Sharon Finn is a working mum and that’s the way she likes it.
“I’m so fortunate,” she says, “to be able to accommodate a fantastic family and still enjoy the other things in life that make me happy.”
Because Sharon’s always been a creative soul. For 10 years, while husband Neil was making music, she was closeted in the garden shed following her calling as an artist. She started with mosaics before moving on to chandeliers, attracted by the colour possibilities and finding most of what was widely available just too brash. She now has her own retail outlet, Sharondelier, on Auckland’s Newton Rd.
“We bought the building as an investment, but then I realised how many people were sitting outside in the traffic every morning, bored out of their brains,” she says. “I thought this might be the perfect chance to brighten up their day, so I started making practical – not just decorative – art.”
That was two years ago. Now, Sharondelier is a lighting shop that also does a busy side-line in jewellery and busts for clients who come in off the street looking to enrich their lives with crystal and colour. Almost every time, Sharon simply starts the flow of ideas in her customers and then, more often than not, creates a custom-made glittering accessory for them.
“I like pretty,” she says, “and it’s OK to revel in that, but at the same time the choice of base can make a chandelier as masculine as a customer wants.”
“It doesn’t matter what people are after – I can come up with something that suits their whimsy – and every piece is individual, embracing their colour schemes and aspirations,” says Sharon. “The big thing is assuring them it’s OK to be different; that they can dare to so openly display their own personality. Whether you’re a guy wanting something strong in iron or brass, or a woman wanting a waterfall of crystal, your home is your retreat, and I don’t think you should be judged on your choice of fixtures. Houses are for living and relaxing in. Anything goes!”
When it comes to her own home, Sharon describes her tastes as eclectic.
“I’ve always tended to live in older houses, with rich, dark rugs, and velvets and other sumptuous fabrics,” she says. “I guess you’d kind of describe it as Victorian meets Moorish meets Moroccan, with a smattering of deco and modern thrown in!”
However, she does acknowledge that she can see how minimalism has its followers, tending to be easier on the eye.
“And what a great palette against which to show off a chandelier,” she smiles.
words: Rachel Macdonald
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