Emily has been a #BeyondNiner for a while now, another of our wonderful customers that we met virtually via Instagram. We love her style and have been captured by her flair for interiors and art too. Emily is an interior designer, art consultant and a teacher. A natural plate spinner and a true creative. We were keen to find out more about her background, her love of fashion and and her family life down in Devon. Here goes....
Tell us a bit about yourself
I live in sunny South Devon with my husband who is a teacher of design and technology, our two teenage children and the head of the household, Max the Cavapoo!
I have always loved fashion and style. Despite growing up deep in the Devon countryside surrounded by animals and fields for as far as the eye could see, I lived for ‘The Clothes Show’ each week and devouring the style pages of the weekend papers! I worked at Topshop for three years while studying at uni and was in my element helping people choose outfits (and spending my uniform allowance!)
I also loved art at school and although I never pursued the subject beyond GCSE it was always there in the background as a hobby and something I have really enjoyed being involved in.
Once we bought our first home my interest in art, design and fashion combined and interior design became my creative outlet. Sharing our renovation stories is where I first began to gain an Instagram following.
What's your career history?
I studied Psychology at university and then a took a PGCE as a SCITT student to become a primary school teacher. This is my nineteenth year of teaching. After taking a short break away from the profession earlier this year I realised just how much I enjoy working in a school environment! It is no secret that teaching requires a big commitment and it is HARD work but I genuinely get a lot of positive energy from the children I teach (8 year olds can be very funny!) and love seeing them grow and learn. Not only that but my close colleagues in schools have always been the kindest, most generous and most supportive people you could wish to meet.
I am a huge advocate of the importance of the arts in general, both for mental health and for sake of humanity! I have relished the opportunity to be the subject leader for art in the schools I have worked in. Sadly the arts in general are being diminished within the education system and I am keen to promote creativity wherever I can.
Emily wears the feel good Jumper from our collab with @slowlove
I became a part time teacher when my children were born. Once they were both in school I found myself with a few hours spare during my days off and enrolled on a silversmithing course. I continued to attend silversmithing classes and what began as a hobby became a little side hustle with my own studio at home and an Etsy shop.
During the short break away from teaching I took earlier this year I spent time nurturing my Instagram account. A short stint as a social media manager for a local company taught me a lot and helped me to raise my game!
At this time I also put some time and energy into a little seed of an idea to begin an online home gallery. The main idea was to represent established and emerging artists using my home as a backdrop to style the work and show how it could look in situ, showcasing the paintings on my Instagram account and website. I have loved collaborating with artists and galleries, spending time in artist studios picking art and having an ever changing art collection in my house!
What does a typical week look like for you juggling your business and motherhood?
A typical week for me begins with my days at school. During this time I am completely focused on preparing lessons and supporting the children in my class plus fulfilling my wider responsibilities at school.
Towards the end of the week I can look towards the home gallery and any Instagram commitments. I may also use this time to get into my studio and fulfill any jewellery orders! Of course, being a mum to teenagers also means I am an on call taxi driver, constant fridge stocker and general dirty washing picker upper!
What's been the biggest challenge in your career so far?
The biggest challenge is work/ life balance. Anyone who is a teacher will tell you the job can be all encompassing. My numerous side hustles are key for me staying sane! I have to be a person outside of teaching to feel properly fulfilled which allows me to be the best teacher and human being I can be.
Any tips for our community who would like to take up a career in the creative industries?
My only tip is ‘do it now’ - there is never a right time to start that side hustle or try out that idea. There are always a million reasons not to do something but you really don’t know what will happen until you get going. Once you’ve started your idea will evolve and grow and as soon as you are going you won’t look back! Just begin and see where it takes you!
Emily wears Mabel Trousers in Dahlia Pink
Where or who do you get your inspiration from for interiors and fashion?
I think really my eye for interiors and fashion comes from many many years of consuming fashion and interiors magazines but also from being observant in real life and collecting ideas from people I have met (or spotted walking down the street!) or places I have been. I also attended a secondary school in Totnes that was fairly alternative at the time. I attribute my slightly bohemian attitude and tastes to influences at this time in my life.
In terms of other content creators on instagram, where do I start?! There are many amazingly stylish and creative people out there! Some of the people I particularly relate to and are inspired by are @ninacachia and @goodmannersstyle for their fun sense of colour, style and all round loveliness! I am also a long time fan of @alexandra.stedman (I am sure I used to read her blog before Instagram even existed?!) and I look forward to @wearsmymoney posts and weekly blog far more than I should!
Emily wears Mabel Trousers in Dahlia Pink
Where did you find Beyond Nine?
Where else… Instagram!
You have a few Beyond Nine pieces now, do you have a favourite piece?
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