Just how cool is it to have the capacity to dream up an idea and then turn that dream into a reality. It’s pure inspiration for me and is as much about the process as the end result. Perhaps it taps into my love of architecture, building and the construction process – something that starts as a mind sketch, moves to a pencil sketch and then, step by step, evolves into a beautifully, functioning building. I’ve just completed a massive renovation on an original 1940’s cottage and I imagine the feeling of accomplishment is the same as when Lucie is doing the final polishing on an almost-done Babyanything sparkler. And that sparkler will undoubtedly showcase an exquisite balance between delicate and badass, using gold, silver and platinum melded perfectly with semi precious and precious stones. I adore her creative aesthetic and her true craftsmanship. She’s dynamic, interesting, authentic, but more than that, she’s a beautiful soul. I’m not quite sure how she balances her role as a full time carer for her much-loved mum with her role as head honcho of her own international business, but she does.
Our February Goddess, Lucie Ferguson, is pure inspiration.
What inspired you to start Babyanything?
lf: I never wanted to be a jeweller, but I always worked with my hands and jewellery found me. So when I finished uni and worked for other jewellery houses I found there was a gap in the market for the jewellery I wanted to wear, at the time it was giant biker skull jewellery for tiny lady fingers, now it’s dainty promise rings. I still just try and fill those ‘gaps’.
What value do you place on custom-made, Australian designed jewellery in a market that’s flooded with cookie-cutter designs?
lf: I place the highest value. It will be the demise of our industry, if we don’t support the makers actually coming up with original ideas and then making them with their own two hands we are going to be left with a market full of rip off’s made offshore. Our jewellers will just be doing repairs on these second rate pieces. It’s not that quality pieces can’t be found overseas but the power in making something with your own hands and then seeing someone in the street wearing it is a powerful feeling, both for the maker and the customer. It is the same feeling a carpenter who spent 3 weeks building a table for a family would get if he saw them having Sunday dinners there for 20 years, it’s a connection.
Where do you get inspiration for your new pieces?
lf: I used to find inspiration in everything, now I find I just get bolts of inspiration. An idea will come and I have to scribble it down. But I have soooo many ideas for pieces swirling around in my head it will take me years to make them all.
I was recently reflecting on my uni days as an architecture student and a particular design theory class which focussed on the ‘why’ of design. Do you design with a Muse, a story, or a ‘why’ in mind?
lf: Superficially I get inspired by characters from movies, music and books, I think of a character I dig and then think of what Jewellery they would wear. Recently I have been dreaming up ‘Babyanything Brides’ finding muses to create a story of the wedding and corresponding engagement and wedding rings for. I have always worked with a muse in mind, that is why I based my last campaign on that idea. Sometimes the muse is myself, sometimes it’s a chick I see once at a rock show, sometimes my mum in the 70’s. It’s always changing.
I love a quote from Leigh Campbell (The Daily Coverage) that said she feels like an impostor when she wears too much jewellery. I’m exactly the same. What’s your advice to style jewellery so it doesn’t look overdone? Is it as simple as staying authentic to your personal style?
lf: I believe you fall in love with fine jewellery. You have an ‘I have to have it’ moment when you see the right piece. Fine jewellery is so personal, it is the only thing you still have on your body when you are naked. It is an extension of your body, it’s there for your first kiss, your first overseas trip, your marriage, your burial. You should only wear what you feel confident in, but it changes, some days I want to feel sexy and mysterious so I pile on 8 massive silver biker style rings and chains and I rock that, and the next day I’m wearing one fine gold thin band. It changes with your mood I think, what armour or lack of you need for the day.
On my Babyanything wish list is the Destiny Ring in gold. I love it’s reference to eternity and the nautical vibe. What’s your all-time favourite piece?
lf: Oh I love the Destiny rings, they are so special because I found a picture of my mum in Capri, Italy from the 70’s and I could just see this tiny gold ring that looked like rope so I had to work out how to make them and then I used them as midi rings to look like spun gold on your finger tips. I will always be proud of those rings, I made the first ones 5 years ago. I think my favourite is still the Fine Heart ring, I made the first one 11 years ago and it still has such a femininity it takes my breath away when I see it on another hand.
