Dominique White makes earrings. PHOTO: Allan Reinikka.
Dominique White makes earrings. PHOTO: Allan Reinikka.

Eye for bold design sparks exciting new local business

DOM White wears many hats.

She works part-time as an emergency medical dispatcher, has four daughters and just over a year ago, she added another hat — small business owner.

Dom started up Storge Designs, a handmade earring business, in early 2018.

She had been dabbling making earrings for a few months and had her first market stall at Village Festival in August that year.

The business was born out of a secret santa present. Dom received a pair of acrylic earrings from her boss and she was intrigued.

Dominique White makes earrings.
Dominique White makes earrings.

She did some research and loved the materials. Next thing she knew she was making them.

“Just thought I would give it a go and educate myself … just went with it,” she said.

Storge earrings can be described as “bold and different” with the slogan “why go small when you can rock big”.

“Any shape, any size, wherever you are from, whatever culture, everyone loves earrings, it just makes you feel good,” Dom said.

“I wanted to make sure my message was that you could just have fun with it.”

Dom has always had a bit of a creative side but it has fallen by the wayside in the last few years. She used to be a musician and that was how she met her husband.

“It was a big outlet,” she said.

“When I had kids I lost myself in being a mum and work.”

After shift working for five years, she found she was lacking a connection with others in a face-to-face setting.

Dominique White makes earrings.
Dominique White makes earrings.

Being creative and getting involved in the market community filled this void. She has found she has made lot of new friends and has been given many opportunities, including collaborations with other handmade businesses.

“It’s all unfolding naturally, I hadn’t been on the other side ever before,” she said.

With a very supportive partner, the business is also a way Dom can spend time with her husband.

“He’s my right hand man, its gives us an opportunity to do things together,” she said.

The whole family gets involved. The couple have four daughters together, aged seven, 11, 12 and 16.

The girls help to make little things, handpaint some items and do the packaging.

“We make it a bit of a family affair but I don’t try to put too much pressure on them so it doesn’t become a chore,” she said.

Dominique White makes earrings.
Dominique White makes earrings.

Keeping up with it all can be a juggling act.

There is many factors in a small business, from looking after the money, tax, making stock and updating the website.

Last weekend was one of those many busy times with two markets and Dom had to work two 12-hour shifts.

And in the lead up to Christmas it’s only going to amplify.

“I have a really good boss and I try not to take on too much,” she said.

“It’s a good juggling act but I am used to that with four kids.

“It’s a fun stress, it’s inspiring, I wake up and I have ideas.”

It’s also an outlet from her job where she takes triple zero calls for Queensland Ambulance Service.

Dominique White makes earrings.
Dominique White makes earrings.

“Comms is a full on stressful environment and some days you don’t have a minute to think about anything,” she said.

“When you are in a market it’s a relaxing kind of work.

“But it’s also tough. It’s your own work, made by yourself.

“You are more vulnerable, people are judging your stuff, you worry about the weather, losing money. You take things a little bit more personally.”



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