BOSS BABE: LUCIE FERGUSON
While everyone from Kim Kardashian to Miley Cyrus have been spotted wearing her pieces, jewellery designer and founder of Babyanything, Lucie Ferguson stresses that everyone who chooses her jewellery is the most incredible feeling.
Elle Effect Founder, Elle Ferguson has a special connection with Lucie - they're sisters! So we're very excited to share our latest edition of Boss Babes with you.
Let’s go back to the beginning, when did your love affair for jewellery begin?
I actually went to my interview at university for Photography, but a jewellery lecturer was sitting in on my panel and persuaded me afterwards to swap to Jewellery and Object design because I loved working with my hands so much - and I had a very energetic imagination full of ideas for pieces. I think I said yes because I remembered my mother’s incredible jewellery collection. She travelled to Italy in the 70’s and brought back coral rings and bracelets from the island of Capri that I used to covet as a child. Then she had amazing bespoke pieces made from all the jewellers in the Strand Arcade building in Sydney, really creative, far out pieces in solid gold and gems. I guess I just took them for granted growing up, until I was presented the opportunity to make it a career.
Did you ever aspire to be your own boss?
I didn’t ever really see myself as an entrepreneur, I just became one out of necessity, I have always said I make the pieces I want to wear, so I just started doing that and people responded positively. I am an extremely hard worker so I would stay up all night googling how to build your own online store, or how to set up gas and oxygen in a home workshop. I just always found a way over the hurdles. Now I have a team of 7 and it is a huge responsibility managing and being the pay cheque provider for a team. But it is a privilege I never take for granted. Being your own boss means you can create the culture of the brand and that is what is most fulfilling.
How did Babyanything come to be?
Well the name Babyanything was inspired by an ex boyfriend, he said to me one day “Baby I’ll do anything for you, anything, baby, anything”. That was a light bulb moment, I was already making jewellery, pieces for him, my family, and for myself, but it gave me a brand new word and the meaning behind the word was pure love. The idea of gifting someone jewellery with that meaning already attached, devotion of another or even devotion to oneself, the jewellery will always remind you of that.
Was there a defining moment where you realised your skill set could become a career?
When I was at University the course was based on the conceptual power behind the wearable pieces we were making. I was interested in the concept of course, but I also wanted my pieces to be commercially desirable. I was thinking like the Alexander McQueen star and moon dress the world remembers as one of his most coveted pieces, it was a work of art, worthy of a museum showcase, but it also had a waitlist of 10,000 brides that wanted to wear it to their wedding day.
I realised I wanted to create original, hand crafted pieces, from precious metal, gemstones and diamonds but sell them in a ready to wear framework.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
You can never expect people to work as hard as you do. You can be so surprised and honoured when you find a staff member that really gives back to the business and makes you feel like you are not alone on your journey, but as a founder, it really all falls on your shoulders. So I am learning to separate the personal from the professional, your personality as a person is probably going to have to be different from the personality you employee being a manager. It just took me longer to realise that I need to stay focused on the bigger picture and what is right for the business whilst still making decisions from a kind, empathetic place.
Your jewellery design exudes timeless femininity and edge. Where does your design style come from?
I make pieces that I want to wear. I have Muses that I have drawn on during the creative process for inspiration; I am strongly influenced by the 70’s era, the fashion, music and culture. I look at images of my mum from the 70’s from the east coast of Australia, or from her overseas trips to Europe and design and make pieces I think she would have worn.
The act of designing original pieces has always been a joy, I feel like there is a kaleidoscope of pieces floating around in my imagination that I need to make for Babyanything.
One of our most popular medallions came to me in a dream, I woke up sketched it, wrote down the meaning behind the piece and then a year later it was ready for release to our customers.
I had really needed a talisman piece in my life at the time to remind me that better days were coming and it turned out so did my customers.
What does your day-to-day involvement look like?
I am involved in every aspect of the business so I start the day doing social media tasks at home as soon as I wake up, then I start emails before I leave the house. Our flagship store in Paddington, Sydney, also acts as our Head Office so I go into work and start on tasks I need to collaborate with staff on. I am usually found with my laptop perched on a shelf somewhere as we desperately need more space. I can then be found either facilitating production or sales needs and even packing up the shop at the end of the day. Then I go home and do more social media and usually end the day replying to emails.
The modern world is a busy one! What is your version of self-care?
I must say I am not the greatest at this, I feel like I even have to ask for permission to get my hair done! It takes my sister to be like “Lu, just book in!” for me to give myself time and not feel guilty for it.
I attend a Hip Hop/ Burlesque dance class on Sunday mornings that has had a huge impact on how I think about going into the next week. It’s such a great way to start the Sunday off with energy and get the endorphins up for the challenge of the week to come.
Beauty wise, I indulge in beautiful skincare and enjoy the benefits it brings to my face. When I notice my body confidence is feeling low, I make sure to apply Elle Effect to my legs at the very least - when I wake up the next morning and look like I have sun kissed legs it makes it so much easier to get dressed and feel good about yourself.
What three things would we always find in your beauty bag?
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation - it's the only foundation I have used for about 6 years now, Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat High cover radiant concealer - it is a new blend that works wonders on dark circles if you have been working all night and Elle Effect Tanning Mouse and the mitt that goes with it - it moisturises when it tans so it is great for a low maintenance girl like me.
If you could have any five women sitting around a dinner table with you, who would they be?
My mum, my grandmother, my sister, my best friend, and hopefully one day I could have a daughter sitting there too. Hopefully it would be on some beautiful tropical island somewhere with coconuts and margaritas to drink and Fleetwood playing softly in the background.
What's the last song you listened to?
What it feels like for a girl - Madonna
Parting words of advice for being a #bossbabe in work and life?
Be passionate and authentic. Every person on earth has a different perspective on everything we experience. I am sure yours is valuable, so be smart and get educated with ways to help you move your vision forward. There is only one you, so make a mark on the world, make it better, touch people’s hearts and minds if you can.
I need to take my own following advice: Do not get stuck; continue to reassess if the business is making your heart happy and try and move away from areas in the business that are killing your creativity. Be indulgent, follow what inspires you, and fill your cup up to the brim so that the creativity spills out like flowing waves in the sea.