In March this year Sarah Neilsen decided to take her business in a new direction. Up until then she had been running Penny Farthing Design House with her sister and co-founder Alice Flynn. When Sarah took over the reigns, she decided to give PFDH more of a physical presence. Now she runs the business out of a gallery space in the Sydney Harbour suburb of Balmain, a short walk from where she lives. While PFDH continues to wholesale and retail online, as well as liaise with designers and stylists across the country, the bricks 'n' mortar store allows Sarah to interact more with customers, something Sarah has really enjoyed. PFDH continues to work with a range of artists and photographers to create unique large-scale works of art, as well as producing its custom-made fluoro lighting range.
Which five words best describe you? Energised, happy, content, creative and disciplined.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My career has been largely unplanned. I started in interior design and have worked in corporate real estate in both design and leasing while starting Penny Farthing with my sister Alice in 2011. Today Penny Farthing is a true passion and I love how it pushes us all creatively. It is amazing to look back and review the threads to a career path that looks accidental at best but essentially has lead to the creation of the brand today.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Close your eyes in order to see! I learnt to meditate with Tim Brown five years ago and it is my secret weapon in staying focused, energised and calm.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Opening the gallery and bringing Penny Farthing beyond the screen has been really satisfying. It is great to have more contact with our customers and really see how trends and people’s needs shape us as we move forward. On a much smaller scale we get a real kick out of the many and varied corners of the world where our artworks find new homes.
What’s been your best decision? To marry Paul, he is one funny man. Sixteen years on he still makes me laugh a lot.
Who inspires you? Heidi Middleton and her amazing seemingly endless creative talent.
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about making many little contributions to the people I meet along the way.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I would like to meet Anna Wintour. It is her innate ability to see timeless elegance and lasting style.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would really love to live in New York for a few years.
What are you reading? I have just finished Big little lies by Liane Moriaty, which was fabulous and have Think like a freak on the go with JK Rowling’s new The cuckoo’s calling next to start, but my favourite read this year was Jojo Moyes's Me before you.
images courtesy of penny farthing design house