Please tell us a little bit about yourself...
My name is Tess and I am Mum to my baby girl Dylan and Mum/Creative Director/Founder to a few business babies.
My main creative outlet is being the proud Founder and Creative Director of Smack Bang Designs - a boutique creative agency based in Sydney. With a team of 15 spectacularly talented folk, together we elevate brands across the globe. We are a collective of smart-as-hell, genuine, fun, creative thinkers who continue to develop exceptional, market-leading brands by offering design that's as thoughtful as it is beautiful. In short, we propel businesses to their next level of success and have a bloody great time doing so.
Alongside Smack Bang, I also run a business with my partner in crime (and life). Byron and I established Urban Growers and recently published a book called Slow Down and Grow Something to promote and encourage nourishment and conscious living.
We design, create and maintain edible gardens in urban spaces to help residential families and forward-thinking corporations enjoy and benefit from the joy of gardening.
What do you love most about indoor plants?
Oh, what’s not to love?! My studio and home are both dotted with greenery (and by ‘dotted’; I mean ‘jam-packed’). Not only do they clean the air and are so damn good for our brains (thank you, Mother Nature) but they are such a great way to add life, vibrance and style to a space. I’m an interior designer at heart so I also get a real kick out of sourcing plants for my spaces and seeing them fit so perfectly in their new home.
How do indoor plants enhance your wellbeing?
There is something inherently calming about being in nature, and bringing a little piece of the outdoors in, in the form of an indoor plant - means saying sayonara stress and hello tranquility. Plus, little pockets of green in the home (and our studio digs) make for a healthier and happier me and consequently a more productive and creative mindset. Bueno baby.
In what other ways do plants nurture you?
For me, plants are little reminders to slow down. I love the routine of watering and caring for my plants - I find it super therapeutic. It’s nice to get your fingers off the keyboard and in to dirt regularly. When I’m in need of a brainstorm or reflection with my own thoughts, wandering around picking off dead leaves and generally zhuzhing gives me a simple task to keep focused and in a kind of meditative space that generates clarity and creativity. Something I need a shipment of at all times.
What's your favourite plant?
Oooft. How can I choose?! Boutins Blue, Date Palm, Euphorbia, Dracaena Draco, Aloe Plicatilis, Burbank Blue - They’ll all be receiving an invite to my funeral.
What do you find most difficult about plant care?
To be honest, it’s really not that difficult to not brutally murder a houseplant. In saying this, I do have a secret weapon up my sleeve. My knight in shiny armor (read bushman in dirty overalls) who doubles as not only my life partner but a qualified plant-carer-horticulturalist-person- thingy.
He’s got it under control, praise be. And then there’s my lovely EA, Ellie, who waters our studio plants every Monday. She loves this routine to start off her week, so I really couldn’t take it away from her, could I now?!
Has taking care of plants taught you anything insightful?
Firstly, it’s a reminder to forever stay in awe, be thankful and eternally grateful for Mother Nature. Plants have led me into a career path that I would have never found otherwise. Byron’s love of plants opened up our world to begin Urban Growers and for that I am incredibly grateful. Our tagline is ‘Inspired by the endless potential of greener spaces’ and the more and more I expand my thinking in this space, the more I realise that the potential truly is endless - plants teach us to be mindful, allow us to be healthy, bring together communities and are the key to a brighter future for our kids.
What's another wellbeing practice you swear by?
Meditation is a big one, but probably more than that is my daily beach time. The beach is my sanity and I make sure to go and see either the sunrise or the sunset each day. There’s something so calming and inspiring about seeing the vast spaciousness out to the horizon. No matter what the weather is up to, the ocean always mesmerises me and I just love that no two days ever look the same down there.
Wherever you go, whatever time of the day or night, I’m simply a big believer that we all need to take a moment every day to sit (or stroll) silently, with our own thoughts to reflect or reset.