Story Via NORTH JOURNAL
In addition to heading up her global brand ONE TEASPOON, Jamie Blakey is and foremost all about family time. It got me thinking about what life must be like and how in those 15 years, life evolved to be a whole new existence of what she once knew. “Having a family and running a business has made me really efficient and great at managing my time at work. I don’t ever fluff around. If I’m at work, I’m getting shit done. I get it and get through as much as I can so I can get outta there to be home after school and have some afternoon fun with the kids before they go to bed”.
Living on the Northern beaches has given her family roots they live by and call home. Her husband Ronnie and children Eddie, Mickey and Minnie are a team – thick as thieves. “We love our community. We have a pretty unique situation where we live too…we have close friends and their kids all within 400m of us. A breakfast BBQ on a weekend is 10 – 12 adults and 15 + kids. There’s plenty of inspirational people around here and my friends especially, but the best thing for the kids is the outdoor lifestyle, not just Avalon but the Northern Beaches and Sydney as a whole”.
The schematics of the whole work / life balance act are not always something people can achieve. Aside from juggling career demands and family milestones, Blakey hones in on that the challenge remains with dividing up time. “Those early years are super precious with the kids, you can’t get them back. I’m really mindful of that. Family first and then work. It’s always a battle because you’re working hard to set up a future for them but you want to be with them in the now. Once that perfect balance is there though it’s pretty easy to maintain”.
With routine being the key in navigating how to maintain that balance, Blakey points out that Facebook and Instagram are not a personal priority. “There are so many distractions in day – to-day life that it can be hard to get the balance right. I prioritise my day, family is first – I’m there for the good times in the morning. Then I get my work done so I’m there to hang with them in the afternoon and evening. Weekends are strictly family”.
Social media for ONETEASPOON is a priority and there is a sense of pride and love with each response staff take in answering customer queries. The instant connection with consumers is priceless and not something that existed when Blakey first conceived the idea of having the label. “We love engaging through social media. You can learn so much about your customers, what they love and what they don’t. Most importantly though it’s another place where you can get creative and have some fun and tell your story”.
Inspiration for new collections never falls short with Blakey. She finds herself to always be switched on and it’s not something she has struggled with. Having made clothes since she was 10 years old, she finds it’s the most enjoyable part of the gig. Musical references are all time and she favours David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Neil Young and admits Metallica will always kick off a new design session. Talking creatively and having fun with her buddies doing their own projects (The Vista and Captain & The Gypsy Kid) is also where she looks. “My team is my inspiration. My business partner, my mates and our staff are a bunch of legends”.
I ask about cultivating this creative courage and how it has filtered down to her children. “Exploring their creative interests is huge. Eddie is all about skateboarding so we encourage that; he is super sociable and gets on great with everyone he meets. The little ones are always painting, drawing and creating. Mickey is a little crazy and has facial expressions to go with the crazy! Minnie is two going on 18. She’s independent and cruisy and loves doing her own thing”.
Looking to instill more than an affinity of the arts with her children, Blakey values honesty and compassion and will always try and teach her children that good things come to those that go out and earn it. Having worked three jobs for almost two years to keep the company going is what she did and never once did she think of giving up. Recognising these moments and getting her business partner Liz on board with the staff is what she is most proud of. “We’ve got a great team and they inspire me and make going to work fun”.
With more to come from the label, Blakey is keeping herself busy in 2016. I ask about the long and short term plans.“ To constantly evolve and inspire people is the long and the short of it”. Most recently is MAN X ONESTEASPOON, which is launching now. She is also hoping to get more time to work across MINI X ONETEASPOON. Outside of the label, there plans to release first beers with the crew from the Balter Brewing Company.
Story written by Charmaine Viscayno
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