Some people are just seriously zapped with the creative stick when they are born…Antoinette Ferwerda is one of them. Lucky duck! Antoinette, AKA ‘Nette’, is a Melbourne gal with an artistic edge that she applies to her personal art and her brand Ninnho, with her partner, Angela who together create luxury towels for all of us to swoon over. Having started her career in the Pharmaceutical industry for 14 years, while still creating and painting….it wasn’t until she left the industry to raise her children that her creative flare turned into something seriously incred.
We had a chat with Nette about her art and her towel brand Ninnho (because we die for these towels)…and you might too after you see the AWESOME giveaway we are offering today…check it out at the bottom of this post!
Well, you are certainly popular and for good bloody reason…tell us how you became your arty-farty self?
I believe I was destined to be my arty-farty self because I was fortunate to have an art teacher Mum and social worker Dad. My Dutch lineage and family tree is sprinkled with artists, painters, singers, musicians, performing artists, a mathematician and some nutty professors too.
What made you take the leap from the Pharmaceutical industry to making art?
Painting had been a part of my life for as long as I could remember whilst I worked full-time in the Pharmaceutical Industry. Becoming Mum to my beautiful children provided the space I needed from the corporate world. My “big pharma” experience provided a rock solid foundation in sales, business operations and management, allowing my arty-farty self to combine commercial reality with creative freedom. Taking the leap was easy and hard at the same time, as the corporate world had provided security of income and running my own business was now a very different and new challenge. Having representation by Greenhouse Interiors and the Ministry of Art Gallery has helped my confidence and professional artist presence. Ultimately though, it’s still my creative work which has to speak for itself.
How do you manage your business with your little babes in tow?
When my children were very little, I would work in my garage whilst they slept, paintbrush in one hand and baby monitor in my jeans pocket. As they grew, they would sometimes join me in the art studio, drawing and colouring on paper. As my business started to attract more private commissions and wholesale orders, my art studio spilled into the living & dining room space. Now my little babes in tow were mini peeps and had learned to watch Mum painting, providing incredibly insightful art direction on new projects (I traded their wisdom for home-baked Anzac cookies and reading them stories). It was hard at times as my arty-farty self needed to finish a deadline and I would feel guilty that I had not done enough “Mum stuff” with my children. Being a Mum is the hardest, most demanding job and it’s very easy to become your own worst critic. I would worry about what my children were helping themselves to from the pantry whilst I took a work call and then I’d realise another child had been heavily engrossed in an iPad screen for countless minutes. I organised cooking dinner in the morning and doing washing and grocery shopping at night, my husband helped too but the house was often a bomb site due to my work and home life colliding. Then my husband hired a babysitter and it was the turning point – despite my best efforts to be organised, working late nights, having obsessive determination and truckloads of passion, I still needed to admit I needed more help. I am grateful to my husband, my Mum, my mother-in-law, my friends who offered a play date here and there and my fabulous babysitter (who quickly became my art assistant!). Having help allowed me to feel lighter, happier, be more productive and structure tasks without being overwhelmed. The creative work and orders started to flow. My children are still an integral part of the process of my creativity despite both now being at school. I feel fortunate and blessed everyday to be passionately living my artist vocation. But a school day is only 6 hours so there are still, late nights!
What advice would you give to all and any working mum’s out there?
Try really hard to be kind to yourself. Everyday that you work you are doing good things for your family. Love what you do and those around you will love you for it. Surround yourself with women who understand and share without competition. Mums are super clever and fun and have great stories and wisdom if we just listen, laugh and not judge one another! Remind yourself that your job as a Mum is to one day make yourself redundant for your children. Say something positive to yourself in the mirror everyday.
The one song on your play list that you will never tire of?
David Guetta featuring Sia, “Titanium”
Check out the gorgeous range from Ninnho and today’s AWESOME giveaway…
Terms and Conditions of Show+Tell and Ninnho giveaway:
State and Territory applicable: All states in Australia only
Start Date and Time: Friday, June 26th, at 6am
End Date and Time: The last chance to enter is 9:59pm on Friday, June 26th, 2015
How to Enter: Repost and tag @loveninnho and @showandtellonline with the hashtag #givemeninnho
Prize Details: 2 Bath Towels, 2 Face Washers, Bathmat and Hand Towel
Prize Valuation: Total pack value – $277.00
Draw Date and Time: The winners will be selected on Friday, June 26th, 2015 between the hours of 10:00-11:59 pm.
Method of Winner Notification: Via Facebook message, instagram or email, depending on the easiest method to contact the winner.
Draw Process and Judging: The winner will be drawn completely random from the long list of applicants. There will be no comments needed. The person need only share the post and hashtag the correct items to have their name entered to be randomly drawn out to win.
Limitations on Entry: There is no limit to how many times you can enter.
Special Conditions: Prize is as recieved – not redeemable for cash. If the winner does not respond or claim the prize within 7 working days the prize will be randomly allocated to another entrant.