Talented jewellery designer, Caitlin Mcdermott, speaks with focus about her journey so far.
Full Name: Caitlin McDermott
Job: Second year graphic design student and jewellery designer for my label Teacup Storm Jewels.
Where did you grow up, and describe the area?
During my childhood I really did get to experience both the seaside home and the country home. I grew up near One Mile Beach for most of my young life. We could see the ocean and could whale or dolphin watch from our balcony.
I then spent the rest of my years living at Cape Hawke on acres in a house that Mum and Dad designed and Dad built, with horses and cows as our neighbors.
Where did you land?
For my first year in Newcastle I lived on campus, which was a fun experience where I met a lot of the people I call my best friends now. The fun never seemed to stop; it was like being on a year long school camp.
I now live in a cute little terrace house right in Newcastle in Cooks Hill. I live with one of my oldest and loved friends, who is one of the happiest and most good hearted people I know.
I met my other housemate last year, and she is a sweet, ridiculously funny and fashion forward leggy blonde. We’re always having interesting adventures together and we always see eye to eye, so it’s made the experience of living in our own house really enjoyable.
What were some of the biggest lifestyle changes from Forster to Newcastle?
The changes in culture and the social scene is the most obvious to me. While there is the surf culture here, it’s definitely not as prevalent as it is in Forster.
Especially doing graphic design, I’ve met a lot more musicians, DJs, designers, artists and photographers than I ever did in Forster. It’s been a great place for me to meet creative types and to share ideas.
Having said this, I really enjoy coming home, because now comparing Forster to Newcastle makes me really appreciate the peace and quiet of home. So I often come back to Forster to work on my ranges in a more relaxed environment.
What are your best memories from home?
Being such a quiet little town, I remember the simple things like getting chips and gravy from Fairways with Hannah, going driving with Jack, being generally ridiculous with Jayce, party planning with Tess, chilling out with Madi and the hilarious times that were Year 11 and 12 art lessons, just to name a few. As I start thinking about it, I could go on for days, because with Forster being such a tight knit little town, I grew up with the same people around me the whole time I was there. So picking just a few memories is impossible!
What is on your horizon?
I hope to keep working on my jewellery label and designs and to expand my business. I’m just so lucky that I can do something that I enjoy that can still be a business venture.
I will always be doing something creative, no matter where life takes me. I love photography and working with type, so maybe one day my graphic design might take me down one of those paths.
Favourite part of your journey so far?
I have really enjoyed starting a life in a new place. I’ve met so many interesting people, and I’m really enjoying uni.
I have got so much positive feedback on my designs, and it’s amazing. One of the best things so far has been designing a range for a recent fashion show called Monsters N’ Claws, organised by Kate Fisher and Melanie Ritchie of The Young Guns, along with a handful of equally amazing designers, models, photographers, make up artists, hairdressers … the list goes on.
It was a great night, the models looked scarily good, the clothes were fantastic and so many people came and supported everyone.
It was an opportunity that I’m so grateful for. It was such good exposure, and I met some awesome people through it all.
Best thing about growing up in the area?
Everyone is always so friendly, chilled out and happy in Forster. The whole area is so beautiful; the lakes and beaches are like none I’ve seen before.
I had some of the best times of my life during the summers in Forster, and the people who became my friends over the years are a lot like family to me now.
I think growing up in such a place lets you form really strong and valuable bonds with the people you care about.
Advice to other young designers in the area?
Don’t think that just because you’re from a small town that you won’t be able to make it in the wider world.
It doesn’t matter where you grew up or where you’ve come from, if you have the talent and the perseverance you’re half way there.
Have confidence in your craft, talk yourself up, put yourself out there and take risks. If you never bite the bullet and get amongst it, you may be missing out on amazing opportunities.
Thank you Caitlin.