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Empire Client Feature: Erin Lightfoot Designs

Posted 2 Jun '23

Empire Accountants are pleased to introduce Erin Lightfoot Designs for our client feature this month.

Erin has been designing and handmaking porcelain earrings, vases and more in her Brisbane studio for over a decade. Her work has been featured in Vogue, and is created with a focus on classic, wearable Art Deco designs.

We sat down with Erin to learn more about how her business came to be!

  1. Tell us about your business! 

Erin Lightfoot Designs is a ceramic studio in Red Hill, Brisbane specialising in earrings and vases.

We make earrings from porcelain with gold detail highlights and different coloured glazes. Our work is inspired by Art Deco and art.

We make them classic, but contemporary and very wearable.

  1. How and when did you get started? 

I studied fashion at UNI and discovered a love of textile design there.

When I finished Uni, I really wanted to keep going with the pattern design that I was creating in textiles.

I was looking for a cool surface to use with my prints and because my mum is a ceramicist, I was spending time with her, and I saw some prints on ceramic. They were just polka dots. But I asked mum how they printed them, and she told me they were just decals.

I made the connection that anything I could design and put on fabric, I could also put on ceramics. I liked the idea of that because it was an unusual and interesting material. I spent about six months in my mum’s studio prototyping our first. And then I just kept on doing it! That first collection I made got into vogue organically.

  1. What can our Brisbane readers buy from you?

Well, people say you can’t use the word unique because it’s so ubiquitous, BUT if you want your home to have unique, thoughtful touches that you look at and you say “Oh, doesn’t that look great!?” My vases are for you.

My earrings are also very popular. The designs are very every day and wearable, yet still unique (there’s that word again). While they are an everyday accessory, they are still different from other generic styles that you might see everywhere, because of the Art Deco influence. They are a little quirky, while still being classy and appealing. You can see for yourself on my website!

  1. When did you start using Empire for your business accounting and what differences have you noticed since working together?

I was recommended to work with Beth from Empire Accountants through a friend. At the time I think I just was collecting my receipts in a shoe box and not doing anything with them. It wasn’t because I was against using an accountant, I just didn’t know how to find the right one, one that I could trust. Working with Beth has been awesome!

We were just too swamped with the day to day running of our business to take good care of our accounts. Now we know we have that under control with Empire.

Working with Empire feels more like a business mentorship, than just accounting. It’s great to have the check in’s and have someone that can provide an outside perspective and give guidance.

  1. Starting a small business can be challenging in today’s market. What is one thing you feel was a challenge for you and how did you overcome that?

I’ll give a fun example! TikTok.

I started using TikTok for my business, which was challenging because it was not something that came naturally, but I decided that it’s OK to be bad at things to begin with. The only way you get better is to practice. You don’t have to be perfect at producing content to start and committing to it has improved my social media presence and helped my business! It’s also helped improved my Instagram content because I’m more comfortable creating content with the skills I’ve built using TikTok.

  1. How can people buy your products?

You can find all of Erin Lightfoot’s designs at www.erinlightfoot.com

Website: www.erinlightfoot.com
Instagram: @erinlightfoot_porcelain
Tiktok: Erin Lightfoot Ceramics

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