Welcome to My Design Alley. A design blog celebrating design in many forms - from interior spaces to new products, stores and interviews with designers both local and from around the world.

A Moment With | Helen Bayley

A Moment With | Helen Bayley

It's hard to believe Helen Bayley started her career as a Lawyer. Always creative, it was at the age of thirty when Helen decided life was far too short to be doing something she didn't love, so she decided to follow her dreams and start her own design business. Lovestar was born in 2013, a little design company producing perspex wall vases in a rainbow of colours in the shape of hearts, all made by Helen herself in the basement of her Brisbane home. Lovestar was a big hit and Helen fast outgrew her home workshop. Fast-forward to today and Lovestar is producing not only the signature heart vases but also lifestyle products and her popular Iconic's range. Helen is revelling in the joy of working in an industry she is truly passionate about, where work doesn't really feel like work at all. 

So Helen, tell me about when Lovestar was first conceived - was there a lightbulb moment for you? It was 2013 and I had just had our third daughter in the space of 4 years, and was really struggling with it all. I was really craving a creative outlet (I was on maternity leave from practicing as a Lawyer). I remember waking up one morning with this new found energy and enthusiasm to just go for it! I knew I had to do this to get myself out of the place I was in and it was motivating me like I had never been motivated before. The heart wall vase concept came first, after I decided it would be fun to re-introduce the good old fashioned ceramic wall vase to a new generation. The product just made so much sense to me - I really wanted to make it and share it. Once I realised there was actually a market for it, the concept of Lovestar came soon thereafter.

“Lovestar was my saviour - it took me from a dark place to a place of pure happiness. I put 100% of me into it, and i hope this happiness is reflected in the brand.”

Have you always worked in the creative field? Actually no! I studied accountancy, banking and finance and law and ended up practicing as a lawyer for some years! My father, whom I adore, was quite a conservative business man, and I hadn’t been encouraged to pursue anything creative. On the flip side, my mother had an extraordinary eye for colour and a huge amount of artistic and design flair.  She would paint, weave, cross-stitch and sketch the most beautiful pieces of art. Unfortunately she passed away when I was 14. It wasn’t until I met my husband (in 2006) that he helped me realise that life was too short to be doing something you don’t love. Chris is the most incredibly open minded, sincere, encouraging human, who also happens to be incredibly talented, creatively. Together we make a really good team - having his support was a HUGE contributing factor in my changing careers. 

What's a typical day in the Lovestar office for you? I make a point of being involved in all aspects of the business. So on any given day, you’ll find me making vases, shooting and styling new campaigns, working on new designs, editing, marketing, packing orders and keeping on top of all the boring administrative stuff!

  Iris Apfel Iconic  (No. 3) Vase.

Iris Apfel Iconic (No. 3) Vase.

Where do you get your design fix? Usually it’s from visiting art galleries. We’re so lucky to have GOMA here in Brisbane. I do use Instagram at times, but have come to dislike spending so much time on there! I still love going and buying print magazines and immersing myself in them for hours. Of course, travelling is such a great way to gain design inspiration.  I don’t travel often, but when I do, I definitely make the most of it!

What's your most treasured item? My mother’s antique engagement ring, it's very dear to me. 

Colour plays such a major role in your work - can you tell me why it's so important? Colour just makes me so happy! It’s also probably a reflection of who I am as a person. 

“There’s not much that’s monochrome or neutral about my personality!”
  Lovestar Queen of Hearts  Silver Glitter and Clear Heart Vase.

Lovestar Queen of Hearts Silver Glitter and Clear Heart Vase.

What do you love most about what you do? After working as a professional until I was 30, being able to now express my creativity every day, and to meet and work with so many creative and talented people, is so rewarding and inspiring. I also love that Lovestar has given me the freedom to be present with my 3 children. Being my own boss gives me the flexibility to make my own rules. 

“I feel like i’ve finally found my happy place.”

What's your proudest achievement? Turning what started out as hobby into a real business. 

What's in store for Lovestar in 2017? We’ve got more Iconics planned for 2017 with some fun new lifestyle products and of course, lots and lots of fun and colour!

  Lovestar Queen of Hearts  Confetti Heart Vase.

Lovestar Queen of Hearts Confetti Heart Vase.

Thank you Helen! | Lovestar | @lovestarloves

In Focus | Assembly Label Fitzroy

In Focus | Assembly Label Fitzroy

The Two of Us | Nathan + Jaynie Johnson

The Two of Us | Nathan + Jaynie Johnson