Meet the Maker: Amy Skipper, Owner and Creator of Dust & Salt Design
Team Buy Aussie Now
This story was written by several Buy Aussie Now team members.
Amy Skipper handcrafts bespoke lampshades using beautiful fabrics and trims. She loves colour and is constantly sourcing Australian fabric designers to add to our range. Amy hope's that her lampshades will brighten up homes and bring happiness to spaces.
How did you start your homegrown business? I was unable to find a really unique colourful lampshades for my old lamp bases. I didn't want an imported, mass-produced product.
What inspires you?
I grew up on the land and as kids we were always outside making, building, creating something! There were always so many bits and pieces around the farm which we could restore, repurpose or recreate. As I got older, I began restoring furniture and pieces we pulled out of various sheds. Nothing was ever thrown away from previous generations - my grandparents / great grandparents kept everything! Which must be why I don't like waste and I'm so sentimental! I believe it's so important to keep the skills of handcrafting products alive and to have an appreciation of tradition. I also love the colours of our Australian landscape and bringing that colour inside our homes.
What are the benefits of manufacturing locally?
Supporting the Australian economy! Quality products are produced locally. Our Australian designers and makers are some of the best in the world. I purchase manufacturing supplies locally to support other Australian businesses and I love building relationships with regular suppliers. Getting to know them makes communication easier and more enjoyable.
What makes the Australian consumer unique? I think Australians are aware of the incredible resources within our country and the importance of utilising those resources. There is a growing realisation of the importance of sustainability and the value of restoration. We are interested in a quality product and also, by nature, inclined to help our fellow Aussie. It just makes sense to buy Australian.
What is the best business advice you have ever received? There is no right time to start, just make a start and don't compare your journey to anyone else's. Be you.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business? Mostly financial. Having to build up the business a little at a time, when I know what I need to do, I just don't have the capital to do it!
What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic? I think people, including myself, are really looking within Australia and at the options available to us here. We all know how unique our country is, with vast space for production and the capability to feed our population. It's so important to buy local - food, clothing, homewares etc and keep Australian businesses not just afloat but thriving.
What was your first job? Growing up on the land meant many different jobs, from the time we were old enough to help, like sheep and cattle work etc. but my first real 'pay cheque' was as a teenager when my sister and I spent time de-hearting lettuce for a seed company.
Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry? Pantry definitely!
Favourite Australian film quote?
"How's the serenity?" - The Castle
Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke? Khe Sanh - Cold Chisel
Check out Dust & Salt Design for handcrafted lampshades.