If that's a bit of a mouth full - it's pronounced 'Ha-soon-knee-a' and can be easily remembered by inviting me round for a meal, like so, 'How-soon-are-ya-coming-over?'.
Food is assumed, you are very welcome.
You might be wondering who the creative mind is behind these funky illustrations and ideation projects. Well, it's me, hello.
Before I share how I was motivated to start working for myself, thought I'd start with a couple of interesting tidbits.
Here are 4 personal FAQs I'm asked often
When did you start DFoG?
I registered Drawer Full of Giants Ltd in April 2011 but founded her the year before in 2010 without a lick of knowing what I was doing. But I've always been a designer, my 1st job at 17 was as a junior in a small advertising company, before computers.
Love the name Drawer Full of Giants, how'd you come up with that?
It took 3 weeks and screeds of paper lists attempting to marry together all kinds of words that best represented me. In fact, DFoG's meaning is found within the services I provide and the lifestyle I've lived. Back when I came up with the name, none of those things were on the radar - but DFoG became perfect for every service, product, and adventure we've had over the last decade. Basically, the Drawer = my mind (small space), and the Blue Whale = represents the largest mammal on earth and the GIANT ideas I have.
How do you come up with all those ideas?
Um, I've always had them. But in my late 20's I was appitude tested and I scored 95% for high idea generation - which afforded me a GIANT AHA moment. I was made this way. Once my mind has a focus, I struggle to stop the flow of ideas, I light up when I can get to share them, realising others also valued them made my business sing.
You look just like your illustration, your smile! Even with short hair.
Oh, yes! You're right, and thank you! The beauty of an illustration of yourself, is the fact people can overlook aspects and get the deeper meaning. Ha, funny thing, you wouldn't read about it, but I've been using my illustrated selfie for years now and the week I actually had my car wrapped - I decided to cut it short after 2 decades!!
The 4 short stories ahead are some of the meaningful stepping stones that I've taken which lead me to my 'now' - but backward in their telling.
Drawer Full of Giants beginning started with a social entrepreneurial purpose
Midway through DFoG's first year, I had this crazy idea that inspired and drove me to figure out a way how I could work for myself, travel overseas, and live a purpose-driven lifestyle. I didn't want to travel for the sake of traveling alone as I did in my late teens/early 20s.
I learned there was a name for what I wanted to achieve, I was drawn to a social entrepreneurial business model. Although new to business, it was important for me not to give my small number of clients up. So, I had to be able to continue serving them AND incorporate my heart's desire, which was to give-back somehow through what I did best through my creative skill set, and experience.
My idea snowballed and was picked up by connections I'd made overseas. By the end of 2011, I'd sold everything, moved my 18-year-old out of home (she was ready - no birds were hurt in kicking them out of the nest), and flew to Thailand for 2012 to learn how to juggle working and volunteering my time.
Doing just what I had envisioned, I spent the next 8 years supporting the projects of individuals, small businesses, and organisations around the world up to 6 months, at times, 9 months, a year, donating my time in two-month blocks. I was invited and afforded the opportunity to work within some great teams, and on projects that I would never have the opportunity to work on otherwise. I lived, worked, and volunteered in this fashion in Thailand, Cambodia, Canada, the USA, and Australia, and several times each in 1st world countries. I found that I loved supporting businesses and ministries that support their own communities, so I gave them my all.
I learned a lot about myself, my abilities, and talents over these formative years, these building blocks shaped the backbone and operations of DFoG and the formulation of future plans. I've ideas in continuing its social enterprise heart in a more scalable way.
This video was taken of me while working in Thailand.
I LOVE exotic animals to handle! And my 42nd birthday treat, while project managing the filming of a Thai TV program, was to love this pussy cat. It was MAGIC!
Tiger Temple - in Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Doing Business God's Way - yeah, a little different
In 2010, as I finished up my BA in Visual Communication (at 40), two tutors called me aside to advise me that they felt I should work for myself, stating I had 'what it took' to make a good go of it. This was unexpected and not at all what I had planned for myself.
But the seed was planted and you've read enough about me to know that once I have an idea.... the rest, I guess, is history.
If it's your own personal habit to live a lifestyle open to your spirituality, faith, or religion, you will be familiar with the regularity of 'checking in' with that spiritual center. I was doing this an awful lot since there was all this change around me.
Not far into my entrepreneurial experience, I started having a lot of new 'bright ideas' about the way I could market myself. It was the first time I took notice of them, as they felt bigger than me in some way, and having had no reference to whether they were actually feasible, I ended up 'checking in' with God to ask if He'd mind if I visited a marketing professional (lol), as, tbh, I was a little flummoxed by the detail I seemed to be having, there was rather a lot of information on how and what I could do, and I simply didn't want to waste my time if these were just fanciful ideas and visions of grandeur on my part.
The long and short of it was, as I'm walking into the office of the professional in question, I shot up a request for confirmation - if she liked my ideas, then I knew God gave them to me.
I couldn't tell you what else was said after she exclaimed, "Wow, I don't get BIG businesses giving me this much detail, this is great!... you could....". Guess that's that then, I have a partner in business! Who would have thought?!
From then on I intentionally experimented with asking Him how to do business His way, and so far I've not been lead astray.
Connecting the dots, I've always been 'innovative'
I am an ideas girl, a lover of the colour blue and living outside the box! My creative and entrepreneurial talents showed themselves at quite a young age (12). That's when I realised pocket money was to be made in selling my artwork to the doily-crazed, silver-set — my nan and her friends — in the form of liquid embroidery.
Though pursuing a career in graphic design even before leaving high school, many years passed before I became conscious of the importance and responsibility of developing the natural talents I had, which seemed, now, to draw me towards my purpose in life. Opportunity knocked and pulled me once more into the classroom in my late 30s to earn a BA and I was able to realise a 25-year-old-dream.
Afterward, not merely limiting me to 'just' earning a living, as mentioned above, this is when God invited me to take my business anywhere in the world I wanted to go, instructing me, wherever I found myself, I was to donate my time to the business owners and ministries He placed me in front of, and went on to promise if I did this He would keep me in paying clients. Therefore, between 2012-2019 I was location independent, traveling parts of the world full-time developing and engaging in the Social Enterprise side of my business.
In 2019 I returned home to put down roots and was advised that it was time to grow the business side of Drawer Full of Giants - which what I'm doing.
I'm naturally social in these places
Land of the Long White Cloud (Aotearoa)
A fun fact about me: In the first 20 years of my life I traveled the length and breadth of little ol' NZ 60 times with my family! True story!
I also raised an amazing daughter on my own, who is now in her late 20's who took her creative talents
into musical theater and vocal coaching.
Feel free to look up Sofia's Voice Studio NZ on FB
I drew her in her favourite ball gown for her
branding when she first started.
Here are some fun family snaps of my girls and I.
When meeting me you'll notice I have an accent, always a cause of mirth, I say tomato, you say tomahto. I'm from New Zealand, and better known as a 'Kiwi'. Without looking at my illustration above - I know, too late - if you turn the world upside down you'll find New Zealand right at the top. That's us. Otherwise, you'll find us east of a really big island called Australia. I'm originally from Christchurch, on the South Island.
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