My name is Laksmi. I am 28 years old and I live in Newrybar.
MY PASSIONS AND INSPIRATIONS:
Literature, Motherhood, Friendship, Analysing everything, Being truthful, Critical thought, Words, the pursuit of objectivity, the futile nature of that pursuit from inside a subjective vessel, Laughing.
On an aesthetic and business level I’m passionate about objects that have a story, a point of difference, the things that you see and no matter the price you can’t walk away from it.
The people around me are my greatest inspirations. I am unbelievably lucky to have friendships in this area with roots back to our childhood of women/men/mothers/fathers all invested in similar vocational/creative/entrepreneurial paths.
It’s vital for me to get together with these people, who have all grown their own businesses and family and to be able to connect on all levels – the triumphs, the failures, and perhaps most pertinent – juggling a family life!
Similarly, Byron Bay itself – I strongly believe that the value of good quality handcrafted products is second to none and this area is rife with artisans who feel the same way.
WHAT MAKES ME SMILE AND LAUGH:
My son. Can’t beat his 3yo way of wording and looking at things. Hands down funniest dude I know. Also, Louis C.K
MY LOCAL SACRED PLACE
Im pretty invested in the hills around my house as far as connecting with nature goes.
MOST INSPIRATIONAL BOOK
I don’t know about inspirational but the book/series that has meant the most to me is ‘The Clan of the Cave Bear” series by Jean. M. Auel. I haven’t actually read the series as an adult so maybe it’s not as awe inspiring as it was to me as a child/teen. But oh boy. It was big. I read it over and over. Named all my chickens after the characters in it. You know, real chilled Neanderthal names – Broud, Mogur, Brun.
I will forever have a lot of love for that series – it provided unconditional comfort and strength. And ahh yeah, if you saw my copy of the second book in the series, ‘The Valley of the Horses’ you’d find some well dog-eared pages where Jean explicitly introduced me to “Pleasures” (her word, not mine!!)
Being vulnerable/rejected. As much as I dislike the narcissistic nature, and as much as it is more a kneejerk reaction emotion as a logical one, I am afraid to be judged as not good enough – in any aspect. As much as a plant grows in accordance to sunlight, water, soil, we grow within physical and emotional confines. My particular childhood confines imprinted some kind of base emotion of guilt/embarrassment. The more life I live the more I find ways to overcome, but the nature of habit is a great force. It is only through realizations/practices about myself and the world that I have started to morph, and one of the greatest ways I am accomplishing this is through my business. Starting this creative business has been tantamount to overcoming these fears.
This is a tough question. I don’t want to obsess, I don’t want to hide, I don’t know how much to share. I strongly believe in being honest about our human experience.
My childhood was strange, lonely at times, dark. But my stating of that is biased. I look back with the fallibility of memory, and with the accompaniment of “my story” I’ve told myself and others cemented through it being given priority over perhaps other versions I’ve forgotten.
My mother recently told me I seemed happy as a child, and perhaps that is true too. We are remarkably good at surviving. But she too, is a product of the same bias, and she too will utter truths in accordance with her own story.
So, insofar as it matters, my recollection is of darkness, fear, sadness.
We (my two sisters and I) grew up in Nimbin, where we divided our time between my Mother’s and Father’s house.
I don’t know how to describe my mother. I think she perhaps is wonderful. But I’m clouded. As a child I was told to dislike her, I was reminded to look at her flaws, told she was cold, uncaring. As a child she seemed to me like comfort, like warmth, like love, but overwhelmingly out of my reach, someone I waited to save me but never did.
My father, I’ve never met anyone the same. A powerful person suffering many mental ailments. He was abusive, controlling, insane, manipulative and highly intelligent. Our house was small. It lacked doors, electricity; we washed in the creek, went to the toilet outside, cooked on a fire. But I don’t think that mattered so much. He was narcissistic, paranoid and obsessively spiritual, we were his objects, his disciples. I felt tied up in a ball. I witnessed horrible things, was a victim of horrible things, I went inwards, inwards, inwards. Books were my savior. I lived in them instead of in my body and it defined my lifelong love of writing and reading.
I hope I’ve answered that ok. I don’t want to allude to things. I want to be truthful, but sometimes I’m sick of hearing myself telling the same stories, I’m trying to escape how it defined me.
