Sue Waterson, founder of Max Gecko Design

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Journonews chats with Sue Waterson, founder of Max Gecko Design, a Brisbane group of creative, like minded individuals who believe good design is essential for every business.

Why the name, Max Gecko?

Quite a few years ago I developed a boutique range of gift cards, I didn’t want to have my name on them as such so the name max gecko came about. At the time I was aiming to have a range of products available so I wanted a name that could apply to anything hence max gecko cards, and a year or so later Max Gecko Design came about. Before having children we had a crazy dalmation called max and I have always had a love of geckos – there is such a variety, some brightly coloured, others subtle patterned – every now and then someone will call and ask to speak with Max or Mr Gecko, there have been times that I have thought of changing it but over the years I guess I have become a little attached to ‘Mr Gecko’.

What do you perceive to be good design?

For me it needs to convey a message clearly and evoke a feeling/response from the viewer – it should be innovative, functional, useful, aesthetic.

What or who inspires you?

People that have a passion for something and embrace it, they give it a go, those who are happy and positive.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

Of course family is number one. Spending time with my children and partner and when circumstances permit, with my sisters. Not having my parents here anymore really enforced the importance of family and enjoying yourself. If you want to do something, do it, we always think we have time to do it later but you don’t know that for sure.

How do you manage to juggle children and business?

I think when you have children you have to let go a little of everything being ‘just so’ unless it is life threatening – things will be there tomorrow to do – it’s not worth getting stressed about. I guess in saying that though, there are deadlines to work to and I usually make ‘deals’ with the kids like ‘ok we can spend the morning playing in the park, but when we get back then mummy needs to get some work done’. There are also some late nights but its all worth it. When the kids were just babies they would be in the bassinet on the floor next to me and I would rock them with my foot while busily working on designs. Like a lot of working mums it really is just trying to be organised and balance your time between work and the children. Next year they will both be at school so I imagine that will be a whole different senario for my days …

What has been the biggest challenge in growing your business?

Time – as in spending actual time in looking how to grow the business as opposed to ‘working’ in the business.

When are you most productive?

Usually Mondays – this is my one day where I have both at school/daycare. On the creative side – this can be varied, and can depend on the project. Sometimes I can be talking to the client and as they are speaking I am already imaging what can be done and I’m itching to sit down and get it all out – it just seems to come together, other times I need to leave it sitting there in my subconscious and it just comes to me – I always carry around note pad and pencil for those moments of inspiration and they can come at any time of the day …

What is your favourite thing to do when not working?

Time with family & friends, nothing better than having a laugh (or cry) with those close to you, accompanied by a glass of wine and good food. Also love getting outdoors with the kids, museums, galleries, swimming, attempting to paint and trying my hand at lino printing at the moment ( I stress the word ‘attempt’ – it’s good to get away from the computer sometimes).

Dream holiday destination?

mmm … Dream destination could be Bora Bora island or the Greek Islands or … how do you choose just the one when there are so many beautiful and wonderful destinations here in Australia and overseas? We have created a list of places we would love to experience and hopefully we will get to cross them all off … in time.

What’s next?

Work wise – I always look forward to meeting with new people and getting inspired and excited about their business aspirations, it is very motivating and rewarding to be able to help with their journey in some capacity. Continue to grow Max Gecko and work with like minded individuals.