The People You Meet | Sophie Bell
I'm stoked to be featuring the amazing Sophie Bell, from Peppa Hart next up in this series.
She lives in Australia, with her man & her two awesome dogs, Duke and Stella. Sophie is pals with a few of my clients, and she also worked on the styling for theSpirited eBook photoshoot, of which I had the pleasure of designing. She's an all-round awesome chick, she's got mad skills (Soph sent me a HUGE folder of photos to choose from, and it literally took me at least a couple of hours to manage to only choose just a few for this post), and she's got huge, huge love for what she does... All of which meant she was perfect for this series.
Give us the d-low on what you do. What’s your big WHY?
I do a bunch of things at the moment; I work as a freelance consultant in Digital Media, Marketing and Creative Direction. I style events, photo-shoots, homes and humans and more recently I have an online Art Shop. The Art Shop is a collaboration between my beautiful mother and I – we create prints and also work on commercial art for brands.
My big 'why' is I love creating on all levels. Creating is something I love and still cannot believe it’s a job. I have always been obsessed with decorating. I also love creating special events for people like weddings, I feel honoured to be a part of such a special moment in their lives. Styling is my true love, I really feel extremely lucky that I get to do something like styling for work as it sure as hell doesn’t feel like work when you love it so much. I am a massive people person and love been around other inspiring creatives who challenge and inspire me.
So you’re an amazing stylist… How did you end up there? Have you always had an eye for pimping out spaces, or is it something you’ve only just recently discovered?
You are too kind Sian! Well, funnily enough, getting booked for styling gigs all started through Instagram. I used to just post photos of my house and the way I styled dinner parties and events and I slowly started getting enquiries from there. At the time it all began, I was working for an AFL team and worked on large scale projects, so the event planning and project management side wasn’t daunting to me, it actually helped me take on some pretty big projects without being scared to death. Instead of organizing football players it was organizing flower installations, haha. The whole pimping out spaces and people was an evolution from the events side – it all goes hand in hand really.
I used to try to style my parents and everything around us from a very young age – even though we grew up on a polo farm. I would try and style my dad, I liked to play with his clothes and lay them out for him. Weird I know. I think I drove my mum insane picking everything for her in her wardrobe.
I have always been fascinated with photography and how things photograph, so for me, I love being on shoots, watching and learning. I have been fortunate to have been put in touch with the right people at the right times and it’s all just organically happened.
How do most of your clients/peeps you work with find out about you?
Mostly through Instagram, my website peppahart.com and word of mouth. Once I had my wedding in early 2013, I had a lot of enquiries around wedding styling, our wedding wasn’t so traditional and a lot of brides-to-be out there are looking for the non-traditional.
What’s your ultimate biz dream?
My ultimate dream would be to have a massive studio on some acreage where my husband builds furniture in one half of the studio (he is insanely talented) and I create art and base my styling business from the other half. Sounds pretty perfect to me. I love travelling and hope that my styling work allows me to be flexible in my work schedule to fit in as much travel as possible. Travelling and styling as I go is the ultimate dream.
What drives you? What keeps you going in those times you really feel like you could give up?
Passion. I honestly love what I do. An event, a month ago, was a 22 hour day with months of preparation. It was huge, but the feeling of stepping back and admiring everything coming together was a very proud moment.
Not many people get to work on projects they genuinely love and make a living from it, so I thank my lucky stars everyday that I get to make money from something that brings me happiness. I also know what it’s like working hardcore corporate hours. I think that drives me to make my own business thrive. I don’t want to head back to the corporate world – burning out and creating the world for someone else’s benefit isn’t my thing anymore.
I am also lucky enough to have a husband who believes in me more than I believe in myself, if I ever doubt anything ever he is the one to kick me back into believing I can do it. I would be lost without his encouragement and ideas.
What’s your number one life value that you stick to no matter what?
Always follow your heart, it knows best. Our hearts and heads play tricks on us sometimes and often pull us in conflicting ways. But I believe your heart knows best. If it doesn’t feel right and it doesn’t make you feel good, then don’t do it.
Say you were able to take 6 months off work… You’re free to do whatever you want. Money isn’t a prob. Would you travel? Would you work on a personal project? How would you spend your time?
Wow that is a tough question! My mind is running wild with ideas….
I would definitely travel, we are like gypsies (the most happiest when we are on an adventure somewhere). I would be travelling and working… Sourcing incredible pieces from all over the globe – Italy, Morocco, India, Central America, Asia – you name it I would be treasure hunting, and while I was at it I would be developing new ways to bring our prints and art to life, whether it’s through textiles, surfboards, shops or home fit outs. I would be taking a million photos and meeting creatives from all over the globe. When can we start?
Who are you listening to right now?
This very minute, Beyonce - Drunk In Love. Haha.
Name 3 people or brands you admire, and why you dig 'em.
Sybil Steele – I was lucky enough to interview Sybil in the early days of my blog and find her to be so fascinating. Talented in a million ways and a loving mother and wife. Sybil balances family and her career – it’s definitely where I want to be. Sybil has been extremely kind to me, something I will never forget.
Captain and the Gypsy – Sheree is so talented it’s crazy. Every post on her site and every shoot is perfection. Another amazing mumma, balancing it all.
Sarah-Jane Clarke – All kinds of awesome, created an empire with her best friend from scratch. Values family, health and has the most insane style you have ever laid eyes on.
Three beautiful and creative women who are balancing it all.
How do you spend your time when you’re not working?
With my darling husband, family and friends. It’s usually over an epic meal and some red wine and mojitos. We love to socialise!
Whenever it’s possible we are usually sneaking away for a few nights even if it’s just to Byron Bay or a little beach shack down the Coast.
Mr Bell cannot live without the ocean too long, so there is a fair bit of beach hangs with Stella the sausage dog and Duke the Dalmatian in between all of the above.
Wanting… Celine Shadow Sunglasses and a Land Rover Defender for adventuring.
Planning… For a family and building our dream home in the next 12 months.
Bookmarking… Dream house style for our build plans.
What are you most grateful for?
The love I have from my adoring husband, he looks at me like I am magic every single day.
Have you got any awesome new projects lined up that you can tell us about?
I cannot give too much away but I am doing a shoot soon with some very creative humans, and I can't wait to share the finished product. 2014 is being very good to me.