WHAT started as a way to unwind from her stressful job has turned into a fulltime business for Anna Anagno.
The Hocking resident runs One Happy Leaf, where she designs and creates eco-friendly wooden jewellery.
Mrs Anagno started making jewellery in her spare time several years ago and had a great response when she exhibited at a Wanneroo market.
“I thought, ‘This is pretty amazing, people really like my designs’,” she said.
“It grew addictive, I was always thinking, ‘What could I create? What would my customers like?’ ”
As demand for her jewellery grew, Mrs Anagno decided to quit her job as a science officer to focus on One Happy Leaf.
But it was not a spur of the moment decision. She spent a year planning the transition to make sure the business would be sustainable.
“The encouragement I got from doing markets and the feedback made me realise I could do it,” she said.
“It would have seemed like a crazy idea five years ago.”
Since leaving her job last Christmas, Mrs Anagno has seen the business expand from having 10 retailers to nearly 40 across Australia and one in the US.
She has a strong international following, with 60 to 70 per cent of online orders coming from the US.
“The biggest learning curve and one I’m still learning about is work/life balance,” she said.
“Working from home, while it’s great, it’s not worth it if you’re going to spend every hour working.”
Mrs Anagno said she could not be happier with her career change and had advice for others who might be considering starting their own business.
“My advice to them would be making sure you have a very, very detailed plan,” she said. “Have short- and long- term goals and check in with those goals. Ask ‘Am I on task?’
“I recommend they have a plan and stick with it and work really hard.”
One Happy Leaf will have a stall at the Etsy Made Local market this Saturday at the State Theatre Centre and Perth Upmarket at University of Western Australia’s Winthrop Hall on Sunday.