From working hard in your 20s to never giving up on your purpose, these are the words of wisdom from accomplished creatives.

| By Rachael Thompson | Journal

33 Successful Women on the Advice They Would Give Their Younger Selves

From working hard in your 20s to never giving up on your purpose, these are the words of wisdom from accomplished creatives.

Navigating how to have a successful career can feel daunting and many of us face times of uncertainty where we are unsure if we're on the right path. It's not until we've experienced a lot and can look back on our pasts that we know exactly what does and doesn't work.

The Bed Threads Journal has been fortunate enough to interview an array of successful and creative women in our The Makers series who have navigated the ups and downs of their respective areas of work and who have been triumphant in their careers.

From ceramicists to designers, these inspiring women share the advice they would tell their younger selves and those looking to enter a similar line of work. 

1. Maxine Wylde, Content Creator

"STOP DOUBTING YOURSELF!!!! You are capable and have everything you need, you have a unique perspective that you need to share with the world. Stop looking around you and just look forward."

Take a tour of Maxine's home.

2. Olivia Molly Rogers, Content Creator

"Don’t waste any time trying to be someone else, it is going to be the unique things within you that set you apart from the rest so lean into that and embrace all of you. It is almost a certainty that you won’t please everyone, but the people who don’t like you for you will move on, and those who do, will stay. Eventually, you build an audience who choose to be there because they appreciate you for you."

Take a tour of Olivia's home.

3. Camille Styles, Editor-in-Chief and Business Owner

"Instead of asking what you're going to do today, start by asking yourself what you're not going to do. Create the space you need to do what's most important."

Take a tour of Camille's home.

4. Pandora Sykes, Journalist

"To my younger self: slow down. You can't do everything. Generally? I would say, don’t rush it. The culture we live in now really rewards 'the overnight sensation', but very few of us are Kylie Jenner! Don’t expect it to happen overnight. And don’t want for something that someone else has - carve out your own niche."

Take a tour of Pandora's home.

5. Audrey Won, Interior Stylist

"Honing your gut feeling and intuition is so important. I think we have this built into us for a reason. Whether it’s a piece of furniture, personal relationship or opportunity, to know deep down if it feels right is a game-changer. The earlier you can tune into this, the better."

Take a tour of Audrey's home.

6. Justine Cullen, Editor

“I would just say that in my experience working hard in my 20s paid off in terms of the position I was in and the experience and contacts I had once I wanted to start to a family.

Not that you shouldn’t have fun in your 20s - you should have ALL the fun and then some - but if there’s a time to grind, burn the candle at both ends and say yes to every opportunity without worrying so much about work/life balance (believe me, you’ll wrestle with that concept enough down the track), this is it.”

Take a tour of Justine's home.

7. Olivia Purvis, Author and Writer

"Probably just to suck it and see, and just go for it. You’ll never know if you don’t give it a go. And one of my favourite things I try and remember is that ‘what’s for you won’t pass you by’ and trust that if it’s meant to happen it (hopefully) will. The optimistic in me definitely likes to think that!"

Take a tour of Olivia's home.

8. Evi O, Designer and Artist

"TLDR: #yolo. Dream big, never stop dreaming, work hard, play hard, and live hard. But of course, in the most positive way, your journey is your own and you are in the driver’s seat. It’s all overwhelmingly and liberatingly on you. And once you’ve found yourself, be good to others."

Take a tour of Evi's home.

9. Puno Puno, Web Designer

"If I could talk to my younger self, I’d say: “The answer is yes, you’re smart, but overthinking your way to a solution is the more exhausting route to the same outcome.”

Take a tour of Puno Puno's home.

10. Jasmine Garnsworthy, Media Startup Founder

"Ignore the growth hacks and shortcuts, invest in relationships and honing your skills, trust your instincts enough to follow your curiosity, and always show up when you say you will."

Take a tour of Jasmine's home.

11. Fatuma Ndenzako, Fashion Designer

"Always be nice! No matter what you do, no matter how big or small. Always be nice."

Take a tour of Fatuma's home.

12. Jessica Marak, Graphic Designer

"Don't let the current company you are working for define your portfolio or your career trajectory. Just start making cool stuff and the right brands and companies will find you. It's honestly that simple. Oh, and don’t forget to post about it!"

Take a tour of Jessica's home.

13. Claire Thomas, Commercial Director

"Be an excellent collaborator, and a pleasure to work with."

Take a tour of Claire's home.

14. Hélène Heath, Content Creator

"I think one of the most important things I've come to realise is that if you’re going to pursue a creative career path, make sure that you’re doing so because you truly love it and not because you’re seeking fame and fortune. This is not a linear road – it’s paved with ups and downs that often come from external, uncontrollable factors. But if you follow your true north, the universe will always somehow let you know that you’re in the right place."

Take a tour of Hélène's home.

15. Nicolette Johnson, Ceramicist

"It is okay to be bad at something you are just starting to learn. If you enjoy it, just keep going!"

Take a tour of Nicolette's home.

16. Ngaiire, Musician

"Be yourself. Take your time. Plan. Don’t jump into bed with people you don’t trust. Know your boundaries. Read your contracts!"

