workshop preview: jacqui lewis

This week I'm previewing the designers who will share their journeys, tips and experience at the Daily Imprint "Live a creative life" workshop How to create a covetable brand. The second in a three-part FREE series will be on Thursday 21 July, 6.30pm at Apple, Bondi. It would be great if you could let me know if you can rsvp - - or just turn up on the night. But, first, let me introduce one of the evening's experts, branding and communications whiz Jacqui Lewis. This is an interview that originally ran in October 2009.

Some people are unforgettable. Jacqui Lewis is one of them. I've corresponded with her many times for projects related to real living. But it was when I finally got to sit down and have lunch with Jacqui that I knew she was an exceptional person. You cannot leave an encounter without feeling invigorated and full of resolve. Jacqui's most recent project is Folke. Previous projects include launching Pony Rider and Distillate. The images above are from Jacqui's Christmas card last year - which she conceived, styled, photographed, wrote and produced.

Which five words best describe you? Creative, inspired, driven, happy, intense.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? Interior designer (after years of waitressing, that is). Interior design led me into furniture and graphic design, which got me interested in exhibiting my work. I curated an event called My Name Is House in Annandale, and managed the opening night, event partners and media with no experience, which almost killed me (physically, financially and emotionally), but it made me realise I loved it. I then focused on communications, and eventually took the leap in starting my own agency JLC where we do PR, branding, graphic design and more, basically anything that my clients need to communicate what they do, they're services, their profiles... then to promote what we do and for personal interest, I started editing and publishing my online chronicle Distillate and my most recent and proudest side project is Pony Rider, a homewares line I have just launched with my great friend Kelly Searl.
What’s your proudest achievement? Living through the last year. Managing my communications agency, launching Distillate (Jan) and publishing all year, launching Pony Rider this Oct, and running our house with my husband and our three year old has really made me question whether I have any common sense. Or simply any sanity.
What’s been your best decision? Work wise, taking the plunge into PR with no experience, but just a really solid feeling that I could do it and do it well. Personally, marrying my husband Haydn.
Who inspires you? So many people, but generally people I know and hang out with, as opposed to big international stars. Kelly, who I have Pony Rider with is amazing, my dad, Greg Doyle, an incredible chef who has Pier restaurant in Sydney is so driven with an amazing vision and he can cook better than anyone I know, many of my talented friends who are so inspiring, driven and creative, the editors and stylists at a lot of the magazines I constantly work with, Lee Mathews - one of my clients, the million bloggers who post on their fabulous work - particularly the great photographers, my daughter who forces me to live in the now and notice the tiny things in life, my brave and beautiful friend Poppy Kural who is a brilliant sewer - the list is kind of huge and goes on and on.
What are you passionate about? Cooking and eating. I read cookbooks in bed like some mad woman as if they're novels, I'm addicted to food magazines and I swap recipes with friends constantly. It's pretty exciting stuff at our place as our tomatoes are just growing and we're about to get three chickens. I cook every night pretty much at the moment, and eating is one of my biggest pleasures. I just got my first food processor and literally sat it in the kitchen and gazed at it!
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Trust your instincts and always take the risk.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? David Sedaris, but not just meet, I would want to hang out for a day - I think he's hilarious and you can't have more fun than laughing.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? More traveling. Since having Marley, and having to pretend like we're grown up, and we got a mortgage etc, there has been limited traveling. Both of us owning our own businesses doesn't help getting away much either! We have a long list of places to go.
What are you reading? I always have a few on the go, right now its Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion, Alain De Botton's Status Anxiety, Sarah Napthali's Buddhism for Mothers With Lingering Questions, and I should sheepishly admit that I just polished off all the Twilight series in 5 nights.

images courtesy of jacqui lewis

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