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Meet Barre Base Anywhere Member, Holly Howe

Rosa Anderson - Jones
Meet Barre Base Anywhere Member, Holly Howe

People ask me if I feel 'disconnected' as an online movement teacher – and the answer could not be any further from that. Since launching Barre Base Anywhere, I have had the ability to connect with members all over the world. And as our members know, my inbox is always open for questions, feedback or general banter. How lucky am I to be surrounded and supported by such an incredible worldwide community?

Online movement has also extended our reach to members who haven't had the time, space or confidence to walk into our physical studio.

Holly lives in Dunedin, New Zealand. The same small southern town that Barre Base Anywhere was born. But a busy business and a baby left her with very little time to attend studio classes. Holly finally plucked up the courage to try Barre Base online classes after being a longtime follower, and it's safe to say she is now a barre addict!

I spoke with Holly about her incredible work, how she stays inspired as a creative and why she chooses Barre Base Anywhere to look after her body as a jeweller. I was blown away when I saw the work that Holly creates, and it's safe to say I have invested in a fair few pieces.

What inspired you to become a jeweller?

Potentially the fear of unemployment. I joke, but I had completed my Bachelor of Product Design and was really unsure as to what to do next. I knew I loved making products, from concept to reality but wanted to expand on my skills and find an area I felt excited about so moved on to The Dunedin School of Art. I got a feel for jewellery and combined that with my love of product design and here we are.

Tell us about your work — your ethos, inspiration, and what you stand for

My work is heavily influenced by my love of minimalist design, architectural details and geometric forms. I believe in creating work that lasts a lifetime, that isn't trend-driven and forgotten about a season later. Jewellery is layered in its meaning to the wearer, from an everyday accessory that's an add-on to ones outfit or a piece that holds a depth of emotion and memory. Each piece I create becomes a part of that person's story and it's a privilege to be part of that. It's what keeps me creating new work.

What surprised you the most about this line of work once you started?

The amount of hats you wear when you start a business. It's not just creating a product, it's the marketing, photography, website development, product development, finance, customer service, and dispatch. You can get so caught up in all the other parts of the business that your creativity can suffer and without that, you don't have a product. It's taken close to 11 years to get to a place of harmony with the business side and creative side.

Making jewellery is physically tough on the body, what do you for for self-care?

It's really a tough gig at the bench. I see a physio for my back and shoulder weekly. Walk most days and do my Barre Base Anywhere. Because of my back, I'm unable to sit for long periods of time so I use the extra child-free time that I'm not at the bench to exercise and heal, to get outside and breathe. It also allows me to think more creatively.

What is your favourite piece you've designed?

The Twist Bangle. Hand carved from a hard chunk of wax, slowly a sleek organic piece emerges, it's so beautifully balanced and curves to your wrist. I'm obsessed with it.

What are the highlights of your business journey so far?

Honestly taking nearly 3 years off to raise my daughter and being able to come back to my business and it being better than before is a huge career highlight.

Tips for future jewellers or creatives?

Just do it. Immerse yourself in your thing, explore, experiment, create. Try to not get your own head too much, it's a recipe for disaster. Never be afraid to ask for help and keep learning, always.

Why do online barre classes work for you?

Being a mum to a wee one I don't often have time to go to an in-person class or the energy. Being able to do my workout at home whenever I feel like it is key. I usually end up doing my workout at the end of the day when Lil has finished dinner and my partner has finished work. They have their play time and I get my alone time. I love that depending on my mood, energy levels or pain level there is something on the platform for me to do.

Your favourite Barre Base Anywhere series?

Definitely for me The Foundation Series. Coming back to exercise post-pregnancy and the early days of child raising and suffering from disc degeneration which causes a huge amount of pain, it's been a great series for me to start at and something I keep coming back to.

For you, what is the toughest part about having your own business?

Having your own business. Seriously though how hard is it! So many hats. This climate is tough, a lot of self-doubt creeps in, and the lack of sales certainty gets to me. Sometimes I just want a job where I get paid regularly, sick leave, holiday pay, KiwiSaver, where I can clock off on a Friday and not think about work over the weekend or late at night. I wouldn't change it though. I love what I do, it's what keeps me going through all the challenges.

What’s next for your business and what goals do you have?

The introduction of Holly Howe Ceremonial is a really exciting ongoing project launching in 2024. I am forever learning and looking at ways of expanding my offerings. Later in the year will also be the release of some Limited and One-of-a-Kind pieces. My hope for this is to experiment with pieces and offer something a little different. Oh and to survive this economic climate!

To see more of Holly's incredible work, visit https://www.hollyhowejewellery.com/

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