Spend just a few minutes with Christina, 27, of Charliee Presley and well, you'll probably be in stitches because she's got that kind of dry wit that's hard to come by these days. And, you'll also leave feeling inspired, encouraged and ready to chase your dreams. She has that effect on people.
Cliched, maybe, but her positivity and passion for life is seriously contagious and all that energy is evident in the gorgeous pieces of art she creates for Charliee Presley.
Charliee Presley is the business she took a giant leap on just last year. Christina creates floral pieces, bouquets and installations out of dead flowers, twigs, sticks and leaves and gives them new life. An inspiring concept in itself. Judging by her recent collaborations with Tigerlily and some exciting projects on the boil, there are great things to come for Charliee Presley and I'll be sharing the shots from a stunning Mother's Day shoot that I was lucky enough to be a part of in the coming weeks. Christina is also an actor, animal lover, outdoors enthusiast and all-round great gal.
Tell us about yourself in five words...
Emotive, passionate, creative, sarcastic and loyal
How did Charliee Presley begin?
I’ve always loved making things - finding new ways to create and loving every chance I get to express myself. I suppose Charliee Presley has been in the making my entire life but it hasn't taken shape till this past year. In 2016 I was going through a really hard time and I started making things to get out of my head. It originally started as means of therapy and has evolved into a celebration of life.
After a chat with my brother in law Anthony, he encouraged me to be brave and start my own creative business. I decided to take this huge leap and jump into the adventure that is now, Charliee Presley.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love working with materials that are dead, forgotten or deemed unusable. I love seeing what can be made by using dried flowers, twigs and branches. I find so much enjoyment when working on pieces and it’s even more magical when I get to deliver the bouquets or install twiggy artworks and they’re received by happy faces.
As a creative, what inspires you and keeps you inspired?
Life. That probably sounds a little cliché but it’s cliché for a reason right? Inspiration for me is not specific but all-inclusive. Life and all its crazy colours. Inspiration can come from a memory, a good book, my faith, classical music, an interaction with someone and always the outdoors. Take me on a road trip, surround me with sunshine, good company, ocean swims and I’ll be buzzing for days.
I know you're a woman with many hats - what else are you up to?
Yes, lots of hats! I’m working on a few things at the moment but mostly auditioning. I’ve studied acting and writing and have been working as an actor on a more professional scale for the last several years. It definitely keeps me busy and I love being able to tell stories in various ways.
You've been working for yourself and staying away from an office grind for a little while now, how do you stay motivated?
I have the most amazing support network around me. The most amazing family, friends and creative circle that help keep me motivated. I also work very hard at being and staying positive. Reality sometimes can be very shattering and a huge let down but my choice is how I react to situations. If I can find gratitude in the quiet and unsuccessful days I know that that’s the real success. I’m motivated by working very hard and not wanting to stop until I reach my goals. It's super challenging and some days it's frustrating but giving up isn’t an option.
The hardest lesson that I’ve learnt (and still learning) is that my worth and success does not depend on ‘what I do’ but rather ‘who I am’ - who God created me to be.
I can write about this all day but I’ll leave you with this, words are powerful and speaking life and positivity into moments that deserve otherwise is what really feeds a healthy work life. And prayer! Prayer is key.
"If I can find gratitude in the quiet and unsuccessful days I know that that’s the real success"
If you can, inspire us with a few of your hopes and dreams for the future...
Oh goodness, you’ve put me on the spot. Without disclosing all my secrets here’s a few hopes:
I would love to take Charliee Presley to rural parts of Australia and work with children. Learn from different communities and create art, floral designs, and installations by using materials from their backyards.
I would also love to create twiggy Installations and have an exhibition one day, maybe even design my own stationary using Charliee Presley creations and images.
A few of your favourite things...
I have a lot of favourite things, but the condensed version:
The ocean, sour snakes, humour, mountains, the cinema and books.
All photos by Ashleigh Brisenden
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For more on Charliee Presley, visit www.charlieepresley.com