it’s back to blogging for me.

… can’t wait.

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