Local Person: Shelley Bickerstaff
by Stephanie Williams
Living the creative life looks good on Shelley Bickerstaff – wine brand manager, gallery owner, artist and now fashion collaborator.
Where did you grow up and where do you live now? My heart and home are in Cabarita Beach, Northern NSW where my family live, but I have been based in Tasmania since 2010, currently in the Hobart CBD where I walk or scooter everywhere.
Tell us a little about your work. Since 2012 I have worked as the Brand Manager for Frogmore Creek, a role that is very diverse and has grown and changed as we have built the business. A day can be anything from label design to partnerships, web and e-commerce development, working with our venues, commercial design projects, everything is on the table. I then mix in other projects that inspire me, which lead to being the co-owner of Bickerstaff Blizzard art gallery and working as an emerging artist.
You’ve collaborated with Emma Petterwood, founder of Tasmanian luxury clothing label Romy. What was your role in the collab? I had been working on a collection called ‘Bodyscape’, a mix of the landscapes integrated with the female form. Emma was working on Romy’s second artist collaboration, a wonderful meeting resulted in my artwork ‘Hip Hill’s’ being part of the resort ’24 collection. Emma adapted the artwork into a beautiful fabric and onto pieces that form part of the Icy Roses capsule, which will be sold by national retailers David Jones and The Iconic. Emma’s vision to bring fashion and art together has been an incredible opportunity for me, I literally can’t wait to show everyone the pieces.
What inspires your art practice? It started as an escape, a space where I would lean into my feminine away from the responsibilities of work and motherhood. There is a freedom to my art, as I have no expectations or pressure on myself, so I can be in the moment. Through co-owning a gallery, which provided a space for emerging artist, I was able to share my own art – when you put yourself in that space of vulnerability, you find people who resonate with it and opportunities follow.
The common thread through all that you do is creativity – do you choose your creative pursuits, or have they found you? I had never labelled myself as creative until recently. In retrospect the way I approach my work and life has always been with a creative lens. I lead with my intuition, lean into things that are interesting to me and mix in a lot of positive energy. I have found when you live with an open mind and without fear of judgment, opportunities find you.
Who do you admire? We have endless talented and passionate people doing incredible things right on our doorstep. But I really admire people who live for themselves and do things that inspire them regardless of the outcome. I never want to box myself into a category or age limit and admire others who also live that way. In short, people who are curious and spontaneous.
Favourite podcast or tv show? I have been enjoying Steven Bartlett’s Diary of a CEO podcast – fascinating guests and topics that are super relevant and thought provoking.
Secret vice? I’m an open book after a Dirty Martini…
What are you reading now? About to start Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead by Tosha Silver.
Do you have any pets? Pet free household much to my daughter Molly’s dismay.
What was your first job? I started my career in airline sales and marketing in Brisbane, working for Hawaiian Airlines, Air Tahiti and was part of the team to launch Virgin Atlantic into Australia. I have always been fascinated by brands and consumer behaviour and bringing the two together.
What are your daily news/social media habits? I enjoy connecting and sharing on Instagram @this_is_bickerstaff and headline read the news. I only deep dive once a fortnight into the main news outlets to avoid the negative repetitive cycle that can mess with my energy.
Your favourite place for… If I’m not at one of the Frogmore venues, you’ll find me at…
Breakfast: Sunbear for the boiled eggs and radish toast.
Lunch: Yum cha at Hometown Secret
Dinner: Institute Polaire or Sonny.
Favourite team? JackJumpers of course – Frogmore Creek has been their wine partner since the team launch and I have loved sharing the experience with my daughter, Molly.
Dream holiday destination? Anywhere in Spain and the Italian Cinque Terre.
Favourite Tasmanian secret? There are some very special tennis courts for hire, where you feel like a royal.
Parting words? I’m single (lol). Bt seriously, I would love everyone to check out our Romy collab and recommend a visit Frogmore Creek City for happy hour on the waterfront.