Empire Copper is Cam and Beth Hayes, a husband and wife team based in Perth, Western Australia. They handcraft stunning copper, brass, and bronze housewares, jewelry, and gifts. And I’m so pleased to share their work with you.
Empire Copper’s work is both timeless and contemporary – take a peek and you’ll surely agree. But in addition to their beautiful craft and gorgeous imagery, they’re a powerhouse of a duo, each delicately balancing the others’ skills and expertise. I asked what inspired their creative work and business, what their biggest challenges have been, and what insights they’ve learned over the years. In response, they spoke of the importance of value – whether that’s pricing their work, or staying true to what’s most important in life.
Here is their story.
I’d say we are most inspired by wanting a specific lifestyle. Money isn’t everything. Our time and relationship(s) are much more valuable to us. If we can work for ourselves, maintain a nice income, have creativity in our work everyday and not have alarm; that is the ultimate goal. We also really enjoy spending time together. We are so grateful to have one another and make the most of that in all aspects of life. Within business, our skill sets complement each other greatly with Cam being the designer, maker and implementer and me being the planner, administrator and communicator – together we cover almost every area of the business.
The most challenging aspect is the lack of small business support. There are no concessions, help isn’t to be found and you’re kind of left to just figure it out. In doing that, you can easily be fooled and taken advantage of. To address or overcome that, we searched high and low for support and have spent years educating ourselves. We never stop learning, reading, taking courses, enlisting business coaches, listening to podcasts etc etc; there is always something new to know. Very early on we made the decision that if we ever felt out of our depth, we would hire or contract a professional. We are smart enough to know that you don’t know what you don’t know and it’s better to pay more for their skills and support and get something right the first time.
We have learnt SO MUCH. I’d say the best thing we’ve learnt or piece of advice we can give is to value yourself. You don’t have to explain your prices to anyone. You don’t have to discount yourself. If you are offering a great product or service, you know in your heart you are a good person and you are passionate about what you do, the right people who value you WILL COME.
Thank you Cam and Beth for sharing your work and your story! You can find Empire Copper’s work on their website.