"There will be all manner of unforeseen challenges and it is not likely your path will be as planned, however you do get to choose on a daily basis whether to continue or not. It's that simple."
Sarah O'Neill established her store/gallery Small Spaces in 2011 to enable small-space dwelling with a philosophy of mindful consumption and considered design. Small Spaces now shows artworks by both emerging and established Australian artists guided by a mission to support artists in their practice and make fine art more accessible to the market.
Reading Leonard Koren's book Wabi Sabi for Artists, Designers Poets and Philosophers was a pivotal point. I'd just left a job I wasn't enjoying, was wondering what to do next and read the book, which inspired me to go to Japan. I saw similar small, undefinable retail concepts and came back and opened Small Spaces. Nearly 5 years on, Small Spaces now sells fine art presented in a quasi-domestic context.
Trust your intuition, stay flexible and keep choosing to not give up. I've had a series of people who have helped me through different stages of the business. I've searched for informed advice; however, ultimately it's been a sequence of people providing professional, psychological or financial help that has allowed me to continue by making my mistakes and learning.
Japan speaks to me. I felt like I was in love everyday I was there. It's in the respect for small things. The honouring of seasons, traditions, time, the natural order.
All images used with permission of Sarah O'Neill.