I seriously need to lift my game. I don’t do nearly enough with the hours in my day. I’ve been chatting with Ness from Marley and Lockyer, and if a more energetic and passionate woman exists, I’m yet to meet her. Ness agreed to share her journey so far with Think Tasmania readers; I’m sure you’ll find her story inspiring.
Marley and Lockyer: Jewellery and More
Marley and Lockyer came to our attention during our “Best in Tassie Jewellery Makers” Facebook challenge. As it turns out, jewellery is only one aspect of the predominantly homewares business owned by Ness. But it’s safe to say that every aspect of the business involves beautiful, handmade items. Ness converted a previously under-utilised living room in her Beaconsfield home into a classy, all-white studio where she designs, makes and distributes lovely things.
Her original and now signature range of white clay tags was born through frustration at her inability to find something beautiful, personal and functional to add to a gift. The wrapping enclosing a present is just as important to Ness as the present itself. Several years since their inception, the unique Marley and Lockyer tags are widely used in scrapbooking; added as decoration to canisters, doorknobs and chandeliers, and given as keepsake place-cards at weddings.
Like many clever souls, Ness has always loved painting, drawing and all kinds of artwork. Employment in management roles where her creative side was stifled left her cold. Being forced from the workforce with pregnancy complications was a blessing in disguise. Sewing cushions and curtains during a home renovation planted a seed of desire… Ness then started a blog and became addicted to social media!
Writing a blog proved to be the catalyst for Ness to launch a business venture. That’s exactly the opposite priority to many of her contemporaries, who choose to create first, and write about it second. Loyal social media friends and fans gave Ness the confidence, support and motivation to launch Marley and Lockyer. Many of those who followed her and first enquired about purchasing were from overseas, with local stockists joining later. These days, Ness sells online via a Marley and Lockyer Etsy store, and through retail outlets and markets around Tasmania and Australia.
Mick & Ness Lockyer: Family Life in Tasmania
Ness lives in Beaconsfield with husband Mick, who is assistant manager at an automotive service centre. Having suffered injuries as an avid cyclist, Mick will eventually require a double kidney transplant. The operation has been delayed thanks to sound nutrition and a good healthy lifestyle implemented by Ness. In her “spare” time, Ness works as a personal trainer, running boot camp and zumba classes… see what I mean about energetic! In a perfect world, Mick would join Ness in her business full-time. In the meantime, as the family work towards financial and health goals, Mick helps out part-time during busy stages.
Ness and Mick have two young sons and the whole family has embraced the local lifestyle since relocating from New South Wales. The couple spent their honeymoon in Tasmania in 1998, and while day-to-day life distracted them for a while, they never lost focus of their ultimate dream to move here permanently.
They encouraged Mick’s parents to holiday in Tasmania, and they were so enthralled with their visit, they too decided to move south. That spurred Mick and Ness into action and they all made the move only weeks apart. Since then, a sister and nephew have also followed suit, so the family is certainly doing their bit for population growth in Tassie!
Marley and Lockyer: The Past and The Future
When asked about the origins of Marley and Lockyer as a business name, Ness revealed the family connection. Marley is her maiden name, and Lockyer is her married surname. Both sides of the family have Scottish heritage and they’re obviously very close. Ness speaks warmly of her own parents, who now have a holiday house in Tasmania and visit regularly; they otherwise make daily contact by phone. Ness travels to the mainland regularly to attend markets, and stays with her parents when she returns to Sydney.
She may miss the members of her family still based in NSW, but Ness doesn’t miss the Sydney grind at all. A half-hour drive from Beaconsfield to Launceston along the Tamar River, through vineyards and rolling hills, beats a daily commute to the Woolongong University (where she used to work in the newsagency)… hands down! A kiln in the backyard and a 5 x 5 metre in-home studio have all the bases covered for her career with Marley and Lockyer.
All photos for this article were supplied to Think Tasmania by Ness Lockyer.
For more information follow Marley and Lockyer on Facebook, or phone Ness on 0422 183 444. Local stockists are listed on Facebook and include Coastal Style in Bicheno, Nest in Penguin and the Makers Workshop in Burnie. Ness also travels around visiting Tasmanian markets including The Market in Hobart.
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