It was April 2013.
I was sitting at a makeshift jewellery desk, in a motel room in the middle of the South Australian desert.
It was Sunday - my only day off a week from working as a focus puller on a movie for 9 weeks. I was exhausted looking at the pile of stainless steel that needed to be polished in time for the Finders Keepers Market that was happening in Melbourne three days after we would wrap principal photography.
And I thought I couldn't possibly keep going like this for much longer.
I had been living in Australia for 9 years at that point, and had been working in the camera department on tv shows, commercials, music videos, but mainly feature films. It was great, and I did love it, but it turned out to be much less creative than I had hoped. Between shoots, I needed an outlet.
Back when I was a teenager I loved making jewellery for fun. I thought it would be even more fun if I acquired new skills, so I took some silversmithing classes at the Jam Factory in 2009. It was amazing! Next time I had a break, I took some more. I bought myself a set of tools and set up a little studio in the spare room in our house.
My silver pieces caught the eye of my family and friends. They asked me to make some for them, then for them to give as gifts, and so on. I was encouraged to go sell at the local art market, which I did.
Markets turned out to be quite the eye opener because people started asking questions.
'Do you have a business card?' - No. I didn't even have a business name!
'Do you sell online?' - Not yet.
'Do you wholesale?' - Do I what??
I realised I needed to get my act together if I was going to keep going with this creative endeavour.
Nothing in my life had prepared me to run a business. So I learned everything as I went along.
I registered a business name.
I got business cards printed.
I took some clumsy photos of my work and made up a catalogue.
I opened an Etsy shop.
Days of August was officially born in early 2011.
Fast forward to 2013 in that desert motel room. By that point, the business had grown quite a bit. I was working with reclaimed stainless steel at this point (more on that in the next blog post). I had a proper website. My work was stocked in a dozen stores. I was going interstate to exhibit at curated markets. I was preparing for my first ever trade show. I was very busy making jewellery and running the business, and it dawned on me on that April day, that I couldn't keep going with both movies and jewellery without burning out.
'The Infinite Man' had to be my last movie if I was to keep the business alive (and it was a great one - it's streaming on SBS On Demand at the moment, and I highly recommend it!). I even made friends with our main actress Hannah Marshall who became my first ever model.
Once we wrapped, I drove to Melbourne for the Finders Keepers Market, and the lovely market goers made it clear that I had made the right choice.