The Maker's Portrait

Writings & musings.

The Maker’s Portrait focuses on the stories of Perth’s creative small businesses and people who are helping the community told through photography, blog posts and short films. They are portraits of inspiration and encouragement towards a purposeful, more mindful life.

A Journey of Self-Discovery with House of Hobby

I sat down with Stephanie Gorton, founder of House of Hobby, for an honest and open conversation about the destructive path which led her to a journey of mindfulness and self-discovery.



“Ever since I was a little girl I always fantasised about love and finding the right guy. I thought that when I found the right guy he would make my life complete - I had high hopes for love!” So began Stephanie’s quest for love. Ten years of moving from one relationship straight onto the next left her with bad habits. “I was constantly rushing into love and trying to find someone who would fit me and complemented me. It would only end in disaster. I had been doing this from a young age so I really didn’t know who I was or what I was looking for. It was very destructive and aggressive.”

“By the time I came out of the third one I realised there was a pattern that kept repeating. We would fall in love and it would be so beautiful, then six to twelve months in we would be fighting and in the end they would leave me. I would be a crazy mess by the end of it.”



“I finally said to myself ‘the same things keep happening over and over. It is not happening to my friends.’ At some point I need to understand that this was happening because I was making the wrong choices. I realised it was something that I was doing wrong. I had to find an adult way of dealing with this. So I told myself no more dating, no more boys, no more alcohol and I cut everything out that was destructive in my life. The next 8-12 months I focused on myself. In that time I did heaps of workshops to find my passion.”

Whilst applying for a job and having to fill out an application form that involved writing down her hobbies Stephanie realised she did not know what to write. “I thought, how can a 27 year old woman not know what her hobbies are.”

She started doing different creative courses like floristry and interior design.

“I spoke to a lot of women and asked them how they found their hobby. I realised that our stories were all the same in one way or another. I think as women, a lot of the time, we grow up thinking we are here to look after everyone else and we forget about ourselves. We put expectations on ourselves to have it all together, to check off our to do lists, but forget to spend time looking after ourselves and our own needs.”

“I really wished that there was something out there, when I was trying to find myself, that allowed me to try different things at a relatively low cost to help me find what I wanted to do. I wanted to find something I was interested in that maybe I could continue at home. That was how it started.”

A year ago, Stephanie started House of Hobby. “My partner said to me ‘you have all this passion in you. You are very driven. Why don’t you start a business?’ I specifically remember my response being “I could never do that?! It was fear. It seemed too big. He encouraged me to just start small - start a website and just blog about what was on my heart, the experiences I’ve had. So that’s what I did.”



Through House of Hobby Stephanie’s vision is to create a safe place for women to come together, “to provide soul satisfying creative courses and life skills,” but also to provide a space to allow women to find themselves whilst finding their passion.

Her workshops are held at various venues in everything from candle making to kokedama. “I like to keep my workshops varied and fresh.”

“I want women to indulge their creative side and also use it as a platform to have a conversation around the importance of taking time out for yourself and finding out what you like and what you are passionate about in life.”

“When people come to my workshops I want them to, not only have an amazing time, but feel fulfilled from it. I want them go home and think ‘I have to do more of that - being in a space where I am meeting new women, connecting with them and sharing. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I want women to understand that in order to live a fulfilled life you have to do more of what makes you feel great, more of the activities that feed your soul. There is so much more to life than getting trapped in society’s expectations. I want them to use their hands - be creative - be surrounded my feminine energy. All of us have some creativity in us that we want to give back in different ways.”



Stephanie has this advice for others, “The first time you put yourself out there it is so scary. You want to be proud of it. It is a piece of you that had never been there before, that is coming out. I think we all have that moment of vulnerability.”

“I think if we can all be a bit more vulnerable with each other instead of putting up a ‘face’ we would be so much more fulfilled. People mostly connect in pain and struggle. We can’t be afraid to share because we are all going through different variations of the same struggles. We don’t need to put up a wall or appear like we always have it together because life is just not like that.”



Stephanie says that if you feel unhappy and you are doing things that seem to be going down the wrong path, to spend some time on your own. “I genuinely believe that you don’t know yourself until you spend time on your own. No distractions. Sit down, journal, find out what you enjoy in your life, write down who you are, what you are passionate about, what you believe in. Sit down and think about what you really want from your life. When you look inwards you start to become aware of what parts of your life are making you feel the way you feel. If you feel that way it is because you are choosing to do something that is making you feel that way.  Immerse yourself in other activities.



Read more about Stephanie’s journey here, and you can find out about her workshops on her website.