Inspiring us this week is Nicky Crowley. Mother of two, artist and founder of exquisite homewares brand, Nic Ceramics.
Can you tell us a little about your journey into ceramics and how Nic Ceramics was born?
Way back, I studied a BA in Visual Arts majoring in Graphic Design and did a compulsory semester of ceramics. I loved it back then and thought I’d always come back to it one day. After a decade in advertising and design working as an art director, then a jewellery designer, followed by a partner in Pulp, a Japanese/French inspired paper/gift store, I decided to try something new.
About five years ago while working part-time at Pony Rider, I decided to do a ceramic night course once a week and was totally hooked. I finished my Diploma in Ceramics in 2016 and since then have slowly been building my skills, brand and stockists. Instagram (@nic.ceramics) has been my sole source of marketing and I now have five awesome stockists.
Has your style/work evolved over time and where do you look for inspiration?
There’s always been a graphic nature to my work and I guess that has has a lot to do with my design background. I love mid century and Scandinavian design and I think these influences combined with my graphic design background have given my work the look it has today. I’m inspired by everything visual – typography, texture, nature, architecture and fashion.
Where to from here for the brand/business?
Strangely enough I’d really like to take it slow. I want to enjoy what I’m doing and not have it feel like it’s a chore. When you have a family all you really ever want is balance. Balance between work, family and you. I’m content with the number of stockists I have, I’m focussing on getting my online store up before Christmas.
Greatest piece of advice for mothers keen to turn their passion into a business?
Do something you love and be honest with yourself about the reality of it being something that really can become a business. Sometimes a passion should remain a passion. Starting your own business always takes more of your time than you can ever have imagined. It always takes a lot of hard work at the beginning and will take you away from your family.
Motherhood is …
An experience I’m glad I had the privilege to be part of.
“Boys are so sensitive. If you want to have a deep and meaningful conversation, it really is true that you put them a car or any situation where they don’t have to make eye contact and they don’t shut up.”
Can you share a little about your journey into motherhood with us?
Two boys, one 15 and one 12. First one started with yoga daily, raspberry leaf tea, a perfect birth plan and ended in an unexpected shock cesarian which left me in a daze. Second a planned cesarian where I was well informed leaving me feeling amazing and grateful.
What is the biggest lesson pregnancy and birth has taught you?
There’s no such thing as a birth plan and you’ll always have regrets.
Relationship with your body post babies?
I love my body and what it has done for me. Even though it has changed immeasurably since having kids. It’s done incredible things for me over the years and I’ve never been let down by it, or the power of the body to heal itself.
You are the mother of two teenage boys, they say boys are easier than girls, is this true?
Yes. I’m only in the early stages of teenage-hood but I’m one of four – three girls, one boy and I vividly remember the three of us being pretty intense. Boys just have this pragmatism that makes life a little more simple and a lot less complicated.
Describe your parenting style…
I try so hard to be honest and up front with my boys, To say it how it is. They’re both inquisitive, creative, active boys and I really try to feed those qualities. I pick my battles and let a lot go through to the keeper.
Do you have any advice for mothers of boys?
Give them lots of love, cuddles, affection and time. Boys are so sensitive. If you want to have a deep and meaningful conversation, it really is true that you put them a car or any situation where they don’t have to make eye contact and they don’t shut up.
Qualities you most admire in your children?
Levi’s ability to let things go and never hold a grudge is bloody incredible. It’s served him well and will be a great quality to have as he grows into a man. He’s also great at giving anything a go…once. He’s also a great mathematician… a quality he got from dad!
Fletcher is like a 30 year old in a 12 year old’s body. He has a great sense of humour and wit. He’s engaging and really loves people. I have friends that tell me they just want to sit down and have a beer with him. He also inherited my creative gene so we have a similar view of the world.
Greatest challenge as a parent?
Letting go of control.
“I love my body and what it has done for me. Even though it has changed immeasurably since having kids… I’ve never been let down by it, or the power of the body to heal itself.”
Do you have any rituals?
I try to do 30min of yoga every other morning.
I love reading and do it every night before bed.
I have a coffee everyday after boys have left – it’s a breath out.
We sit down every night and have dinner together with no screens.
We play card games at night.
We listen to the ABC 702 Quiz.
In winter we sit by our fire pit most weekends and tell jokes, stories, look at the stars and stare into the flames.
Do you have any personal goals you are working towards?
I’m working on swearing less, writing lists and eating less meat. We’re also planning our next holiday, it’s something we love doing as a family. The boys generally fight the whole time and we want to loose them in the mountains somewhere, but we all come back only remembering the good times.
How has having children changed your relationship with your partner?
I’m so lucky to have the perfect man for me. When the boys were young I had a retail store in Manly and worked every weekend. He was a single dad every Saturday and Sunday for eight years and he was amazing. We have a really great relationship and I think having kids has taught us both about our strengths and weaknesses. One of us always picks up the slack when the other is struggling.
The mama owned business/brand that most inspires you and why?
That’s a tough one, I kind of live in my own little bubble and don’t know a lot about other women’s businesses. Eeek that sound shit doesn’t it? I do have one woman who I think is amazing. I have worked part time for Pony Rider for the past eight years and Kelly Searl, the owner/director, is one hell of a woman. She works incredibly hard and still manages to be a mum to two beautiful kids. Add a hubby who does a load of travelling into the mix and I seriously don’t know how she does it and still manages to have a kick ass homewares brand.
Favourite family holiday destination? Japan, Brunswick Heads and Melbourne
Drink of choice? Water, tea and gin
Book or talk recommendation…
Can I recommend a podcast? Well I’m going to – “This is Love” and “The Daily”
I hope one day my boys will…
Oh god I always start this sentence in my head just before I fall asleep. I hope one day my boys will be healthy, wealthy and wise.
UP NEXT: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF COURTNEY ADAMO