SHANNON FRICKE'S LIFE LESSONS
Interior designer and stylist Shannon Fricke has a distinct style that’s all her own. Part country, part coastal, part boho chic, her work evokes the relaxed sophistication of the woman herself.
Her work has been captivating readers around the globe for 20 years, regularly appearing in newspapers and home and lifestyle magazines including Home Beautiful, Inside Out, Country Style, Real Living, Elle Decoration UK, Elle Decor Denmark, Marie Claire and Bolig Liv.
Her work on TV includes Channel 10’s The Living Room, and she has presented more than 60 episodes of the award-winning design program HOME on the Lifestyle Channel as well as Postcards from HOME and House Guests.
Her books, Sense of Style: Colour and Sense of Style: Space have been translated into Dutch, Danish, Spanish, Finnish and Chinese. Her latest book, How To Decorate has been published in Australia and the US through Penguin and Random House.
Creative director for the range of projects under the Shannon Fricke brand, she has also recently realised a long-held dream – to turn her family home, Graciosa Byron Bay www.graciosabyronbay.com.au into a spirit wellness retreat.
For more go to shannonfricke.com or visit the concept store at Newrybar Merchants, 19 Old Pacific Highway, Newrybar NSW 2481.
What was your childhood or earliest ambition?
I discovered fashion magazines at an early age (around 12 years old) and Dolly magazine was my favourite. I remember studying every word, image, the graphics and fonts day in day out.
As an only child, I found losing myself to the pages gave me hopes and dreams for my life that I otherwise would never have had access to. My dream was to work on the magazine some day and so, being a rather obsessive type, I made this my life’s mission! At 15 and still at school, I remember writing to the team with the hope I may be able to do some work experience, to no avail. So I mustered the courage to give them a call. I remember getting through to the operator and asking for the fashion department and somehow being put through to the fashion editor. This led to a week’s work experience that would change the course of my life. My ultimate dream was realised at 23 years old when I became the beauty editor for the magazine.
Did you study after school or go straight into work?
When I left school, I decided to go straight into the workforce. I knew exactly what I wanted to do as a career and was really excited to get out amongst it and learn on the job. This led to three years working in the fashion and media industry both here and in the UK. I did return to study at 21 years old – studying a Bachelor of Arts at Sydney University – working at the same time
running the New Faces department at one of Australia’s leading model agencies. Two years in, I was offered my dream job at Dolly and never completed my degree. Now, at 48 years old – I’m studying again, retraining for a new career in energy healing.
Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?
Drive and ambition are vital for achieving your goals and dreams. Talent can be finessed if you’re focused and up for the task.
How have your ambitions changed in recent years?
My ambitions have ebbed and flowed as I have moved through my life and career. I’ve never believed in remaining stuck in one career or one area of interest and have found ways to create a business or career around my passions. For me, work and life are intrinsically linked. I don’t want to spend a minute of my day focused on something that I don’t resonate with or working in an office or an industry that I don’t feel deeply connected to.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve lived closely with the voice in my head that says ‘You could be dead tomorrow – is this how you want to live today?’ and so I make sure that every day is spent working on my loves.
Of course, this can offer up a few roadblocks that need to be moved or travelled around along the way. But the journey of my life is so much more joyful.
Who was or is your mentor?
I’ve had so many mentors in my life. I look to them for guidance, particularly as I’m growing from one way of being to another, or one career to another. At the moment, my mentors are Dr Alberto Villoldo and Barbara Brennan – both experts in the field of energy medicine and healing. Their knowledge and experiences have taken my life in a whole new direction. I love that in one lifetime you can learn so many new things.
What’s new for your business?
All my businesses are designed around my core belief – a life lived with love, sensuality and an open-heart is a life better lived. A home designed with your individual creativity in mind is more than a home – it’s a heart centre. Creating from the heart and understanding the effect energy has on your space has driven all of my work and this feeds the diverse range of projects that sit under the Shannon Fricke brand. My new range of bedlinen – Where Dreams Are Made – is due for release into Domayne stores nationally and my concept store, Shannon Fricke Heart and Home. I believe that bed is the place where the deepest healing and rejuvenation takes place, and a beautifully designed bedroom facilitates this process.
The retreats I’m hosting at my property Graciosa Byron Bay are designed for women at a crossroads. Here we provide a nurturing environment for women to realign with their truest creative voice and share the spirit healing and wellness tools needed for vibrancy, focus and clarity for their life. As a co-owner of Newrybar Merchants –a unique boutique department store in Newrybar in the Byron Bay hinterland – we bring together a collective of merchants all focussed on the creation and delivering of beautiful objects for the home. I love home. It’s my favourite place to be. So it makes sense to create my working life around it.
Describe your personal fashion style?
My style shifts and changes depending on the day and what’s required from me. At home, it’s more my lack of style that prevails. When I’m working around the Byron Bay area it’s casual dresses with a boho twist. For big city meetings I’ll ramp it up a few notches to relaxed glam.
Has your style changed over the years?
I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl at heart. Always have been. I remember at 10 years old, saying to myself that I’m going to create a life where I get to wear jeans every day. That’s pretty much how I roll.
What’s your most treasured fashion item and why?
I have a collection of beautiful vintage dresses, shirts and jackets. I love that you will never find a lookalike anywhere.
In what place are you happiest?
In bed. At home.