Helen Edwards

City: Adelaide

Business: Recycled Interiors

What: Recycled Interiors is all about helping you create a happy healthy home and life.

What was the catalyst for you launching your business?

My parents ignited my passion for the planet with their love of the natural world, human rights, the arts, and second hand furniture and collectibles.

I have memories of lazy Sundays wandering antique stores and being allowed to buy a little trinket. My preference was for green glass, and the stories of each piece held me transfixed in the possibilities of where each item had come from.

When I was very small, between 2 – 4 years of age, my great aunt and uncle would give me a small china animal from their cabinet each time we visited them, building a connection to the importance of history and respect for things from the past. The idea of buying and using second hand pieces in your home was set in stone for me at this point.

I started Recycled Interiors for lots of reasons, but one important one is that I have personally lived with depression and anxiety, and I saw so many people getting stressed about life that it made me want to do more. I also saw lots of people wanting to go back to a slower pace of life, to appreciate difference and connect with what matters in life. This is so important for your wellbeing.

In 2013 I was feeling burnt out from my work in diabetes, helping thousands of people through the charity I founded in 2001 – Diabetes Counselling Online, as I also live with type 1 diabetes. I decided I needed something else in my life that would help people out in the world. It was time – and Recycled Interiors was born.

What do you love most about what you do now?

When I was a little girl I was banned from watching Lassie because I was too worried about her – I believe that everyone is equal, that difference makes the world go round, and beauty is everywhere.

My entire career has been dedicated to improving the quality of life and the health of our planet, so it’s pretty evident that helping people is really what floats my boat – I have a track record to prove it. I love working for myself, creating content, writing, connecting with so many people online and making a difference in such a diverse group of people’s lives.

I also love being able to spend time with my children as my work allows me to do that.

Describe the biggest setback you faced when establishing your business? How did it affect you and how did you push through?

The biggest issue has been being able to get the right sales funnels and make sales. I am very good at creating things but not as good at getting things out there to sell them.

I push through by constantly learning, and connecting with other entrepreneurs to learn from their experience and journey. I also take time to remember what matters and stay grounded.

Everyone has days where they feel flat or uninspired - do you have any tricks or tactics for overcoming these feelings?

I have lived with depression and anxiety in my past, which was a pretty crap place to be for an optimist. But I got through it, and optimism helped – as did mindfulness.

Make sure you have enough sleep, a good exercise routine, and a healthy diet. Spend time with loved ones. Do things that fill you up and inspire you to keep going.