Australian born, Susannah Fairley has always loved classic designer fashion and accessories, particularly jewellery. An avid traveller from a young age, she began collecting interesting pieces, which caught her attention. By age sixteen she was creating fashion jewellery and selling to local boutiques and markets.
After completing a business marketing degree, Susannah was determined to follow her passion and became an accessories buyer for a major Australian chain. During her time as a buyer, she refined her aesthetic and developed her design skills. After seasons of highly successful ranges, it was time to step out on her own. Susannah launched her jewellery label FAIRLEY this year, and it’s already been very well received in Australia, the US and the UK.
Although Fairley appreciates in-vogue fashion, her designs are not trend driven. She loves reinterpreting classic pieces, creating contemporary appeal and renewed appreciation whilst allowing each piece to tell it’s story.
Her collection reflects her belief that “style is always in fashion”.
“Design inspiration comes from my love of classic style and travel. I take themes from other cultures and traditions then I combine them with my love of jewellery and the desire to create enduring, exciting beauty through my work. I am committed to producing beautiful designs that demand to be worn.”
Tell us three things about yourself
- I’m a Libran
- My favourite colour is green
- I don’t take life too seriously
What’s been the biggest health challenge you’ve overcome and what did you learn from this experience?
I used to be slightly overweight as a child and teenager due to lack of exercise and poor eating. I was reluctant to exercise and tended to be far less conscious as to what food I put into my body. Before my 21st birthday, I decided to get in shape and lose some weight so I started running and put the Tim Tams down!! I was so unfit I couldn’t run more than 200 meters. So that’s how I started – I started running 200 meters then walking 200 meters then running 200 again… Eventually I built up to 10kms a day. It didn’t happen overnight but I lost 12 kg and have never looked back. I now feel much more energized and actually feel terrible when I eat poorly. Sugar is a drug!!
What’s your top tip for getting your day off to a great start?
I love to get up and go straight to the gym for a 45 min workout, it’s the best way to start my day. I feel energized and ready for the day ahead. I then come home and meditate for 20 minutes to clear my head for the day ahead and have a healthy breakfast.
Your brekky usually consists of…
My protein shake! I love to have this after my workout. Its full of goodness like mixed berries, raw organic cacoa nibs, chia seeds, sugar free protein powder and Beyond coconut water. When I don’t have time to prepare a shake, I eat a Slim Secrets bar (Mintabolism is my favourite) as they are low in sugar and high in protein and are great if you are time poor but want a healthy snack any time of the day.
Which foods do you eat to nourish your body and give you vitality?
Nuts and blueberries are my FAVOURITE!!
Why is fitness an important part of your life and do you have an exercise routine?
I feel terrible if I don’t exercise – it’s like starting my day without a shower. I like to stay in shape for a healthy body and mind. I go to gym 5 days a week, I have a trainer 3 mornings and then cardio on the other days. On the weekends I like to walk or go for a swim to clear my head and get my creative thoughts going.
Your ‘perfect day’ in a nutshell would be…
Going to the gym, meditating, having my coffee and then sitting down to design new pieces for my jewellery label FAIRLEY. I love all aspect of the business but designing is probably my favorite part. If I can do that all day it’s a pretty perfect day!
Describe what motivated you to choose your current business or career path?
I have always loved fashion and jewellery in particular. As a child I was always making jewellery out of whatever I could. I went to University where I studied business majoring in Marketing. I then graduated and went straight into working in fashion first in apparel and soon after in accessories. I knew I always wanted to have my own label creating beautiful pieces for the world however I knew I had to put in the hard work, learn the business aspects and get the experience before I could ever begin to think about my own business.
What business or career challenge have you overcome and what one piece of advice would you like to pass on to others?
Starting my business and getting it off the ground!! The ability to turn my concepts and ideas into a real business and see it grow has been both challenging and rewarding at the same time. My advice to anyone wanting to start a business is to do what you love and love what you do and work hard at whatever that is!
Your favourite book or movie of all time is? And why?
My favorite movie of all time would have to be Blue Lagoon. I know it’s so old however I always loved the idea of being shipwrecked on an island in paradise…rather silly really!
And lastly, do you have a recipe you’d like to share with us?
Neil Perry’s Soba Noodle Salad
It is meant to have crab meat however we don’t eat crab so I substitute with chicken or Tuna.
2 x large skinless chicken breasts or 2 pieces of sashimi grade tuna
1 x pack of soba noodles
1 x red capsicum
2 x Lebanese cucumbers – cut the seeds out
3 x spring onions
1 x large red chili
I x handful of mint
1 x handful of coriander
1 x nib of ginger
3 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger
1 teaspoon of caster sugar
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. Cut the chicken into small pieces approx 3cm in length out in baking dish and drizzle with juice of one lemon and olive oil. Put in oven and bake for 18 – 20 mins.
Marinate in soy sauce for a couple of hours (if you don’t have time 30 mins is ok) cover with black sesame seeds and put on pan 2-3 mins each side (or however cooked you like). I usually do the tuna last as its quick to cook and you don’t want to to go cold whilst preparing other food.
Boil a large pot of water for the noodles and once to the boil add noodles and cook till tender (about 4 mins). Drain after cooking and rinse with warm water.
Slice capsicum and cucumber julienne. Chop the spring onions, mint, coriander and chili and add altogether in a large bowl. Add noodles and use half the dressing and toss.
Once chicken or Tuna is cooked add to bowl and pour remaining dressing over dish. Toss and serve!!