Blog Virgin

So, I know the website already has a brief intro about myself, but I thought my very first blog post would be a good chance to go more in depth, including about how and why Heartbeat exists, plus more on my goals for the coming year.
So here goes!!
I grew up on a farm outside a tiny town called Manoora in South Australia. We had sheep, cropping and cattle and all in all it was a pretty great place to grow up.
I am the youngest of 4 girls and loved being outdoors any chance I got. I went to a tiny local Primary School, then a high school in the Barossa Valley (too young to appreciate good wines at this stage, sadly).
I was lucky enough from a fairly early age to know that I wanted to be an occupational therapist, so off to uni in Adelaide I went. My first job out as a new grad then took me to Port Augusta for 3 months, however, an unexpected meeting of my now Husband meant that 3 months quickly turned into 5 years. 
It was during my time in Port Augusta that I actually started playing around with candle-making. After giving friends and family plenty of candles, it was my sister (the very talented @christellemariedesigns) who suggested we team up and try selling at some markets together. This is when I also started dabbling with timber earrings, rings and necklaces after falling in love with some beautiful designers I discovered on a trip to Wellington to visit one of my besties. 
I think at least my first 3 markets were all massive failures (total losses), but luckily I had plenty of passion and encouragement from my sister to keep going. 
Slowly, things started to improve and custom orders also kept me busy.
When my Husband’s job took us to Dalby in Queensland, earring making got into full swing and I fell in love with a local monthly market in the Bunya Mountains. This time also saw steady growth in online sales, which became a bit of a challenge to juggle with full time OT work, commuting 13-14 hours/ week and renovating our 3rd property at this point. 
Fast forward another 2.5 years and another interstate move, the timing felt right to make a real commitment and invest time into Heartbeat Handicrafts. I decided to only look for minimal OT hours to maintain skills and registration and to move my side hustle into my main hustle when we relocated to Paynesville in Victoria.
Now a sensible person would think that starting a business would be enough to focus on for at least a year or two until everything was nicely established, but it seems that’s not my style. Instead, we decided now was as good a time as ever to start our family and buy our 4th renovation project home. 
Whilst this may seem a bit crazy from the outside, so far it feels right and I do have the most incredible support, so in no way does it feel like I’m going it alone!!
So that gives you a bit of an idea of my focus for the year outside of Heartbeats, but I also have some goals and plans for within the business too. I will share these plans with you more in a future blog, but as a sneak peak, I am working behind the scenes to become more sustainable and environmentally conscious, both in my personal life and in bringing unique and beautiful accessories to the world.
Also, I’m new to this blogging thing and do have a few topics planned for the next few months before bubs arrives, but I’m also taking requests if you have any. Just drop me a suggestion through social media, email or the website. 
Thanks for reading to the end and please be gentle with this blog virgin- Dani xx
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