The perfect life balance might seem unattainable but for Sarah Thorley there is motivation in finding solutions which lead to beautiful homes for her LUXE Building clients.
Tell us a little bit about LUXE Building.
We are a well-respected building company based in Orange. We work on various projects starting with renovations, additions, and alterations through to new home builds. Each build is custom and showcases our superior craftsmanship. We work closely with our design team to ensure that our client’s dream ideas are achieved.
What is unique about LUXE Building?
Every element of a build with us is custom and we work with the products, finishes and fixtures that our clients request. Our clients spend a lot of time in the design and pre-construction phase working with our dedicated design team (draftsperson, interior designer, and builder) to nut out exactly what the clients picture their project to be, so that the build can be as successful and stress free, as possible for all involved. We use qualified experts in their field to inform and educate our clients to ensure their finished product is not only of the highest standard but also what they envisaged.
What were pivotal moments in your career that contributed to your success?
I think it would have to be when I made the decision to leave my previous career as a teacher to work in the business full-time. This allowed me to focus solely on the business and not split my time between both jobs. That was almost three years ago, and I haven't looked back. This definitely wasn't an easy decision and took a big push from my husband and our business coach to give me the confidence to leave my safety net.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of running your own business?
You can't go past seeing the end product and just take a step back to admire the hours of physical labour and sweat that have gone into it. It's always a great point in a build to reflect on how far we have come and to just appreciate what has been created for our clients particularly when it is someone’s home, and you know how precious the home is to a person and their family.
What challenges did you have to overcome at the beginning of your journey?
Not having a background in building, finance, sales or business definitely puts you on the back foot initially. I had to learn everything from scratch. This took time and involved mistakes.
It is a tricky position to be in when you are a partner to a tradie in that it is just expected sometimes that you will be happy or equipped to do the administration and finance side of their business. Without going out and seeking support you can feel alone. We have been fortunate to have worked with the business coach for the past three years which has provided the best foundation to build on and educate myself in these new areas.
What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) at any given stage of your career?
I would say that I didn’t get to enjoy the newborn and baby stage with our second son like I did with our first as there is no real maternity leave when you run your own business.
Women have long represented the archetype of the ‘juggler’. How do you balance work and life responsibilities?
I don’t believe that you can have a perfect balance between both as there is always something/someone pulling you in different directions. I go about it by trying to be as present as I can in whichever situation I am in. I have become a lot better at not answering work calls or emails when I am at home with the kids.
At work I use a default diary to prioritise jobs and I do love a list, so that’s always helpful.
I am also strict with writing out a weekly menu of dinners for the family, which takes stress and time out of my afternoons. Online shopping also is a lifesaver. Little things like that just lighten the mental load of those necessary but mundane life responsibilities.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Give it a crack! Find the confidence to push yourself out of your comfort zone. That first leap is scary. Take it and see what’s on the other side!
What’s on the horizon for LUXE Building in 2023?
We have a variety of projects on our books for this year. We are looking forward to a year with a bit more stability in the industry which will hopefully mean a much smoother process from design through to completed project for our clients.
Our focus will still be on producing projects that are custom, unique, and beautiful.
Location: Orange | NSW
Facebook: Luxe Building Photography: Monique Lovick Photography