Take a tour of Ngairre's home.

17. Kerry Pieri, Fashion Director

"Be open to learning from other people, but also follow your instincts. The line between paying your dues and getting stuck can be hard to decipher if you don’t do regular gut checks."

Take a tour of Kerry's home.

18. Courtney Adamo, Lifestyle Blogger

"Just start! Start where you are and use what you have and do it. You might fail, but you will have learned and grown from the experience. And one experience leads to the next."

Take a tour of Courtney's home.

19. Hannah Sindorf, Jewellery Designer

"My advice for anyone seeking a creative career would be: if you feel it’s right, and you can see yourself happily doing something, it’s always worth the pursuit — even if it’s the more difficult path."

Take a tour of Hannah's home.

20. Mafalda Vasconcelos, Artist

"My advice is to just go for it and never expect others to do the work for you. If there is a will, there is a way. Believe in yourself and never give up on your purpose. I wish I had started earlier, and I wish I had faith in myself when I was younger."

Take a tour of Mafalda's home.

21. Patchanida Chimkire, Pastry Chef

"Find joy in the process, not the finished goal."

Take a tour of Patchanida's home.

22. Lara Fells, Creative Director

"The best advice that I could share is to just trust that it's all going to work out. Don’t take your eye off your goal, take the risk, work really hard and it will happen."

Take a tour of Lara's home.

23. Rowi Singh, Content Creator

"Don’t overthink and just jump right in, you’ll figure the nitty gritty bits out later. Still trying to take my advice as I push past my desire to 'wait for the right moment'."

Take a tour of Rowi's home.

24. Lynda Gardener, Interior Designer

"Stay focused and enjoy it all on every level. From the start of the idea or concept through to the end result. Have fun along the way and always pick yourself up if something should go off-kilter and keep moving along. Learn always from your mistakes and know that from that you just get stronger and better at what you do because of it."

Take a tour of Lynda's home.

25. Annie Portelli, Art Director

"One thing I wish I was told when I had just left university is that just because you studied say graphic design, it doesn't mean you have to be a graphic designer.

I have always been in roles where graphic design is just a small portion of what I do and I am thankful for that. As a creative, you have many arms – one of which can use Photoshop while the other is taking photos or styling a shoot. All of these assets are so valuable to you and the places you may choose to work, so don’t limit yourself to one thing just because you’re ‘qualified’. Do all the things, and it will make you a better ‘graphic designer’ or whatever it is that you have been trained to do because you can truly understand the bigger picture."

Take a tour of Annie's home.

26. Bree Johnson, Frank Body Co-Founder and Entrepreneur

"Everyone is making it up as they go. The people that look like they have it all figured out are just as lost as you. Ask the stupid question, listen to your gut, and remember that you can run your business however you want. You’re the boss."

Take a tour of Bree's home.

27. Eleanor Pendleton, Founder & Editor of Gritty Pretty

"Write a business plan. Consider the risks. Know your brand and your demographic. Believe in your product and yourself."

Take a tour of Eleanor's home.

28. Bobby Clark, Artist

"Just do it! Stop dreaming or talking of the things you want to do. Simply do it. Study and never stop learning. For anyone wanting to be an artist, learn about the greats, learn about the movements, and experiment with different mediums and tools.

Also, be inquisitive. Other people don't hold the answers; the answers are within you. Chase your dream and work damn hard to get it. Hard work and dedication is everything.

And last but definitely not least, remember experimenting and making mistakes always leads to something new."

Take a tour of Bobby's home.

29. Caitlin Robson, Ceramicist

"At the risk of sounding trite, a letter to my younger self would be to push through the fear of starting. You’re only holding yourself back and amazing things fall into place when you trust in the process, and trust in your gut feeling."

Take a tour of Caitlin's home.

30. Jessica Ngyuen, Cook and Recipe Creator

"If you believe in it, are truly passionate about it and have done your research to know there’s a gap in the market that needs it, just do it! You’ll never regret trying even if it fails, but you’ll always regret letting those ideas and opportunities pass you by."

Take a tour of Jessica's home.

31. Jessica Bellef, Stylist

"Good things will come in the fullness of time. There’s so much pressure to do everything yesterday, to always be hustling. It’s not sustainable or beneficial to anyone. Zone in on what really matters, break it down and chip away at it."

Take a tour of Jessica's home.

32. Michelle Battersby, Sunroom Co-Founder

"Traditionally, creators have only had two ways to make money – brand deals or ad revenue share agreements. Both of those options are often inconsistent and unreliable, many creators also end up working with brands whose products they don’t use or brands that don't align with their values. Many risk losing authenticity. If you’re a creator with an audience who love what you do and want to support you, or you’re someone with knowledge or gossip you know people would pay to access, building a membership option is a way to earn reliable income, whilst not having to depend on brand partnerships. On Sunroom, it also ends up being a place where you can speak more freely and not have to deal with trolls or censorship."

Take a tour of Michelle's home.

33. Zara Seidler, ‘The Daily Aus' Co-Founder

"Take risks and be loud. The two things young women are told not to do!"

Take a tour of Zara's home.

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