by Lucie Ferguson
Words by Jessica Gledhill
Photography by Caroline McCredie
Interviewing is a great gig. It’s a privilege listening to artists open up about life and art. Sometimes when an interview is done and dusted, I reflect on the conversation and realise I gained far more than words on paper.
If I sound a bit sentimental, it’s probably because my recent interview with Lucie Ferguson of Babyanything anchored me in a way I never expected. There I was all at sea about my career, when Lucie reminded me of something I had forgotten; forging a creative career is like riding a rollercoaster – full of unexpected twists and bends, highs and lows.
Babyanything is a jewellery label designed and handmade by Lucie at her beachside studio on the NSW Central Coast. After graduating with a degree in jewellery and object design, Lucie spent several years cutting her teeth in the industry, working for some of Australia’s most respected brands including Dinosaur Designs. Eventually, she decided it was time to do things her own way and she launched Babyanything.
The Babyanything aesthetic is refreshingly pared back and youthful. Lucie designs jewellery for women, men and children using precious stones and metals. Many of the ring designs in the women’s collections feature coloured stones on whisper thin bands, designed to be stacked or worn mid finger. The designs are unique in that they cleverly reinterpret classics with a contemporary twist. Take for example the fine heart ring, which features a precious stone set off centre within a delicate heart shaped silhouette, or the spirit skull ring, which combines a badass skull on a delicate band. Lucie describes the Babyanything woman she designs for as a paradox; a reflection of today’s woman who resists stereotypes, confidently exploring femininity and masculinity through design and fashion. The dichotomy of the Babyanything muse is a reflection of Lucie’s life. Growing up on the beaches of the Central Coast, Lucie travelled to Sydney daily to study at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, and later at Sydney College of the Arts. Even before school age, Lucie and her older sister Elle would visit the Powerhouse Museum and the Art Gallery of New South Wales regularly with their mother Kim, attending exhibitions and participating in childrens’ workshops, including one facilitated by Dinosaur Designs who Lucie would work for years later.
Lucie benefited from the best of both worlds growing up; the laidback Coastie lifestyle with its pristine beaches, and the melting pot of cultures, politics and art that Sydney delivers. The influence of the coast and the city has woven its way into Babyanything. The latest lookbook features dainty keepsake heart rings on the fingers of sun kissed beach babes, alongside lightning bolt rings on the fingers of steelyeyed rock n’ roll chicks wearing Metallica tees.
Fashion has the ability to transform people; empowering the wearer to explore different identities. And that can be liberating for people of all ages and walks of life. Lucie is acutely aware of the transformational power of fashion; her late mother Kim refused to let her battle with cancer become her identity, instead choosing to live by the mantra of “dress up, don’t give up.” When Kim found out her cancer was terminal, she launched an Instagram page to record her final 365 days through fashion, boldly battling the disease one outfit at a time.
Lucie was her mother’s primary carer, working on her jewellery late at night in the home studio (literally Lucie’s walk-in wardrobe repurposed to house her workbench and tools). Reflecting on this period, Lucie reveals that juggling Babyanything and caring for her mother ensured she did not lose her sense of identity in her role as a carer.
Lucie’s commitment to Babyanything, no matter what life throws her way, is paying dividends. From humble beginnings selling at Avoca Beachside Markets and a pop-up store in Sydney, Babyanything jewellery is now stocked at selected boutiques nationally. Her clientele has grown from fashion forward locals to celebrities including supermodels Gigi Hadid and Chrissy Teigan, with a growing list of followers.
Babyanything is all consuming for Lucie; living and breathing the business has meant putting on hold starting a family, owning a home and finding that elusive work/life balance for now.
Before my interview with Lucie, I was feeling somewhat apathetic about aspects of my career in the arts. But I soon felt inspired by her grit and dedication. Yes, forging a creative career can be challenging but if you stick at it, the rewards can be worth their weight in gold.
With the ongoing success of Babyanything, Lucie has opened her first store in Paddington, Sydney. It’s a milestone for Lucie, which I am sure her family and clientele will celebrate with her in style.