One of the best speeches I've heard at an event was by Julie Paterson. It was a little bit of a surprise given that she's a textile designer who's probably best know for her beautiful shop selling her fabrics and homewares in Sydney's Surry Hills. You see, Julie wrote the speech as a narrative-style account of her life growing up and how she fell in love with fabric and design. As someone who stood next to me said, "Give this woman a book deal." Julie is a tour-de-force on the Australian design scene. She has several collaborations under her belt, including one with Designer Rugs (pictured above). And because of her steely determination, you never know quite what she's going to do next. Watch this space.

Which five words best describe you? Optimistic, energetic, relentless, honest and resilient.

What was your first job? Head textile designer to Anna French fabric house in London.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Trust your instincts.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Runnning this business for 15 years without wavering on the set of beliefs we started out with.

What’s been your best decision? To produce locally.

Who inspires you? Everyone who follows their own path.

What are you passionate about? Affordable, accessible art and design

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Barbara Hepworth

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Becoming a full-time painter.

What are you reading? Notes from an exhibition by Patrick Gale.

images courtesy of julie paterson (portrait) and geoff sumner for designer rugs (excluding image #4)