So correct me if I’m wrong, but if I was going to read and connect with an online blogger, and of course there are millions! I would want to firstly know more about what they do, how they got there, where they are going, and some personal snippets, after all, blogging or as I like to call it, “Bog Plosting” is a very personal platform. Which is why I kinda felt as though this would be a good place to start on our second Blog date……
I have procrastinated and put this off for long enough and now it is time to get this part over with! Going totally out of my personal comfort zone to share some of my background and who I am. Many of you may have already visited the Ivy and Bird showroom or instead seen the posts on social media and have been thinking : “Who the bloody hell is Ivy and Bird? Whats in this showroom she mentions? Exactly what does this woman do? Is it making jewellery? Or just selling jewellery from Israel or something? I think I have seen that she makes dresses too? There is a beauty bed and nail table in the showroom? Hair and makeup was also in a post I saw, and what kind of styling does she mean?!”
WOW I have overwhelmed myself just typing all of that, so in advance sorry for the confusion….. I have heard these exact questions and also been asked them…. What exactly do you do? And there is more but I will save that for another post.
So when I hear all these questions or comments people say in front of me, like “yes she made it”, I Pfft it all away, too embarrassed and awkward to kinda own it and take the opportunity to hand out a business card or even gracefully just take the bloody compliment. Usually, actually always, a really stupid comment will fly out of my mouth that I sometimes wish I could catch back like: “Its no big deal it was really easy, seriously nothing your 5 year old couldn’t do!” I’m only giving one example here as the rest only get worse, however I’m fairly certain that some of you reading this may have actually had the pleasure of hearing one of my ridiculous one liners in person!
I think it would be honest of me to admit that I am more comfortable working behind the scenes making people feel great or wear things that make them feel great about themselves. Without meaning to, all the bits and bobs I do in some way, shape or form, encourage a good feeling from retail therapy to makeup or skin that glows to make you feel like a princess. That is where my heart is. The best way that I can do all of these things comfortably with my son as my priority, is from the back end of my online store to the showroom floor! (I totally didn’t mean for that to rhyme btw, seriously).
SO, this entry is getting a little long so I will briefly outline where it all began and why?
School and study wasnt my thing, however sitting at the back of the classroom filing through my friends nails, I did enjoy. Finally school was over and I kept my part-time job I had since I was 14 in a body shop style store and studied full-time for 3 months my diploma as a Nail Technician. This was the start of always being my own boss, doing clients nails from home or renting space in salons and occasionally a part-time job with beauty, makeup or fashion came in between.
Finally when I was 22 I gave birth to “Lily Lounge”, a beauty salon in Highgate Hill, Brisbane. My focus was making sure all treatments were consistent between the therapists and that there was a personal service like no other. For many years Saturdays spent were on the road or in salon doing wedding makeup until it was up to my ears. So lets just say TICK that’s where the nails, beauty and makeup are still a part of who I am and what I offer still today.
Lily Lounge was sold 5 years later to 2 very special staff members and in my struggle to sit still, Maria Diakos Jewellery & Accessories was born. I managed to teach myself the basics of jewellery making and designing, strangely enough people liked a few of my pieces and the rest is history. The range was sold online and into retail stores with alot of custom designs made for clients and of course made from home as my little guy was born. Shortly after that some crazy person (yes me) thought it would be a really grand idea to open a store in the heart of New Farm/Fortitude Valley selling my jewels and fashion plus giftwares just for good measure. Since I was also obsessed with fabrics and had the sewing background from my grandmother and mum, I imported beautiful fabrics from Liberty of London and Japan.
The name’ Ivy’ comes from the green plant that I love so much and ‘Bird’ because they have always been a part of my life and their freedom of flight resonates with me. That is literally it, so much more simple than you expected right?
My vision for Ivy and Bird was and still is today for customers to have the access to really unique usually one off or noticeably different pieces of either jewels, fashion, gifts or body and skin care. I did my best to make as much of the stock as I could which sure kept me crazy busy looking after staff, stock, making, merchandising, interior design and styling services and all the other challenges that come with being a small business owner in a growing city hub.
At the 5 year mark the area was changing and so was Ivy and Bird so it was time to close the doors and take a time out. Time enough to make the discovery that it was back to basics for me, the original Ivy and Bird concept…. Handmade, unique, personal space and with so many wonderful new lessons learnt and a time out, a new private showroom and all the things that I am really passionate about in the one place. Hence here we are today at the ‘Ivy and Bird’ Loft Showroom which you really should see for yourself! Its a working showroom, so expect fabric all over the floor, jewellery half made and plenty of interesting things to catch your eye!
So in closing I hope we have gotten to know each other a little more and understand who and what Ivy and Bird is in a little nutshell…..
So glad I got that all off my chest!!!!