Today we welcome Sally-Ann Livingston of The Navigatrix.
by Sally-Ann Livingston, Creatrix and Owner of The Navigatrix
I always loved stories. …and making things. That’s how I ended up with a Degree in Design Representation (modelmaking) in 1996. Hoping to break into SFX modelmaking, I spent three years doing various work in the fields of product, advertising, museum display (I made half a Hindenburg for Singapore) and, mostly, architectural models. The world of film was so hard to break into and so, inevitably, came the stress-induced crunch. I left modelmaking to retrain as a Montessori pre-school teacher. Along the way, I also learned to be a Reiki Teacher Practitioner. I left teaching to set up my holistic practice full-time, then became a mother in 2008.
Funny thing, change. We resist it and yet it is so necessary to our survival. I think one of the things that draws me to Steampunk is the adoration of an age in which huge changes were made, the human survival skill of adaptation blossomed in a very materialistic as well as spiritual way. I can now appreciate, from my meandering career path, how important it is to creatively adapt to whatever is happening around you today.
So, I found myself in a new house, settling into motherhood, beginning my Reiki Practice business all over again. My brother (another modelmaker) moved in nearby and began to set up an Etsy shop. Through talking to him and a friend, I began to get really interested in Steampunk to the extent that I began to put a costume together. I made a couple of accessories and suddenly had the thought that I could sell them. I asked Matt if I could put them in his shop and his reply was the spark that re-ignited my creativity: “Why not make your own shop?”.
I have gone by many names in the past. Well, that’s what happens when one of your hobbies is Live Roleplaying. My most recent pseudonym, however, is my first Steampunk character and also the first I have created without following rules or guidelines. You may recognise the name Sophia Cardea if you’ve heard of Brass Goggles. She is the guiding concept behind The Navigatrix, an independent woman who has a skill at find her way through life, both geographically and metaphysically. From a practical point of view, I started this shop as a mum on low income, making what I could with what I’ve got. Having started by buying my materials through local charity shops, I soon realised that this was a good way to run a business. Each of my designs are one off creations due to the limitations of my materials. I do use a few new elements but for the most part, I upcycle second-hand, found and remnant materials. My items are inspired by Steampunk and the Neo-Victorian movement. Even the quotes I use are from founders of new age popular metaphysics (that have lead to books like The Secret and the ideas of Louise Hay).
My intention is to create a successful business that as well as providing a gratefully received stream of income for my family, also supports local charities regularly and encourages others who, like me, begin with not much more than a good idea, a steaming kettle and a heart full of enthusiasm. When change stumbles over you, take the opportunity to become inspired! Wishing you all Happiness, Health and all kinds of Wealth,
The Navigatrix and Arcane Armoury will be sharing a stall outside Lincoln Castle for Weekend at the Asylum, Europe’s largest Steampunk event, Trading on the 8th-9th September 2012. http://steampunk.synthasite.com/
Brother shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ArcaneArmoury