Ambitious Katie-May traded in her financing career to start up her own business, handcrafting unique pearl pieces designed to make you feel like a girl with a mind, a woman with attitude and a lady with class.
Tell us a little bit about your business Girl with a Pearl.
G.P is a handcrafted pearl jewellery brand based in Mudgee, regional NSW. G.P uses freshwater irregular pearls to create individual and unique pieces for all to enjoy wearing for years to come. At G.P we aim to make all of our customers feel like a girl with a mind, a woman with attitude, and a lady with class.
How did the idea for your Girl with a Pearl come about?
I thrive on being busy and always having something to do. When I had my first child I started my first side hustle while on maternity leave. I was sewing baby clothing and accessories and taking them to the local markets to sell. I quickly came to realise it was pretty cool that I could earn an income from home doing something I love while also being there for every moment of my girls' younger lives. Now that the girls are at school (Evie, 7, and Isla, 6) I wanted to take what I had learned from my first side hustle and start something fresh and new. I have always had a high interest in fashion and getting dressed up, so it was a no-brainer that I wanted to incorporate the two. Therefore Girl with a PEARL was born (Nov 2022)
What is unique about Girl with a Pearl?
Each and every piece is handmade at G.P using irregular, imperfect pearls meaning no two pieces are exactly the same. I believe using irregular, imperfect pearls adds so much character to a piece.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of starting your own business?
The most rewarding aspect of starting my own business would be the ability to work flexible hours and being able to be there for my family, and not miss any special moments.
Another rewarding aspect would be sitting back and watching it grow knowing “I did that all by myself” and being proud of what I have achieved.
I won't lie, I have expensive taste and like to live a social and busy life so the extra income has certainly not gone unnoticed!
What’s the best piece of business advice that you have ever received?
Hustle, network, and surround yourself with like-minded people that want to help and see you succeed. Also, invest in yourself and NEVER stop learning.
What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) at any given stage of your career?
There are always a lot of sacrifices when starting a new business and getting it off the ground. Being a one-woman show, there have been many hours spent sitting up late getting through orders, emails, ordering stock, paying bills, etc. I try as much as I can to not let this affect my family but sometimes I am tired and stressed and they see this. I am fortunate to have an amazing husband who is super supportive and encourages me to keep going and pushing through and I am now reaping the rewards tenfold.
I guess professionally, giving up my 9-5 job at ANZ was a risk too. I always wanted to progress my career in lending so giving that up to have kids and start a side hustle was risky business as I had no idea whether it would work or pay off.
How do you balance work & life/Mum responsibilities?
This is exactly why I started my business. I wanted to be able to contribute to the family income but still have the freedom to be able to “step out” and be there for my girls in whatever form, whenever they needed me. I guess you just have to prioritise what's really important and leave the rest for “tomorrow.”
What would you say is your personal definition of success?
Seeing people wearing my products and reaching out to tell me how much they love my pieces as well as being tagged by (non-paid) influencers on social media wearing my products is hugely satisfying. Personally, I set out to create a successful business in that I could earn an income while also being able to have a healthy balance between work and family life which I believe I have achieved.
What’s on the horizon for Girl with a Pearl in 2023?
I would absolutely love to release a kid's range this year. The inspiration for this comes from my two young girls and their love for dressing up and wearing pretty things. They steal my jewellery all the time so why not design some pieces they can call their own?
I am receiving a lot more interest for bridal pieces these days so I aim to expand my bridal range this year. I feel so truly honoured when someone chooses my pieces to wear on their special day.
Location: MUDGEE | NSW