‘Everyday I’m Hustlin’, is labelled across the candle that sits front row centre of my desk each and every day. I was given it for my birthday, and it pretty much has me picked to a tee (big tick boyfriend). The candle started a bit of a love affair between me and DAMSELFLY, the punchy brand with in your face slogans, telling it like it is. “You’re weird, I like you”, “I do this thing called whatever the fuck I want'”, and my personal favourite “my love is like a candle, if you forget me. I will burn your fucking house down”. As a brand, DAMSELFLY is brave, edgy, and a breath of fresh air from the peace, love and flowerchild like sea of candles + jewellery out there. And it’s attracting attention in all the right places, being posted about by up by Madonna, um..yep…Madonna…and more recently Lily Allen.
We caught up with Christianna Heideman, the brains (and beauty) behind DAMSELFLY, the brand that loves life so much it wants to punch it in the face. Described as a ‘silver-tongued style maven, successful girl-boss, jeweller, creator, and lover of unicorns’, she’s inspired by what is means to be the modern woman – part sexy, part charming, part naughty, and still a little bit delicate. In her words, Damselfly is for every girl with an adventure in her mind and a twinkle in her eye.
OC: WHERE ARE YOU + WHAT’S THE TIME?
CH: In my office in Melbourne, Sunday 3pm (should really stop working through the weekends..)
OC: TELL US A BIT ABOUT WHAT YOU DO
CH: I’m the Director at Damselfly and I’ve been creating, designing and making for as long as I can remember, I can’t imagine my life any other way.
OC: WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
CH: I wear so many hats at Damselfly but my favourite part will always be design. I love to lock myself away and become immersed in the process of starting with a single idea that grows into a whole collection. Even after all these years I’m humbled when my designs end up displayed in peoples homes or become a special piece in the jewellery box.
OC: WHAT SACRIFICES HAVE YOU HAD TO MAKE TO BE A SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR?
CH: Working non-stop since I left high school.. Missing special events; not having lots of time for leisure and sometimes sending myself a little loco!
OC: WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
CH: Life is always so crazy busy, these days the simple things really make me happy. Walking my dog in the park on a beautiful autumn day, spending a Sunday arvo drinking endless cups of tea and reading a book, cooking beautiful meals with my man and taking time to just relax and do nothing.
OC: TELL US ABOUT A HIGH POINT IN YOUR CAREER
CH: There’s been a lot of high points and it’s certainly been a wild ride but I’d have to say most recently Madonna posting a pic of my candle on her Instagram page was right up there! For the business though, the new Lifestyle collection breaking into the US / UK and EU so quickly has been quite a thrill.
OC: NOW TELL US ABOUT A LOW POINT
CH: Working myself to the bone over a 10-year period that wore me down so much I was forced to take a break for a few years. But I’ve learnt a lot from that and make sure I put my health first and don’t let the business run me.
OC: WHAT DID YOU NEED TO KNOW TO GET OUT OF THERE?
CH: I don’t like to waste time wallowing on the tough times/mistakes, I learn what I need to and keep moving. I try not to see set backs as a negative; instead keep my mind on the bigger picture.
OC: WHAT’S YOUR COFFEE ORDER?
CH: Long black with hot milk on the side.
OC: WHAT KICK ASS DAILY HABITS DO YOU HAVE IN PLACE?
CH: I try and do yoga every day before I start work, it helps me to calm the hell down and approach the day with a clear mind.
OC: HOW DO YOU GENERATE NEW IDEA’S?
CH: I get asked this question a lot and it’s hard to pin point one specific source, design inspiration for me is a constant as the source is always changing.
Ideas can stem from anything, a song, colour, travel, people watching, a piece of antique jewellery or just a feeling or mood. It is the collective of living all aspects of life in a full; rich present consciousness that generates new ideas.
(One of my favourite quotes)
“Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching. Because whatever you see can inspire you.” –Grace Coddington
OC: IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO START YOUR CAREER OVER AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
CH: If I could go back in time I’d tell myself to stop and smell the roses. It’s easy to get caught up in whirlwind of running your own company, always pushing to achieve more and more, but it’s so important to take the time to appreciate every win (big or small).
OC: IF YOU COULD SHARE ONE PIECE OF BUSINESS ADVICE WITH OTHERS WHAT WOULD IT BE?
CH: Don’t focus on what everyone else is doing, create a product or business that is real to you and comes from your heart, then you can’t go wrong.
OC: WHAT DO THE NEXT FEW MONTHS HOLD?
CH: So much! We’re moving into the busiest part of the year and expanding further into international markets. I am about to release a new jewellery, home wares and bridal collection along with a few new product extensions of the quote candles also.
I think that should do it for the next six months! (Oh, and I’m planning to squeeze a wedding in there too..)
OC: GIVE US THE 3 WORDS OTHER PEOLE WOULD USE TO DESCRIBE YOU
CH: Passionate, creative, slightly mad..