Someone whose work we're about to feature in real living is Karen Cotton. She's a journalist who's also a stylist who's also an outdoor furniture maker through her business Porch Furniture. Click on the magazine spread images to see them in more detail - beautiful work.
Which five words best describe you? Caring, capable, communicative, creative and constant!
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first job was when I was 13 and I worked part-time at our local pharmacy. I can still remember buying a punnet of strawberries with my first pay packet to eat on my way home and relish the fact that they were all mine and I didn’t have to share them with anyone else! I did work experience at Vogue Magazine when I was at school and because of this was lucky enough to be taken on as a cadet journalist/stylist at ACP when I completed year 12. For the next few years I worked on four magazines at the one time, so the variety of work was fantastic! I eventually left to tackle the world of freelance styling, which has seen me work in both the editorial and advertising arenas for more than 15 years. In 2001 I started porch furniture because I saw a gap in the market here for good quality, contemporary outdoor furniture. I love the variety of work I get and like having a few things on the go at once! These days I can be styling an advertising shoot one day, or writing a story to accompany an interior/lifestyle feature that I have produced for a magazine here or overseas, or I can be putting a quote together for an architect/designer who is interested in using ‘porch’ in an upcoming project.
What's your proudest achievement? My beautiful kids - Joe and Ruby.
What's been your best decision? To become a parent, even though it can also be the hardest thing I ever do!
Who inspires you? My talented friends and family who are all achieving special things in their own ways.
What are you passionate about? The people I love and care for.
What's the best lesson you've learnt? That usually your initial reaction is the right one!
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? William Wallace –Braveheart. I think that is the most romantic and incredible story!
What dream do you still want to fulfil? That would be to travel to all the places I still haven’t seen.
What are you reading? The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher - it was shortlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize. It is about two suburban English families in the 70s and how their lives will change in the next 20 years. I am loving it!
Images courtesy of Karen Cotton and Porch Furniture