THE DEFINING MOMENTS OF MY LIFE
Ha. Good timing. Yes, lots of dark defining moments. My emotional makeup, my decisions as an adult, my understanding of myself and the world, has all been very impacted upon by my childhood. Looking back I feel as though I was stumbling around as a teenager as if shot out of a cannon. When my father got fulltime custody of us at 10 years old it was a huge ethical miscarriage. The waiting I was doing, to be saved, for someone to know the truth of our lives, never came.
Finally my Father’s house burnt down, with him inside – he burnt too, almost to death, but he survived and we moved to Byron where the upset continued. No resolution came – I just was suddenly an adult (well felt like one at 14 when I moved out of home) and started living life as a, for all intents and purposes, functioning member of society. But full of demons that the world had not absorbed. I used to describe the feeling as worms inside. It’s only now with the calmness of adulthood, but most importantly motherhood, that I have assuaged them.
The two things I credit (with utmost gratitude) as my biggest defining moments of lightness were becoming a mother and starting my business.
I don’t mean to talk about my son as if I see his role as existing to serve me, but the fact of the process is we do serve each other, and I can say with certainty his life is excellent. But yes, it’s him that changed me. I became expansive, connected to the world, softer, less critical. The vulnerability of motherhood, the shared experience of it caused the world to flood in around me. The busyness of it too is a blessing. The focus on somebody else’s life, their wellbeing, is a waterfall of relief. Self obsession is not healthy for me.
My creative business I credit for many of the other ways I have changed. I started the business after a particularly painful time of my life. I had done something, I had taken an action, almost two years ago now, I regretted so deeply, something so against my core self, something stripping and debilitating but worst of all, something I could never change. Could never undo. I hid it well. I didn’t talk about it. But whenever I was alone I would open the pit and fall. I would scream and cry and stare in agony at the pain of what I had done. It felt like my body was acid, my action a cancer.
At the time I had never been creative with my hands, did not consider myself to be adept as a visual creative but I think, whether a caveat or a handicap, the opportunity available to us to become or do is burgeoning, and I am beyond grateful for whatever was inside of me that prompted my decision to try. I had initially set out to make a plant hanging but on a whim got out some paddle pop sticks and wove a “gods eye”. The satisfaction of watching an idea be realized in a tangible way was addictive, therapeutic, freeing.
Turning it into a business has been ecstatic on so many levels. It’s an honour every time somebody chooses our products; to have them beautify their house with it, to make people happy and feel that resonance.
To have people love what you love to do is an expanding, humbling experience.
It’s a very vulnerable-making venture – putting your passion and labour on display, you really have to get over yourself, but making yourself vulnerable (and I felt this magnified when becoming a mother) is like some kind of gateway to feeling connected to the world. It floods in.
I AM MOST PROUD OF:
I would like to say my son but he is what makes him wonderful – not me.
When I take a moment to reflect, I am extremely proud of the business I’ve started. I’m proud of the things I make – of the moments I’ve achieved originality (as much as this word can mean), and I’m proud of the person I am/am becoming in it’s wake. Our mission is to make things that make people feel good. It’s that resonance, evoking an emotion of familiarity or excitement, whatever it is that says something to you about your story, your world. Anytime we achieve that, any time someone chooses our products, it’s an honour.
There is something so addictive about the quality and practice of products actualised from human hands. Love, life essence, story—whatever you call that quality that you get from handmade products—that’s the emotion that I’m interested in evoking and that’s the emotion that will guide someone towards creating a home that FEELS good, not just looks good.
WHAT BREAKS MY HEART:
The human condition. “We are thing that labour under the illusion of having a self”.
WHAT MENDS MY HEART:
Not taking it all too seriously.
WISDOM TO SHARE:
I don’t have a particular message. I like to listen to people, I like to give advice, I like to comfort. But my wisdom is only at its pinnacle in each moment, eroded and changed in the next, and the more I experience this the more I am aware that I don’t posses any absolute truth. I guess that’s a rational mind. I cannot ever wholly judge a situation, person, or occurrence because every feeder, every variable is inextricable from the next. In saying that, I love to argue, to debate, to explore being human.
I strive to tell the truth always. I think it’s important. I think it would be comforting if we all practiced it more. The less there is to hide, the less there is to fear.