How’s it feel to see someone wearing your designs? Does it make you reflect on the first days dreaming up Babyanything and how far you’ve come? Or is it just rad – as you would say?
lf: Ha! I do say rad a lot. It is truly humbling to see someone love your work as much and you do. It makes me so proud and happy when I meet a Babyanything Babe wearing something that has become special to her or him. I know one day they will become heirlooms and be passed down through the family, that is what is so special to me. It is the reason I studied to become a Fine Jeweller who works with precious metals so my pieces would have the longevity to withstand a lifetime of wear and enjoyment.
Describe your work space to us.
lf: Chaos! It literally a mess, but that is an authentic workshop, jewellers work under piles of tools, metal, paper etc because we work in such small places. I am so lucky my studio is at my home which is on a headland facing the most incredible beach where I grew up, one view from the bench lets me check the surf for the day and the view straight ahead from the bench is our garden which is a sublime rainforest of tropical plants. It can be distracting though and I have to live with the 10 surfboards sharing my studio!
You’re a beach baby through and through. What is it about the ocean that you love?
lf: It is in my blood, the ocean is a part of me. I think it happens when you grow up near the beach, the ocean becomes family. I’m typing this answer now and I can hear the waves crashing on the beach from the big post storm swell. I always travel to somewhere with a sea also, I even went all the way to Scotland and had to see the beaches there, I just felt at home. I think you connect with other people who love the water too, you share a connection, it also usually goes hand in hand with other street cultures I love like skating and photography.
What’s been the hardest part about owning and running your own business solo?
lf: The hardest part is that there is no off button. If something needs to be done, you are the only one to do it. The task literally will wait until you get time to do it and that can be quite daunting and overwhelming. Also there isn’t anyone to ask when you need advice, you just have to work it out in your own.
What’s been the most rewarding?
lf: I am my own boss. I am in control of every aspect of my brand and therefore in some parts, my own destiny.
I know you have an amazingly close relationship with your sister, Elle Ferguson, which really resonates with me. My sister is my everything. What does it mean to you to have a sister who is such an enormous inspiration and hugely successful to boot?
lf: Elle really is my number one fan. She gets so excited when I show her new pieces and the look on her face when I graduate from a new degree or diploma is priceless, it keeps me going, striving to make something more incredible for her to love (and to try to steal off me!!). We often laugh because although she posts frequently about Babyanything on her social media avenues, I have never once asked her to do so. All of her Babyanything pieces have been birthday or Christmas gifts or she buys them off me, it is so amazing to have her support.
What’s next for Lucie Ferguson and Babyanything?
lf: For Lucie Ferguson I hope it’s lots of travel. I am dying to get overseas again as I feel like it really recharged me and got me focused and ready to work this wild ride called ‘owning your own business’! For Babyanything this year is about wholesale. We have secured the most beautiful stockists both here and overseas, I am so delighted to finally show the brand off to a wider audience.
And TDL would love to know:
What makes you laugh? My Mum, my Sister and my boyfriend’s stupid jokes, public humiliation and sarcasm goes a long way with me!
Your daily beauty routine? I wish I had more time to dedicate to taking care of my skin, right now it’s just a wash followed by rose hip oil and a gold mogra face moisturiser by a divine Ayurvedic company, Subtle Energies.
Your favourite travel destination? I can’t choose! Every country I went to in Europe and the UK I would proclaim “this is it! I’m moving here”, only to say the same thing two days later when I got to the next one. Sorrento and Capri in Italy were pretty incredible though!
What do you love to do with your sister? Anything. I love to shop with her as our commentary is priceless, we just make fun of ourselves the whole time and we shop really quickly, we are like yep, boom, try it, yep, boom, buy it, then we are off to Jackies for lunch in Paddington.
What music are you chilling out to? I don’t really get to ‘chill out ‘ in my life it’s non stop all the time. So I listen to music that pumps me up to keep going, ‘Ordinary’ by The Preatures is on high rotation at the moment.
What do you think makes a woman beautiful? Individuality. Seriously, I have so many women that I look to for inspiration and they are all sooooo different. One minute it’s a really full on leather clad skater-biker babe in Bondi that stops me in my tracks and the next week it’s a total hippie with a flower crown wandering the streets of Byron that grabs my attention. What I am drawn to is the authenticity of these women.
You favourite Top Drawer Lingerie piece? The Fleur of England pieces still make my heart skip a beat, lingerie as it should be xx
Pics: Lucie Ferguson, babyanything, elleferguson, kimlouiseferguson, tabletonic, tarrachong, hopeandmay